I'm a little behind posting my weekly workout, but it's a good one! Since I put this together last week, I've done it a couple times and can say that this group of exercises really focuses A LOT on endurance as well as functional strength. This is also an ideal workout to take with you on vacation, or to do on a day when you don't feel like making a trip to the gym.
The overall workout will take you just over an hour to complete. All you really need is a pair of running shoes. A couple of the exercises below are done with stability and medicine balls, but not required. If you have a question about the exercises, see the notes below the workout, or feel free to shoot me an email, or ask on the blog.
10-minute warm up
2-minute acceleration (Try to accelerate one full minute per mile faster. If you were running at a 7.0, bring to an 8.0)
Tricep Push Ups (3 sets, repetitions: 15, 12, 9)
Plank (3 sets, duration: 30 sec, 30 sec, until fatigue)
alternate between sets of push ups and planks; rest 2 minutes after completing entire circuit
5-minute comfortable pace
Jump Squats (3 sets, repetitions: 20, 15, 10)
Y-Squats (3 sets, repetitions: 20, 20, 20)
alternate between sets of jump squats and Y-squats; rest 2 minutes after completing entire circuit
5-minute comfortable pace
Stability Ball Leg Curl (3 sets, repetitions: 30, 25, 20)
Stability Ball Ab Killer (3 sets, repetitions: 20, 20, 20)
alternate between sets of leg curls and ab killers
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.
If you read this blog at all, you've probably noticed I do planks a lot in my workouts. They're 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.
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.
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 squat without bending or leaning over your knees, you're in good shape. The Y-squat, however, will give you a quick reminder of just how tight you might be through your back and shoulders. Maintaining straight arms and good posture with this type of squat is not always easy. Concentrate on pulling your shoulder blades back and down. Don't let your body weight come over your knees.
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.
If done without a stability ball, this is performed a little different. Lying flat on your back, bend your knees slightly and place your heels onto a chair, or whatever it is that will bring your legs up and about a 45 degree angle. Flex your toes toward your face and raise your hips up as high as they'll go. Release back down. Repeat. Either of these exercises will work the hips and hamstrings (back of the leg).
Stability Ball Ab Killer
I have been doing this exercise for years, and have worked my clients through this exercise more times that I can count. I've seen other trainers do this exercise, too, but never actually caught a proper name for it. So, "stability ball ab killer" is what I'm going to call this! 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.
You can do this exercise without any ball at all! Simply bring your hands to meet your feet, curling up slightly, and release.
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