Thursday, June 7, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Barbell Step Ups

Ask my clients this week and they will tell you all about how I made them do barbell step ups (and lots of them!) this week in their lower body workouts. Barbell Step-Ups are a great way to work your quadriceps, but also work your other leg muscles as well. Because you are using the step, the exercise also requires coordination, balance, and core engagement.

Depending on how whether you are doing a strength or endurance workout, you can also play around with how many plates are on the dumbbell. If you do not have access to a barbell, or it is difficult for you to balance the barbell on your shoulders, you can also do this exercise holding dumbbells in your hands.

1-Begin by standing, creating length throughout your spine and torso, with the barbell resting on your shoulders. The step or plyo box should be at least six inches in front of you. This is your starting position.

2-Take your right foot and place your ENTIRE foot onto the step and exhale and you push through your right heel, using this force to bring the rest of your body upwards and placing your left foot on the step as well..

3-Step your left foot back down to the ground, followed by your right foot, returning to your starting position. This is one repetition. 

Do a total of 15 repetitions stepping up with your right foot. Then, do 15 repetitions stepping up with your left foot. This is one set. Do a total of 3 sets.


Exercise of the Day: Renegade Hammer Curls

Shape Up: A Call to Arms
The past two weeks my clients have been all about working their glamour muscles, aka, their backs and biceps. It's tank top season, and they want to look and feel good about it! So today I'm going over a bicep exercise that also engages your core, the Renegade Hammer Curl.

I really like the Renegade Hammer Curl because you hit your bicep in a different way than your standard bicep curl, and because you are challenging yourself to hold a plank position, your body is in a constant state of work. No more boring bicep curls!
1-Start in a high plank position, holding onto a pair of dumbbells, your palms facing each other. If holding a plank and the dumbbells in this position is uncomfortable on your wrists, then only hold a dumbbell in the hand on the side of your body you are going to work. This will allow your other wrist a break until you switch sides of your body.

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2-Keeping your upper arm (elbow to shoulder) perpendicular with the floor, bend your right forearm so that the dumbbell comes to your right shoulder. Avoid/resist rocking in the plank as much as possible by engaging your core.

3-Return the weight back to the starting position at the floor. This is one repetition. Do 12 repetitions total on your right side, then do the same work on your left side. You have now completed one set.

Do 3 sets of this exercise.


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