Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Exercises You'll Love to Hate

Don’t have time to hit the gym? Try these 5 exercises that my clients hate because they’re so hard (but they also love them because they get the job done). Efficiency is key when time is limited. And don't stop reading further if you think these exercises will be too hard, I provide modifications. Gotta start somewhere!


Burpee Tuck Jump
People love to hate burpees, and to make sure my clients don’t get too set in a burpee routine, I constantly change them up. People complain that I’m making it worse, but when I hear that, I just smile and remind them that they’re paying me to challenge their limits and keep them engaged.


How to do it: Just like a regular burpee, start in a squat position with your hands on the floor, jump your feet to plank position, do a push-up, jump your feet back to squat position, jump up off the ground, but then add a tuck jump after that. This extra jump will make your heart pound through your chest. It’s terrible!

What it works: This movement will work your entire body. When you jump into plank, you activate your core, chest, back, arms, glutes, quads and hammies. When you jump straight up, you’re using power from your quads, glutes and hammies. The extra tuck-jump uses core power and builds agility.


Lateral Jump with Weights
People sometimes think I’m evil, but I’m not. I remind them if they do what I tell them, they will see results and live a healthier life.


How to do it: Place moderately heavy weights on your shoulders, I like 8 lbs. You can choose 5 lbs. or no weights to start. Do a narrow squat with your legs hip distance apart. Staying low, jump to the right and then to the left without standing in the middle, so you’re holding the squat position. It’s killer.


What it works: This exercise blasts your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. It’s also going to get your heart rate up too.

Bad Ass Crawl (aka Total Body Torture)
I’ve been using this movement in class with gliders so you can easily slide your feet across the floor, but you can also walk your feet forward if you don’t have them. You can use paper plates or towels too as a gliding device.

How to do it: Start in a high plank position with your arms straight. If you have gliders, set them right under the ball of your feet. If you’re using a mat, start with your hands at the end of the mat and walk forward, gliding your feet behind. When you get your feet to the end of the mat, come onto your forearms and walk back in reverse. When you get back to your starting point, come onto your hands once again and repeat.

What it works: The bad ass crawl is full-body and really works your core, along with spinal stability and balance. Be careful not to stick your butt in the air because that shifts all your weight into your shoulders and puts undue pressure on your front delts (they really shouldn’t be bearing your body weight).

The Cross Donkey-Kick
This one is a lot of fun and has a great name. It's like break dancing! Maybe.


How to do it: Come into a pike position, so your body creates a triangle. Your butt should be pointed up to the air and forms the point of the triangle (the other two points are your hands on the floor in front of you and your feet on the floor behind you). Do a little hop up with your feet to kick your booty. When you come down, take your right leg across your body and then your left leg across your body - dropping your hip toward the floor. Hop to center again, and repeat.

What it works: This movement will work into your back, chest, shoulders and arms, as well as your core muscles.

Side Plank, Side Leg Lift, Front Kick

How to do it: Come onto one forearm with your elbow under your shoulder, lying on your side with your feet, knees and hips stacked. You'll lift from your hips and side body up off the ground doing a leg lift, then a front leg kick. So if you’re on your left arm, lift your right leg and lower it down, then lift and kick it out to the front.

Add an optional hip dip when you’re in the side plank to make it a little tougher.

What it works: This move will get your core, outer thigh and glutes. When you kick your leg to the front, you’ll zap your quad and your abdominal muscles, not to mention that the plank works into your obliques as well.

For a heart pounding & time efficient workout: Try these moves as a Tabata set - 4 minutes total for each exercise, with 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest for a total of 8 rounds.

So, which exercises do you love to hate? Leave a note in the comments below to join the conversation.