Huh? Yes I know the title defies all SEO (search engine optimization) rules, but I was finding it hard to describe these workouts in 70 characters or less.
What we have here is two workouts that I did with my Superball class this week. The first one, the Vanity Workout, focused on individual muscle groups, single joint exercises. While they may not be functional, working your muscles this way can increase size, definition, and strength.
To balance everything out, during our second class this week we focused on compound exercises that work several muscle groups, and two or three joints at the same time. Much more functional, these exercises also work the core and challenge balance.
The Vanity Workout
On Tuesday, after my class came in and set their stuff up, I made everybody go back and select a weight that was just a little bit heavier than usual. Today’s workout was going to focus on our vanity muscles, tone up those biceps, triceps, and shoulders for the upper body, with some concentrated work for quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes when we got to the lower body. While we generally complete about 12 repetitions per set, I told the class that our goal was eight to 10 reps, with a short break, to really challenge those muscles.
Most moved up from five to six or seven pounds, a few from eight to 10 pounds. Because my classroom weights only go up to 10, a couple of people grabbed a couple dumbbells from the weight room. I simply held two weights in my hand, a 10 pound and a three pound dumbbell. Whatever works, right?
A quick poll of the class two days later said that 80% reported sore muscles following the workout (including me!).
The Compound Workout
To balance everything out, for the next workout, we focused on the “big” muscle, multi-joint exercises. When my class arrived, they hesitantly asked me if they had to grab heavy weights, and were quite relieved when I told them no. Resistance was mostly due to body weight for this workout.
Here are a few directions to some of the exercises you might not know:
Leg lift curl over stability ball. Lie prone over a stability ball with your hands and feet on the ground. Lift both legs until they are parallel to the ground. Bend at the knee (into a leg curl), then straighten legs, and return to starting position. More advanced can use ankle weights.
Sumo Squat. Check here for directions.
The Dumbbell Row was done standing on one leg. Hold your dumbbells at your side. Bend over at the hips, extending one leg behind. Lift your elbows, squeezing shoulder blades together. Slowly lower arms. Stay in position for all reps. If you’re doing three sets, try to do two of the sets on your “weaker” leg.
Lunge with a Twist. Holding a medicine ball, step into a forward lunge with your right leg. Keeping your spine straight, twist to the right, extending the medicine ball toward 2:00. Step back and perform lunge on left leg, twisting to 10:00.
Deadlift. Check here for directions. Use medicine ball or dumbbells.
I hope you enjoy these workouts! What are you working on this week?