Plank elbow to hands helps strengthen the upper body and stabilizes the rest of the body. Single leg bridge with leg abduction helps strengthen the gluteal muscles and the body's ability to resist rotational forces. Lunge to single leg stance improves dynamic balance on one leg and pistol squats help eliminate differences b/w left and right sides of the body.
Whether you are constantly on the go, travelling, or just have not found the time to get to the gym, this is the workout for you. The following workout consists of body weight exercises that can be performed anywhere. Body weight exercises require you to engage your core and work the entire body at once, where as machines serve as a crutch and only isolate muscles. Performing body weight exercises will help you strengthen your body in the way it is meant to move in daily life, rather than training one body part in a seated position. Without the assistance of machines your body has a chance to improve reflexive stability, mobility, strength, balance and agility all at the same time. With improved body awareness you can reduce the chance of injury!
Exercises that do not require any equipment:
Plank Elbows to Hands:
To execute the plank properly you must hold your entire core strong. The added push of the elbows to hands will strengthen the upper body while you simultaneously work to stabilize the rest!
1. Begin in a plank on your forearms. Elbows should be right under the shoulders. Make sure to keep your body in one line with abdominals and glutes engaged. Make sure you don’t let the body sway or the lower back drop towards the floor!
2. Press up on to one hand and then the other to come up into a full plank on both hands. Then, lower back down to one forearm and then the other to finish in the starting position. Repeat 10 times alternating the hand you begin with.
Single Leg Bridge with Leg Abduction:
Single leg bridge will strengthen the gluteal muscles. The added abduction (moving the leg away from the mid line of the body) will stretch the adductors (inner thigh muscles) as well as strengthen the body’s ability to resist rotational forces.
1. Begin lying on your back with arms down by your sides. Place your right leg outside of your hip with knee bent and toes pointing slightly outwards. Pull you left knee into your chest with one or both arms.
2. Press your right hip up off the floor about 30 degrees while keeping the torso straight. Then let go of the left leg at press it up to the sky. You can keep the left knee bent to modify the exercise.
3. Then open the left leg out to the side while maintaining a stable right side of the body, the right hip should not change position. Then return the left leg back over the mid line. Repeat moving the left leg out and in 4-6 times. Then repeat on the other side.
Lunge to Single Leg Stance:
This exercise will improve dynamic balance on one leg.
1. Begin in single leg stance balanced on the left leg with the right leg forward and bent at the hip and knee at 90 degrees.
2. Step your right leg back into a lunge position with 90 degree angles at both knees. Then, push off your right leg and bring it right back up to single leg stance without touching the floor. Perform 10 well on this side and then repeat on the other side.
This exercise can help eliminate differences between the right and left sides of the body. It is a difficult exercise so you may need to try some of the following progressions first before completing the full pistol.
Progressions to work up:
– Prop the leg that is up in the air on a box for added support.
– Hold on to a bench, doorway, pole, or suspension cable for support.
– Start and end from a seated position on a bench.
1. Stand with arms extended out in front to help maintain balance. Balance on one leg with opposite leg extended straight out and leg as high as possible.
2. Squat down as far as possible while keeping the opposite leg elevated off the floor. Make sure the knee of the supporting leg stays in line with the toes rather than collapsing inwards.
3. Press down into the supporting leg to raise the body back up to original position until knee and hip of supporting leg is straight. Repeat as many pistol squats that you can perform well and then repeat on the other leg.
This is an explosive exercise that requires control upon landing.
1. Stand with feet about hip distance apart. Send your hips back to a squat position with the back straight.
2. Immediately jump upwards off the floor and reach the arms up to the sky.
3. Control your landing by passing through the toe, ball, and then heel of the foot to finish in the starting squat position. This landing is your preparation for the next jump so rebound right back up in the air. Perform 10 jumps.