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Exercise Index: Tabata #3

Scissors

The scissors ab exercise is a core move that focuses on working and targeting your transverse abdominals (the deepest core muscles that wrap around you like a corset). This exercise targets the problem areas and helps shed and sculpt the excess flab from the thighs, hips, and belly. Scissors is not only a core strength move, but it is also a great stretch for your hamstrings and your lower back.

What you Feel: Core, Quads and Glutes

 

What to Do:

  1. Begin lying on a mat face-up.

  2. Before raising your legs off the floor, engage your core by imagining you are pulling your bellybutton in toward your spine and pressing your lower back flat on the mat. Keep your back pressed onto the mat throughout the exercise.

  3. If you're a beginner, raise your legs to a 45-degree angle and keep your knees bent. The lower and straighter your legs are to the ground, the more challenging the exercise will be.

  4. Separate your legs by several inches — one lifting over the other by several inches and the other lowering closer to the ground (hovering).

  5. Then, switch so the opposite leg is on top and the other is closer to the floor. That's one rep.

  6. Repeat the movement for the desired amount of reps.

Squat Jumps

Squats are undoubtedly one of the most booty-firming quad-killing leg exercises. A jump squat is a modified version of a classic squat, so it involves all the muscles that are engaged in your entire lower body, and core. Squat jumps and plyometric jumps are basic drills that improve agility and power. This type of squat works especially well, as it develops strength, improves explosiveness and agility, and can be a part of various types of workouts.

What you Feel: Quads, Glutes and Core

 

What to Do:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bent.

  2. Bend your knees and descend to a full squat position.

  3. Engage through the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and propel the body up and off the floor, extending through the legs. With the legs fully extended, the feet will be a few inches (or more) off the floor.

  4. Descend and control your landing by going through your foot (toes, ball, arches, heel) and descend into the squat again for another explosive jump.

  5. Upon landing immediately repeat the next jump.

Squat to Press

The Dumbbell Squat and Press is a foundational exercise for anyone who wants to build strength and power in the legs and hips, particularly in the quads and glutes. This variation of the Dumbbell Squat adds a shoulder press, which also increases upper-body strength and core stability. 

 

What you Feel: Shoulders, Quads and Glutes 

 

What to Do:

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand or just hold a single dumbbell facing you, plant both feet on the floor hip-width apart. Bend your elbows to hold the dumbbells at shoulder height. Gently draw your pubic bone to your belly button (engage pelvic floor). This is your starting position.

  2. Inhale. Looking straight ahead, bend at both the hips and knees, ensuring that your knees remain in line with your toes. Continue bending your knees until your upper legs are parallel with the floor. Ensure that your back remains between a 45- to 90-degree angle to your hips.

  3. Exhale. Push through your heels and extend your legs to return to the starting position. At the same time, extend your elbows to press the dumbbells above your head, ensuring that your arms are in line with your ears.

  4. Inhale. Bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells and return to the starting position. Repeat for the specified number of repetitions.

Wall or Knee Push Up

Push-ups are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises you can incorporate into your routine. Targeting your arms, chest, back, and shoulders, it takes a decent amount of strength to complete multiple reps correctly. If you struggle to perform standard push-ups on the ground, wall push-ups are a great starting point. Using a wall removes some of the load, allowing you to strengthen your muscles, perfect your form, and prepare you for standard push-ups. With proper form, wall push-ups activate the stabilizer muscles in your midsection, including your abdominal muscles and lower back muscles.

What you Feel: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, Core and Glutes

Wall Push Ups:

What to Do:

  1. Stand arm's distance from a sturdy wall with your feet under your hips.

  2. Place your palms on the wall, shoulder-width apart at shoulder height. This is the starting position.

  3. Take a step backward with both feet. Your legs should be straight. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet.

  4. Lower your chest toward the wall by bending your elbows. Your shoulder blades should retract as you move.

  5. Lower your body until your upper arms are even with your back.

  6. Pause for a second at the bottom of the movement.

  7. Press back to the starting position.

 

Knee Push Ups:

What to Do:

  1. Starting with a standard push-up position. Get down on your knees with your feet crossed behind you.

  2. With your knees to head forming a straight line and arms straight with hands shoulder-width apart on the ground. This is the starting position.

  3. Begin exercise by lowering your chest to the ground by bending at the elbows.

  4. Don't let your hips sag down.

  5. Pause, then push back up to starting position. This completes one rep.

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