Superman Back Row

I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season and I’m sure many of you have set some fitness resolutions for the new year so here is a Home Exercise of the Week to get you started.  It’s called a Superman Back Row or Superman with a Back Squeeze as the video says.

The Superman Back Row is a great core exercise that targets your lower back muscles and works your upper back muscles at the same time.

Let’s take a look at how to do this exercise properly.

  • lay face down on the floor with your arms straight ahead of you
  • raise your arms and legs off the floor as much as you can while keeping your limbs straight the whole time
  • slowly pull your elbows back until you feel a good squeeze on your shoulder blades then extend them forward again
  • it can be challenging to breath while laying on your stomach but do the best you can to breath consistently.  Exhale as your pull your elbows back and inhale as you extend them forward.
  • start with 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions or 1 to 3 timed sets of 10 to 30 seconds

So there you have the Superman Back Row!  A strong core is the foundation for strength and balance everywhere else so make sure to add this in to your routine in the new year!

In and Out Squat Jump

The holidays are fast approaching so get a jump start (no pun intended) and burn some calories with this plyometric Home Exercise of the Week!

The In and Out Squat Jump…talk about a leg burn!  You’ll be sweating, your heart will be pumping, and your legs will be on fire with this one.  Sounds fun doesn’t it? 🙂

Aside from all the uncomfortable side effects of this exercise you will really build some explosive strength and endurance since the In and Out Squat Jump is a plyometric exercise.  When your feet are together you will be working your outer thighs and when your feet are wide you’ll be working your inner thighs.  Your glutes and hamstrings will also be working hard too.  So overall this is a great exercise to add in to your leg or full body routine and the cardiovascular aspect to it will really rev up your metabolism and burn calories…much needed before the surplus of calories that usually come with the holidays!

Let’s take a look at the key points to doing the In and Out Squat Jump properly.

  • whether your feet are close together or apart, when you come down in to the squat make sure that your head and chest is up, back is straight, and your weight is on your heels.  Always make sure your knees are over your toes and not shooting out past them.
  • start with your feet together and explode up in to the air spreading your feet apart and landing softly in the wide stance
  • explode up again but this time bring your feet together and land softly in the close stance
  • with each squat try to get your thighs below or at least parallel to the floor

So there you have the In and Out Squat Jump.  A 12 to 15 repetition set is a good starting point and if you want an extra challenge hold on to some dumbbells!

Keep working hard and don’t forget to treat yourself over the holidays.  That being said, stay active and it will be that much easier to get right back on to your routine in the new year! 🙂


I have another core exercise for you for this weeks Home Exercise of the Week.  It’s called a Jackknife and it’s one of the more challenging ab exercises but once you get the hang of it you will feel how effective it is!

The Jackknife works all areas of your core as well as your hip flexors and at the same time it isometrically works your upper body muscles.  This exercise can put a lot of strain on your lower back if not done correctly so let’s take a look at the key points to doing it properly.

  • getting on the stability ball can be challenging so the best way is to put your hands on the floor and one leg up on the ball first then put your other leg up.  Your shins should be resting on the ball.
  • it is very important to keep your abs contracted by pulling your belly button in towards your spine.  This will help keep your hips from sagging down which will put a lot of pressure on your lower back.
  • once you have stabilized yourself, pull your knees slowly in towards your chest squeezing the abs and then return slowly to the starting position
  • if you find it hard to do this exercise with your hands on the floor, try using a bench to rest your arms on.  This raises you up a bit and can take some of the pressure off your upper body

So there you have the key points to doing the Jackknife effectively.  Add this to your routine and you will be well on your way to a strong and toned core!  If you want an extra challenge and some extra upper body work, try adding a pushup in between each roll in.  You can also do a side roll to target your obliques more but that is a video for another day! 🙂

V Up Roll Up

It’s Friday and this Home Exercise of the Week is coming a bit late but if you’re planning a workout this weekend then try adding in this killer ab burning exercise!

The V Up Roll Up is a P90X move and I wanted to share it with all of you because it is a very effective exercise to strengthen and tone your upper and lower abdominals.

Technique is important as always but especially with this ab move.  If done properly it will destroy your abs and you’ll be cursing at me for ever asking you to try it.  If done incorrectly, it can put a lot of strain on your lower back and we don’t want that!

So let’s take a look at the key points to doing the V Up Roll Up properly.

  • lay flat with your arms straight up over your chest
  • pull your belly button in towards your spine
  • sit all the way up keeping your belly button pulled in and reach towards your toes
  • keep your head straight throughout (no tucking your chin in to your neck)
  • as you start to lay back down, raise your legs up keeping them straight until your lower back touches the floor.  There is a tendency sometimes to do the second crunch before your lower back touches the floor and this is where your lower back can become strained.  The position you want to be in before the second crunch is almost laying all the way down with just your shoulders and head off the floor.
  • keeping your legs straight at about a 45 degree angle, do the second crunch by reaching towards your toes
  • repeat and let the burning begin! 😉

So there you have the V Up Roll Up.  I thank you Tony Horton from P90X for showing this great ab exercise and although you might not thank him or me for showing you this, in the end your abs will! 🙂