Sea Turtle

In case you just quickly read the title of this post I’m not actually going to be talking about Sea Turtles!  As cute as they are, this is a fitness website…not a wildlife one. 😉

What I am going to discuss here is the Sea Turtle exercise for the Home Exercise of the Week.

I would say this is an easier exercise compared to some of the exercises I have shown in the past but it is still very effective and will help strengthen your lower back muscles.  Along with the erector spinae muscles, you will be working your glutes, posterior deltoids (rear shoulder), rhomboids (middle back), and trapezius (large muscle that spans the neck, shoulders, and back).

Some key points to remember when doing the Sea Turtle:

  • keep your head up off the floor and in line with your spine
  • laying on your stomach can make it hard to breath but try not to hold your breath
  • squeeze your shoulder blades together when bringing your arms out to the side
  • perform at a nice even pace…not too fast, not too slow.  A good speed would be two seconds out then two seconds in

Try doing a couple sets of 20 repetitions to start off with then as you get comfortable with the movement, try a couple timed sets of as many Sea Turtles as you can do in 20 – 30 seconds.

So there you have the Sea Turtle!  It’s not just a cute animal anymore but an effective back and butt exercise!

Plank Back Row

Is it just me or do the weeks fly by faster and faster?  It seems like I just posted a Home Exercise of the Week and now it’s that time again!

This week I would like you to try a Plank Back Row!  I know I named the exercise differently in the video but a One Arm Back Row from a Pushup Position is just way too long and not very catchy!

There are a lot of muscles being used in this exercise so the metabolic effect is very high.  The more muscles you use, the more calories you burn.  The primary muscles targeted are your lattisimus dorsi, teres major, posterior deltoids, and trapezius. (if the latin words are confusing you, you’re not alone…basically they are your back muscles, rear shoulder muscles and your neck muscles)  With the Plank Back Row, you will also be working your core as well!

Some key tips to remember when doing the Plank Back Row:

  • keep your body as straight as possible (no butts sticking up in the air)
  • pull your belly button in towards your spine to keep your abdominals flexed
  • raise your arm forward and pull your elbow back keeping it in line with your upper body
  • if the full plank position is too challenging at first, try performing this exercise from your knees instead of your toes until you get stronger

So there you have the Plank Back Row!  This is a great back and core exercise that requires no equipment whatsoever…just a small amount of room and you’re good to go!

Tricep Dip (Chair or Bench)

Another week has gone by and that means it is time for a new Home Exercise of the Week!

The Tricep Dip is a great exercise that can be done anywhere you can find a chair or bench (that being said, I don’t recommend doing this at random public places unless you want to get some strange looks or draw a crowd to watch your feats of strength).

The primary muscle group being targeted in this exercise are your triceps but you will also be working your anterior deltoids (front shoulders) and chest muscles.

Some tips to remember when doing the Tricep Dip:

  • place your hands close to your body on the chair
  • make sure to keep your elbows pointed back to ensure proper tricep muscle contraction
  • dip down until you feel a good stretch across your chest and in your front shoulders.  Your arms should be at 90 degree angles at this point.
  • when you get to the top of the movement, straighten your arms to get a nice tricep contraction
  • if you want to make this exercise even more challenging, try putting your feet up on a stability ball or rest some weight plates on your thighs!

So there you have the Tricep Dip.  Now Chairs aren’t just for sitting any more!  They are a multi-purpose exercise tool that can be used to build and tone some strong and sexy arms!


Stability Ball Pushup

I have a challenging exercise for you today for the Home Exercise of the Week!  If you’re a fan of pushups, the Stability Ball Pushup will add something new to your routine.  If you don’t like pushups, well then you’re probably thinking wow I didn’t know they could get any worse than they already are!

Whether you like pushups or not, the Stability Ball Pushup is a great exercise that will work your chest, shoulders, and triceps.  Since you are doing this exercise on a ball, you will also be working on your balance, core muscles, and all the little stabilizer muscles to keep you from flying off the ball.

If this is your first time trying the exercise, I recommend placing the ball against a wall which will make it easier to balance.  As you get more comfortable with the exercise you can place the ball freely in the room.  Also, you can start with a modified pushup from your knees if needed until you get stronger.

Some tips when performing the Stability Ball Pushup:

  • grab the ball on the sides and squeeze it as you move down to increase the contraction in your pectoral muscles
  • make sure your hands are in line with your chest throughout the movement
  • keep your ab muscles tight at all times by pulling your belly button in towards your spine
  • a wide foot position will increase your stability and if you feel that’s too easy then bring your feet together to work your core and stabilizers even more (at this point you’re probably thinking “yeah right Craig, let’s start with getting on the ball first!”)
  • at the top of the movement, stop just before your arms are fully extended to keep tension on your pectorals throughout

So there you have the Stability Ball Pushup!  Add this great exercise to your routine and you might impress people so much with your acrobatic feats that you get asked to join the circus!