Cable Cross Stability Ball Workout

This workout incorporates the use of a Free Motion Cable Cross pulley machine and a stability ball….some exercises include them both! Most gyms have this cable system, and they are great. It’s very versatile, and allows you to focus on negative training as well – which is the resistance of the pulley. For instance, when you perform an exercise that causes the weight to rise, there is resistance to not let the weight just fall back down. This is where negative training comes in. Focus on slow controlled movements when doing a negative movement and lowering the weight down. (I have another blog on the benefits of negative training).

Complete 3 sets of these exercises, taking minimal rest between moves. I’ve put the exercises in this order to make the ease of transition the easiest, and that way you are spending less time adjusting the pulleys. Choose a weight that challenges you, but start out light and work your way up – especially with the exercises involving the stability ball. These take balance and core strength, so don’t focus on high weight with these.

Low Cable Cross Body Row (12 reps/arm) – Set a cable machine to the lowest position and stand with feet shoulder-width apart with your left foot in front of the left cable. You will grab the handle with your right arm so that it’s going across your body, palm facing down. Bend knees and hold in a firm stance. Pull the cable back, bringing your elbow back past your side and rotating your arm so that your palm faces up. Rotate and return to start. Complete all reps, then switch sides, placing your right foot in front of the right cable, and rowing with your left arm.

cable cross row

 

Stability Ball Bicep Curls (12 reps) – With the cable in the lowest position, sit on a stability ball with your back to the machine. Hold a handle in each hand so that your arms are straight down on the sides of the ball. Keeping a tight core and your back straight, curl the handles to your shoulders. Slowly release back to start – really focus on the negative motion and resisting the pull of the weight. Try your best to keep the stability ball still.

 

Two Arm Cable Crunch with Stability Ball (15 reps) – Place cables to low position, with a stability ball between, like the previous exercise. Lay with your back on the ball, so that you’re facing away from the machine holding a handle in each hand by your shoulders. As you crunch up you will pull the weight up. Keep your arms still and use your abs to lift the weight. Lower slowly and repeat.

 

90 Degree Cable Chest Press (15 reps) – Attach cables to a high pulley. Facing away from the machine, place your feet shoulder-width apart, and bend forward until your back is parallel to the floor. Grasp the cables in each hand, bending your elbows 90 degrees. Keeping your gaze forward, press the cables downward with your palms facing behind you until your thumbs are about six inches apart and your arms are straight. Slowly return to the start position, keeping your torso parallel to the floor and don’t let your elbows drift past your shoulders. This will work your chest and core.

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Sitting Cable Lat Pull Down (12 reps) – Set the cables to the highest setting and sit on a stability ball facing the machine. Grab a handle in each hand (arms should make a V) so that your palms are facing in. Sitting up straight, and engaging your core, pull the cables down bringing your elbows to your sides. Slowly release back to start.

 

Cable Russian Twist (12 reps/side) – Set the pulley to mid height. Lie on a stability ball perpendicular to the cable and grab the handle with one hand. You should be approximately arms length away from the pulley, with the tension of the weight on the cable. Grab the handle with both hands and fully extend your arms above your chest. You hands should be directly in-line with the pulley. If not, adjust the pulley up or down until they are. Keep your hips elevated and abs engaged. Rotate your torso away from the pulley for a full-quarter rotation, keeping arms straight. Pause for a moment and in a slow and controlled manner reset to the starting position. You should still have side tension on the cable in the resting position. Complete reps, then switch to the other pulley and rotate in the other direction.

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Glorious Glutes

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a badunka-dunk workout, so here ya go! This workout focuses primarily on your glutes and hamstrings. You will complete the exercises back to back 2 times through, and follow with the stretching exercises listed at the end. It’s a good idea to stretch prior to this circuit as well, since you will be working mostly one muscle group repeatedly.

Circuit (2 sets)

Narrow-Stance Deadlift (20 reps) – Stand with feet about 1-2 inches apart, holding a barbell or heavy kettlebell in front of thighs. Keep a flat back and lower the weight down. When you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, slowly stand and lock hips forward squeezing your glutes.

Kettlebell Swings (30 reps) – Stand with legs wide, holding kettlebell with both hands. Lower kettlebell toward the floor as you squat down. Press up through your heels and snap hips forward, swinging the kettlebell up in front of you. After 10 reps, switch to one-arm kettlebell swings and do 10/arm. These should be continuous – switch arms mid-swing.

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Squat + Side Leg Raise (15 reps/leg) – Place a sandbag or barbell on your shoulders and stand with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down, and as you come up lift your right straight up and out to the side. As you lower the leg, lower back down into a squat. Repeat alternating sides.

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Good Morning Bend (12 reps) – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell/sandbag on your shoulders, palms facing forward. Keeping your knees slightly bent and your torso straight, slowly bend from your hips until your upper body is parallel to the floor. Hold for a few seconds and return to start.

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Hip Bridge with Leg Curl (10 reps/leg) – Lie on your back with your lower legs on a stability ball. Raise your hips until they’re aligned with your feet and shoulders. Raise your left leg until the bottom of your foot is facing the ceiling. Press your right heel into the ball and roll it toward your butt. Roll the ball back out. Keeping your hips lifted, repeat. If 1 leg is too challenging, do this same movement with both legs on the ball.

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Donkey Kicks (30 reps/leg) – Start on all 4’s resting on forearms, hands clasped. Lift left leg straight up with foot flexed. Keep hips straight down towards the ground and squeeze butt as you lift up towards the ceiling. Lower and complete reps.

Pogos (12 reps/leg) – Stand on left leg, right foot lifted off the ground behind you and arms strethced overhead. Bend at the waist and reach toward left foot. Return to standing, reaching your arms back overhead while balancing on your left leg (1 rep). Complete all reps then switch sides. To add a challenge, add a hop when reaching overhead.

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Plank Leg Lifts (12 reps) – This will also focus on your core. Start in plank with forearms on the ball, hands clasped. Slowly lift right leg as high as you can. Lower, then repeat on opposite side. (1 rep)

 

Stretches

Deep Glute Stretch (30 seconds/side) – Lay on your back and cross the left foot over right knee. Lift right knee to chest and hold.

Butterfly Stretch (30 seconds) – Sit with back straight and bend knees bringing the soles of your feet together. Grab under your feet and stretch the knees to ground and hold (do not bounce).

Downward Facing Dog (30 seconds)

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Get Summer-Ready Workout

Hey guys….while the key to a rockin’ bod is exercise AND diet, this workout will give you a complete total body workout. It’s a weight training workout that will keep your heart rate up and burn some serious calories. But – the key is to move through this workout quickly. You want to burn out those muscles, so you continue to effectively burn calories post-workout.

Touching on the “diet” part a bit – I HIGHLY recommend having a protein shake, or high-protein bar post-workout to help shape those muscles and get them lean and mean. I use the IsaLean Pro shakes with a scoop of IsaPro Whey Protein. This company uses undenatured protein, which is the purest form of protein. The shakes also fuel your body with great nutrients crucial for burning fat and gaining lean muscle. There’s great variety of protein bars as well, but the IsaPro shake is ideal post-workout. You can check out the many products I use – they are all-natural and are a great compliment to your workout regimen without the need of a strict diet. I can tell you from personal experience that these products WORK – even alone without a workout regimen. (nnpowers.isagenix.com).  Message me with any questions!

So this workout can be done a couple times a week, for a weight training and high intensity workout in one. I recommend resting at least a day or 2 between. Use a weight that really challenges  you. Ideally, you want to push yourself to failure each set. Start with the quick warm-up, and complete 2 or 3 sets of the circuit. Do each exercise back to back, only resting between sets.

3 minute warm-up:

Standing Kicks (1 minute) – Standing  straight up with your arms extended overhead, swing your right leg up to meet your left hand. Lower leg then swing your left leg up to your right hand. Keep arms and legs straight throughout and keep a steady pace. The key is maintaining a straight back—don’t slouch forward.

Heel Kicks (1 minute) – Jog in place kicking your butt with your heels- be sure to pump your arms.

High Knees (1 minute) – Jog in place bringing knees up so that thighs parallel to floor, hands stacked straight out in front for knees to hit. Go as fast as you can and focus on good posture.

Circuit – Complete 2-3 sets (rest only between sets):

Weighted Pop Squats (20 reps) – Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders, or place a sandbag or barbell on your shoulders. Start with feet together and standing up straight. Hop your feet out to about shoulder width and down into a squat. Then, explosively jump up and bring your feet back together (1 rep). Repeat.

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Reverse Grip Row (15 reps) – This move works your back and lower lats. Hold a barbell/sandbag in front, gripping with your palms up (like you’re going to do a bicep curl). Bend slightly forward at the hips and bend the knees slightly, so that your back is at a 45 degree angle. Lift the weight to your chest, keeping your arms tight to your body. Pause briefly then straighten arms. Repeat, keeping this same body position.

Step-up/Reverse Lunge Combo (10 reps/side) – Stand 6 inches behind a bench/step with a dumbbell in each hand. Place your entire left foot onto the bench. As you step up drive through the left heel, bringing the right leg bent up to hip height in front of you. Lower right foot back down to start position, then step back with your left foot into a deep lunge. Bring left foot back onto bench/step and repeat series. Complete reps then switch legs.

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Pull Over (20 reps) – Get in a tabletop position with shoulders planted on a bench and feet on the floor. Hold a dumbbell by one end with both hands above your chest, engaging the glutes and back muscles. Lower the weight behind your head until you feel a good stretch. Bring the dumbbell back to starting position and repeat. You can also do this with your shoulders rested on a stability ball (see pic).

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Crunch + Cross Punches (20 reps) – Lay on your back holding a dumbbell in each hand with elbows bent out to the sides so that the weights are above your shoulders. Legs are straight up above your hips.Crunch up reaching the left dumbbell to the right foot, then lower to start (1 rep). Repeat reaching the right dumbbell to the left foot, and continue alternating sides.

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Weighted Double Crunch (15 reps) – Lay on your back holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms reached behind you. Legs are straight in front of you and lifted off the ground slightly. Crunch up as you bring your knees to chest, bringing the weights to shins. Straighten arms and legs back to start and repeat. Try to keep your legs elevated throughout, but if it’s too hard lower them to the ground when straightening.

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Legs, Arms, Abs…Total Body HIIT Workout

The idea with this workout is to do each move as many times as possible in the little time you have. You should have a steady heart rate throughout, having minimal rest between exercises. Keep track of your reps and try to beat that number for the following round to push yourself.

There are 8 exercises – 30 seconds work, 5 seconds rest for 4 rounds

 

Lunge with Knee Lift (Left) – Stand with a weight in each hand. Start with the left leg far back, lunge down, and come up and bring the left knee up and toward your chest (leaning back slightly when bringing knee up to work your core a little more). Land foot back to lunge position and repeat.

Lunge with Knee Lift (Right) – Repeat the previous exercise but start with the right leg back, and bringing the right knee to chest.

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Sumo High Row – Stand with feet in wide stance with toes pointed out slightly, dumbbells in front with palms facing body. Squat down then stand up quickly, driving dumbbells up to under chin with elbows bent out into an upright row. Lower and repeat.

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Wide-Stance Deadlift – Start in the same stance as the previous exercise, but holding a heavier set of weights or a barbell/sandbag in front of you. Hinge forward from hips, keeping back and legs straight, as you lower the weight to shin level. Return to start squeezing your glutes.

Half Seated Leg Circles – Sit on the floor with your legs fully extended, leaning back on your elbows, your fingers cupping the sides of your hips. Keeping your lower back pressed into the floor, engage your core and lift your legs about 45 degrees. Point your toes, press your thighs together, a large circle clockwise, then a large circle counter-clockwise.

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Single Leg Plank (Left)  – Start in elbow plank. Brace your abs and lift your left leg up about 10 inches. Balance your body weight on your forearms and the stabilizing leg and hold.

Single Leg Plank (Right) – Repeat the previous move lifting your right leg.

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Triceps Press + Knee Tuck – Lie faceup with knees bent 90 degrees, a dumbbell in each hand, arms over shoulders and palms facing each other. Bend your elbows bringing dumbbells behind your head, as you extend your legs out in front of you. They should be at about a 45 degree angle. Bring your knees to your chest as you straighten your arms. Repeat.

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Trail Circuit

I’m fortunate enough to have the lovely North Haven trail behind my house, which makes for a perfect workout setting. I use one of the rest stops to do a circuit, using the benches. Plus I get to enjoy the nice spring weather…before that Texas summer rolls in!

I started with about a half mile fast pace walk. When I reached the rest area I completed the following circuit 3 times, keeping a steady pace with minimal rest between exercises:

Tricep Dips (10 reps) – Sitting at the edge of a bench with your hands placed at the edge and legs straight in front of you, bring your hips up and in front of the edge of the bench. Lower your butt down, bending your elbows back, then use your arms to push back up. If this is too difficult, bend your knees slightly – but make sure to lift with your arms and not your legs.

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Knee Tucks (15 reps) – Sit at the edge of the bench with your hands placed behind your hips gripping the bench, and knees bent and feet off the ground. Straighten your legs out and lean back slightly (you should be sitting on your tail bone). Sit back up straight as your tuck your knees back up toward your chest. You can also do these on the ground.

Leg Raises (12 reps) – Lay on the bench with your hips at the end of the bench so that your legs hang off. Hold the bench above your head and raise your legs up to above your hips and slightly lift your hips, pushing your feet up towards the sky. Lower your hips then legs just past parallel to the bench and use your abs to lift them back up.

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Bench Jumps (10 reps) – Stand behind a bench about 1 foot or so. Bend your knees and jump both feet up onto the bench, landing with soft feet and knees slightly bent. Use your arms for momentum. Step or hop feet down and repeat. These can be challenging for some people (it’s all in your head!)

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If you can’t do these do quick step ups. Quickly step up your right foot then left foot (staying on the balls of your feet), then step down your right foot then left (1 rep) and repeat. Keep your knees soft and arms pumping for 10 reps.

Elevated Side Lunge (10 reps/leg– Stand to the side of the bench so that your left leg is raised to the side and placed on top of the bench, so that the left leg is practically straight.  Your right leg should be straight and under your hip. Clasp your hands in front of your chest. Lunge down by bending your right knee and pushing your hips back slightly. Do not let your knees bend over your toes and try to keep the left leg straight. Push back up to start and repeat. Complete all reps and then switch legs. If this is too challenging, you can do a side lunge with both feet on the ground (see pic)

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Bulgarian Split Squat (10 reps/leg) – Stand in front of the bench a couple feet and place one leg up on the bench behind you. Lunge down on your front leg to about 90 degrees and push back up to start. Complete all reps, then switch legs. Again, make sure your knee doesn’t bend over your toes.

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After completing 3 sets of this circuit, I walked back home at quick pace.

This is just one example of the outdoor workouts I’ve done. I mix it up and incorporate other exercises each time.