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Cross body crunch

18 Jul

How to perform the exercise

1. Lie back on the floor with your knees bent.

2. Put your hands behind your head.

3. Lift your right elbow to meet your left leg.

4. Now lift your left elbow to meet your right leg. Breathe out as you bring your leg and elbows in.

5. Squeeze your core muscles while you crunch.

6. Repeat steps 3 &4

Exercise Tips

1. Make sure your chin isn’t touching your chest and your head is held a little high.

2. Keep your muscles engaged and don’t let loose when you are coming back down from a crunch.

3. Keep a steady pace, don’t rush.

18 Jul

Side plank

How to perform the exercise

1. Lie on the floor on your side. Keep your foot on top of the other.

2. Put your palm on the floor. Put your weight on your arm and stretch it.

3. Lift your hips so your body is straight.

4. Hold this position as long as you can. Then turn over to the other side and do the same thing again.

Exercise Tips

1. Keep your posture as straight as possible

2. Recommended to do this in front of a mirror so you can keep an eye on your technique

3. You can also use your elbows if this exercise is hard on your arms

18 Jul

How to perform the exercise

1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand up straight.

2. Keep looking straight.

3. Bend to one side as much as you can.

4. Now bend to the other side without stopping.

5. Make sure you don’t stretch too much and hurt yourself.

6. Repeat steps 3 & 4

Exercise Tips

1. Keep your spine straight

2. Only move your upper body

3. Keep your arms close to your body

18 Jul

Sit up

How to perform the exercise

1. Lie on your back with bent knees and your feet anchored.

2. Tuck your chin into your chest to lengthen the back of your neck.

3. Interlace your fingers at the base of your skull, cross your arms with your hands on opposite shoulders, or place your palms down alongside your body.

4. Exhale as you lift your upper body up toward your thighs.

5. Inhale as you slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.

Exercise Tips

1. Greater range of motion.

2. The sit-up is an isolation exercise used to develop strength in the abdominal muscles and hip flexors.

18 Jul

Crunches

How to perform the exercise

1. Lie down on your back. Plant your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your knees and place your arms across your chest. Contract your abs and inhale.

2. Exhale and lift your upper body, keeping your head and neck relaxed.

3. Inhale and return to the starting position.

Exercise Tips

1. Use your core to raise your upper body. If the movement comes from your head or neck, you’ll increase the risk for injury.

2. Move in a slow, controlled manner. Rapid movements won’t engage the right muscles.

3. You can place your hands behind your head, but this can strain your neck. It’s best to try this hand placement after you’ve mastered the proper form.

18 Jul

Superman

How to perform the exercise

1. Lie face down on a mat with your arms stretched above your head (like Superman)

2. Raise your right arm and left leg about 5 to 6 inches off the ground (or as far as you comfortably can)

3. Hold for 3 seconds and relax

4. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg

Exercise Tips

1. You want to feel your back working, but not straining.

2. Stop the exercise if you feel any pain. You should use caution or avoid this exercise if you have a back injury.

3. Avoid this exercise after the first trimester of pregnancy.

17 Jul

How to perform the exercise

1. Assume a standing position while holding a dumbbell in one hand with a neutral grip.

2. Hinge forward until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor (or slightly above) and then begin the movement by driving the elbow behind the body while retracting the shoulder blade.

3. Pull the dumbbell towards your body until the elbow is at (or just past) the midline and then slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position under control.

4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions on both sides.

Exercise Tips

1. Experiment with head position and see which option (looking forward vs. packing the neck) works better for you.

2. Fight the urge to use your opposing arm to brace against your leg or any other implement.

3. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the dumbbell into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through your spine.

4. Don’t allow momentum to dictate the movement, control the dumbbells throughout the entirety of each rep.

5. If you feel your biceps being overused and your back remaining under active, consider utilizing a false grip (i.e. don’t wrap the thumb around the dumbbell).

6. Don’t allow the head to put forward as you pull.

7. Similarly, ensure the shoulder blade moves on the rib cage. Don’t lock the shoulder blade down and just move through the glen humeral joint.

17 Jul

T-Bar row

How to perform the exercise

1. Assume a standing position with the bar positioned directly between your legs.

2. Utilize a v-grip handle and place the bar directly in the notch of the v.

3. Hinge forward until your torso is roughly parallel with the floor (or slightly above) and then begin the movement by driving the elbows behind the body while retracting the shoulder blades.

4. Pull the bar towards your body until the plates touch your chest and then slowly lower the handle back to the starting position under control.

5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Exercise Tips

1. Experiment with head position and see which option (looking forward vs. packing the neck) works better for you.

2. Keep some tone through your abdominals as you pull the bar into your body to ensure you don’t arch excessively through your spine.

3. Don’t allow momentum to dictate the movement, control the bar throughout the entirety of each rep.

4. Don’t allow the head to just forward as you pull.

17 Jul

How to perform the exercise

1. Sit upright on the bench and plant your feet on the floor or foot pads, knees bent. Extend your arms and hold the handle or cable. Move your shoulders back and down. Brace your core.

2. Exhale. Bend your elbows to pull the handle or cable, keeping your elbows tucked in and your back neutral. Pause for 1 second.

3. Inhale and slowly extend your arms, counting to 3.

Exercise Tips

1. Keep your elbows against your body during the pulling phase (except during the wide-grip row).

2. Avoid lifting your elbows up and out, which engages the biceps instead of the lats and rhomboids.

17 Jul

How to perform the exercise

1. Lie down with your chest placed on an incline bench angled at 45 or 60-degrees.

2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand extended at arm’s length and maintain a slight bend in your elbows. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor at the starting position.

3. As you exhale, retract your shoulder blades and lift the dumbbells as high as you can while keeping your arms perpendicular to the floor.

4. Hold the contraction for a couple of seconds and squeeze your middle back at the top of the movement.

5. While breathing in, return to the starting position with a slow and controlled motion.

6. Repeat for the recommended reps.

Exercise Tips

1. You can use a barbell to perform this exercise to target your middle back from a different angle.

2. The overhand grip while using a barbell or smith machine can bring variety to your workouts.