Warm-Up Step Touch with Cross-Back Leg and Opposition Arms
Move: To warm up your body, step side to side, tapping your leg diagonally behind you while reaching the same arm as leg to the front. Gradually make the movement bigger.
Repetitions: 30 on each side.
• Stand erect, shoulders back, chest up, and head lifted tall. Pull your abdominal muscles in.
• Stretch your arm forward and your leg back in opposition, feeling the mild stretch through the torso.
• Adding propulsion can increase the intensity of the move. Propulsion can be added by simply leaping out of the tap, landing softly into the next step.
Warm-Up Move: Rhythmic Lunge with Backstroke
Move: Stand with your feet wide. Shift your body weight side to side. When you lunge to the right, backstroke your right arm, with your shoulder blade initiating the move. As you lunge left, backstroke the left arm.
Repetitions: 30 total (15 to the right and 15 to the left).
• Feet wide. Do not let your knees jut over your toes in the lunge.
• Feel the ribs open up and the shoulders and shoulder blades move as you make the move bigger.
Tuck in Plank, Optional Swivel Under
Move: Go into a plank position with hands and feet on the floor. Pull the right knee in toward your chest, keeping your hips low. Lean into your arms as you tuck, bringing the knee all the way to your elbow. Repeat with the left knee, alternating right and left.
Repetitions: 12 tucks on each side.
Optional Swivel Under: Pull your right knee into your chest; swivel the left foot, bringing your right knee under you to your left. Lift your right tucked knee as high as you can. Finish by tucking the knee to your chest and then place it back on the floor, bracing your core muscles. Repeat with the left knee tucked and swiveled under.
Repetitions: 8 swivels each side.
• Your body should start in a straight line. Do not let your hips sag or pop up.
• Do not swing the knee toward your chest; squeeze it in.
• When you swivel squeeze the knee up in a tuck. Do not swing it up.
• Beginners can work up to this exercise by first mastering the moves on forearms and knees.
Move: Sit, kneel, or stand tall. Lift your right arm overhead. Bend your elbow, aiming it toward the ceiling. Use your left hand to pull the right elbow back, stretching the tricep muscles. Hold the stretch on each side for 20 to 30 seconds.
• Keep your head tall when performing the stretch. Do not let it bow forward.
• Keep your abdominal muscles pulled inward.
Tricep Kickback and Posterior Deltoid Lift in a Squat
Move: Hold light to medium weights. Stand with your feet hip width apart and bend your knees, driving your hips back into a squat. Tuck your elbows into your waist, then straighten your elbows behind you. Then lift the straight arms. As you bend your elbows back in, return to standing.
Repetitions: 15 total.
• In the squat sit back into your heels.
• Control the weights. Do not allow them to have momentum or swing.
• Aim your elbows high in the tricep press.
• Keep your shoulders back, chest up and open, and spine straight.
• Pull your navel toward your spine.
Tricep Extension on Exercise Ball
Move: Roll out on the ball as you did for chest flyes and presses. Bring the weights over your head, bending your elbows until the weights just barely tap the ball. Keep your upper arms at that angle as you straighten and bend your elbows.
Repetitions: 12 to 15.
• Do not let your back arch. Tuck your pelvis slightly and keep the abdominal muscles active.
• Keep your elbows over your forehead. Do not let them move as you do the presses.
• If your shoulder muscles are tight, you may not be able to tap the ball.
• Lower the weights as close to the ball as you can, staying within a range of motion that is comfortable for your body.
Step-Back Lunge with Cross Chop
Move: Reach your arms diagonally across your body to the left as you step back with your right leg and dip into a lunge. Pull your arms across your body to the right hip as you slide your right leg back to standing.
Repetitions: 12 on each side.
• Step back far enough into the lunge so that the front knee is directly over the front ankle.
• When your arms reach diagonally above your shoulder, hold your core muscles tight to keep the lower back from arching.
• The move can be done with a towel or weights.
• For a challenge lift your knee toward your chest, balancing on one foot instead of coming just to standing.
Standing Twist/Rotation to 10:00 and 2:00
Move: Stand tall with feet 2 to 3 feet apart. Slightly bend your knees. Place your hands together in front of your stomach. Squeeze your glutes and inner thigh muscles to anchor and brace your lower body. Pull your shoulder blades together and tightly pull in your abdominal muscles. Twist your upper body side to side. If you were standing on the middle of a clock, your torso would rotate to face the 10:00 mark and the 2:00 mark.
Repetitions: 15 on each side.
• Pay close attention to your posture. Keep your shoulders back, your chest lifted, your abdominal muscles pulled in, and your spine long.
• For more intensity in the legs, you can drop your hips until they are almost as low as your knees. In this position be sure your knees are over your ankles, not forward over your toes.
• Twist only as far as you can without moving your lower body. 10:00 and 2:00 are guidelines.
• All the movement is from the waist up. Keep your hips still.
• This exercise is done without weights. Light weights can be added if you keep the exercise slow and under control.