Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bird Dog

The Bird Dog (also called two-point box) is an effective core, back and lower body exercise. On a gym mat or soft surface start with the dog position (knees and hands on the floor). Then comes the bird phase: raise your left arm and right leg simultaneously so they're parallel to the floor; hold for a few seconds until you feel the burn. Go back to the dog position and repeat the bird phase on the other side. This underrated exercise works the lower back, hamstrings, middle back, abs. Do 3-4 sets of 6-10 alternating reps.

Pros:
  • A true whole-body exercise.
Cons:
  • You need a gym mat or soft surface otherwise your knees will suffer.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mountain Climber

The mountain climber is an interesting variation of the plank. Start in a standard push-up position; bring one knee towards your stomach; repeat on the other side then start over (always in a controlled manner). This exercise works the entire core, hamstrings, hip flexors and upper arms. Do 2-3 sets of 30 seconds.

Pros:
  • Works the entire core, arms and legs.
  • Can be done anywhere.
Cons:
  • None

Friday, April 8, 2011

Diamond Push-Up

The diamond push-up is a variation of the classic exercise that targets the triceps (back of the arm, approximately 70% of the muscle mass in the lower arm). Start in standard push-up position then bring your hands closer so you form a "diamond" shape with your fingers. Go down in a controlled manner then go up. That's one rep. Do 3 or 4 sets of 5-6 reps.

Pros:
  • Works the triceps (an often forgotten muscle group), chest, shoulders and core.
  • Can be done anywhere.
Cons:
  • None.
1/Form a diamond with your fingers



















2/Go down then go up