By Cheryl Coppa We all have our favorite exercises and reasons why. Just for fun, I asked our trainers "If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, what would it be?" and this is what they answered:
Trainer Lisa Wellington: The Plank!
If I could do one exercise for the rest of my life it would be the Plank! The plank is a total body weight exercise requiring your arms, legs, glutes, and all your core muscles. Planks are very easy to modify as well, by holding for shorter periods of time, dropping to your knees, or planking from a higher surface. A perfect high plank is held with your hands directly under your shoulders with knees, hips, and heels all in alignment with your core engaged. Keep challenging yourself after you have mastered the plank for one minute by adding different variations of the plank progressing by doing side planks, alternating knee taps, tap outs, or extending one arm at a time. Adding a plank into your exercise routine 2-3 times a week will likely offset the pain and degenerative diseases in old age and hopefully, you will appreciate how amazing this exercise is for you!
Trainer Aggy Sapienza: The Bicycle Crunch
It is an effective ab exercise reaching not only the upper abs but also the deep abs and the obliques. I must say, my obliques are my favorite part of my abs and I owe it all to bicycle crunches.
Here's how to perform a bicycle crunch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground as wide as your hips. With your hands behind your head and your elbows bent out to the sides, use your abs to lift your left shoulder blade off the ground. At the same time, bring your right knee to meet your left elbow. When your right knee is bent, straighten your left leg to reach it out in front of you at a 45-degree angle. Perform this move on the opposite side, bringing your left knee to your right elbow and straightening your right leg. Continue altering your legs and squeeze your core. Try not to strain your neck while doing this move. Instead, use your torso to make the rotation. If your neck starts to strain, just rotate as far as you can with your torso. Don't pull on your head.
Yoga instructor, Sabrina Marr: Sun Salutation
I chose this because your entire body is engaged. You can do it slowly if you need to focus on stretching - you can do it fast and repeat it as many times as you want if you need strength and even cardio. it’s a beginner pose that anyone can do, but you can perfect it to the point that it is great even for advanced students.
You can do it to improve focus like a meditation - or you can do it just for fun.
Trainer Tasha Malkiel - Push Ups!
I love push-ups -- SUCH a brilliant compound exercise that is truly a full-body workout in one move.
The best thing about push-ups is that you don’t need shoes, special gear, clothes, or equipment. You don’t even need a yoga mat. All you need is your own body weight and your able hands.
Place your hands on the ground under your shoulders, with your toes ground into the floor. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor - keeping your back flat and body straight. Long line head to heel. Slowly raise your body back to the starting position. Pause and then repeat.
Trainer Cheryl Coppa - A Single-Leg Hip Thrust!
This is hands the best booty-building exercise there is and it comes with many different variations you can choose from based on your ability on any given day. What is pictured below is a variation on the floor.
You can also do it elevated on a bench or couch which is my favorite.
Not only are you targeting the glute muscles, working large muscles, but it also gives you fat burn and increases bone density. This also stabilizes your pelvis and preserves pelvic health. So if I had to choose, I know I can get shape, fat burn, and health benefits from this one exercise. When I travel and I don’t get a workout in, I get these in, since you can do it anywhere.
In any variation, you just want to make sure your ankle is right under your knee, otherwise, you will be hitting different muscles. Also, be sure to not hyper-extend the hips. The stopping point should be a neutral position so you are not over-arching your back.
I think you can take all these exercises, put them together and you have a complete workout, right??!!
As so many of you know, in our training and classes, we chose our exercises and combination of exercises for a reason. Whether we love them or they are productive, or both. No matter what, we should enjoy the exercises we chose and feel great about why we are doing them.
Now it’s your turn, what would you do if you could only do one exercise?
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