Many weight training moves (like squats and deadlifts with heavy weights) put a lot of pressure on the spine. I like the fact that this workout forces me to lengthen my spine while performing these simple bodyweight exercises. Plus this no-equipment workout also work on my balance using my core, glutes and legs. And maintaining my arms up during the whole workout definitely makes my shoulders scream!
Beginners can perform the exercises with their hands on their hips, keeping their chest up and their abs engaged to protect their lower back. If you want to perform it with your arms up, do not hesitate to put your hands behind your head if the pressure on the shoulders and neck becomes too strong.
Intermediate exercisers should keep their arms up the whole time without any break and make sure they keep their chest open. Try not to tense the neck muscles when maintaining your arms straight up in the air (the bird dog exercise will give your shoulders a break)
The workout consists of a circuit of 8 exercises:
|1) 20 squats
Keep your chest up, abs engaged and push with your heels as you come up.
|2) 20 alternating backward lunges
Lunge back, keeping your knee behind your toes. Alternate sides.
|3) 20 walking lunges (or forward lunges if you don’t have enough space)
Try to maintain a straight torso.
|4) 20 “bird dogs”
Keep your body posture steady as you lift opposite arm and leg. Alternate sides.
|5) 10 “warrior III” yoga poses on right leg
Lean forward, keeping your back straight and your arms stretched overhead.
|6) 10 “warrior III” yoga poses on left leg
|7) 10 “get down & up” starting with right leg
Begin in a squat position, get down and come back up in a squat position.
|8) 10 “get down & up” starting with left leg|
Repeat the circuit 2 to 3 times. Take your time to perform each exercise in a slow controlled motion. It will take you around 25 minutes to perform the circuit 3 times.
Here are a few ideas to warm up before the workout:
A few suggestions to stretch after the workout:
You’ll be surprised how much your shoulders can burn just by keeping your arms straight up if you give this workout a try :)