Nicki P’s Pyramid Workout

Pyramid workouts are great if you want to push yourself to failure. They consist of a high number of repetitions, to push your muscles to maximum effort. It’s a workout that you sort of hate at the moment, but feel awesome when you’re done. The goal is to complete the workout in the fastest time possible, without sacrificing technique. Try this once a week – or as often as you like – and try to improve on your time. Rest when you need to, but try to keep a steady pace – and remember that good form is most important here (no half-assing just to get it done!) Do these in any order you’d like, just be sure to complete all 3 moves.

There are 3 exercises. Start with 20 reps of each move, then 19 reps each, then 18, and so on until you complete 5 reps/move – then you’re done.  If this is too challenging, or you’re a beginner, start at 15 reps/move and work your way down to 5 – or until you have reached your max. I will also list some modifications in the descriptions.

The exercises are: Dive Bombers, Kettle Bell Swings, Sumo Squat Hop

Dive Bombers: This is kind of a push-up with a twist. Begin with your hands and feet on the floor in a wide stance and your hips raised, so your body forms an inverted V.  Bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your head toward the floor. Then lower your shoulders, then glide your chest forward, bringing it between your hands and up toward the ceiling in a fluid motion. Your arms and legs should be straight, and your hips should be off the ground. Reverse the move, bringing your hips back toward the ceiling. Only your hands and feet should touch the ground throughout this exercise – keep your body up. Modification: Traditional push-ups. Start on your toes and go down to your knees when you get tired.

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Kettle Bell Swings: Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart, holding a kettle bell with both hands down in front of you. Swing the kettle bell back between your legs as you bend into a slight squat. Keeping your arms and back straight, use your hips and shoulders to swing the weight up to chest level or slightly higher – straightening the legs and snapping your hips forward. Lower back down, bringing the weight down between your legs. This should be a fluid motion.  Choose a kettle bell that is slightly lighter than what you traditionally use. If it becomes too easy, work your way up to a heavier weight. If you don’t have a kettle bell you can use a dumbbell, and hold it at the ends with both hands.

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Sumo Squat Hop: Stand in a wide stance with toes turned out. Keep your back straight and gaze forward as you squat down and touch fingertips to ground. Come up and hop forward and down into another squat, fingers to the ground. Repeat hopping backward and forward. You can also jump straight up if you prefer, reaching your arms up as you jump. Try to keep a steady, continuous pace…if you can! Modification: Start in the same stance with your hands clasped in front of your chest. Only do a sumo, coming down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.

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