Simple moves that separate a good workout from a great workout by Shape.
The following exercises may seem super easy (or even like a waste of time), but they do much more than you think and are crucial for helping your body reach its full potential.
- Place a band around both legs just below your knees. Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent 45 degrees, legs stacked. Keeping your feet in contact with each other, raise your upper knee as high as you can without moving your pelvis. Don’t allow your lower leg to move off the floor. Pause, then return to the starting position. Do 20 reps on one side and then repeat with the other leg on top.
Grab a set of dumbbells (3-5 lbs) and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Draw your shoulder blades down and back and keep them there during the entire movement. Raise your arms up into a Y position, keeping them straight the whole time. Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.
To move on to T raises, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you shift forward at your hips. Keep your back parallel with the ground and your abs engaged. Raise your arms out to shoulder height in a T position, palms facing forward. Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.
Finally, for W raises, start in the same bent-over position as you were in for T raises. Bend your elbows more than 90 degrees and raise your arms up to shoulder height, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you lift. At the top of the movement, your arms should form a W. Pause, then slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times.
Single leg squat
Stand on your right leg and hold your arms straight out in front of you. Shift your hips back, bend your right knee, and lower your body down as though you were sitting in a chair. Keep your chest (not chin) up as you lower. Pause, then push yourself up. Do 10 reps on your right leg and then repeat on the left.
Opposite arm and leg-extention
Get down on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Brace your abs, and raise your right arm and left leg until they’re in line with your body. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. Continue to alternate until you’ve completed 10 reps on each side.
Squat with arms overhead
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your arms straight up overhead, palms facing in, drawing your shoulder blades down and back.
Shift your hips back and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your weight in your heels, not on your toes, for the entire movement. Your torso should stay as upright as possible. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 3 reps total.