Exercise Glossary

If you have questions about any of the exercises in the workouts for the 10LB club, this Exercise Glossary will help!


Glossary of Exercises 

Alternating Lunges:  Keep your hands on your hips, pull your shoulders back and step out into your lunges – alternating legs. Extend your leg out far enough that your knee doesn’t go over your toes. Drop the knee of the leg that’s behind you a few inches from the ground.

Bent Over Rows:  Starting from a standing position, hold the weight in front of your thighs with an overhand grip. With a slight bend in your knees, bend over to just past a 45 degree angle. “Row” the weight toward your body and release back down. Think of pinching your shoulder blades together. Your back should stay straight, and abs drawn in.

Boat Pose:  (Half-boat pose) From a seated position, raise your legs to a 45 degree angle and bend your knees. Calves should be parallel with the ground. Extend your arms out in line with your shoulders pointing finger tips toward your heels. Hold for 30 seconds. Advanced: Same as above, except straighten legs (body should be in a “V” position). Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.

 Body Weight Squats:  Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Place your hands on your hips, or cross your arms over to the opposite shoulder (I like to do this as it forces me to stand straighter). Start your squats and keep them going at a pace of one squat every two seconds.

 Box Jumps:  Standing about a foot back from a stable “box,” such as a step or workout bench, jump and land on the box, the quickly rebound down, repeating as quick and steady as possible. Box height can be anywhere from a few inches to about two feet high. Advanced athletes can manage a step that is upwards of 24 inches. The objective is to rebound up and down. If you’ve never done box jumps, or it’s been a while since you tried, start with a step that is well under knee height. Slowly work the speed of your jumps up as you gain confidence in your foot placement.

 Burpees:  Another classic, start standing feet shoulder-width apart, drop down to squat, then push up position, kicking your legs out. Pull your legs back in (looks like you’re back to a squatting position), jump up and land with your feet planted.

 Crossover Crunches:  Start in a prone position, lying on your back. bend your knees and plant your heels into the ground. Put your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side. Crunch up and over, directing your elbow toward the opposite knee. Alternate. DO NOT pull your head up with your hands, rather, make your body do the work. Avoid pulling your chin into your chest.

 Dead Lift:  Standing straight holding a weighted objects(s), such as a barbell or two dumbbells, slowly bend over with a slight bend in your knees, keeping your back straight. Pull your shoulders back as you lower down, allowing the weight to stop just lower than knee-height. Squeezing through your glutes, and straightening your knees, come back to a neutral standing position. Tip: don’t hyperextend, or lean too far back, to prevent back injury. Since you’re doing a moderate amount of repetitions, you don’t need very heavy weight. Start lighter and work your way up if you’re not sure what to start with.

 Figure-8 Shoulder Sizzler:  This is a great exercise that works your shoulders and your abs. You don’t need a lot of weight for this exercise, but don’t be afraid to upgrade a pound or two if you’re not feeling it at the end of the first set. Grab a weight between 4 and 10 pounds. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward and a slight bend in your knees. Hold the weight with both hands and raise your arms so they’re at shoulder height and directly in front of you. Draw your in abs and start moving the weights into a horizontal figure eight (or infinity sign, if you prefer). Bigger figure eights are better.

 Jump Squats:  I like to do this exercise with a medicine ball, but it can be done with nothing at all. Alternatively, you can use a lighter weight (5 – 10 pounds) instead of a medicine ball. The added weight adds an element of instability and forces you to focus on your balance.  Standing with your feet hip-width apart, squat down and quickly jump back up. Try to get as vertical as possible, reaching your arms into the air. As you come back down, land softly, drawing the ball/hands down. Go immediately into another squat, followed immediately by another jump. A handful of these and your heart will be racing.

 Lateral Jumps:  If you don’t have a step at home, then a couple of phone books stacked on top of each other will do. Keeping feet and knees close together, jump from one side of a step to the other. Rebound for one minute without resting in between hops. If you’re new to this type of plyometric exercise, then jump one foot at a time.

 Lunges:  Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart. Step one foot out about two to three feet in front of you. Bending your front knee, and dropping your back knee closer to the ground, go into a lunge position. Keep your back straight and don’t let your front knee extend beyond your toes. Return to a standing position. Alternate legs, or repeat continuously on the same leg.

 Medicine Ball Lunge & Twist:  Begin by standing in a runner’s lunge position while holding a medicine ball or weighted object such as a gallon of milk. Drop into a deep lunge, keeping your back knee about three inches off the ground. Rotate the weight from one hip to the opposite, creating a high arch-motion with your arms. Try to draw your abs in as your arms reach up, over and down. Repeat 30 rotations on one side, then switch legs.

 Medicine Ball Pullover w/ Crunch:  Lie flat on your back, knees bent, arms straight holding medicine ball. Keeping your arms straight, pull the medicine ball until it’s just over your knees. As you pull the medicine ball, , contract your abs and raise your shoulders off the ground, performing a crunch. Keep your eyes forward and chin off your chest. With arms straight and abs contracted, drop back.

 Medicine Ball Tricep Extension:  Seated or standing, holding the medicine ball, raise your arms directly overhead. Bending at the elbow, drop your forearms down behind the back of your head, gently squeezing your elbows closer together. Finally, extend your arms straight. The only part of your arm that moves during the exercise is your forearm.  As the medicine ball drops back, don’t let your elbows pull out, rather concentrate on squeezing them closer together slightly.

 Mountain Climbers:  Start down on the ground in a straight-arm push up position. Bring your right knee up and in toward your left elbow. Return your right foot back to the starting position. Now repeat by bringing your left knee to your right elbow. Concentrate on keeping your abs drawn in. This is a great whole body exercise that really gets into the abs!

 Oblique Twist w/Medicine Ball:  This exercise can be done with any weighted object that you can hold firmly with both hands (such as a dumbbell), not just a medicine ball. Sitting with your knees bent, and holding medicine ball of weighted object, lean back until you feel your abs engage. Lift your feet off the ground and hold your body in that balanced position. Slowly move the object you’re holding up and over from one hip to the other in an arcing motion. Tip: if this is too advanced, hold the same position, but with your heels resting lightly on the ground. Repeat 40 times, alternating side.

 Planks:  Planks are a great isometric exercise! They’re also a testament of your core fitness if you can (slowly but surely) build a little stamina with this exercise. Simply rest your forearms on the ground with the palms of your hands facing down, or together in prayer position.  With your legs completely straight, rest on your toes drawing your belly button into your spine. Hold.

 Push Up to Plank:  Start in a straight-arm plank position with hands just under shoulders and legs extended out. This is a 4-step exercise, starting from a straight-arm position, drop down to your right forearm, then left forearm. Immediately push up with your right hand, then your left hand. All you’re doing is dropping down, then pushing up one arm at a time. Keep your glutes tight and abs tucked in.

 Reclined Figure 8s:  Sitting with your knees bent and heels firmly planted, lean back until you feel your abs engage. Holding a medicine ball (or another weighted object, such as a gallon of milk, heavy book, etc.) firmly between both hands, move the ball into a wide, but sideways, figure 8.

 Runner’s Lunge:  With your hands on your hips and shoulder blades back, step out into a lunge, keeping your back knee about three inches off the ground (don’t let it drop all the way down). Make sure the knee of the leg extended does not overshoot your toes; it should be at about a 90 degree angle. Hold. Concentrate on keeping your bottom tight and focusing on balance. For added challenge, extend your arms out to your side horizontally.

 Shoulder Press:  Using dumbbells or a barbell, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Push the weight overhead. Return weights to your side.

 Side Plank:  Start lying on the ground on your side. Push yourself up onto one arm with your hand just under your shoulder. Weight in your hand should be equally distributed throughout the fingers and palm. With legs extended, slowly stack your feet on top of each other and raise your opposite arm up into the air – reaching for the sky! Now hold. Note: If you’re not able to balance on your hand, bend your arm and rest on your forearm, with your elbow resting under your shoulder.

 Single Leg Elevated Pelvic Tilt:  Begin by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground about hip-width apart. Place your right foot on a slightly elevated object, such as a step or a medicine ball. Raise your left foot so it’s just off the ground. Squeezing through your bottom, push through your right hip, extending your left leg up and off the ground. Drop back down to the ground, keeping your left leg elevated. Switch to your left leg. Tip: Draw you belly button into your spine and hold.

 Single Leg Hops:  Simply hop on one leg, bouncing off the ball of the foot. Single leg exercises are GREAT at getting into the big muscles of our backside. Try to get at least two inches off the ground with each hop.

 Single Leg Pelvic Tilt:  Lying flat on your back, place your hands (palms down) under your bottom, bring your legs up vertically. To begin, slowly drop one leg down, tapping your heal on the floor. Bring that leg back up and drop the opposite leg down. If this feels too easy, place your hands on the floor at your side. If it feels too difficult, don’t drop your leg down all the way.

 Single Leg Squats:  Standing on one leg, drop down until your knee has about a 30 to 45 degree bend. Try to keep your toes and knee pointing forward. Return to a standing position, engaging all the muscles in your thighs and bottom.

 Straight Arm Plank:  Drop down to your hands and knees. Push your body up into a push up position. Keep your arms straight and just under your shoulders. Come up onto your toes, legs should be straight. Pull your belly button into your spine, and keep your back as straight as possible.

 Squat Jumps:  Stand with your feet hip-width apart, clasp your hands behind your head and pull your shoulder blades back and down. Pulling your shoulders back will help keep you from falling forward, placing unnecessary stress over your knees, risking injury. From this position, bend knees and come into a squat position with your thighs as close to parallel with the ground as possible. Think of sitting into a chair as you come down – keeping your hands behind your head. Just as you come down into this position, spring back up jumping off the ground. Land and go right back into it.

 Squat to Shoulder Press:  Grab two dumbbells or one barbell and hold them at your side. Drop down into a squat, keeping your hips back, back as straight as possible and knees over your toes. As you come back to a standing position, press the weight straight up over your head.

 Stability Ball Ab Killer:  Lying flat on your back, hands at your side and stability ball gripped firmly between your ankles (about half way up the ball), raise the ball straight up and transfer to your hands. With the ball in your hands, drop it back overhead until it taps the ground. At the same time, drop your feet down to the ground until your heels tap (that was one rep). Bring your hands/ball back up to meet your feet and transfer the ball in between your ankles. Slowly release your legs and arms back down (another rep) and repeat continuously.  In a nutshell, you’re repeatedly transferring the ball from feet to hands. Keep your legs as straight as possible. The greater the bend in your legs, the easier this exercise will become.

 Note: If you don’t have a stability ball, here is an alternative way to perform this exercise. Simply bring your hands to meet your feet, curling up slightly, and release.

 Stability Ball Leg Curl:  I like to do the exercise with a stability ball, hence the name. However, you can do this exercise on a chair, ottoman, or any other stable object you can anchor your heels into. If done with a stability ball, start lying on your back with your heels resting on the ball. Legs are straight. Lift your hips and keep them there through the duration of the exercise. Now pull the ball in with your heels and roll back out. Don’t let your hips drop.

 Note: If you don’t have a stability ball, here is an alternative way to perform this exercise. Lying flat on your back, bend your knees slightly and place your heels onto a chair, shelving your legs. Flex your toes toward your face and raise your hips up as high as they’ll go. Release back down. Make sure your hips are out enough from the chair.

 Superman:  Lie face down on the floor. Extend your arms out in a V in front of you, and legs straight behind you. With your eyes looking down at the ground, raise your body, including your legs, up, maintaining the V in your arms. With towel or yoga strap: simply hold the towel or yoga strap in your hands, grasping firmly and pulling out.

 Superman w/ Towel:  Lying face down, take a towel, grabbing with both hands behind your back. Hands should be only a few inches apart, holding toward your lower back. With your nose pointed down toward the floor, lift your shoulders up, arching your lower back. Begin pulling your arms up and out, firming grasping the towel. For added challenge, lift your legs a couple inches off the ground.

 Tricep Push Ups:  Almost the same as a traditional push up, but with your hands closer together. As you come down, squeeze your elbows in to your sides. If you’re still building up to this exercise, start on your knees instead. As your strength builds through your abdominals and shoulders, push ups will be more doable to complete with your legs completely extended.

 Upright Rows:  Standing tall and holding a dumbbell in each hand, pull the weights up to chin height, reaching your elbows even higher. As you pull up, move up to the balls of your feet. Return to a standing, straight-arm position. If you don’t have dumbbells, but have a gallon of milk at home (or an empty gallon container filled with water), grab it with both hands, and pull in an upright motion – elbows higher than wrists.

 Vertical Jumps:  Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, jump up as high as possible reaching your arms up overhead. Return to a standing/squatting position. Don’t lock your knees on the way down. Go from a squatting position back to a vertical jump.

 W-Squats:  Start by standing with your feet shoulder width-apart, arms straight, holding the medicine ball up over your left shoulder. Drop down into a squat position, bringing the medicine ball down past the outside of your left knee. Stand up, reaching the medicine ball up directly over your head. Drop down into a squat position, dropping the medicine ball down past the outside of your right knee. Stand up, reaching the medicine ball up over the right shoulder. Repeat this ”W” motion 15 times. Try to keep your arms as straight as possible when you push the ball up overhead. Keep your body weight on your heels.

 Wall Push Ups:  In high repetition – and if done correctly – there is nothing easy about this exercise. Start with your feet about 12 inches out from a wall, hip-width apart. Place your hands just below shoulder height against a wall. Keeping your back straight (don’t arch), drop into the wall as close as possible without touching, and push back out. Really try to draw your belly button to your spine to engage your abs. Note: The closer you stand to the wall, the easier this exercise will be. The further back, the more difficult.Wall Squat:  Find a bare wall and lean against it with your feet hip-width apart and about 16 inches out from the wall. Drop your hips down to the point that it looks like you’re sitting in a chair. Don’t let your knees collapse in. Again, your knees should not be over your toes, so adjust your feet if needed.

 Wind Squats:  Standing with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed outward slightly. Grasp your hands and hold them out in front of you, or up over your head. Drop down into a deep squat, putting the weight into your bottom, not over your knees. Quickly return to standing and repeat. Be conscious of your abs by keeping them drawn in. Watch your knees – don’t let them collapse in.

 Wood Chops:  Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, abs engaged. Drop down into a squat position with the medicine ball held with both hands over the right side of your legs, nearly at your feet. Stand up, moving the medicine ball from the right side of your body up and across over the left side of your body – rotating through your torso. Continue this motion from right (low) to left (high) continuously for 15 repetitions. Repeat opposite side. Don’t forget to keep your knees over your toes. Keep your abs engaged.

 Y-Squats:  The Y-squat is nothing more than a squat done with your arms extended up and outward in the shape of a “Y” (very clever). If you can do a traditional squat without bending too far over your knees, and have the ability to push your hips back, you can do a Y-Squat. This exercise is a lot easier than it sounds. Back and shoulder tightness often flaw good form. Concentrate on pulling your shoulder blades back and down. Don’t let your body weight come over your knees.