One Arm Elbow Out Row

This week I would like to show you a variation of the dumbbell row for the Home Exercise of the Week.  It’s called the One Arm Elbow Out Row and this exercise will target your upper and middle back as well as your rear shoulders.  If you sit at a desk for most of the day there is a tendency over time to hunch your shoulders forward and your posture goes out the window.  Adding this exercise to your routine will go a long way in helping you recover your posture by bringing those shoulders back to a natural position.

Let’s take a look at how to do the One Arm Elbow Out Row properly.  Arm position is everything in this exercise as a simple shift in arm position will change which muscles you are working.

  • step your right foot back and lean forward resting your elbow on your left knee
  • keep your back straight and your torso as parallel to the floor as you can (don’t round your lower back)
  • let the dumbbell hang at your side with your palm facing behind you
  • as you pull the dumbbell up, flare your elbow out to the side keeping it in line with your upper back
  • make sure you are retracting your shoulder blade first then following through with the rest of your arm.  This will ensure that you are engaging your back muscles properly for optimal contraction.
  • exhale as your pull the weight up and inhale as you lower it back down
  • perform 8 to 15 repetitions depending on your goals then switch arms and foot position to complete the set

So there you have the One Arm Elbow Out Row.  This is a great upper back/rear shoulder exercise to add in to your upper body or full body routine and having a strong back helps your posture, it helps prevent debilitating back injuries, and generally makes life a lot easier and more enjoyable.  So take care of your back with good strengthening exercises and proper form!

Jump Squat and Hold

Hey there HomeBody followers!  If you find your leg workouts getting boring or too easy (ok, too easy is probably not possible) and you want to shake things up a bit then give this Home Exercise of the Week a try.

Jump Squat and Hold – There are a few different aspects to this exercise that will challenge your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and calves in ways that standard squats just can’t do.  Regular squats are awesome and you will get great results and strength from doing them but with the Jump Squat and Hold you get the benefit of plyometric and isometric training.

Plyometric exercises will build explosive power, increase your metabolic rate, burn more calories, and strengthen your cardiovascular system.  Isometric exercises burn fat and build muscle and don’t place a lot of stress on your joints.

Before you jump right to the exercise (pun intended) and start feeling that lactic acid buildup, let’s take a look at how to do this exercise properly.

  • start with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed out slightly
  • squat deep down keeping your head and chest up with shoulders back
  • keep your knees in line with your toes
  • from the deep squat position, jump up in the air as high as you can and with as much force as you can muster
  • land back down and immediately go back in to the squat position but this time hold the squat for 5 to 10 seconds
  • while holding the squat, extend arms out and raise them up to shoulder height.  This will give you a bonus isometric anterior deltoid (front shoulder) exercise
  • after holding the squat, jump back up and repeat

So there you have the Jump Squat and Hold.  Kick your metabolism in to high gear with this one and even try changing up the exercise a little to keep your body guessing.  For example, you can do this by doing 5 jump squats before the hold or extending the hold for longer than 10 seconds.  There are many combinations you can do but whatever you choose, have fun and work hard!

Forward Bicycle

If you have been following my posts and looking forward to new exercise ideas, you will have noticed that there was no Home Exercise of the Week last week.  I apologize but I have been quite busy helping people get in shape by working them hard and implementing these exercises whenever possible!

One of the exercises I have been showing my wonderful clients is the Forward Bicycle.  This is a great core exercise that will strengthen your abs, lower back, and hip flexors.  It will also improve your coordination.

So what do you need to know to do the Forward Bicycle properly?  Let’s take a look.

  • sit on the floor and lean back to a 45 degree angle keeping your back straight and head in line with your spine
  • place your hands palm down on the floor beside and slightly behind you
  • raise your feet off the floor and push one foot forward in a circular motion followed by the other foot (that’s one repetition)
  • make sure you are pushing your foot forward until your leg is almost straight
  • pull your belly button in towards your spine throughout the movement to keep your abdominals flexed

So there you have the Forward Bicycle!  Do a couple of sets of 20 to 30 repetitions in your ab routine or add it in to a superset.  If that isn’t challenging enough for you then try raising your arms up in the air throughout the exercise.  This will work your abs even more and will also help improve your balance!

Now go and get on that abdominal bike and start cycling!