Category Archives: Exercise of the week

Stuck in a workout rut? Try adding these to your workout to spice things up.

Exercise of the Week: Jackknife with Exercise ball

ball You have officially made it to week 2 of our exercise ball series! There will be one more exercise after this and then out thirty day challenge. I figure we should have an “easy” month so that we can enjoy this summer weather! So, this week we are going to do the jackknife exercise. This one is a lot of fun and will challenge your coordination and balance. As you know I lack both of those so this move is especially fun for me LOL. SO how do we do it?

Bring the exercise ball as close to you as possible. Get into push up position and gently place your legs on the exercise ball. Your shins should be on the ball and your body should be straight. Try not to arch your back. Make sure to take some time to get your balance on the ball. Your arms should be straight and you should now look like A.  Now, I am serious about getting your balance all set before doing this next part…trust me it is easy to fall if you are a spaz like me 🙂

Ok, so now you are ready for the next part. Make sure that you keep good form during this and do not allow yourself to sag or arch your back. Pull the exercise ball forward with your feet and move the mall toward your chest. You should look like B. Pause and then push the ball back to starting position. That is it! That is one rep. Add 1-2 sets of 10-12 reps to your workout. Good luck!!

Exercise of the Week: Hip Raise w/exercise ball

pelvicThis month I would like to focus on exercise that use a stability ball. I bought mine for $5 at a store called 5 below and it really is great. If you haven’t purchased one yet I recommend you do because they really do help you get a great workout. This week we are going to go with the Hip Raise exercise…so how do you do it?

Start by laying on the floor (if you have an exercise mat make sure to use that) and place your legs on the stability ball. Place your arms out to the sides with your palms facing upward. You should now look like A.  Now starts the fun part…raise your hips. Make sure that you are keeping your body straight from your shoulders to your knees. You should look like B. Hold for 5 seconds and go back to starting position. That is one rep. That is all there is to it. Add 1 to 2 sets of 10 reps to your daily routine.

That’s it, pretty easy but you will feel it tomorrow 🙂

Exercise of The Week: Grasshopper Push Up

grasshopper-pushupThis is the final week before I release the challenge! Very exciting 🙂 So this week I thought it would be fun to take show a classic push up with a twist. And to answer your question…Yes you are going to hate me afterword! I found this lovely exercise from a muscle fitness website and though it was so neat! This exercise works various muscle groups such as you core and shoulders and again it is pretty easy to do.

So how do you begin? Start out in the push up position (if you are not familiar with a basic push up click here.). Your palms should be on the floor, arms extended, and your back straight. You should look like A. Now jump forward so that you are straddling your hands, you should make sure your bottom is pointing downward. You should look like B. Jump back to start position and perform a regular push up. That’s it, that’s one rep. Do 10 . Simple right? Nothing like adding a little jump into your exercises to give it new life!

Other Exercises:
Plank on an exercise ball
Dumbbell Chop
Dumbbell Swing
Jackknife sit-up
Bent Over Row
 
30 Day Fitness Challenges:
Ax Chop
Dumbbell swing
Jackknife sit ups
Russian Twist
Just Abs Challenge
Squats
Dumbbell squat thrust

Exercise of the Week: Frog Jump

frog jump

We have now officially made it to week 3 and that means we are going to kick it up another notch! This week we are going to do the Frog Jump. It is a variation of the squat jump and is on the list of exercises I love to hate.  This move targets your glutes, quads, hamstrings and inner thighs all while causing you to ask yourself “why am I doing this to myself”! Seriously, this workout is exercise will get your heart rate going and is a great tool for cardio. Plus, you don’t need any special equipment which is always a plus if you are trying to workout from home…or during commercials. So how do you do this exercise?

You start of by standing with your feet a little wider than your shoulder width apart and make sure that your feet are slightly pointed outward like in picture A. Now you are going to embrace your inner frog and squat down, touching your hands to the ground. Like in picture B. Make sure that you are keeping your chest and chin up. Now that you are in proper frog position jump up from your bent legs, throwing your hands into the air at the same time. Make sure that by the time you are at the highest point of your jump you look like C.  As you come back down lower your hands and squat down back into position B. That is one rep. If you are just starting out you may want to try 10 reps. and as you progress you can increase.

Make it easier: If this seems like it is a little much for you, you may want to start off with a shallower squat. This jump can be really intense for someone just starting out.  so instead of going all the way down til your hands reach just squat a little less.

Make it harder: There is always one in the bunch 😉 One of my favorite things to do is to wear ankle and hand weights.  By using weights on your wrists and ankles you are getting added resistance, intensifying the workout, and they won’t interfere with the natural movement of the exercise.

~Happy Frog Squatting~

Exercise of The Week: Twisting Knee Tucks

twistink tuck

For week two we are going to do these little puppies. We are throwing caution to the wind  and trying something a bit more challenging (well challenging to those of us that are coordination impaired). The twisting knee tucks are a great way to get cardio in, AND work your abs and obliques. It may take a little practice to get this move right, but it is worth it.

You start off in a plank position like in A. Your feet should be together and your shoulders should be over your hands.  Carefully bend your knees and jump your feet forward toward your right hand. Make sure you are keeping your legs closed during this movement.You should look like B. Quickly jump back to starting position. Repeat this movement on the opposite side. That is one rep.  Do this for 20 reps. That’s all there is to it 🙂

Make it easier: If you are having a bit of trouble with coordination do this move without the jump. Instead of jumping move your feet one at a time toward the side, but do it as fast as you can. Once you feel confident with this movement you can also upgrade and add the jump!

Need more ideas? Try these:

Other Exercises:
Reverse Crunch
Lateral lunge and press
Plie Squats and side kick
 
30 Day Challenges:
Squat
Mountain Climbers
Tricep Dip
Jacknife Sit Up
Dumbbell Squat thrust
 
 

Exercise of the Week: Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers

For the month of June I am going to be focusing on cardio types of exercises. As you know by the end of the month you will get a challenge that incorporates all of the moves we learned this month. This weeks exercise is the wonderful mountain climber. This is simple looking exercise will challenge your stamina, balance, and coordination but I must warn you…you may not look very graceful in the beginning. This exercise engages your arms, abs, and your legs all at once and will leave you feeling breathless…but have you looking awesome. I love any exercise that focuses on various muscle groups because this way you get more “bang for your buck” so to speak. So how do you do this wonderful and torturous exercise? Well, it is pretty easy actually.

First you start off in push up position like in picture A. Bring your right knee up to as close to your chest as you can. You will now look like B, pause for 1 second and then bring it back to starting position. Now repeat this move with the opposite leg just like C and that is one rep. With this exercise some people prefer to touch their toes to the ground when they lift their foot up that is fine. This is the way I prefer to do it. It reminds me of running while facing the floor. Plus, I really am a bit of a spaz and need that extra toe touch so that I do not face plant onto the ground.  If you do try this exercise I recommend starting slow and only doing 15-20 reps. It is important that you work on proper form before you start speeding this exercise. You do not want to hurt yourself. Once you have that down you can start challenging yourself and see how fast you can go in 60 seconds.

~Happy Climbing 🙂 ~

 

Exercise of The Week: Pistol Squat

pistol squat

This is the final exercise that we will be adding into our next challenge. It is no secret that my balance is not exactly perfect, and that is what makes it so much fun. And by fun I mean a pain in the you know what, but it helps to make the bottom look lovely.  Honestly, this exercise isn’t to bad and practice makes perfect. If you cannot go too far down in the beginning it is ok! Remember to listen to your body, the flexibility and strength will come in time. So let’s see how we do this:

Start off by standing with your feet together and your back straight.  Raise your arms straight in front of you at shoulder level (this will help with maintaining your balance).  Next you are going to raise your right leg off the ground. You should look like A. Now comes the fun part! You are going to lower your body by pushing your hips back and maintaining your leg straight in front of you. Go down as far as you can.  You should look like B, or as close to it as possible 😉 . Pause for five second and go back to starting position.  Repeat on the opposite side. That is all that there is to it!  Do 2-3 sets of ten reps.

Make it easier: if you have issues with balance and find this to be too challenging there is an easy fix!  Place a chair at your side and use that to help maintain your balance. Over time is you begin to feel more confident you can remove the chair.

Make it harder: First, can I just ask Why? 😛 But if you do want an added challenge  try adding ankle weights.  It will give you a little added resistance.

Need more ideas? Try these:

Other Exercises:
Twisting Knee Tuck
Reverse Crunch
Lateral lunge and press
Plie Squats and side kick
 
30 Day Challenges:
Ab Challenge
Squat
Mountain Climbers
Tricep Dip
Jacknife Sit Up
Dumbbell Squat thrust
 
 

Exercise of The Week: Narrow Squat

narrow squat

This week we are taking it a little easy with the squats because next week is when we learn a much harder version. We are going to do the simple (and yet difficult) narrow squat. So how do we do it?

You are going to start off by standing with your legs closed and your feet touching. Make sure that your toes are pointed forward wand that your hand are in a comfortable position. You can hold them in front of your chest. You should look like A. Now you are going to bend your knees and lower your hips just like you did with the regular squat. You will bull your bottom back and keep your thighs parallel with the floor. Make sure that you keep your weight back in your heels. You should look like B.  Now remember that as you straighten back up you need to squeeze your glutes. That is it! That is one rep. Add 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps to your regular workout.

~Happy Squats~

 

Other Exercises:

Grasshopper Push Up
Balance Fly
Plank on an exercise ball
Dumbbell Chop
Dumbbell Swing
Jackknife sit-up
Bent Over Row
 
30 Day Fitness Challenges:
Ax Chop
Dumbbell swing
Jackknife sit ups
Russian Twist
Just Abs Challenge
Squats
Dumbbell squat thrust

Exercise of The Week: Sumo Squat

sumo squat

Last week we did the basic squat and now we are going to kick it up a notch and do the sumo squat. This squat is great for your inner thighs. So how do you do it?

Unlike the basic squat you will start this squat with your feet wide apart and your toes pointing outward. You should hold your hand in front of your chest or on your hips, whichever is more comfortable for you. You should look like A. Now you are going to bend your knees  outward and lower your hips deeply so that your thighs are parallel with the floor. You should now look like B. Just like with the basic squat you are going to squeeze your glutes as you go back up to start position. By doing that you will be getting the most out of your workout. That is it! Just add 1-2 sets of 10 to your workout.

~happy squatting~

Other Exercises:

Grasshopper Push Up
Balance Fly
Plank on an exercise ball
Dumbbell Chop
Dumbbell Swing
Jackknife sit-up
Bent Over Row
 
30 Day Fitness Challenges:
Ax Chop
Dumbbell swing
Jackknife sit ups
Russian Twist
Just Abs Challenge
Squats
Dumbbell squat thrust

Exercise of The Week: The Basic Squat

basic-squat

This month is going to be all about squats. There are literally a ton of squat variations and this month we are going to take you through a few of them, and of course these will lead to the challenge calendar. So this week we will start with the basic squat. So how do you do it?

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing forward. Raise your arms out in front of you for balance. You should look like A. Now you are going to bend your knees and lowering your hips. Make sure to keep your thighs parallel with the floor if you can. Make sure that you are keeping the weight on your heels. You should look like B. Now as you rise back up into start position make sure that you are squeezing your glutes to get the most out of the exercise. That is one rep. See that is all there is to it! Add 2-3 sets of 10 to your routine.

 

Other Exercises:
Grasshopper Push Up
Balance Fly
Plank on an exercise ball
Dumbbell Chop
Dumbbell Swing
Jackknife sit-up
Bent Over Row
 
30 Day Fitness Challenges:
Ax Chop
Dumbbell swing
Jackknife sit ups
Russian Twist
Just Abs Challenge
Squats
Dumbbell squat thrust
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