This week it’s all about 5 exercises I am loving at the moment. Technically 4 exercises and a machine. Check them out!
Jack Squats- Slightly more exciting than the basic squat jump, jack squats will get the legs burning and heart rate elevated. Perform during your workout for 30 seconds or save them for a finisher at the end of your workout. I like seeing how many I can do in 5 minutes. (Taking breaks of course when I need to.) My highest is 120.
Movement: Think sumo squat to chair pose with a jump in between.
Single Leg Hip Hinge- So many benefits with this one exercise. Improves balance. Strengthens the hip, glutes, and hamstrings. AND improves foot and ankle strength.
Set Up and Movement: Standing position with weight in hands. Transfer weight to left leg, while the right leg lifts and bends to 90 degree. Push butt back and hinge at the hips. Right leg raises while torso lowers to just slightly above parallel to the ground. Maintain a natural arch in the back. Keep hips and pelvis squared up the entire time.
Avoid: Bending at the waist (hinge at the hips). Locking out knee on standing leg. Hyperextending your back. Lowering all the way to the ground.
TRX Assisted L Pull Ups- These are hard! But I love the challenge. They aren’t quite the same as a traditional pull up…but I enjoy incorporating these straps into my workout whenever I can.
Set Up and Movement: Adjust the straps to the shortest length and sit underneath the anchor point. Reach up and grab the straps, palms facing in. Initiate the pull up by squeezing your back muscles together and down. Keep the legs straight and heels in contact with the ground. You can also regress this version by starting in a kneeling position or keeping feet on the ground and starting in a deep squat position. Good luck!
PushUps- Okay, nothing new here, but I am recovering from a shoulder injury and was unable to do any pushups for 6+ months. I’ve slowly started adding these back in..still not doing a full push up from the ground, so I am elevated on a bench.
Set Up and Movement: Probably one of the most butchered exercises ever, so listen up. Assume position on your toes with hands just slightly wider than shoulder width. Tuck your chin, head neutral. Tighten core and glutes and lower down while pulling your shoulder blades together. Lower the body down in a strong plank position. Elbows tucked slightly, around 45 degrees. Elbows should not be flared out to the sides resembling the letter T! Reverse the motion by pushing up and driving shoulder blades apart.
Stair Master- Benefits the calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, and your cardio vascular system! And lucky for you it is almost always free at the gym. I’ve tried to use this machine 1x/week since last August. I love feeling my hamstrings and glutes working…one of the reasons I love hiking so much. Speaking of hiking, this machine is great training if you enjoy climbing hills. Which I do :)
I perform sprints on this machine. Yeah, no joke. Sometimes I’ll cycle through 20/30/40/60 sec sprints and recover (by slowing down) for as long as I need before I start again. And no, I don’t hold onto the handles. And you shouldn’t either.
It’s hard as hell without being too hard on my body.