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Exercise Index: Tabata #2

Dumbbell Squat

Dumbbell squats strengthen your lower body and core. Adding weight to your squats in the form of dumbbells (or barbells and kettlebells) is how you increase intensity and resistance, strengthening the lower body and it also increases activation in your posterior chain muscles, like the hamstrings and gluteus maximus. Dumbbell squats also activate the stabilizing muscles around your knees and ankles.

What you Feel: Quads and Glutes

 

What to Do:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can either point your toes forward or turn them slightly out to the sides.

  2. In each hand, hold a dumbbell by your sides with palms facing in or hold just one dumbbell in front of you.

  3. Fill your chest with air to set your core. Maintain a tight, vertical torso throughout the movement with a natural arch in your low back.

  4. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your chest up and your weight in your heels.

  5. Push your feet into the ground to stand back up.

Jumping Lunges

Jumping lunges are a fantastic lower body exercise that increases the intensity and difficulty of the basic lunge by adding a jump. When performing a jump lunge, you’ll simultaneously work all of the lower-body muscles targeted by a standard lunge, including the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. You’ll also work your core as well as the stabilizing muscles around your hips. It’s a great two-in-one combination of strength and cardio, and a great home workout as you do not need any equipment.

 

What you Feel: Quads and Glutes

 

What to Do:

  1. Start with a standard forward lunge.

  2. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then take a big step forward and lower until both knees are bent at a 90° angle.

  3. Make sure your torso is kept upright and as straight as possible throughout.

  4. From this position, summon the energy to push explosively off the ground, switching the positions of your legs while airborne so that you land and can immediately drop into another lunge but with the opposite leg forwards.

  5. Make sure you land as softly as possible.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers is an explosive bodyweight exercise which engages multiple muscle groups at once helping to improve your balance, agility, coordination, strength, flexibility and blood circulation. As you perform the move, your shoulders, arms, and chest work to stabilize your upper body while your core stabilizes the rest of your body. As the prime mover, your quads get an incredible workout, too. And because it's a cardio exercise, you'll get heart health benefits and burn calories.

What you Feel: Total Body Workout

Tips: 

  • Keep your abs tight when performing mountain climbers

  • Try to avoid hunching your back by thinking about keeping a tall spine

  • Try to keep light on your toes

  • This should be a fast movement so try pick your feet as fast as you can but if you're new to mountain climbers, take it slowly, and increase your leg speed as you get more confident and experienced at the exercise.

  • To get the most from mountain climbers be sure to check that your bottom isn't rising into the air and that your hands remain in place directly beneath your shoulders.

What to Do:

  1. Get into a plank position, making sure to distribute your weight evenly between your hands and your toes.

  2. Check your form—your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, back flat, abs engaged, and head in alignment.

  3. Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can.

  4. Switch legs, pulling one knee out and bringing the other knee in.

  5. Keep your hips down and run your knees in and out as far and as fast as you can. Alternate inhaling and exhaling with each leg change.

Shoulder Taps 

Shoulder taps might seem like a second cousin of the plank, but they're actually an incredibly challenging abs-and-arm workout in their own right. Unlike a traditional plank, which is an isometric exercise, shoulder taps are an active move performed from a high plank position that requires you to use your palms to alternately touch your shoulder while holding your body still. There are also tons of variations of shoulder taps you can do to increase or decrease the intensity of the exercise. If you need to regress a little, stay on your knees and/ or rest your hands on a bench. 

 

What you Feel: Core, Obliques and Shoulders

 

What to Do:

  1. Get into a high plank position with hands directly under your shoulders, feet hip-width apart.

  2. Keep your spine neutral, neck and back straight, and hips aligned with shoulders.

  3. Engage core and squeeze glutes so your body remains flat and stable.

  4. Raise left hand to tap right shoulder, set it back down. Try not to move the hips.

  5. Raise right hand to tap left shoulder, set it back down. Again, Try not to move your hips.

  6. Alternate tapping left and right shoulders with as little hip movement as possible.

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