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Jump Squats

Begin a regular full squat by lowering your hips towards the ground. Once at the bottom position of the squat explode up wards allowing your feet to leave the ground in a jump.

Break your fall by bending your knees and hips as soon as you land allowing your body to travel back down into another squat. Explode up and and jump again. Keep repeating and you’re doing jump squats!

Tip: You want a quite landing with no thumping. Bend your knees as you land.

Reverse Crunches

There are a few different ways to do reverse crunches. This method works well for not only strengthening the core muscles but also for mobilising the lumber spine through flexion. In plain English that means it helps loosen up your lower back.

Start by lying on your back with your arms by your side. Lift your legs to create a right angle at the hips. Tuck your heels into your butt.

Start the movement by engaging your core and rolling the lower back up off the ground. Tuck your knees into your chest and keep the heels tucked throughout the movement.

Keep rolling up until your knees reach your shoulders. From this point reverse the movement keeping control until your lower back touches back down on the ground again.

If you can keep your shoulder blades on the ground and perform this action under control find a weight or something else to anchor your hands down with.

Jet Stars

These are Star Jumps on steroids. To get the hang of it start with a few regular start jumps.

In a regular star jump you jump the legs out and bring the hands out into a ‘star’ shape. Then you jump them back in. This exercise combines both movements into one jump.

In a single jump spread your legs wide and bring your hands out into a ‘star’ shape then bring them back together before you land.

Suicide Push Ups

These are a tough exercise but are great for your shoulders and core muscles when done properly.

Start in a push up position on your hands and toes. Keeping your hips level lower yourself to your elbows. You should now be in a plank position.

From here keeping your hips straight push back up into a push up position.

Tips: To keep things balanced alternate which hand you lower yourself with and push up with each rep. If you are finding it too difficult to keep your hips straight, spread your legs wider.

Decline Push Ups

Find a step or fence or couch or table or anything higher than ground level. The higher the step the more challenging this exercise will be.

Pop your feet up onto your chosen platform. Pop your hands on the ground and assume a push up position.

Tense your core and lower upper body towards the ground. Once at the bottom push yourself back up to the starting position.

Tips: Be careful to not allow your mid section to sag towards the ground. If you can, have someone watch you.

Lunges

Lunges are my favourite exercises for the lower body. It also happens to be one of the most effective exercises for strengthening and correcting imbalances in the lower body.

Lunges will help stretch and strengthen tight hips from too much sitting, they will help balance one leg being stronger then the other and they will increase your proprioception and balance (making you less unco).

Below is the most basic version of lunges which is done on the spot. Sometimes they are also called split squats.

First you need to get your feet spacing. Get down on the ground in a half kneeling position. Make sure there is a nice 90 degree angle at both knees and also at the hips.

From that position just straighten your knees til you are standing up. To complete the next rep, lower yourself back down until your knee is a few centimetres off the ground and then straighten up again.

Tip: The spacing of your feet is important. At the bottom of the lunge they should remain hip width wide (do not line up the feet). Remember the length of the lunge should allow you to have right angles at the knees and the hip (see picture above).

Regular variations

Reverse Lunges

Begin standing up straight. Step backwards and proceed to lower your back knee until it is just a few centimeters off the ground. Keep your foot flat on the ground. Resist the urge to shift your weight onto the toes of your front foot.

From the position push off the back leg and drive down through the heel of the front leg until you reach your starting position again.

Plyometric variations

Jump Lunges

Lower yourself down into the bottom of a lunge. Explode upwards into a jump. Switch your legs in mid air and landing in the lunge position (with the opposite leg forward to the one you started with). Like all plyometrics, land softly, with minimal noise and perfect technique.

Marine Burpees

 

This exercise is a combination of burpees and marine push ups. Start standing up right. Place your hands on the ground. Jump your feet back into a push up position. Lower yourself to the ground by bending your arms until you are lying on your stomach. Extend your arms over your head. Bring your arms back by your side and push up. Jump your feet back in, stand up and jump with your arms above your head. That’s one rep.

Jump Lunges

Lower yourself down into the bottom of a lunge. Explode upwards into a jump. Switch your legs in mid air and landing in the lunge position (with the opposite leg forward to the one you started with). Like all plyometrics, land softly, with minimal noise and perfect technique.

Side Plank Gravediggers

Start in a side plank. Bring the fingertips of your free hand behind your ear creating an inverted ‘V’ shape with your arm. Twist forwards to touch your elbow all the way down to the ground. Return to the start position.

Plank with hand taps

Start in a plank. Keeping your body rigid (hips and shoulders level) reach to your side as far as possible with your left hand while balancing on your right elbow and feet. Bring your left arm back in to the plank position. Repeat with the right hand and continue. To make this easier, position your feet further apart.