A1. FFE (front foot elevated) split squat – 8-10 on each side
The hip flexor muscles become chronically shortened in population who sit for a living. This adaptive shortening leads to lower back pain due to dysfunction in the knees and hips. This exercise improves the strength of the quadriceps, medial hamstrings, and adductors. It also helps to re-establish normative flexibility of the hip flexors.
- Maintain a heel up position in the rear leg. Doing so will improve your pivot point
- Maintain a heel down position on the front leg. Ankle flexibility is crucial in this exercise
- Do not be afraid of driving the front knee forward of the toes if you don’t have a knee injury. It’s a natural position of the lower limb that becomes lost to us as muscles of the ankle, knee and hip adaptively shorten through inactivity
- You can add load by holding dumbbells with each hand, kettlebells or add in a controlled quarter at the end range for increased intensity
A2. Shoulder taps – 8-10 on each side
Great for working the abdominals and core, as well as shoulders. It’s harder than the straight arm plank because of the switching between single arms for support.
- Don’t rush the movement, hold 2 seconds on one shoulder, 2 seconds at a high plank position and then 2 seconds on the opposite shoulder
- Try to keep your hips as static as possible
B1. Dumbbells Bent Over Row – 12 reps
This is a great exercise to master before advancing to other rowing exercise variations as it helps you lock down the proper form. The starting position for this move is similar to a deadlift, with a hinged hips and flat back.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, slight bend in the knees
- Hinge the hips until your chest is parallel with the floor whilst maintaining a flat back
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together, brace your core.
- Keep your elbows tight next to your body
B2. Dumbbell Floor Press – 12 reps
This exercise is a great option to anyone with shoulder issues. It’s better tolerated than a traditional bench press as it uses a neutral grip and pressing on the floor limits the range of motion slightly.
You can advance the movement by pressing one arm at a time to increase the core demands of the exercise. You’ll need to brace your core to keep yourself steady and be ready to feel it the next day after you try it for the first time.
C1. Mountain climbers – 8 on each side
A great way to increase your heart rate and even if you can’t maintain the pace the motion alone will target your core muscles. Your legs also work on this exercises whilst the upper body support means it’s working your arms too.
- Keep your core braced and your shoulders, hips and feet in a straight line throughout
- You can advance this movement by doing it elevated, on a gym ball, cross body or spider-man options.
C2. Side plank hold – 30 seconds on each side
Often an ignored exercise that is well worth adding as it works weakened muscles called the quadratus lumborum, part of the posterior abdominal wall that plays a vital role in averting back pain.
- Make sure your elbow is perpendicular to your shoulder
- Squeeze your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line
- Keep your head neutral to avoid neck pain
- Hold this position without letting your hips drop
D1. Single Dumbbell front raise 10 – 12
I love working shoulders! The single-dumbbell front raise is an isolation movement that targets your shoulders. It focuses on the anterior or front head of the deltoid muscles.
- Raise your arms until shoulder height
- Brace your core throughout
- To advance the movement perform it with one arm at a time, you can then focus on each shoulder muscle independently and try address any muscular imbalances between shoulders
Do these exercises in pairs, in this order (A1+A2, then rest 45 seconds and repeat 2-4 times before moving on to the B section and so forth).
The announcement of the extended lockdown is frustrating, but we have to keep moving. Maintaining health and supporting our immune is key. Please drop your questions below or DM me if you need support with your fitness training and nutrition habits.