Monday, September 24, 2012

13 Exercises Condensed Into 5

Sorry for the few days with no posts!  I spent a wonderful weekend in NYC to visit some family friends and 2 other people I've been friends with since elementary school.  (How can I have lived in Philly for 2 years and not have gone to NYC before now?!)  Even the weather was perfect!  On Saturday, I saw Nice Work If You Can Get It, a hilarious Broadway show starring Matthew Broderick.  I recommend the show.  Our seats were amazing-- 2nd row!  Matthew Broderick was literally 10 feet away from me.  On Sunday, we walked outside for 3 hours, all around Central Park and the surrounding area-- I counted that as my workout.   

Today it was back to the daily grind... and also the official start of my 8 week 8k race training!  Mondays are strength and stretching days, so I designed another quick full body workout.  The theory behind this workout is that the more exercises you combine together, the more efficiently you are exercising your muscles, meaning the quicker your workout will be.  We all have busy lives, so why spend more time in the gym than we need to?  I also did not want as strenuous a workout as my previous 20 minute total body circuit since I want to actually be able to run tomorrow.  This is what I came up with:

It took me about 20 minutes to complete 3 sets.  I used a 10 pound weight for the skull crushers, 15 pound weights (each hand) for the upright rows/bicep curls, 20 pound weights (each hand) for the bench press, and 5 pound weights (each hand) for the shoulder rotations. 

This workout condenses 13 exercises into 5.  Here are the 13 exercises:
1. Lunge
2. Skull crushers
3. Glute squeeze leg extension
4. Side plank 
5. Tuck-opens
6. Wide leg squat
7. Calf raises
8. Upright row
9. Bicep curls
10. Chest press
11. Hip lifts
12. Back extension
13. Shoulder rotations

Lunge with One-Handed Skull Crusher and Glute Squeeze
1. Hold a weight in your right hand, arm raised above head, palm facing in
2. Lunge forward with your right leg, simultaneously bending elbow to bring weight behind head (try to avoid letting your elbow swing out and instead focus on squeezing it next to your head and holding it steady)
3. As you stand back up, place weight on front foot (right leg) and bring left leg straight behind you, focusing on squeezing your butt muscles to lift your leg into the air
4. Return to a lunge and repeat steps 1-3 until you have completed 10-15 reps.
5. Repeat on other leg/arm.

Muscle groups worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Triceps, Balance
Make it harder: lunge with your front foot on a Bosu ball 
Make it easier: perform the movement with no weight, hold a rail or chair for balance

Side Plank Tuck-Opens
1. Assume a side plank position on your elbow, keeping body in a straight line.
2. Lift top leg into the air, hip distance apart from the bottom leg.  Simultaneously extend top arm over head to form a straight line with your body.
3. Tuck your lifted leg into your chest while simultaneously bringing your elbow to meet it.
4. Open back up and repeat steps 1-3 until you have completed 10-15 reps.
5. Repeat on other side.

Muscle groups worked: Abs/Obliques, Shoulders
Make it harder: keep your leg as straight as you can and reach for your toes instead of your knee
Make it easier: hold a side plank without tuck opens, perform the plank with your bottom knee on the ground

Wide Squat with Upright Row and Bicep Curl Calf Raises
1. Stand with feet spread wide and toes turned slightly out.  Hold a weight in each hand.
2. Squat down and touch the ground with your weights.
3. As you stand back up, rise onto your toes and complete an upright row by bringing your hands to your chest, palms facing your body and elbows going out.
4. Lower your heels and arms.
5. Rise back onto your toes and complete a biceps curl.
6. Lower back to flat feet and hanging arms.  That's one rep.  Repeat until you have completed 10-15 reps.

Muscle groups worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Inner thighs, Quads, Biceps, Deltoid, Trapezius, Calves
Make it harder: pulse at the bottom of each squat, perform all squats on toes, elevate one leg on a Bosu ball (switch legs halfway through or for next set)
Make it easier: use lighter weights

Chest Press Hip Lift on Stability Ball
1. Lie with your upper back on a stability ball and feet planted firmly on ground.
2. Press hips high into the air, forming a "table."  Maintain this position.
3. Hold a weight in each hand and position your upper arms in line with your chest and palms straight into the air.
4. Press weights into the air by extending elbows.
5. Slowly lower arms to starting position.  Keep butt raised in the air throughout the exercise.  Repeat until you have completed 10-15 reps.  

Muscle groups worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Triceps, Chest, Core for stability
Make it harder: balance with one leg raised in the air (switch legs half way through or for next set)
Make it easier: use lighter weights, if you have problems balancing, switch to a bench

Back Extension Shoulder Rotation on Stability Ball
1. Lie with chest and stomach on stability ball and feet spread wide behind you, firmly planted on ground. 
2. Hold a weight in each hand and let your upper body hang forward.  Your arms should be bent at 90 degrees with weights pointing to ground. 
3. Lift upper body to form straight line with lower body.  Simultaneously rotate arms at the shoulder so that the weights are rotated from your chest to your ears (keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees throughout).
4. Gently lower and repeat until you have completed 10-15 reps. 

Muscle groups worked: Back, Shoulders
Make it harder: Bring legs closer together to increase the core strength required to balance
Make it easier: Use a ball that is more deflated to help you keep your balance, do not use weights, if balancing is too tricky lie flat on your stomach on the ground and lift your upper body (cannot do shoulder exercise with this method)


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