Before I get to the fun stuff, I wanted to let you know that I’m going to start teaching a new class this year. I’ve been so inspired by bloggers like Tamara, Lindsay, Bex, and others who create challenging, high intensity workouts. I’ve been making my own workouts and videos since June, and I’ve really enjoyed challenging both my mind (to create them) and my body (to actually perform the moves). While I can be creative in the other classes that I teach, and certainly challenge the participants with total body, functional workouts, I feel that there is a market, even within the country club where I work, for people who want to kick it up a notch.
Starting this week, I will occasionally use Wednesday Workout as an outlet, a practice session if you will, for the class. You probably won’t notice much difference, as I plan for the workout to be challenging, functional, fast and fun. Stay tuned!
Today’s workout is designed with runners specifically in mind. If you’re not a runner, that’s okay, this is a total body functional workout with special focus on the core, legs, and glutes. Plus it’s quick, which appeals to runners, because they have better things to do. Like running.
After warming up for 5-10 minutes, perform the following exercises, in order, for 45 seconds each. Take 15 seconds to get into position for the next exercise. At the end each set, rest for a minute. Do a total of four sets. Alternate the standing leg on the single leg exercises on each set. Perform each exercise with proper form. Watch the video (which will guide you through one complete set) for tips on form.
1. Squat Jump: With feet shoulder width apart, squat down, keeping your spine long and your knees behind our toes. As you stand back up, jump straight up with as much force as possible. As soon as you land, continue the exercise by lowering into a squat.
2. Single Leg Deadlift: Holding dumbbells or a bar, stand on one leg with your knee very slightly bent. Keeping your spine long and neutral, bend at the hips, keeping the weights close to the legs as you do so. Bend as far as you can without rounding your spine, then engage your core, glute and leg muscles and stand back up. You will alternate legs in each set, for a total of two sets on each side.
3. Push Up to Side Plank: Start in a plank position with arms about shoulder width apart, making sure that your shoulders are right above your wrists. You can be on your toes or your knees. Do a push up, then lift one arm and turn your body into a side plank. Repeat the push up, then do a side plank on the other side.
4. Single Legged Squat: This is a great exercise to develop balanced strength in your legs and glutes. It is also quite difficult, so you may have to build progressively toward a complete single legged squat. Stand on one leg. You may extend the other leg in front of you (most challenging version), or bend the other leg at the knee behind you with the toes pointing toward the ground. Extend your arms out in front of you. Bend your standing leg into a squat position, keeping your spine long, chest up, and knees behind toes. Don’t allow your knee to fold inward or outward. Keep your pelvis in alignment. Stand back up. Variations: When you begin doing this exercise, you may want to put a high bench behind you as you squat. You can hold onto something (just make sure that you don’t pull yourself back up or twist your body out of alignment). You may also put the toes of the non-working leg on a bench behind you. Proper form is very important, so do the variation that is right for you. You will get stronger, you type “A”s and be able to do the hardest version soon enough!
5. Forearm Plank: Get into a plank position on your forearms. If you need, you may keep your knees on the ground. Make sure that your elbows are directly under your shoulders. You may add variations, like jumping jack legs, if you’d like.
Here’s the video:
Enjoy that minute of rest, then repeat for a total of four sets. Enjoy!
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Runners! Do you have a favorite strength exercise that you believe helps your running? Share!