You’re tired of your workouts. You don’t feel like going to the gym and doing the same thing you’ve been doing for weeks. Hopping on a treadmill sounds horrendous. Well here’s the answer for you!
In this post we will go over 5 of the most comprehensive, corrective, and effective exercises that target your entire body. Now remember, it doesn’t matter if Arnold Schwarzenegger himself wrote your workout, it’s not WHAT exercises, but rather HOW you do them. So focus on technique, don’t make it too difficult to start, and give these a try.
One of the best core stability exercises for helping correct movement patterns out there. This is an anti-rotation movement...you’re crawling on the floor and focusing on cross-body patterning. Keeping your core and hips stable and square as you move opposite arm and leg, your goal should be to keep your shins parallel to the ground and only a few inches elevated.
Your back should be nice and flat so that if there was a cup of coffee resting there, it wouldn’t fall. Keeping your steps as quiet as possible, focus on gliding along the floor rather than stomping around. The bear crawl also keeps you thinking, which is good to develop and maintain strong mind-muscle connection and keep those nerve pathways firing. Below is a link (skip to 2:40) to demo the movement and apparently Mark Wahlberg does this, so it must be good.
BB SNATCH GRIP RACK PULL
If deadlifts are a movement that typically scare you or just feel flat out uncomfortable, this is a great alternative. A rack pull is essentially a deadlift, but we’re just elevating the floor to create a smaller range of motion. At its core, it is still a hinge based movement, focusing on pushing your hips back, loading your hamstrings and glutes.
The bar should be set up right below knee height, although there are reasons to raise it a little. But to start, keep it just below your knees and see how that feels. This movement is also great for working the mid-back due to the isometric hold during the entire rep. You’re holding a contraction the whole time in this movement. Focus on maintaining tension and rigidity throughout each rep and controlling the negative (when you lower the weight).
TALL KNEELING/HALF KNEELING SINGLE ARM LANDMINE PRESS
If you experience some pain with overhead pressing then this landmine variation is perfect for you. The landmine set-up is basically just one end of the barbell anchored to a corner. Most gyms have a specific set-up for this, but placing the edge of a barbell in the corner will work just fine.
You can either do this with one knee down (as seen in the link), or two knees on the floor, but sitting tall without your butt on your heels. The advantage to this overhead press is that if you have tightness in your thoracic spine, it still allows you to reach full extension. The half kneeling position is also a safer position for your lower back than any standing overhead press as there is less risk of overextension in the lumbar spine. As you press overhead, let your shoulder go through its natural range of motion, almost pushing your head forward a bit as you press.
PULL-UP NEGATIVES W/ 90 DEGREE HIP FLEXION
A little variation from your typical pull-ups that are more friendly towards those who can’t quite get a pull-up yet on their own with an added core component to it.
Set up a box or step of some kind under a pull-up bar. Use whichever grip you like. Use the box to jump to the top position of the pull-up and hold for a second. The idea is to spend very little energy getting to the top position, so use your legs. Bring your knees up so that they are even with your hips and so that your ankles are under your knees. Then, slowly lower yourself down for 5 seconds. Step back onto the box, and repeat again. Slight pause at the top, slow on the way down.
OFFSET LOAD FARMER CARRY
A great dynamic core movement here as well. Grab two different weighted dumbbells or kettlebells, about 10-20 pounds apart. Hold one in each hand. Think of this as a walking plank. But there’s a stronger force pulling you on one side so you have to counter that weight with your obliques and transverse abdominis to keep yourself nice and straight. Walk about 15 meters, then switch the weights and walk back.
Don’t cross your feet like you’re on a balance beam. Keep each foot in its own lane, and walk at a nice steady forward pace, without rocking side to side.
Do 3 sets of each of these exercises, take full recovery between sets, and these 5 exercises leave you feeling great in a short, effective workout. Remember, technique mastery before anything else, then you can play around with other variations, tempo, and weight additions. Enjoy!