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Posts tagged "shoulders"

Wall Play!

Had a FUN time playing on the wall yesterday! Spiderman’s got nothing on me, lol.

Haven’t felt confident getting on the wall since my neck injury and was very slow adding arm/back/shoulder training when I healed (that was not happening again, lol). But I declare myself officially good to go!

It felt nice. Though, I predict having trouble getting dressed from til Saturday, lol. Played hard. :)

If you’re fairly advanced/comfortable, the wall can be an awesome at home tool. I usually wear socks (no marks) and when I first started, it felt safer to have the couch pillows as crashmats. You can elevate from chairs, sofas, benches to get comfortable, and avoid it if you’re injured etc. It’s easy to get hurt if you’re not careful, overly ambitious or not comfortable. You can grab a bud to spot ya too. ;)

It’s fun to playOUT instead of workOUT! Try something new!

Plank Row And Kickback

This is a great move for beginners and intermediates! It’ll challenge your back, shoulders, core and glutes. Go as heavy as you can while keeping good form.

How To Do It

A. Come to a table top position, with dumbbells in each hand. Keep back flat and hands under your shoulders.

B. Keeping your hips facing the floor, row one dumbbell up past your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Bring elbow up past your back. Simultaneously, extend your opposite leg out to the back of you in a donkey kick. Squeeze the glutes as you kick, and think about the contraction instead of height (don’t over extend your back).

C. Hold for a beat and repeat on the same side or switching sides.

Advanced? Try this in full plank, simply lifting the back leg up.

Challenge! 3 x 1 minute intervals in your workout. As many as you can in one minute (30 seconds per side), recover and repeat.

Hardcore Holidays! Stocking Stuffer Challenge Day 12: 120 Pike Pops

Shoulders, core and cardio today! All you need is a bench or chair.

Remember: you can do these at whatever pace you like! Spread them out over the course of the day, stick them in a circuit with other moves, or do as many as you can for time.

How To Do It

  • Place hands on a bench or chair and keep a flat back as you bend over. Feet are together, and shoulders are directly over your hands.
  • Transfer your weight into the palms of your hands as you jump from the feet, lifting your hips as high as you can. This is ALL core: engage your abs and try to pull your rib cage to your thighs. Toes are pointed, and your head stays between your arms. 
  • Land softly, and repeat. Focus on height and form above speed, but once you have it ‘down’, go a bit faster.

Beginners: these are tough!Reduce range of motion to make this easier: don’t jump as high.

imageAlternative from the floor: Pike Pop Ups

A. Come to all fours with knees off the ground: weight is in your toes and palms, back is flat and eyes forward.

B. Jump your feet in slightly bringing your hips into the air and straightening the legs (like downward dog, but with hands under the shoulders). Think about adding booty height, and keep head between your hands (you should be able to see a few feet in front of you).

C. Repeat landing softly on your toes.

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Hardcore Holidays! Stocking Stuffer Challenge (yay shoulders!). Day 9: Pike Presses!

Pike presses are a great way to train your shoulders using just your body weight. The key to a proper press is to keep your back in one straight line, head between your hands between your elbows (pretend you’re doing a handstand pushup). Think of the motion as straigh up and down instead of pushing away (and to the back) from the floor. Take hands out WIDE and only go as deep as you can with proper form. Legs can be straight or bent to make it easier; listen to your body and choose the positioning & modification that woks for you. 

Beginners: Reduce range of motion to make it easier (mini presses) or place hands on a very low surface (yoga blocks are great). Everyone else: Do them from the floor or with feet elevated. (Advanced? Single leg if you can!) 

Feeling bad ass? Add a burpee. :)

Details and instructions here

To see a video demo of MANY different modifications, check out BPM.TV’s Push & Shove Workout (with a shoutout to yours truly!). 

Swivels & Pike Press
Works: core, shoulders
This is a two part move: 4 swivels and 2 pike presses. Repeat this combo 5-10 times, rest & repeat. 

A. Come to plank position with hands wide & in line with your shoulders. Eye line should fall in between & front of the hands. Keeping your butt down, draw one knee across the body and towards your opposite elbow. Really work to make the move count, bring your knee as deep as you can. Repeat switching sides for 4 reps. 
B. Hop or step your feet in a few feet, piking your butt up into the air (like a downward dog). Position your head directly between your arms. Bend your elbows and lower down to the floor. Press back up and repeat twice.
C. Step or hop your feet back to plank, and repeat with the swivels. 4 swivels, 2 pike presses.

Tip: keep your knees bent during the pike press to make it easier.
Advanced: try the swivels and the pike presses with your feet elevated. Walk your hands in for the pike press.
via: Buffer Zone! 16 Min (No Equipment!) Arms & Back

Swivels & Pike Press

Works: core, shoulders

This is a two part move: 4 swivels and 2 pike presses. Repeat this combo 5-10 times, rest & repeat.

A. Come to plank position with hands wide & in line with your shoulders. Eye line should fall in between & front of the hands. Keeping your butt down, draw one knee across the body and towards your opposite elbow. Really work to make the move count, bring your knee as deep as you can. Repeat switching sides for 4 reps. 

B. Hop or step your feet in a few feet, piking your butt up into the air (like a downward dog). Position your head directly between your arms. Bend your elbows and lower down to the floor. Press back up and repeat twice.

C. Step or hop your feet back to plank, and repeat with the swivels. 4 swivels, 2 pike presses.

Tip: keep your knees bent during the pike press to make it easier.

Advanced: try the swivels and the pike presses with your feet elevated. Walk your hands in for the pike press.

via: Buffer Zone! 16 Min (No Equipment!) Arms & Back

Wall Walk To Inverted Pushup



Yesterday was shoulders and core day (leg break). I went a little nuts! :)

Okay, so, this one’s NOT easy. And it’s not for everyone. But DO NOT be intimidated: just be safe. It’s VERY easy to injure yourself with moves like this if you’re not used to it, so please read tips, modifications and descriptions below. Do not attempt this if you have shoulder, joint or low back issues. (There’s LOADS of other stuff you can do instead. This falls under ‘psycho’).

Start with TINY walks up the wall (a foot or two up, then back down), forget the pushup part and don’t go vertical until you build up to it. Having a spotter isn’t a bad idea if you’re not used to inversions. Listen to your body, and leave enough strength to crawl back out and dismount safely if you need to (avoid tipping backwards or to the sides- keep core tight).

Beginners: Try just parts A & B (see below), & walk up just a bit until you get used to it. Add more when your body’s ready for it.

Intermediate/Advanced: If you can’t do the pushup in the handstand, add it at the top of your plank or with both feet against the wall instead. Still VERY challenging and a little safer.

How To Do It

A. In plank, plant your toes as close to the wall as you can. Take hands out wider than shoulders, eyes forward and core tight.

B. Lift one foot up to the wall, and plant it firmly (toes first), pushing through the foot. Shift a little more weight to your hands and lift the other foot, keeping both against the wall.

C. Keep your core tight and shoulders over your hands as you walk the feet UP the wall and walk your hands TOWARDS the wall. Try to maintain a straight body line and crawl until you’re almost vertical (keep some space between your chest and the wall - think 60-80 degree angle and not 90 degrees).

D. Keep toes on the wall for balance, and adjust hands if needed - make sure they are wider than shoulders. Slowly, sink into a press, bending 90 degrees at the elbow (or as much as comfortable). Press back up through the hands into the handstand.

E. Reverse the motion, crawling hands forward and walking feet down the wall, until you’re back in plank. Repeat.

Don’t go hurtin’ yourself now, but try them if they’re something you think you’re ready for! (I was stunned that I could do them the first time).

Protect your shoulders and joints by engaging as much of your core and legs as you can. :)

Goal: try to keep this up for a 1-2 minutes, aiming for 8-10 reps.

Lawn Mower Pull & Press

Find a weight that’s challenging, but where you can keep up a decent pace. You can also do this with no additional weight.

*I’m using ONE 15lb dumbbell, but if you’d like, you can use a dumbbell in each hand (two). This is a better option if all you have is light weights at home.

How To Do It

A. Stand with feet wide, toes pointed out, with one dumbbell up by your shoulder.

B. Rotate into a deep lunge on your opposite side, bringing your hands towards (but not touching) the floor. Press your bodyweight into the heel of your lunging leg, and keep hips neutral.

C. Push through your heel to return to the starting position, pulling the dumbbell up by your shoulder: do this with intention, like you’re pulling on a lawnmower cord. 

D. Twist and rotate your body to the opposite side, pressing the dumbbell overhead. Use your core to stabilize yourself, and come up on your toe to help you twist your hips towards the opposite wall.

E. Repeat 10-15 times, then switch sides.

Tips

Stay light on your feet to make this motion fluid: once you get the rhythm, try to think of it as one movement instead of broken into parts. Staying on the balls of your feet will help you pivot without straining your knees or hips.

Pay attention to your hips & core: hips should move with your body and core tight throughout.

Side Plank Rear Fly

Modification: This one’s TOUGH. Keep your lower leg bent at the knee instead of coming up on both feet, and use a light weight (or no weight) if needed. You can also be on your forearms instead of your hands.

How To Do It

A. With a dumbbell in each hand OR just one hand, come into a side plank position. Keep your hips lifted, shoulder in line with your bottom hand, and stagger your feet so that the top foot is in front of the bottom foot (the wider your base, the better your balance. To make this tougher, stack your feet on top of each other).

B. Keep your hips facing the side, as you lift your arm in one straight line towards the ceiling. Your body should form a ‘T’ at the top of the fly, with both hands in line with the shoulders. Do not fly past your shoulders. You’ll feel this on the sides of your upper arms and in your obliques.

C. Keeping control, lower the dumbbell back towards the ground, keeping it off the ground. Try not to rotate towards the floor and keep your hips lifted.

Repeat on the same side.

Work up to 10-20 per side, per set.

Tip: start with a low weight and work your way up (water bottles also work well!). You don’t have to lift heavy to feel this, & don’t sacrifice form for a heavier load. (Beginners should start with 0-5lbs, and intermediate/advanced typically around 10-20lbs, depending on your strength.)

Kill it! :)

Serratus Chair Shrugs

These are tougher than they look, trust me!

This move targets the muscles that frame the abs (think upper ribcage to beneath the shoulder blades, under the armpit). It’ll also help with your overall shoulder movement, specifically for overhead lifts.

It’s also a sick move for students who find themselves slouched over a lot during the day: when this muscle is weak, it causes your shoulder blades to tilt forward and down (rounded shoulders). This can help better your posture.

How To Do It

1. Sit upright on a chair or bench and place your hands flat on the sitting surface next to your hips.

2. Lock your elbows, straightening your arms. Your booty should scrape and touch the edge of the chair. Relax your neck, and allow your back to arch naturally, just holding your body weight up.

3. Relax your muscles, and allow your torso to sink between your shoulder blades (like your hanging). This is kind of like a hanging shrug. Shoulders are up by your ears, but you are relaxed, allowing your bodyweight to pull you down.

4. Press your shoulders down as you lift your torso. Imagine you were doing a reverse shoulder shrug: shurg down instead of up. Pause for 5 seconds, then lower your body back to the starting position. 

Modifications: straighten your legs to make this harder. Bend at the knees to make this easier. If you have access to a dip station, these can also be done there: cross your feet as you let your body hang, using the same technique.

Tips: your shoulders and arm position shouldn’t change; simply lift and lower your torso in one straight line. The movement is small, but the contraction is very big.

Pushup To Plank Row
Modifier: This move can be done with or without dumbbells, and from the knees.

Start in pushup position, hands directly under your shoulders and elbows close to the body. This is a tricep pushup: you’ll keep your arms close to your body as you lower & lift.
Sink down into a pushup. Keep your quads & core tight. Push up and lift one arm into a row. Squeeze your shoulder blades as you lift and bring your elbow up past your back. Replace the dumbbell and row on the other side. Repeat with the pushup.

Throw it in to your workout! 3 sets of 10, or 3 sets of 60 seconds (max reps). If it’s too easy, increase your weights and/or try it with your feet elevated.
Need a workout? Try this circuit! 
12 Minute Workout (Cardio, shoulders, core & back).
Complete each move for 60 seconds. Rest 30 seconds & repeat the circuit 2-3 times. You’ll need dumbbells (medium to heavy) and a timer. 
Pushup To Plank Row
High Knee Run
Squat & Press
High Knee Run
Burpee to Shoulder Press (Modified if needed. Weights in hands)
High Knee Run

Pushup To Plank Row

Modifier: This move can be done with or without dumbbells, and from the knees.

Start in pushup position, hands directly under your shoulders and elbows close to the body. This is a tricep pushup: you’ll keep your arms close to your body as you lower & lift.

Sink down into a pushup. Keep your quads & core tight. Push up and lift one arm into a row. Squeeze your shoulder blades as you lift and bring your elbow up past your back. Replace the dumbbell and row on the other side. Repeat with the pushup.

Throw it in to your workout! 3 sets of 10, or 3 sets of 60 seconds (max reps). If it’s too easy, increase your weights and/or try it with your feet elevated.

Need a workout? Try this circuit!

12 Minute Workout (Cardio, shoulders, core & back).

Complete each move for 60 seconds. Rest 30 seconds & repeat the circuit 2-3 times. You’ll need dumbbells (medium to heavy) and a timer.

  1. Pushup To Plank Row
  2. High Knee Run
  3. Squat & Press
  4. High Knee Run
  5. Burpee to Shoulder Press (Modified if needed. Weights in hands)
  6. High Knee Run
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