Here are some great full-body exercises, curated by one of our very own Master YouCoaches, that to try out over the next few weeks that just may give you the extra boost you need to get your shot at a share of the $100,000 in prizing!
Thread the Needle: Advanced plank variations are a great full body stimulus and can be done with or without equipment. One of the challenging bodyweight variations is a plank pass through, or “thread the needle”. To perform this exercise assume a plank position with hands and feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping elbows locked out, press into the ground with one hand and reach under your torso with the opposite hand; then rotate back through and extend your hand towards the ceiling with your chest forward. Checking that your palm is forward, actively squeeze your shoulder blades together and drive the bottom hand into the ground. Rotate back through and repeat for 8-15 repetitions on each side.
• Pro Tip: To ensure pelvic stability, keep glutes and abdominals braced throughout the movement. This will assist in keeping your low back safe. Do not allow your hips to dip or sway back and forth, the body should rotate as one unit.
Jump Squats: Sore lower back after adding more weight to your squats? Did you know that one of the most effective ways to overload an exercise is to utilize explosive power rather than simply adding more weight? Well, now you do (feel free to drop that into conversation next happy hour). A great way to do this when squatting is to turn a basic bodyweight squat into a “jump squat”. To perform this exercise, assume a shoulder width stance. Perform a squat as normal, but as you ascend from the bottom drive forcefully through your heels thrusting with your glutes and splitting the floor with your feet. Follow through the motion by rolling forward to your toes and jumping straight up – do your best to land lightly on the ball of your foot, naturally allowing your weight to roll back onto the heels. I generally recommend 3-4 sets of 30 reps, making sure to keep the chest up the entire time.
• Pro Tip: Too easy? Up the difficulty by explosively raising your knees to your chest during the jump. Make sure you can still land lightly and roll through your foot as before. A great way to progress into this added motion is to alternate between knees to chest and just jumping.
Pause Squats: Time to take those legs to the next level! The primary goal here is to increase time under tension of your entire body, but primarily the hips and thighs. If you have never attempted pause squats, you should start at approximately 65% of your usual load if you’re using weights. We are going to shoot for a three to five second pause at the bottom of the squat. Make sure to pause at an appropriate depth, never allowing the hips to relax. Never resting is key to increasing time under tension and getting the blood flowing! Remember that you should be keeping your chest up while driving through the heels, not the toes, throughout the entire exercise. Shoot for 5 sets of 10 reps, making sure to gauge yourself appropriately as these can be very difficult.
• Pro Tip: Make sure to actively split apart the floor with your feet to ensure more active stability through the foot, and better tracking through the knee, especially during the pause at the bottom. This will “turn on” your glutes, helping to ensure proper stability and activation throughout the exercise.
Push Up to Pike Toe Tap: Now we’re talkin’! This movement is actually a combination of three exercises. If the entire move is too difficult, you can easily break it up into two (or even three) separate exercises until you’re confident enough to perform it entirely. Start in a push-up position with your legs spread, this will be your neutral position for the exercise. Begin by performing a push-up. Upon reaching the top of the repetition, drive your hips skyward and your heels back and down into the floor. Then in sequence, tap your left and right feet with the opposite hand. Finally, lower your hips back to neutral. You have now completed a single “push up to pike toe tap”! Phew… Set your rep range appropriately as the difficulty can be deceiving. I generally recommend 4 sets of anywhere from 8-15 reps depending on the individual.
• Pro Tip: When extending the hand, take care to keep the bracing arm locked out at the elbow while actively driving the heel of your palm into the floor. This will help ensure shoulder stability and health while making the exercise more effective and efficient.
Looking for even more personalized motivation? Speak with any member of your club’s friendly team staff about one-on-one personal training with a certified YouCoach today!