While still being an all-over body workout, this circuit has more of a strength focus. Aim to increase the weights of your kettlebells and dumbbells over time to encourage muscle growth.
The focus for this exercise is to bring awareness and control to the muscles around the hip and that support the spine. The most effective solutions for this is to squeeze your glutes but especially your bottom glute and keep looking directly in front of you.
- Lie on your side and place your elbow directly under your shoulder.
- Bend your bottom knee to 90 degrees, while keeping your top leg straight.
- Using your glutes and obliques, lift your hip and thigh off the ground. Try to keep your hips forward and perfectly aligned with your spine.
Iso Bird Dog
The focus for this exercise is to wake up the muscles that run along the back of your body. This aids with your walking pattern and can help to improve posture for the rest of the exercises in this program.
- Carefully kneel on a mat with knees directly under hips and hands directly under shoulders.
- Slide a leg back until it's fully straight and gently lift that leg off the ground.
- Extend the opposite arm back towards your hips.
- Hold this position and keep breathing gently.
Iso single leg glute bridge
Focus for this exercise is to target those key glutes and hamstring muscles, this is fantastic for countering all that sitting we do daily.
- Lie on your back, place your feet hip-width apart with your heels about 6 inches from your glutes.
- Use your glutes and hamstrings to tuck your hips back towards you. Avoid using your abs here.
- With both legs lift your butt 2-3 inches off the ground, maintaining that tucked hip position.
- Once you're stable, lift one foot off the ground and hold this posisition. Once complete, repeat with the opposite leg.
Choose a weight you struggle to complete the 6th rep of the 3rd set.
This type of squat represents how we squat during our daily lives, very upright spine position and with weight in front of us rather than behind us.
- To set up this exercise either grab a kettle bell or dumbbell and place that close to your chest, use a grip that feels comfortable and make sure you keep that weight directly contacted to your chest.
- Use a foot stance that feels comfortable for your hip structure, play with your stance width to see what works for you.
- To start this exercise, slowly bend your ankles, knees and hips at the same time, trying to keep your upper body as vertical as you can. Use a range of motion that feels comfortable on your joints, along with making sure your knees go in line with your feet but track just forward over your toes.
- Once a bottom of the squat push through your feet and stand back up.
For those of us who stay seated most of the day gazing at a computer screen, having strong upper back muscles will assist with holding that head in good postural position and hopefully reducing neck tension.
- To perform a cable row, start by adjusting the cable handle to your standing hip height. Grab hold of the handle and walk back 3 feet, placing a knee on the ground. This knee should be the same side a the hand that's holding the cable handle.
- Placing your other leg directly in front of that hip. Front and back knees should both be 90 degree bend and nice upright posture, to help maintain this posture, squeeze the glute of the leg this got knee on the ground.
- With your arm holding the cable, pull the handle towards you by bending your elbow.
- Pull that elbow directly to your bottom ribs, while pulling the shoulder blade back and really feeling muscles between your shoulders.
- Hold this end range for a second and then allow your arm to straighten back to the start position.
Dumbbell Chest Press
This exercise is great for arm, shoulder and chest development along with working those arms independently.
- To set up this exercise take a seat on a bench and place the dumbbells on your knees. From there lie back onto the bench and push the dumbbells up so your arms are straight and directly above your shoulders. While this is happening place your feet firmly on the ground in a comfortable position that makes you feel stable on the bench. This is your starting position.
- Slowly bend your elbows and lower the bumbbells down towards your shoulders. Stop at a comfortable bottom position where elbows are around horizontal to the ground, pause in that position and then push the dumbbells back to that start position.
- When performing this pushing motion try pushing yourself into the bench to aid the push of those dumbbells back to the start position.
- Repeat this process until you have finished all your reps, carefully sit up with the dumbbells and then safely place them on the ground.
Training your back muscles with a lat pulldown movement is really important for your shoulder function overall shoulder function, along with training most of the major muscles in your upper body.
- To perform a single arm cable lat pulldown, start by adjusting the cable handle to right to the top of the cables. Grab hold of the handle and walk back 5 feet, placing a knee on the ground. This knee should be the same side as the hand that's holding the cable handle. Placing your other leg directly in front of that hip with about a 90 degree bend in that knee.
- With your arm extended above you, slowly allow your hips to shift forward, to create a straight line from your hand to your knee on the ground. With this reached position, squeeze that glute and try to maintain this during the rest of your set.
- To execute the exercise pull your elbow holding the handle directly to your side position, should be aiming for your bottom rib. Hold this end range for a second and then allow your arm to straighten back to the start position.
Dumbbell Split Squat
Often we train legs simultaneously but we spend most of our upright movement activities utilising legs independently, meaning our legs are doing opposite movements when we walk, run and go up and down stairs. Training this in a gym situation really assists our movement mechanics and can reverse a situation of a dominant leg, plus really good for those glutes.
- To set up for a split squat grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your legs hip width apart.
- From that position take a big step back with one leg back directly behind you and placing your foot so just your toes in contact with the ground. Distance of that step does depends on your leg length but tends to be 3x length of your foot, but see what feels comfortable for you.
- Gently tuck your hip under using your glutes, maintain this tuck through the whole exercise.
- Slowly bend both knees at the same time, allowing your body to descend towards the ground. Your front knee to gently go forward and your back knee should get close to the ground. Only go a deep as you feel comfortable on your joints abilities, pause at your end range.
- Then pushing through your feet return your body back to the knee extended position.
- Repeat that motion and then do same on opposite leg.
Standing Arm Circles
This warm down drill is designed to teach the muscles around the shoulder to allow full range of motion of the arm. Great practice for rotation of the arm aids us for being able to perform rows, pulldowns, and press motions correctly. This is a great exercise to do often to keep those shoulders healthy and not causing you discomfort.
- To perform this arm circle stand comfortably and find a spot to look directly forward. Now raise your arm forward keeping your thumb up, like a hitchhiker.
- Rotate your arm past you ear and start to turn your thumb down towards the ground.
- Rotate your arm right down towards your hip and think about putting your thumb into your pocket and keep going around and repeat this arm circle.
- Once you have done the reps, do this in reverse. Start with your arm at your hip and goes backwards first, then up to your ear and keep that arm circle going.
- Repeat this arm circle motion of forward/ backwards on the opposite side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Hip flexor muscles tend to get a lot of muscular tension with a lot of a time is spent in a seated position, this can lead to this group of muscles experiencing tension and tightness. Stretching this group of muscles can help with hip function and possibly take pressure off your lower back.
- To perform this stretch place one knee on the ground and place the other leg in front with a 90-degree bend in that knee, if you feel unstable hold onto something for balance.
- Tuck your hips under using your glutes and hold this tucked position during the duration of the stretch.
- Slowly shift your weight forward to increase the bend in your front knee and keep easing forward to increase the stretch in your back thigh area.
- If you would like to increase the stretch you are experiencing, raise your arm overhead on the same side as your back leg. At no stage do we want to force a stretch, you should be able to be relaxed and comfortable enough to have a conversation.