Diversity is key to crushing apathy and boredom with workouts. At the end of the day, there are set basic moves for strength training, but the possibilities to diversify and modify the basic moves to keep it interesting are seemingly endless. Follow along below for an upper body & core routine to tack onto the end of a longer (30-40 minute) cardio session!
Start in a high plank with your hands directly under your shoulders. Be sure to actively push the heel of your hand into the ground to activate the shoulder stabilizers to support the upper body. Keep the core tight, pull your belly button in towards your spine – be sure to not let your lower back “sag!” Activate the quads to keep the knees straight. Maintain this straight line position.
Hold statically x30 seconds. Follow by slightly pointing and flexing your ankle to rock forwards and backwards x15 seconds.
Tricep Push Up
Resume high plank position. Keeping core tight, perform a push up with your elbows hugged to your side, allowing for increased tricep activation. Be sure to keep the core tight as you push yourself back into high plank position. You can modify by coming onto your knees for the push up.
Perform x8-12 repetitions.
Standing Bent Over Row with Tube
Grab a resistance tube or stiff resistance band. Step on the tube with your feet roughly hip distance apart. Cross the band in your hands and hinge forward at the waist. Your low back should be straight and core engaged – do not let your lower back round! Start with your elbows straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together FIRST and then bend your elbows up to become level with your upper back, focusing on squeezing the shoulder blades to maximally engage the upper back muscles. Release and return to start.
Perform x15 repetitions.
Side Plank with Tricep Press
Start in a side plank with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your feet either stacked, or you can place one foot in front of the other for more support (if you would like a slightly easier version, allow the bottom knee to bend and help support your body). While in the side plank position, elevate the top shoulder with elbow bent overhead. Hold onto light weight (can use anything! I’m using my water bottle) and extend elbow for a tricep extension.
Perform x15 repetitions. Repeat on opposite side.
Repeat all 4 exercises above AGAIN.
V – Up
This is probably my most favorite and most hated core exercise. I love it because it really makes my abs burn. I hate it because it is so hard. But, I always say, what you hate the most, you need the most. Start flat on your back with arms extended overhead and legs straight. Tighten core by pulling belly button towards spine. Flex with lift both your arms and your legs, reaching for your toes. Do this with control, do not “throw” yourself up or let momentum carry you.
Perform 8-10 reps.
Come into a high boat position as demonstrated. Make sure core is engaged and you are not rounding the low back. Knees can either be straight or bent. If this is still too much, bent one knee and keep the toes of that leg just touching the ground. If this is too easy, maintain your arms overhead.
Hold up to 30 seconds. If you start to lose good form, that is your stopping point.
Lay flat on your back with arms overhead and legs extended. Tighten core by bringing belly button towards spine. While keeping the legs together, lift both legs and both arms off the ground. You should feel your core light up. Do not let your low back start to arch off of the ground. If this is too hard, you can keep your arms on the ground by your sides for added support.
Hold up to 30 seconds. If you start to lose form or your low back starts to arch away from the floor, that is your stopping point.
Repeat the previous 3 exercises AGAIN!