Side Tricep Pushup

If laying down on the floor and building some great looking arms sounds appealing to you then you will love this week’s Home Exercise of the Week.  Of course laying down on the floor only won’t magically give you fantastic arms.  There is some work involved and that work goes by the name of the Side Tricep Pushup!

The Side Tricep Pushup is a wonderful exercise that can be done anywhere with no equipment required.  It can even be done in bed if your mattress is firm enough!

The primary muscles being targeted in this exercise are your triceps but you will be working your shoulders and core as well.  People think you need to build huge biceps to have great looking arms but what gives your arms size and the most shape are your tricep muscles.  They make up two thirds of your upper arm so if you want people to take notice of them, you will want to make sure that you are working your triceps regularly.

Ok so on to the key points to doing the Side Tricep Pushup effectively.

  • lay on your side with your feet stacked on top of eachother
  • place the hand of the arm you are laying on onto your opposite shoulder and tuck the hand of the working arm in to your armpit
  • keep your hand flat on the floor throughout the exercise and push up through the palm of your hand
  • you will want to try and get a full extension of the arm to fully activate your tricep muscles but this may be very difficult if you haven’t done this before.  Press up as high as you can while keeping your hand flat and over time your strength will increase to the point that you will be able to get a full extension
  • when coming back down you will want to stop just before your shoulder rests back down on the floor.  This will keep constant tension on your triceps throughout the movement.

So there you have the Side Tricep Pushup.  This is a great exercise to add in at the end of your upper body or arm workout to really burn them out!  Try doing a couple of sets of as many reps as you can and I guarantee it will be hard to wash your hair the next day!

5 Squat Hold

This weeks Home Exercise of the Week is a variation of the regular body weight squat.  The 5 Squat Hold is an exercise that I like to add in to my training sessions and boot camps from time to time so people have another reason to curse and swear at me!  I can just picture it now…sweaty people groaning, complaining, and wondering why they ever decided to do this. 😉

All kidding aside, the 5 Squat Hold is effective.  You will be sculpting and strengthening your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.  On top of all that, the hold part of the exercise will increase your muscular endurance.  The benefits far outweigh the temporary pain and discomfort.

With any exercise, strict form is top priority.  Some key points to remember when doing the 5 Squat Hold:

  • Have your feet shoulder width apart with your toes pointed out slightly
  • Squat down like you’re going to sit in a chair keeping your knees in line or behind your toes
  • Stay as upright as possible.  There is a tendency when squatting to lean over too much.  Try to avoid this as doing so can hurt your lower back.  To stay upright, stick your chest out, keep your head looking forward, and arch your back up slightly.
  • Come down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.  If you can’t go down that far at first just do what you can and over time you will be able to go lower
  • As you are coming up out of the squat make sure that you are pushing up through your heels.  If you push up through your toes, a lot of stress will be placed on your knees.  We don’t want that!  Pushing through the heel will put more of the strain on the working muscles

In the video, I said to hold for 5 seconds.  That is a good time to start off with but if you want more of a challenge take each hold to 10 seconds.  1 set of this exercise would be 5 squats with a 5 – 10 second hold for 3 – 4 times through giving you 15 to 20 repetitions of squats total.  To get a shoulder workout at the same time, hold your arms in front of you at shoulder height throughout the exercise and they will be burning too!

So there you have the 5 Squat Hold.  Fire up your legs and let me know how you do!

Wall Sit Shoulder Press

It’s time for another Home Exercise of the Week!  Get your legs and shoulders fired up with the Wall Sit Shoulder Press.

From the video, it may look simple enough but don’t let that fool you…this will burn!  Grown men have almost cried because of the wall sit, curses have been vocalized through clenched teeth, and sweat has poured down grimaced faces.  I know it sounds horrible and you might be thinking “Craig, why would I ever want to put myself through that?”.

Well the answer to your question is you will gain more strength and endurance in your legs, you will increase strength and mobility in your shoulders, and you will strengthen the deep core muscles of your trunk and your spinal muscles.  All that plus if you’re weird like me, you might even think it’s fun! (Ok I’ll be honest…it’s more fun making people do it than actually doing it!)

The wall sit portion of this exercise is isometric which means you are working your muscles without any movement at the joint.  This is great for building strength and endurance.

Some key points to remember when doing the Wall Sit Shoulder Press:

  • make sure your knees are directly over your ankles
  • slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor
  • keep your back pressed firmly against the wall
  • press your arms back against the wall as much as you can throughout the movement (you may not be able to maintain contact with the wall throughout the exercise at first but over time your mobility will increase)
  • exhale as your press up and inhale as you lower your arms

So there you have the Wall Sit Shoulder Press.  Start with a couple sets of 12 repetitions or a couple of timed sets of 30 seconds at the end your leg or shoulder workout and feel the burn!

Plank Crawl

If you live in Canada, the Thanksgiving long weekend just finished and if you are like me, you took advantage of that and indulged in some good food!  Now it’s time to get back to your routine of healthy eating and regular exercise and this week’s Home Exercise of the Week may help you burn off some of those extra calories consumed over the past few days!

This week I will be talking about the Plank Crawl!  From the video demonstration, you might have visions of this being done in army boot camps through dirt and mud and under barbed wire but this exercise can be done in the comfort of your own home.  I say comfort but I wouldn’t say this is a comfortable exercise!  Far from it actually.  The Plank Crawl will challenge you and get your core working in ways that you may not be used to.

The Plank Crawl will work your core like the regular plank but the added movement will add a cardiovascular component to the exercise and you will also be improving your coordination.  Your shoulders, legs, and lower back muscles will be involved as well giving you a full body workout!

Important tips to remember when performing the Plank Crawl:

  • keep your abs contracted throughout the movement (pull your belly button up towards your spine)
  • keep your body as straight as possible
  • go forward and backward in small movements

Start with one to two timed sets of 30 seconds and build your way up to 1 minute sets.  If you need an extra challenge or if you are thinking of enlisting in the army, wear a weighted vest or heavy back pack.  I guarantee your muscles will be burning!

So there you have the Plank Crawl.  Give it a shot and let me know how it feels.  Happy crawling! 🙂