Monday, July 21, 2014

Mandi Monday: My Favorite Exercises

Ronnie and I do what we can to keep working out interesting. Just like with most things in my life, I get bored doing the same thing for weeks on end...even exercises within our class that we take can get boring. So I try to switch it up. Within all the exercises we do, a couple are ones I always come back to because I feel they're the most effective.

Clean and Presses - I love me some clean and presses. We do clean and presses most days in our class, specifically with kettle bells. The beauty of a clean and press is that it works a lot of muscles, lower and upper body, and it really gets your heart rate up.

Straddle Jumps - We do them on a riser, 4 high. You stand on the riser, jump down so your feet straddle the bench (the narrow way), hit your tush to the bench, and jump back up. You repeat until you feel like you're going to die, and then keep going. It is some of the best cardio, in my opinion.

Plyo Pushups - We do these on a riser, 4 high, also. You put one hand on the floor, one on the riser, do a pushup, and then push off to switch which hand is on the riser and which is on the floor. You push off hard enough so that both hands are off the riser/floor at the same time. These are hard after a few sets. They get you breathing and your upper body burning.

Frog Jumps - These, for me, are one of the best ways to get my legs dead and heart rate up, fast. All you do is jump forward, landing in a squat. They are rough...especially on fatigued legs!

Burpees - I like that you can switch up burpees. I like that you can do normal burpees, or that you can add to them. My favorite is doing a burpee (putting your chest to the ground when you're down) and when you jump up, instead of just jumping into the air, I like jumping up onto a riser. The best part about burpees, though, is that you can modify them a lot of different ways, so you can keep them from getting boring.

Jack Hovers - For these you hold a hover, and you open and close your feet (like you were if you were standing up to do jump and jacks). The key is to keep your tush down and hold your torso as still as possible. I like these because they are a little more challenging than a standard hover, yet the time passes faster.

Plyo Lunges - These are lunges, but instead of just stepping back or forward when you switch legs, you jump to switch (with no stepping a foot down in between). You lunge forward with your left leg, and jump, switch so your left leg is back and right is front, and land like that. I love these because they get your legs burning and your heart rate up. I double dog dare you to try to do these for 2 minutes straight.

Running - Ok, this one is kind of obvious to make the list, but hear me out. I love running. Well actually, I love the feeling after a run. During a run, I don't really love running! Ha. Anyways, what I love about running is that you have options: long runs, short runs, speed work, trail runs, hill sprints, you name it.

There you have 'em...exercises I always come back to, and exercises we do at least once a week (most of these we do 3-4 times a week). They are good ones because most of them you can do at home. Give them a try sometime. Oh, and if you can do plyo lunges for 2 minutes straight, no breaks and WITH the jump, leave a comment and I will send you a virtual high-five because you are super human!