Beginner Workout #16: featuring Michele John

Posted on March 13, 2011 by

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Squat with dumbbell shoulder press: Standing straight up with feet hip distance apart, hips level and shoulder blades back.  Grasp a set of dumbbells so that your palms are facing each other (or move hands to front of your body if you do not want to use dumbbells).  Hold the dumbbells close into your body at chest level.  Begin a squat, sitting back and keeping your core tight and engaged.  Once the squat is complete rotate hands and arms outwards, elbows will raise up and out so that they are bent in a 90 degree angle and parallel to the floor.  Now begin an overhead press by keeping your arms in the same plane of movement and bring hands up so that the dumbbells with lightly touch over your head.  (Be careful of uncoated weights so that they don’t “clank” and risk the likelihood of chipping off paint).  Lower hands and arms back to the starting position in front of your chest.  That is one rep.  Continue on with additional reps based upon your strength and fitness level.

Canoe: Sit on the ground, legs bent and heels touching the floor.  Hold dumbbell or medicine ball in front of your abdomen.  Engage your core and keeping your spine straight lean back several inches.  Begin the movement by rotating the weight from the left side of your body, back to center, then to the right.   It is very important to keep your abdomen (core) engaged to support your spine.  Rotating from the left side to the right side is one repetition. 

Russian Deadlift with shoulder press (one armed):  Standing erect with a dumbbell located in front of your right foot, keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips and pick up the dumbbell.   Now hinging at the hips, bring your upper body back up to standing, keeping the dumbbell close to your body stopping at the front of your right hip/pelvis.  Now rotating your palm out to the right and begin a bicep curl.  Once your hand is up by your shoulder rotate your pinky out and move your hand into a shoulder press.   Bring the press back to shoulder, rotate hand (pinky toward the center of your body), lower your arm to complete your bicep curl.  Once your hand is in front of your hip, rotate your hand (thumb towards the center of your body) and now hinge at your hips and with straight legs and back lower dumbbells to the floor. 

 Modified push up:  Sitting on your knees, slowly bend forward to place your palms flat on the mat, positioning your hands shoulder-width apart with your fingers facing forward or turned slightly inward. Slowly shift your weight forward until your shoulders are positioned directly over your hands. Stiffen your torso by contracting your core and your buttocks and upper thights are aligned with your head spine.  Slowly lower your body towards the floor while maintaining your head and spine in a straight line, do not stick your behind out or let your pelvis sag.  Continue to lower yourself until your chest or chin touches the mat/floor. Allow your elbows to flare outwards during the lowering phase. Maintaining that body position push off from the ground to return to the starting position.

Kneeling row:   Starting Position: kneel on a mat/floor with your feet together and back in an erect position with your torso upright. Gently lean forward, bend at the hips slightly while keeping your spine strong, hold the handles so that your palms face the floor.  As you begin to bring your hands towards your body your hands will begin to rotate so that the palms are facing each other while they move to their stopping point, (your wrists will be next to your ribs, at approximately waist level).  As you bring your hands towards your torso, you will want to begin to squeeze together your shoulder blades so that you utilize your upper back muscles on this move.  Once your hands are next to your torso, pause for a second and slowly release the move so that your hands are straight out in front of you and your palms are facing downward.