Pendulum Workout

This is a 10 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) workout. There will be 4 exercises, of which you will complete as many times as possible with the time given. 3 of the moves are pendulum moves, which require core strength and balance. For all exercises in this workout, keep you core tight and strong, to get the full benefit of the workout. A tight core also helps to give you balance and proper form for these exercises. This workout you will definitely feel in your legs and core.

Set a timer for 10 minutes and complete the following moves for as many rounds as possible, resting only if needed.

Plank Pulls – 10 reps
Pendulum Swing – 20 reps
Pendulum Chair Squat (Left) – 10 reps
Pendulum Chair Squat (Right) – 10 reps

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Plank Pulls Place a dumbbell or small weighted object to the left side of your torso and bring your body into a full plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders, abs tight. Shift your weight to your left hand as you grab the weight with your right hand and slide it under your body to the right. Transfer weight onto right hand and repeat with the left, pulling the weight back to the left. I like to use my 25 lb sandbag (like shown in the picture), which you can drag on the floor instead of picking up.
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Kettlebell Pendulum Swing This exercise reinforces the loading of the butt and legs and the activation of the lats. start in your swing stance, using a heavy kettlebell. A heavier kettlebell is easier to use during the pendulum than a lighter bell, the more weight the more it counterbalances your hips. Grab the kettlebell with 2-hands and swing the kettlebell explosively between your legs as you’re hinged forward at the hips (like a traditional KB swing). Swing the weight back forward in a floating motion (using your lats, not your arms to swing it forward), as the kettlebell swings to the front stay low and sit back and down (instead of standing up). Tighten your glutes, keep your shoulders down (do not shrug) and your back straight in a hinged forward-like squat. Now use your arms to swing the weight back between your legs as your weight shifts back forward. Repeat staying low with a neutral spine. If you lose neutral spine, lower your weight.

Here is a video on this move, skip ahead to about the 2 minute mark: http://www.sweatfactor.com/blogold/low-impact-cardio-exercise/

Pendulum Chair Squat (left/right) Stand on your left leg, hands together at your chest. Squat down and lift and cross your right leg over your left knee. Pause, then straighten out of the squat and swing your right leg straight out to the side. Lower back into the squat, bringing the right leg back to cross over the left knee. Try to stay balanced on your left leg throughout. After reps, switch legs.

I couldn’t find a pic of the entire move, but I found one of what the squat part should look like, and then the swing.
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pendulumchair

Sweat and Get Lean Total Body Workout

This workout uses different weight and body weight exercises with cardio intervals in between. Take your time with the weight rep intervals, and push yourself on the cardio interval. Take minimal rest between each exercise, resting 1 minute between sets (you will complete this workout 2 times).

The cardio intervals will be burpees and kettlebell/sandbag swings.

Complete 2 sets of the following workout, resting 1 minute between sets.

Burpees – 15 reps
Dive Bomber + Cross Knee Tuck – 10 reps
Burpees – 15 reps
Pulse Squats – 30 reps
Burpees – 15 reps
Narrow Squat Jumps – 20 reps
Kettlebell or Sandbag Swings – 30 reps
Reptile Pushups – 10 reps/side
Kettlebell or Sandbag Swings – 30 reps
Lunge & Rotate – 10 reps/side
Kettlebell or Sandbag Swings – 30 reps
3 Part Abs – 20 reps
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Burpees Do with push-up and jump for as many as possible. If needed remove push-up.
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Divebomber + Cross Knee Tuck  Do a dive bomber. When coming back up to start position, transition to plank and bring your right knee to your left elbow, then your left knee to right elbow. Return to dive bomber start position and repeat.divebomb  kneetuck
Pulse Squats Position your legs in a wide squat position with your toes pointed out about 45 degrees. Hold a dumbbell with both hands, it should be positioned between your legs so that the dumbbell ends face front and back. Keeping your torso upright and your stomach tight, lower down into a deep squat. At the bottom of the squat, engage the glutes and feel your weight in your heels. In a quick and deliberate rhythm, continuously lift and lower your body a few inches (in a pulsing motion). Make sure to keep pressing through your heels. Pulse for all reps.
Narrow Squat Jumps Start with legs shoulder-width apart. Jump up as high as you can into the air and land in a squat position. Immediately jump back into the air and continue for all reps.
Kettlebell/Sandbag Swings Hold weight with both hands in front of you, legs shoulder width or wider apart. With straight arms, squat slightly and bring the weight back between your legs, and push through your heels as you swing the weight forward and up to in front of your face. Squeeze the glutes and squat again as the weight comes down to back between your legs as you repeat in a continuous motion. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and use your legs and core to lift the weight.
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Reptile Pushup Start in push-up position. Bend elbows and bend your right knee towards your right elbow (turn toward it slightly). Push up straightening leg and lowering back to start. Repeat alternating sides.
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Lunge and Rotate Stand holding a 5-10 lb weight straight out at chest level with both hands. Lunge with left leg forward, bracing abs and twisting to the left. Twist back to center, step back and repeat with the right leg and twisting to the right. Repeat alternating sides.
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3 Part Abs Lay with your arms stretched out behind you, legs lifted straight up above your hips. Spread legs into a V and crunch up bringing your arms between your legs. Lower your shoulders and bring legs back together, then lift hips up with straight legs. Lower hips, then lower legs toward the ground, raising them back up before they touch the ground. Repeat sequence. (V-crunch, Hip lift, Leg lower)

AMRAP Workouts – What the Heck? And Why?

You may or may not have heard the term “AMRAP” workout, but it’s a very effective way of exercising. If you partake in CrossFit or HIIT workouts, then you probably have done one. AMRAP stands for “As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible” – and the workout is exactly as it sounds. You are given a set amount of time (i.e. 20 minutes) and you complete as many rounds or reps of a given workout as possible. There are MANY benefits to this type of workout, and it’s one of my favorite types.

What is it?

Like a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, in AMRAP workouts you are given a set amount of time for your workout. The only difference is that with AMRAP workouts there’s no allotted “rest” time. You pace yourself and take short breaks when needed, but the primary objective is to push yourself to complete as many reps or rounds of the workout as you can. And, when you perform the workout again, you push yourself to beat your previous completed reps or rounds. CrossFit gyms use these workouts, and it pushes you to get as many or more reps in than your classmates.

Why do it?

One of the biggest benefits of these workouts is time. If you are like me, and can’t spend an hour or 2 at the gym, having a shorter set time to workout makes it easier to fit a workout in. I can break a major sweat with just a 5 minute AMRAP workout, because I’m maximizing the time I have – and usually the shorter amount of time you have, the more you’re able to push yourself. Which brings me to my next point/benefit of these workouts: maximum effort and more motivation.

In essence, you’re training your body to do more work in a set amount of time. It’s also a way to motivate you to progress with each workout. As mentioned before, you push yourself to do better with each workout, so your intensity, strength and endurance builds with each workout. The harder you train, the more fat you burn, and the fitter you get.

Ordinary endurance programs and gym workouts typically incorporate low intensity exercises that, even though performed for longer periods of time, do not put as much stress on the body. In cases of high intensity exercises like AMRAP, when compared to ordinary fitness exercises, the lungs and heart are thus more challenged to meet the demands of the body.  This forms the basis of all benefits derived from doing as many reps as possible. Doing as many reps as possible, cause sudden increased demands for oxygen in many tissues of the body, especially the skeletal muscles. In order to meet these demands the whole respiratory system, the lungs in particular, work harder than normal. When continued over a period of time, this type of increased loading causes positive changes in the work capacity of the lungs. For me, this is a huge benefit because I am limited in my cardio activities due to asthma and knee problems. But with AMRAP workouts, I can push but pace myself. Over time my endurance gets stronger, because my lungs are adapting to the demands of these workouts. And studies have shown that increased respiratory capacity not only increases the amount of work one can perform, but also is a great help in certain diseases such as asthma.

The biggest benefit for most people is the decreasing of body fat. When exercising, initially your skeletal muscle uses glycogen stores for energy. But in high intensity exercises, once your skeletal muscle can no longer utilize glycogen to keep up with the energy demand, it uses fat stores. So the harder you push yourself in a short amount of time, the quicker you start burning fat. So by doing short but intense workouts each day you will start to see your body lose fat and become more toned. With this fat burning comes added muscle and muscle strength! High intensity training puts greater loads on the skeletal muscles as compared to conventional training. This results in increases in inherent muscle tone and greater strength the muscle can produce when contracting.

Sample Workout

To get an idea of what an AMRAP workout is like, try this one out.

10 minutes AMRAP:

Kettlebell Swings – 20 reps
Burpees – 5 reps (drop down all the way or with push-up)
Front Squats – 5 reps (~75% max weight)

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Superset Circuit Workout

Superset workouts are designed to give you multiple workouts at once, with little rest in between. You complete each superset for a prescribed amount of rounds and complete the exercises back to back with no rest, only resting between each superset.

This workout consists of 3 supersets. You will complete each 3 times before resting and moving on to the next. This is a total body workout involving weight training, as well as some body movements. Don’t rush yourself, but don’t rest between sets.

Here is a break down of the workout, descriptions can be found below.

Superset #1
3 sets
Reverse Hook Crunch (20 reps)
Bent Over Lateral Raise (12 reps)
Elevated Plank Tricep Kickbacks (12 reps/arm)

Superset #2
3 sets
Shoulder Circle to Crunch (15 reps)
Jump Squats (20 reps)
Weighted Jabs (40 reps)
Skier Swings (20 reps)

Superset #3
3 sets
Sumo Squat Press (15 reps)
Up and Over Presses (12 reps)
Triceps Curl + Knee Tuck (12 reps)
Plank Row to Double Row (10 reps)

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SUPERSET 1

Reverse Hook Crunch (x20) Lay on your back with arms reached overhead or down by your sides and legs straight and extended off the ground slightly. Bend knees toward chest and lift hips off the ground and extend your legs up pushing your feet up and back. Reverse the motion and repeat.

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Bent Over Lateral Raise (x12) Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, knees slightly bent and hinge forward so that the weights are below your chest. In a controlled motion, raise the weights out to your sides in a wide arc without bending or extending your elbows. Raise the weights until they’re about even with your body, maintaining the bent-over position to reduce body swing, then hold the top position for a count before slowly reversing the motion back to the start.
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Elevated Plank Tricep Kickback (x12/arm) Get into plank with one arm on a step/bench and grasp a dumbbell in the other hand by your side with the weight up by your rib and elbow pointing back. From here extend your arm back into a tricep kickback and then bend back to start. Keep your upper arm still and close to your body. After completing reps, switch sides. You can also do this in plank from the floor (see pic)
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SUPERSET 2

Shoulder Circle to Crunch (x15) Lie faceup on a mat lifting light dumbbells behind your head, palms facing the ceiling. Engage your core and lift your legs off the floor six inches, knees slightly bent. Keeping your arms straight, circle your hands toward your legs until the dumbbells touch behind your hamstrings. Simultaneously lift your head and shoulders off the floor while bending your knees slightly. Extend your legs out and your arms overhead, reversing the motion. TIP: to keep tension on the lower abs, don’t let your upper legs go past 70 degrees.
Jump Squats (x20) Stand with feet hip-width, abs engaged with arms at your sides. Squat down bringing your arms bent in front of you.Jump up as high as you can, using your arms for momentum, and land softly back down into the squat position. Pause briefly and repeat.
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Weighted Jabs (20/arm) Start with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand. Bend knees and lean forward from hips, pulling belly in tight. Bend arms, bringing elbows close to rib cage, palms facing in. Extend right arm in front, palm down. As you draw back, repeat with the left arm. Continue alternating jabs in a quick continuous pace, each jab is 1 rep. Keep core engaged throughout.
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Skier Swings (x20) Stand with a dumbbell in each hand (palms in) at your sides,hinge forward slightly with knees slightly bent. Raise both arms straight up and back behind you (skier pose). Swing both arms forward and up as you come to standing. Swing arms back down and back into skier pose, keeping back straight and chest lifted throughout.
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SUPERSET 3

Sumo Squat Press (x15) Stand with feet wide and toes slightly turned out. Hold a weight in both hands with your palms up (holding the ends of a dumbbell or kettlebell from under it). Squat down, and as your straighten your legs, press the weight overhead. Lower weight and return to squat.
Up and Over Presses (x12) Hold a barbell in front of your chest with palms out. Press the bar up and down behind your head, resting it on your traps. Push the bar back up and over down to your chest. Be sure to not use too heavy of a weight.
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Triceps Curl + Knee Tuck (x12) Lie faceup with knees bent 90 degrees, a dumbbell in each hand, arms over shoulders, palms in. Bend elbows, bringing dumbbells behind head, as you extend your legs out in front of you. Bring your knees to your chest as you straighten your arms back to start, and repeat. You can also do this using a barbell.
Plank Row to Double Row (x10) Start in plank, holding weights, feet wide. Do a row with each arm, hop feet forward with feet together and stand part way and do a double row slightly bent forward, keeping butt back and back straight. Place weights back on ground and jump feet back to wide plank.(1 rep)
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Combination Dumbbell Workout

This workout uses dumbbells in a combination of moves that will work your entire body….we will hit abs, legs, arms and even your delts and back. You should be able to use the same set of dumbbells for all moves, but adjust weight accordingly if needed.

You will do 2 sets of the following workout, resting 2 minutes between sets. Move from each exercise within a set with no rest, but take your time while performing each move, to insure that you’re doing them correctly.

2 sets

Rotated Row – 10 reps/side
Elevated Plank Lateral Raise – 10 reps/arm
Crunch and Tap – 20 reps
Squat & Raise to Upright Row – 12 reps
Weighted Rotations – 12 reps

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Rotated Row (left/right) Start in a shallow squat, hinged forward and holding a weight in each hand, arms extended down. Pull your right elbow back, squeezing your right shoulder blade toward your spine while you twist to the right while remaining hinged at the hips. Straighten arm to start and repeat. Complete reps, then repeat on other side.
rotaterow
Elevated Plank Lateral Raise (left/right) Get into plank with one arm on a step/bench and grasp a dumbbell in the other hand by your side, palm facing in and feet wide. Keeping your entire body rigid, raise your arm up and out to your side by contracting your delt muscle, until your arm is at shoulder level and parallel to the ground. Hold for a moment before slowly lowering to the start. Be sure to keep your hips and shoulders square. Complete reps then repeat on the other side.
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Crunch and Tap Lay on your back holding a dumbbell with both hands above your chest, legs lifted with knees above your hips bent 90 degrees. Holding the weight still, crunch up. Lower shoulders down then tap your toes to the ground, keeping your knees bent (1 rep). Come back to start position and repeat.
Squat & Raise to Upright Row Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width, holding dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing your body. Lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor while lifting your arms forward up to shoulder height. Lower your arms as you return to standing, then lift your elbows out to the sides, bringing the weights to your chest. Simultaneously, rise onto the balls of your feet, flexing your calves. Return to standing, lowering arms to front of thighs. Works: deltoids, upper back, core, legs, calves.

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Weighted Rotations Stand holding dumbbell at chest with both hands, feet together. Twist 90 degrees to the right, then 180 degrees to face left. Keep your abs tight and move fast. Bring to center. (1 rep). Next rep you will turn left from center, 180 degrees to face right and then back to center. Alternate the side you start with. Be sure to use your abs to twist, and keep your hips forward.
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Full Body Deadlift HIIT

This is a HIIT workout, but instead of a rest period between exercises you will be doing 30 seconds of deadlifts. This is referred to as active rest. There are 12 different exercises, with deadlifts in between for a total of 24 rounds.

For the deadlifts you can use a barbell or dumbbells, but keep them close so you can go right from your exercise to your deadlifts with as little rest as possible.

Here’s a list of the entire workout:

30 sec deadlift/active rest – 50 sec work
Deadlifts
Alternate One Leg V-ups
Deadlifts
Hip Lift and Reach
Deadlifts
Sumo High Knees
Deadlifts
Side Squat + Press
Deadlifts
Left Leg Hip Thrust
Deadlifts
Right Leg Hip Thrust
Deadlifts
Clean and Press
Deadlifts
Left Double Kickbacks
Deadlifts
Right Double Kickbacks
Deadlifts
Push-up + Toe Tap
Deadlifts
Wide to Narrow Squat
Deadlifts
Lying Shoulder Circle Crunch

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Deadlift Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand or holding a barbell/sandbag, arms in front of thighs, palms facing body. Hinge forward from hips, keeping back and legs slightly bent, as you lower dumbbells to shin level. Return to start, squeezing your glutes.

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Alternate One Leg V-ups Lay on ground with legs straight, arms overhead. Simultaneously sit up and lift one leg reaching arms up your leg. Lower and repeat alternating legs.
Hip Lift and Reach Lay on your back with legs extended straight up and arms above your head. Lift hips and push feet toward the ceiling. Lower hips, then crunch up reaching yours hands toward your feet. Lower and repeat.
Sumo High Knees Stand with feet wide, toes pointed out, elbow bent so fists are by chin. Lift on knee up bent 90 degrees, while twisting torso toward knee. Hop to the same movement on the opposite side, twisting torso. Only one foot is on the ground at a time.

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Side Squat + Press Stand with feet together and a dumbbell in each hand in front of your chest with palms facing each other but under the dumbbells. Step to the right and lower into a deep squat, and as you step back to center push under the weights and press them overhead. Lower weights back to chest as you step to the left and lower into another low squat. Repeat alternating sides.
One Leg Hip Thrust (left/right) Lying flat, plant left heel on the floor with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Arms extend, fingers point toward your toes. Keep your right leg extended and foot flexed. Pushing through your planted heel and both arms press your hips toward the ceiling until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to knee. Press your heel toward the ceiling. The focus is on the movement of the hips. You can also do this with your foot on a bosu ball or ugi ball. Complete time/reps then switch sides.

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Clean and Press Hold a barbell or sandbag with overhand grip in front of you. Bend knees slightly, lowering the weight to the ground. Forcefully lift the weight up to your shoulders and flip your wrists up so that your palms face up and weight is at your chest. Press the weight straight up overhead. Reverse the motion back to start and repeat.

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Double Kickbacks (left/right) Stand with knees soft, a weight in each hand at sides, elbows bent. Hinge forward at waist as you raise and extend arms into a triceps kickback while also lifting your left leg behind you. Return to start. Complete time/reps then switch legs.

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Push Up + Toe Tap Come into pushup position with your hands wide. Do a push up then bring your left foot forward and tap it with your right hand. Return and repeat the push-up and tap with the opposite foot and hand.
Wide to Narrow Squat Stand with feet hip width apart, sandbag on shoulders. Squat down and come up not quite to standing and step out to one side and squat again in a wide squat. Again, only come up partly and step back to narrow stance and squat again. Repeat stepping out to the other side and back in, alternating sides.
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Lying Shoulder Circle Crunch Lie faceup on a mat lifting light (three- or five-pound) dumbbells behind your head, palms facing the ceiling. Engage your core and lift your legs off the floor six inches, knees slightly bent. Keeping your arms straight, circle your hands toward your legs until the dumbbells touch behind your hamstrings. Simultaneously lift your head and shoulders off the floor while bending your knees slightly. Extend your legs out and your arms overhead, reversing the motion. Works: deltoids, chest, core. TIP: to keep tension on the lower abs, don’t let your upper legs go past 70 degrees.
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Mostly-Total Body Burnout

This is a great mostly-total body workout. It gets your lower body and core moving with a variety of moves that will target your legs, thighs (inner and outer), your obliques and a tad bit on the shoulders. I used a kettlebell and a sandbag for this workout…. and I was sucking wind at the end of it!

This is a high intensity interval training workout. You will be working for 50 seconds (it’s a long 50 seconds) and resting for 10 seconds. Try to remember to keep your core engaged with each exercise, because you will be using it a lot for stabilization.

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50 seconds work – 10 seconds rest
3 sets (15 rounds)

Ski Abs + Clean and Press
Adduction Kettlebell Squat and Swing
Left Low to High Woodchop
Right Low to High Woodchop
Plyo Kettlebell Sumo Squats

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Ski Abs + Clean and Press Come into plank with a barbell or sandbag in front of your hands. With feet together, jump them forward and to the right and back to plank, then forward and to the left and back to plank. Hop feet forward, grab your weight and perform a clean and press. When you lower the weight back to the ground, jump feet back to plank and repeat. (I didn’t have a picture of the entire exercise so I posted a picture of each part.)

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Ski Abs

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Adduction KB Squat and Swing Stand with your legs in a wide stance, holding the kettlebell with both hands in front. Squat down, moving your hips back and swinging the kettlebell back between your legs. Come up swinging the kettlebell to chest height and lifting one leg straight up to the side. Step back down into a wide squat and repeat, lifting the other leg. Continue alternating legs. Be sure your knees remain forward when feet are on the ground.1110-swing-legraise
Low to High Woodchop (left/right) Squat, and to twist to hold the dumbbell on the outside of your left leg. Exhale and lift the weight diagonally across your body, ending twisted to the right with the dumbbell above your head. Pivot on your left foot as needed. Complete time/reps for each side. You can use a kettlebell, dumbbell, medicine ball or ugi ball for this.woodchopf
Plyo Kettle Bell Sumo Squats Start in sumo squat stance, toes out and holding kettle bell at chest. Squat down, then quick hop feet together and back out and do another sumo squat (slow squat, quick in and out)