This workout today is all about neglected muscles! In our ‘typical’ workout programs that we often get trapped in doing in the gym we tend to focus on exercises like squatting, lunging, push up variations, pull down motions, and the like. These are all great exercises, but it’s also good to have a ton of variety in the movements you perform, that way you avoid creating imbalances in your body! At the same time, each of our bodies have muscles and movements that we are a bit weaker in. For me, my inner thighs, my straight arm shoulder strength, and my one leg glute strength are areas I am working on.
I wanted to share my workout with you today for a few reasons;
- Give you some ideas to add variety to your gym routine.
- Explain why these exercises are so great.
- Get you thinking about all the ways in which we should challenge our body to move, to keep it working optimally!
- You can get done this workout in less than 25 minutes with rest breaks!
So here it is:
- First step- set your tabata timer (I use a free one from my app store) for 45 seconds of work, 15 seconds rest X 7 rounds. After you perform all 7 exercises, grab a sip of water and restart your timer to go again.
- Set up your BOSU, 2 yoga blocks, 1 light KB, and one pilates ring. You only have 15 seconds to change exercises, so you want these items close.
- Start your timer- and get to work!
Here is your first exercise:
- Inner thigh squeeze and one “lift” of the chest to the ceiling.
For this one- just place the pilates ring between your inner thighs. Use your inner thighs and abdominals to ‘crush’ the ring a.k.a squeeze your knees together then keep the legs squeezing as you ‘levitate’ your chest up towards the ceiling. For each squeeze of the thighs you do one lift of the chest. Note: This is not a sit up type motion.
Here is a full video: https://www.youtube.com/upload
2. Superman Varieties
These versions of your typical superman exercises are much harder then they look! They require incredible straight arm strength, and inner thigh strength, as well as just like any superman exercise it is a great workout for the muscles down your spine.
What I would suggest is that 45 seconds will be quite a long time to hold this position, especially for a beginner. In the video below I show you 3 different versions of this exercise. I would suggest that for each round you do through your circuit do 1 of the varieties I have shown. If you can’t last 45 seconds, no problem, take small rests and then jump back into it!
For the first version I am squeezing my straight arms against the side of the block, while at the same time I am trying to shrug my shoulders gently away from my ears and lift my chest and arms off the floor. Second version the block is between my knees and I am squeezing the block as I lift my legs only. Third version both arms and legs are squeezing and lifting. Keep your neck in a straight line.
3. Straight arm overhead kettlebell carries.
Many of us (including me) are lacking really good shoulder stability strength. We are so used to working our back arms and shoulders from a bent elbow position, that often we are missing out on what we want to strengthen the most- our shoulder stability, aka the shoulder’s ability to stay in a strong position as our arm perform’s movement.
To work on this you could try one arm overhead kettlebell (or dumbbell carries). For this- just set the bell up overhead on one side and then try to work your arm nice and straight, while at the same time trying not to lean or let your shoulder work up towards the ear (you can see me working on all of this in the video).
One side for 45 seconds, then switch arms.
Full video here: https://youtu.be/2GxBUS3cYl4
4. One Leg Glute Lifts
One of the most underused (and in most need of use) muscles on our body is our glutes. We need strong glutes for back health, for athletic power, for locomotion, and so many more purposes! I love this one leg glute exercise because it can really help to deal with asymmetries in hip strength. I like to put my hands on my hips and really feel if I am trying to rotate my hips or hike on hip up too high towards my ear in relation to the other hip. Try not to push all the way up to the top, I find going about 3/4 of the way up really gets a good burn for the glutes! Do one side for 45 seconds, then switch! Make sure you squeeze your butt!
Full video here: https://youtu.be/ZDXNdfv8ekY
And you are done! After you perform each of the exercises on both sides it should have taken you 7 minutes X 3 rounds= about 25 minutes with a little rest in between each round.
I hope you got some good ideas from the exercises. Keep finding ways to work on your weaknesses, and add variety to your movement and you will continue to get fitter, healthier and stronger!