Saturday, August 31, 2013

Workout Inspiration: Three Combination Moves for Total Body Strength

By Susie Crossland-Dwyer 

Since I'm a multi-sport athlete, I don't have a ton of time for any one discipline. I also love many forms of movement--Spinning, Pilates, yoga, running, strength training, cycling, plyometrics--which means I need to maximize my time with each one. 

When it comes to strength training I love using combination moves (movements that combine multiple muscle groups) to elevate my heart rate and pack as much as possible into one workout. 

There are so many various combinations so it's hard to choose. But, since it's a three-day weekend I thought I'd share three of my favorites. All you need is a pair of weights (or two) and your body.

Reverse Lunge with Shoulder Press

10-14 reps total (5-7 each side alternating)
1. Start in standing with your weights by your side.
2. Step back with one leg into a reverse lunge. Both knees should be bent at 90 degrees with the hips pointing forward. Pay attention to your front knee. It should be in line with the ankle (not forward of or behind it).
3. Hold the lunge while you flip up the weights until the palms are positioned away from the face.
Press both overhead at the same time.
4. Bring the weights back down to your side and step back up to standing.
5. Repeat with opposite leg back.

 Side Lunge with Bicep Curl
16-20 reps total (8-10 each side)
1. Start in standing with your weights by your side.
2. Take a giant step to the side into side lunge. In the full side lunge your butt should be in line with the lunging leg and the weight should be on your heel (almost like a single leg squat). Your opposite leg is lengthened. Take a look at your lunging foot and make sure it is still in parallel position (not rotated open).
3. Hold the side lunge and pull the abs in. Keep the abs engaged as you curl both weights up, stopping just short of the shoulders.
4. Bring the weights back down in front of you and use your lunged leg to push back up to standing.
5. Repeat on the same side before moving to side two.

Plank with Single Arm Row
10-20 reps total (5-10 each side alternating)
1. Start in high plank position with arms straight and hands gripping your weights. Shoulders should be stacked over top of the wrists, hips are parallel to the floor,  feet are together (harder) or apart (easier) and gaze is toward the floor.
2.Stay in plank and with minimal lift or rotation in the hips lift one weight off the floor, rowing the elbow toward the ceiling and bringing the weight toward the armpit.
3. Slowly set it back down (I aim to not even let it make a sound hitting the floor) and switch sides while staying up in plank.

Try them and let me know what you think. Good luck!