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Eyes here! These exercises are your key for stronger abs and cardio!
- Start with your feet hip width apart, place your hands on your hips. Keep your back straight and your shoulder blades pulled together.
- Send one leg out to your side, squatting down on it whilst providing support with your stationary leg and hands. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Push back off your bent leg, returning to a standing position. This is one rep.
- Repeat on the other side.
High Donkey Kicks
Try this variation of the donkey kick to increase the difficulty, add resistance for your glutes and work your shoulders.
- Start on your hands and the balls of your feet, with your legs stretched out behind you and your back slightly rounded. Have your hands directly below your shoulders.
- Squeeze your glute, kicking one leg backwards towards the sky with your leg straight, squeezing at the top for 2-3 seconds.
- At the same time, push with your hands to push your body back with your leg.
- Slowly return the leg until you’re on the balls of both feet, and pull your arms until your shoulders are over your hands again. This is one rep.
- Repeat for the other leg.
This is a great power variation of the squat. You still lower yourself down slowly, but explode upwards from the bottom of the squat. As you land, try to slow your momentum so you’re working your muscles on the way down as well.
Sumo Jump Squats
To accompany the close squat, the sumo squat variation helps you hit the insides of your legs more.
- Stand with your feet wide enough so that they point outwards at a 45 degree angle. Make sure your spine is in a straight, neutral position. Make sure your weight is through your heels.
- Squeeze your leg and core muscles as you lower your body downwards, use your hands for balance if needed. Lower yourself until your butt is an inch or two off the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Explosively squeeze your leg and core muscles to raise yourself up into a jump. Landing softly before slowly moving into your second squat. This is one rep.
- Start on your hands and knees. Have your hands directly below your shoulders.
- Squeeze your glute, kicking one leg backwards towards the sky with your knee bent, squeezing at the top for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly return the leg until you’re on both knees. This is one rep.
- Repeat for the other leg.
The goblet squat is a variation on the sumo squat, but without the added difficulty of a barbell. It brings an upper body workout into the squat.
- Hold a dumbbell, kettlebell or medicine ball in your hands, close to your body. Place your legs just wider than shoulder width apart, with your feet pointed slightly outwards.
- Perform a squat as you would with a sumo squat, slowly lowering down, pausing a few inches above the ground and then driving up through your heels with your glutes.
- The further away from your body you hold the weight, the further back you can squat, and the more difficult the exercise will be.
Jackknife From Lying Flat
The jackknife is another great exercise for hitting the full length of your ab muscles.
- Lie flat on your back with your hands stretched out above your head.
- Engage your ab muscles, raising your torso and keeping your arms beside your head until the top of your crunch.
- At the same time, use your abs to raise your legs towards you whilst keeping them straight.
- When you’re at the top of your crunch, continue to move your arms around to the side of your legs, tensing your abs in this position.
- Slowly reverse this movement, lowering your legs and torso until you’re lying flat again. This is one rep.
A great variation on the forward lunge that will help hit additional small muscle groups.
This is performed in a very similar way to a standard lunge.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands on your hips.
- Step backwards with one leg, lowering down on the other until your knee touches (or almost touches) the floor. Your front foot should be directly below your knee.
- Push back off of your back foot and raise up to your initial position. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Start in a high plank / push up position.
- Tense your core, shifting your weight over one of your arms. Lift the other arm, rotating it around until it is pointing up in the air. Hold for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly reverse this motion, keeping your core tense until it is under you securely again. This is one rep.
Clapping Push Ups
Clapping push ups are a great way to work on explosive chest and tricep power. At the bottom of your push-up, explosively contract your chest and triceps to elevate your torso in the air enough to clap once (or more) before you place your hands back. Be careful not to hurt your wrists when you land from this.