When building up your arsenal of exercises to tone and tighten your tush don’t leave this one out! I love single legged dead lifts because while they mainly target your whole backside: Back, hamstrings, glutes, and calves; they also engage your core stabilizers for strength and balance. Compound total body exercises burn more calories overall and work all the muscles!
To Perform: First adjust your posture making sure your shoulders are back, chest out, butt out and abdominals pulled in. Standing upright with a dumb bell in each hand slowly begin to lower forward from the hips while simultaneously lifting one leg off the floor extended straight behind you. Your arms should remain straight throughout the whole movement as you lower to a 90 degree position. You should feel a stretch in the back of the stabilizing leg. Then begin ascending upwards from the waist coming back to your upright position squeezing your glutes and bringing the extended back leg back forward until you are on both feet again. It is very important to keep your eyes up and looking forward in front of you throughout the exercise to keep your back in the safest position.
Why should you do Inverted Rows?
1.)Its one of the best ways you can start strengthening and conditioning the muscles in your back, arms, and abs to being able to pull up your own body weight without using the legs to help you up.
2.) Another added bonus is that there isn’t any extra stress placed on your back because you are in a supine position.
3.) This exercise is no partner needed – so if your by yourself its okay! No spot required!
What Equipment You Need:
Inverted Rows can be performed using a smith bench or a regular squat rack with the bar set at about waist level or lower – depending on your height. You want to make sure that when you lower yourself down you aren’t bottoming out on the floor.
How to Perform:
First start by getting under the bar and grabbing with a slightly wider than shoulder width over hand grip, just like a regular bench press.
Second, your abs should be pulled in and your legs should be straight out in front of you with only your heels resting on the floor – this is so you don’t cheat!Your body should be in about a 45 degree angle and the center of your chest should line up with the bar.
From here you are going to pull yourself towards the bar squeezing the shoulder blades together and opening up the chest at the top of the movement, then slowly lower yourself back down to the start and repeat.
I recommend seeing how many you can do that first set and making that your goal number to stick with for your remaining sets – If you want to really take it up a notch, combine it with a regular bench press and do super sets!
The Barbell Guillotine Bench Press is May’s exercise of the month! Its primary focus is to build up and bring out the definition of the upper chest just below the clavicle or (collar bone).
To perform the movement lay with your back flat on a bench and feet flat on the floor – grasp the bar with a shoulder width grip for maximum emphasis on chest; the closer together your hands are on the bar the more tricep you will use, the farther apart your hands are will put more emphasis on the front deltoids. Position yourself under the bar so that when you lower the bar it comes down to your neck. Press the bar back up until your arms are straight, but not locked out and repeat. This excercise can also be performed using a smith machine if you are working out alone and need to self spot.
April’s Excercise of the month is all about Abdominals! Hanging Leg Raises!
Hang from a chinning bar either with your hands or arm straps if available. Start with your legs hanging straight down below you then slowly lift your legs with knees slightly bent flexing your hips as you bring your knees up toward your chest, lower slowly without swinging and repeat. For working the obliques try turning both knees to one side and then raising them up to the chest – definitely harder but a great workout!
March’s exercise of the month is for your mind. After all the chaos of the holidays we can all feel a little stressed out! My mantra for March is Meditation – wether you find a yoga class to attend or just 10 quiet minutes to yourself to sit and clear your mind find the time this month to meditate. I know we all get busy maybe 10 minutes isn’t realistic for you yet – try starting with 2! You will be surprised at how much clarity it can bring to all the stuff going on in the nogin!
Bench Dips for the Triceps is February’s focus. I like bench dips because you are forced to use your own body weight for resistance. Compound movements such as bench dips, push ups, pull ups and squats are great to train with because they increase total core strength and stability.
To perform the bench dip position yourself between to benches your palms should be flat on the bench fingers facing forward, the bench opposite of you should be placed so that just your heels are resting on the edge. From here lower your body down so that you have a 90 degree bend in your elbows then push yourself back up to the starting position by straightening the elbow and repeat.
Beginners – May want to start out with just one bench to build up strength.To perform – leave your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees then follow the same movement as above. Make sure to keep your back straight and butt close to the bench
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Want wings? Do Pull Ups! Having a nice sculpted back and V-Shape taper is definitely coveted in the gym, not to mention the core stability a strong back provides. Pull ups are by far the best exercise for the back. Because most individuals just starting training are not strong enough to do them alone – the assisted pull up is a great starting point.
Most gyms have a pull up machine with a pin set weight stack that you can adjust based on how much of your own body weight you are able to pull – so lets say for example you way 120lbs but can only pull 60lbs of your own body weight you would set the pin at 60lbs. As your strength increases that 60lbs will go down to 50 and so forth until you can eventually do a pull up with your total body weight which is a huge accomplishment for most! There are two types of Assisted Pull Up machines: Standing and Kneeling. Once you have determined the correct weight face the machine and grab ahold of the pull up bars at the top of the machine, next place your feet or knees depending on the machine on the movable platform. Now slowly straighten your arms lowering your body down and keeping your abs in and back straight pull yourself back up bending at the elbows.
Lying Concentration Cable Curls
This is by far my new favorite excercise for biceps! The main focus is on the peak or top area of the bicep ( that is where you should feel it if you do it correctly) You are actually lying down on the ground (on your back) when you perform the excercise.
1.) Fit the cable with a single handle attachment
2.) Grab the handle and lay down on the ground on you back knees are bent, slide down towards the pulley
getting your crotch as close as you can – without actually touching.
3.) Stradle cable placing one foot on each side of the pulley, cable will be directly in between your legs
4.) Start with your bicep curled so that your palm faces your chest – elbow is pointed out, then slowly
extend forearm until you feel the lengthening in the top of the bicep at that point go ahead and curl it back in – concentrating your contraction on the upper peak of the bicep.
This is a great way to help isolate the bicep and take the shoulder out of it completely – performing concentration curls with dumbells is similar to this but when you are seated upright and the weight becomes heavy you can cheat easily by using the shoulders. Looking for something different to add to your routine give this a try!!! My biceps are so sore!!!!
Happy Labor Day everyone! I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the beach this weekend by some really great new friends of mine who live there. Thank you Sue, Diane, Carla and Dollie! We had such a good time! When we got there we had to hike down this massive flight of stairs with all of our stuff and it got me to thinking – this has great workout potential, in fact others were thinking the same on my way down I passed a few joggers running up! Nothing to original here but it is fun so try it out! If you are fortunate enough to live by the ocean – Good For You! If not this is something new you can try and a good reason to go visit and stick your toes in the sand!
1.) – climb down the stairs to the sand once you get to the sand you are going to jog lightly or speed walk to the waters edge for your warm up
2.) – Do a set of 10 modified or depending on your fitness level regular push ups
3.) – run back up the beach to the stairs and run all the way up – I recomend for beginners that you stop and check your heart rate at least half way up if you are feeling extremely winded and of course if you are stop for a moment to do some deep breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Continue on till you reach the top.
This is a great simple workout that works for everyone. Doing this circuit once for beginners at a slower pace and 3-5 times at a faster pace ( sprinting ) for intermediate to advanced.