Dumbbell Swing

Get your legs and shoulders fired up with this Home Exercise of the Week.  It’s called the Dumbbell Swing and it’s a great full body exercise that will get your heart rate and metabolic rate up.  Full body exercises burn more calories and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

The Dumbbell Swing targets your quadriceps, inner thighs, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and deltoids so there are many muscles working together with this exercise.  More neurons are firing and more oxygen is needed so stay focused, breath deeply, and get ready to sweat!

If you don’t have a dumbbell at home that’s ok.  You can use any object that provides resistance and is easy to hold on to like a jug of water for instance or if you’re a new mom you can even use your child!  They will think it’s great fun!

Let’s take a look at how to do the Dumbbell Swing properly.

  • start by standing up tall with your feet in a wide stance, toes pointed slightly outward
  • let your weight hang down in front of you
  • squat down with your body weight on your heels, pushing your hips back, and keeping your head up and shoulders back
  • push up through your heels and at the same time swing the weight up to shoulder height while keeping your arms fairly straight
  • immediately squat down again dropping the weight between your legs and repeat
  • it’s ok to use momentum on this exercise but don’t get sloppy on the form

So there you have the Dumbbell Swing.  If you want a challenging full body exercise that will boost your metabolic rate and get that liquid awesome flowing then you’ll want to make sure that you are adding this exercise in to your routine!

Crunchy Frog

If you have ever done the P90X abdominal routine then you will recognize this Home Exercise of the Week!  It’s called the Crunchy Frog and I really don’t know how the name came to be but it is memorable.  Whenever I say it’s Crunchy Frog time I’m guaranteed to get a few groans and eye rolls but that’s because it’s a challenging exercise.

This may be a tough exercise but it is effective in working your core and hip flexors as well as your balance and coordination.  It just takes a bit of practice and strength development to get the move down perfectly.

Let’s take a look at how to do the Crunchy Frog properly.

  • start by sitting in a V-like position with your arms extended out to your side and your upper body at about a 45 degree angle
  • your legs will remain off the floor throughout the movement
  • next, pull your knees in towards your chest while wrapping your arms around your legs
  • squeeze the abs then extend your legs back out and your arms out to your side.  You’re now in the starting position again
  • repeat and aim for 15 to 20 repetitions

So there you have the Crunchy Frog.  The movement itself is fairly straight forward but it does take some strength to execute it properly.  If you find that your lower back is hurting on this one then you can place your hands on the floor behind you and just kick in and out with your legs.  As your abs get stronger you will be able to add in the arm movement.


Stability Ball Plank

Get your core fired up with this Home Exercise of the Week!  The Stability Ball Plank is a more advanced version of the regular plank and it will challenge your balance as well as your core.

The Stability Ball Plank is an isometric exercise that targets your abdominals and lower back muscles.  It also works muscles in the upper body and legs.  Doing the plank on the stability ball increases the difficulty and forces your core muscles to work more to keep you steady.

It’s important to keep good form and your body steady during this exercise otherwise you could run the risk of falling off and injuring yourself.  Let’s take a look at the key points to performing the Stability Ball Plank safely and effectively.

  • rest your forearms on the ball with your elbows directly underneath your shoulders
  • step back with both feet until your body is perfectly straight and you’re resting on your toes and forearms
  • make sure your head is in line with your spine
  • keep your foot stance wide if this is your first time doing the exercise.  This will greatly increase your stability.  As you get more comfortable with the exercise you can bring your feet together.
  • pull your belly button in towards your spine to keep your abdominals contracted throughout the plank
  • hold for 30 to 60 seconds breathing normally throughout

So there you have the Stability Ball Plank.  It’s normal to feel a bit wobbly if this is your first time doing this exercise but over time your core strength will improve and your balance will get better giving you a nice steady plank on the ball.  Add this in to your abdominal routine or in to a superset with other exercises in your routine.

Happy planking!