I know we've all seen the guys in the gym (yes, in my opinion is the guys...sorry!) who can't get enough of the bench press or squat machine. Even worse they wear the old school leather belts walking around the gym claiming it still gives them "great lumbar support" when lifting those gigantic weights followed by the dreaded loud grunt! We love to mock them, but some of those classic exercises are beneficial and they just need some modification. Remember with these exercises that it's not how much weight we lift, but how we perform the exercise controlling the range of motion.
Here are some classic exercises with a modern twist:
1. Pushups With Side Plank: Such a challenging move for the core! Doing regular pushups with an alternating side plank in between repetitions. Try to keep the hips elevated with core tight and quads contracted. Do 8-15 reps.
2. Airplane Bent Over Row: Begin in an airplane position, maintaining thoracic extension with one arm pull the shoulder blades in toward the spine for a row. Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each side with opposite leg down.
3. Dumbbell Chest Fly on Bosu: With weights above your head, keeping arms slightly bent, alternate one arm down at a time keeping hips up and stabilizing abdominals as you lower the weights. Do 20 repetitions.
4. Dumbbell Cleans: Starting in a squat position with dumbbells to your side, squat down and then power with a hop up lifting the dumbbells to your shoulder. Do 10-15 repetitions.
If The Shoe Fits
Let's talk heel to toe drop...what, haven't heard of it? I have to admit I haven't really been taking it into consideration when choosing new running shoes. I've been running in the same Brooks Ravennas for the past 4 years. They've kept my feet comfy for long and short runs. However, it was interesting to find out that they had a 10mm heel to toe drop. The latest trend in running shoes is to minimize heel to toe drop. A few years ago, most running shoes had a 8-10mm drop, now they are trying to get that number down to about 4mm. I know the difference doesn't seem that much, but you can actually feel it. The reason that it's important is that the lower the differential, the easier it is to land on your midfoot and forefoot while running.
A few weeks ago, I went into Running Away Multisport to get more information and try on some shoes with a lower heel toe drop. I thought that maybe the lower heel toe drop might be better for my feet and was willing to give it a try. Here are 2 different versions of shoes with a 4mm drop:
Hoka Bondi Speed
They're beautiful, aren't they? Ok, not the best looking shoes on the road but this is an interesting shoe. Only one store in Chicago sells them and they are quickly becoming all the rage with marathoners. What people love about them is that they have a minimal heel toe drop and the cushioning is still there making those long runs comfortable. These are one of the only shoes on the market that you don't have to sacrifice cushion for a minimalist shoe. Price $170.
Saucony Mirage 3
These were my choice for a minimal drop shoe. With a little less cushion, the Sauconys are better for shorter for runs. Super light shoes for the road weighing in at 7.5 ounces. However, if you're used to a cushion shoe, the Mirage may not be enough for you. Price $110.
One of the top fitness trainers in Chicago for ten-plus years. With eight years of personal training and management experience at one of the Gold Coast’s most exclusive clubs, Stephanie started her own business in 2004. She moved to the city in 1993 to attend DePaul University on a tennis scholarship and graduated in 1997 with degrees in Fitness Management and Athletic Training. During her years at DePaul, she was on the Great Midwest All Conference Team, DePaul Athletic Board, Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Captain of the Women’s Tennis Team for two years.
Starting at a young age playing competitive tennis, health and fitness have always played a significant role in Stephanie’s life. Her goal with each client is to provide guidance to a healthy and active lifestyle... and when they are committed to feeling fit and staying fit, she knows she's acheived success.
Stephanie has worked with both professional athletes and the general public, focusing on such things as: sports-specific training, sports rehabilitation, Muscle Activation Techniques, bridal fitness, pre/post partum training, weight loss, marathon training, scoliosis and arthritis.
Ski Slide (or side shuffles) for 45 sec. to 1 min. Plank Ups on slide board or climbers (10-20 reps) Front Raise with yellow or green band (12-15 reps) Reverse Fly prone on stability ball (12-15 reps)
Forward Walking Lunge with 1 Arm Shoulder Press (30 reps total/15 each side) Low to Hi Cable Rotation (12 reps each side) Lower Abdominal Twists (15-20 reps each side) Overhead Rope Tricep Extensions on Stability Ball (12-15 reps) Tricep Pushdowns w/ Bar (12-15 reps)
Push Ups on Bosu (10-15 reps) Reverse Crunches on Ground (15-25 reps) Medicine Ball Stretch Back Crunches on Stability Ball (15-25 reps) Side Plank Holds (20-45 sec. each side)
Repeat each circuit 3 times
Alternating Arm Cable Chest Press (30 reps total) Oblique Crunches on Bosu (20-30 reps) Reverse Lunge/One Arm Shoulder Press Balance (12-15 reps each side) Jump Rope (1 min) Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown (12-15 reps) Seated Leg Curl (12-15 reps) Single Arm Bent Over Row on 1 leg (12 reps each side) Seated Adductor Machine (12-15 reps) Bicycle Abs with Upper Body Twist (20-30 reps) Prone Glute Extensions on Ball or floor (15 reps each side)
Repeat 3 times
Single Leg Squat Shoulder Press (12-15 reps each side) V-ups (15-20 reps) Side Walks w/ Circle Band (15 walks each side) Rope or Wide Grip Cable Row (12-15 reps) Step Ups (45-60 secs.) Side Planks w/ Hip Lift (12-15 each side) Incline Dumbell Chest Press (12-15 reps) Alternating Forward/Side Lunges (8-10 reps each side) Lower Abs Scissors (20-30 reps) Single Arm Rope Tricep Extension (12-15 reps each side) Cable Bicep Curls with Bar (12-15 reps) Squat or Box Jumps (12 reps)
Repeat 3 times
Alternating Cable Chest Press (12-15 reps) Bent Over Dumbell Row (12-15 reps) Plie Squats (15 reps) Decline Crunches on the Bosu (20-25 reps) One Arm Lateral Raise on One Leg (or balance on 1/2 foam, 12 reps) Lunge Jumps (16 reps) Side Bends on Ball or machine (15 reps each side) Lat Pulldown on Ball (12-15 reps) Dumbell Tricep Kickbacks (12-15 reps) Lateral Jumps touching cones or ground (20 reps) Bicep Curl with One Arm Hold (12 reps each side)
Repeat 3 times
Single Arm Chest Press on the Ball (10-15 reps) Alternating Oblique Crunches on Ball (20-30 reps) Single Leg Squats touching ground (10-15 reps each side) Pull-ups (10-15 reps) Cable Low Row (10-15 reps) Jump Rope (1 minute) Alternating Reverse Lunges w/ Bicep Curl (20-30 reps) Push-ups (12-15 reps) Prone Leg Curl (10-15 reps) Single Leg Press (10-15 reps)