Sometimes getting off the couch or out of the office to don
training gear and actually workout seems a step too far. Motivation, boredom,
absent training partner, whatever it is, at times the idea is just not
enticing. The result being that we often don't do it.
Keeping in mind that just moving from one program or training approach to the next without consistent application isn't a recipe for success. Moreover, short of working on this deeper motivation, on occasion it helps to simply spice up the training program with a different challenge.
Here are 5 great exercises (click the exercise for the video) to do just that (note that just doing the most complicated exercise that the 'functional'trainer seems to be doing is NOT answer - sticking to the basic movement patterns is key).
Weighted Push Up - This can be done
in numerous ways, however, this version uses the dip belt around your waist
with weight hanging down to the ground. How you create the space is by bringing
both your hands and feet up onto equal height boxes. This forces strong control
through the hips and abs to ensure you don't arch your lower back, while also
challenging the push up itself.
2. Band Resisted Hip Swings - Traditional hip swings are a great exercise for force production through the hips (gluts and hammys), while also a big demand on the torso to ensure neutral spine with the added momentum. Here we add a band (start thin: 1-3cm thickness) to intensify the need for a powerful hip drive in order to get the kettle-bell to head height. The band also requires you to work harder to maintain neutral spine on the drop of the bell.
3. Eccentric Tuck Front Lever - A full front lever is something to behold, and one that gymnasts work for years on. This version is an amazing challenge on the abs and lats. Either jump up or use a spotter to get to the top - knees tucked to chest as you hang upside down from the bar - then keep pulling knees to chest squeezing your abs as you lower your body towards the ground slowly (aim for 5s) pulling your arms through the bar with your lats.
4. Barbell Side Lunge - Often we stick to moving in the saggital plane, i.e. front to back, ignoring any sideways movement. Incorporating a side lunge is a brilliant way to challenge your entire body, while more specifically strengthening through the legs, hips and torso. Adding the barbell will increase the challenge. Step to the side and push hips back as if you are squatting, while keeping the plant leg straight. Drive back to the starting position and swap legs.
5. Pallof Press - As above, bringing in an element of rotation is vital for overall strength and injury prevention. What we?re doing here is actually anti-rotation, i.e. resisting rotation. Grab the cable handle about chest height with both hands. Standing side on to the cable with feet shoulder width, stand tall and strong through body. Then press hands away from the body extending arms and pausing resisting the twist of the cable. Control back to the body and repeat.
Avoid any temptation to keep looking for new things to do.
Stick with the basics, be consistent and then bring in some variations such as
these if you need the occasional challenge!