Isolating one arm at a time forces your core to work harder and your shoulders to stabilize themselves independently, leading to long-term joint health.
DIRECTIONS: Attach a D-handle to a cable station at about chest height and stagger your feet, facing away from the pulley. If your left foot is in front, grab the handle with your right hand, pull it to your chest so your elbow is pointed straight back at the pulley. Press the handle straight out in front your chest until your elbow is straight, and slowly return the handle back to your chest.
The seated position coupled with the rotation makes the core work harder and engages the rear delts, leading to increased shoulder stability.
DIRECTIONS: Attach a D-handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Grasp the handle in your right hand, sit down, and anchor your feet against the machine. Pull the handle down towards your collarbone and pull your right shoulder back, driving your elbow towards the floor. Slowly return to the start position.
1-ARM 1-LEG ROW AND BALANCE
Balancing on one leg forces all the muscles of your lower leg and back to work harder, leading to increased muscle activation and therefore more muscle development.
DIRECTIONS: Grasp a dumbbell in your left hand and push your hips back until your upper body is parallel to the ground. Extend your left leg behind you. Keeping your back straight, let the dumbbell hang straight down, and row it up to your chest. Slowly reverse the motion until the dumbbell is hanging again.
1-ARM SQUAT to CURL to PRESS
Combining the two moves into one makes it much more challenging and will burn more fat, and the one-sided aspect challenges the core.
DIRECTIONS: Hold a dumbbell at your side. Squat down with a straight back, then stand back up. Without pausing, curl the dumbbell, then press it overhead. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to your shoulder, then to your side.
Using an agility ladder is a much more fun way to do cardio than a treadmill, plus increases your sprinting ability and proprioception (body awareness).
DIRECTIONS: Lay an agility ladder out on the floor. Run through it, placing both feet in each box as fast as possible. Repeat with different foot patterns each run through.
Using a band is a great way to make the body work against accommodating resistance, or constantly increasing resistance, which is a proven method of increasing strength.
DIRECTIONS: Loop a band around a pole at about chest height. Grasp a handle in each hand and drive your elbows backward until your fists reach your ribcage and your shoulder blades are pulled all the way back. Slowly return to the start position.
The high-knee run is a good way of activating the hip flexors as well as a great way to actively stretch the glutes and increase the body's core temperature, leading to more pliable muscles and less risk of injury.
DIRECTIONS: Run forward, driving your knees as high as possible.
The kettlebell swing produces a ton of power from the hips, which is essential for squat performance, and it is also very metabolic, leading to more fat burn.
DIRECTIONS. Hold a kettlebell between your legs, hinge at the hips, and forcefully swing it back. When it hits your butt, extend your hips explosively by standing up as fast as possible. Let it swing back down while you hinge at the hips, and repeat.
The lunge is an excellent alternative to the squat, and the single leg nature of it will help correct any muscle imbalances an individual may have.
DIRECTIONS: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang by your sides. Take a big step forward and sink your hips towards the ground, keeping your chest up and your weight in the heel of your front foot. Drive the heel of your front foot into the ground and step forward into a standing position. Repeat in an alternating fashion.
1-ARM BALL CRUNCH
Holding the ball in one arm will force the shoulder to stabilize itself and force the abs to control the motion of the body, leading to more time under tension and therefore more muscle.
DIRECTIONS: Lie on the ground and hold a medicine ball directly over your chest in one hand. Lift your legs until they are almost perpendicular to the ground. Flex your abs and reach the ball up towards your toes without letting the ball fall out of your hand. Slowly let your torso down towards the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.
PLANK to 1-ARM ROW
Combining the plank with a one-arm row forces the core to work harder and makes the move metabolic, leading to more fat burn.
DIRECTIONS: Get in a push-up position with a dumbbell in one hand, Walk your feet in so the dumbbell is off the ground and there is a straight line from your head to your butt. Row the dumbbell up to your rib cage, then slowly lower it. Repeat on the other side.
Using battling ropes challenges the grip and is a great arm workout as well as a challenging metabolic move, leading to more fat burn.
DIRECTIONS: Loop a battling rope around a pole and hold an end in each hand. Push your hips back and bend your knees slightly and wave the ropes in an alternating fashion as quickly as possible for time.
The side plank is an alternative to the plank that hits the obliques and transversus abdominis harder.
DIRECTIONS: Lie on your side on the ground, posting on the same side elbow. Stack your legs, then lift your hips off the ground so your body forms a straight line. Hold for time.
SINGLE-LEG STEP UP
A step-up is another alternative to the squat that will help correct muscle imbalances with the added benefit of increasing grip strength.
DIRECTIONS: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and place one foot on a bench or box in front of you that is about 3 inches above knee height. Drive the heel of the elevated foot into the platform until your knee is straight, and slowly lower yourself back to the ground. Complete all reps on one side, then switch sides and repeat.
The straight-leg march is a good active stretch for the hamstrings and a metabolic move that will increase core temperature, and in turn make muscles more pliable, leading to reduced injury risk.
DIRECTIONS: From a standing position, kick your right leg up as high as you can, without bending it, until it meets your left hand. Repeat on the opposite side.
The lower back is an often neglected muscle group, and the superman is a great way of training it while also getting the glutes involved.
DIRECTIONS: Lie face-down on the ground with your hands extended out to the side. Squeeze your glutes and raise your torso, arms, and legs off the floor at the same time. Pause, then slowly lower yourself back to the ground.
SWISS BALL ON KNEES
Balancing on the ball on your knees is a challenging core exercise that also helps increase hip stability, which helps prevent injuries.
DIRECTIONS: Place both knees on a swiss ball and hold your arms at your sides so you can balance on it. Hold for time.
The windshield wiper is a good way to challenge the core while forcing the shoulders to stabilize themselves.
DIRECTIONS: Lie on the ground, holding a barbell straight above your chest. Lift your legs off the ground and arc them from side to side, keeping the barbell in the same position the entire time.
The woodchop is a good way to work the obliques while keeping the entire core stable.
DIRECTIONS: Attach a D-handle to the high pulley of a cable station. Stand sideways and turn your body, without moving your feet, so your chest faces the pulley. Grasp the handle in both hands and turn your shoulders, simultaneously pulling the handle down towards your opposite pocket. Slowly return to the start position.