Iron Cross

Hey there, it’s time for another new Home Exercise of the Week!  This week I have a variation of a plank called the Iron Cross

The Iron Cross looks like it would be fairly easy but it is quite challenging.  With this isometric exercise you’re going to be mainly working your core, chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Here’s how to do the Iron Cross:

  • starting from your knees, position your hands as far out to your sides as you can while keeping them in line with your chest
  • rotate your hands so your fingers are pointing away from your body
  • lift your knees off the floor so that you are now on your toes and in a full push-up starting position
  • engage your abs and lower your body as if you were doing a push-up until you are as close to the floor as you can get
  • from this low position hold the plank while keeping your abs tight and flexed (this will help keep your hips from dropping and your back from arching)
  • if you notice your back arching up and your hips lowering then drop your knees to the floor and continue the hold until the desired time is up
  • hold the Iron Cross as long as you can to complete the set

So there you have the Iron Cross!  It’s harder than it looks and it will get you sweating.  Add this in to your upper or full body routine as a finishing move or incorporate it in to an ab workout.

Let me know how you do with this one in the comments below or if you have any questions.

See you next week with another new exercise!

TRX Pistol Squat

Hello again, it’s time for a new Home Exercise of the Week.  The exercise this week is a very challenging one that is done with a TRX suspension trainer.  It’s called the TRX Pistol Squat.  

The TRX in this exercise is mainly used to help maintain balance throughout the movement so if you don’t have one you can try doing the exercise without it, although it is much more difficult.  In this case I recommend standing close to something you can hold on to for support and balance like a squat rack or even a chair.  However, please do so with caution.

Let’s look at the muscles worked, benefits, and how to do the TRX Pistol Squat properly.

The TRX Pistol Squat is going to target your quadriceps, core muscles, glutes, and ankle stabilizers. 

By doing this exercise you’re going to:

  • improve your balance and coordination
  • build more unilateral strength – the strength of one limb versus the other (by doing unilateral movements you will help to correct any imbalances that may have occurred from doing regular squats)
  • have greater joint integrity and movement
  • enhance muscular activation

Here are the key points to doing the TRX Pistol Squat correctly:

  • grab the TRX handles and stand far enough back from the anchor point until your arms are almost fully extended
  • raise one foot off the ground and extend in front of you
  • firmly plant your other foot on the ground and place your body weight on to your heel
  • squat down while continuing to put your weight on to the heel
  • keep your back straight and push your hips back while squatting (like you’re going to sit down on to a chair)
  • keep your knee from extending past your toes as you squat down
  • lower your body until your butt almost touches the ground
  • from this bottom position push through your heel to raise yourself back up to the starting position
  • as you push up make sure to keep your knee and foot aligned and facing forward
  • use the TRX to help keep you aligned, balanced, and as a tool to help pull yourself back up as needed 

So there you have the TRX Pistol Squat.  It’s a very hard exercise but the benefits are great.

Give it a try and let me know how you do in the comments below.

See you next week with another new exercise!

Medicine Ball Cross Body Mountain Climber

Hey there, it’s a new week and that means it’s time for a new exercise!  The Home Exercise of the Week this time is another core exercise called Medicine Ball Cross Body Mountain Climber.

With this exercise you will be targeting your abdominal muscles, especially your obliques, as well as your chest, shoulders, triceps, hip flexors, and lower back.  The added instability of planking on the medicine ball while doing the mountain climber further engages your core muscles and stabilizers, making it quite challenging.

Here are the key points to doing the Medicine Ball Cross Body Mountain Climber properly:

  • start in a plank position with your hands on the medicine ball
  • make sure the ball is directly underneath your chest
  • engage your abdominals and keep tight throughout the movement
  • from the full plank position, drive your right knee towards your left elbow giving your abs a really good flex
  • return to the starting position and then drive your left knee towards your right elbow
  • repeat until you have finished your set

So there you have the Medicine Ball Cross Body Mountain Climber.  Take it slow at first until you feel comfortable balancing yourself on the ball.  Once you get the hang of it you can try increasing your rep speed to add a cardiovascular component.

If you like this exercise leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear what you think.

Happy climbing!

Moguls

Hey everyone, it’s time for a new Home Exercise of the Week!  The exercise this week is one that is challenging and honestly not a favourite of many but it is a very effective core and cardiovascular exercise!  They are Moguls!

Moguls target your abdominals, especially your obliques, but they also work your chest, shoulders, and triceps from holding yourself in the plank position.  Your legs and glutes will also get a good workout from this exercise.

Let’s take a look at the key points to doing Moguls properly:

  • start in a full plank position with your knees off the ground and tucked in underneath you
  • while flexing your core, jump your feet out to the side while keeping your knees tucked in and dropping your hip close to the ground
  • from this side position, jump all the way to the other side and drop your hip down again close to the ground
  • keep jumping from side to side at a fairly quick pace while keeping your core flexed and your knees tucked in underneath you

So there you have Moguls.  It’s challenging, your heart rate will be up, your abs will be burning, you’ll be sweating, but in the end you’ll be glad you did them and they will get easier the more you do them!

Leave a comment below and let me know how you do.  You can even curse me for presenting this crazy exercise to you!

See you next week with another new exercise!

Dumbbell Burpee Shoulder Press

Hey there!  It has been a while since I’ve posted a new Home Exercise of the Week but the series is back and I have a whole bunch of new exercises to show you over the next few months.

This week I have the Dumbbell Burpee Shoulder Press.  This is a fantastic full body exercise that will target your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, core, shoulders, and triceps.  You will also get a really good cardiovascular workout from this exercise!  If you don’t have dumbbells that’s ok, you can use any substitute like a medicine ball, sandbag, or just put your hands up in the air.

Let’s take a look at the key points to doing the Dumbbell Burpee Shoulder Press properly.

  • have a pair of dumbbells (or substitute) in front of you at your feet
  • squat down and grab the handles of the dumbbells
  • from this position jump both feet back until you are in a full plank position while keeping your core flexed and tight
  • jump your feet back up to your hands and stand up with the dumbbells in your hands
  • press the weights up over your head to do the shoulder press
  • lower the weights back down to the floor and repeat

So there you have the Dumbbell Burpee Shoulder Press.  It’s a challenging exercise that will get you sweating and your heart pumping!

I’ll be back next week with another new exercise so stay tuned and feel free to leave a comment below about how you did with the exercise or if you have any questions.