Ready to start your week off right? [Almost] every Sunday I like to try something new in the realm of strength training. Usually, the moves themselves are familiar, but mixed into an unfamiliar sequence and/or combination keeps it fun and interesting! I get a lot of my inspiration from Women’s Health Magazine (you’ll find the majority of what I’m about to write here on pages 56-59 of the September 2014 issue).
P.S.-I’m not going to go into form here. If you don’t know proper form, learn it.
You will need a bench, box or chair; a pull-up bar; something flat to rest your shoulders and head against (I used my couch); 30 minutes of your time; and of course, our good friend the stopwatch.
The first three moves are eccentric, meaning you need to execute them as slowly as possible. Do each one of these moves three times for one minute.* Your aim is to have each move take up to 30 seconds and use the remaining 30 seconds to rest.
Stand a few inches away from your bench, box or chair. Put your arms straight out like a zombie and lift one of your feet. Squat on your standing foot until you sit down. Repeat on the other side.
*I broke this move in half by doing each leg for roughly 20 seconds and resting for about 10.
Jump up on your pull-up bar so your chin is above it. Lower yourself as slowly as you can and let go when your arms are extended.
I modified this by doing it on an incline. Once again, lower yourself as slow as possible and then pushup to rest.
For the next two exercises, do as many reps as you can in 45 seconds and rest for 15.
Single-Leg Hip Thrust
Put your arms, shoulders and head on a bench (or couch). Get in a table position and lift one leg at a 90-degree angle. Lower and raise your hips. Repeat on both sides.
Finally, the last two exercises in this series follow the Tabata method: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 6 minutes.
Rotational Skater Jump
Okay, Women’s Health wants you to do a skater jump but also rotate 90-degrees as you do it. I just did regular skater jumps. By the halfway point, I was no longer hopping, either. Do what you can.
Oh my goodness, did these feel GOOD after running yesterday! Get in a plank and bring your left foot to the outside of your left hand. Repeat on the other side.
I rewarded myself with 1 minute of rest during which my little heart kept on hammering, and then went for some core work:
1 minute of “draw a D” – I don’t know what you really call this. It’s a move we did in Pilates class. Lay on the floor with your legs in the air, toes pointed. You can curl your torso up if you want. Keeping your legs together, lower them to roughly a 45-degree angle and then circle your legs up and around to meet in the middle again: your right leg will make an uppercase D and your left leg will make a backwards one. At 30 seconds, reverse the motion.
1 minute of tick-tock – Put your feet on the floor like you’re going to do a crunch, curl up and alternate reaching your hand to your foot so you’re tick-tocking.
1 minute plank
1 minute bicycles
1 minute regular ol’ crunches
That’s all folks!