MUSCLES THIS WORKOUT USES
Chest, Hamstrings (Back of Upper Legs), Upper Back, Calves
HOW TO DO IT
STABILITY BALL CHEST FLY: Sitting on a stability ball, hold dumbbells (5- to 15-lbs each) in each hand. Walk your feet out so that just your torso/back is lying on the ball. Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart and your head and butt should not be in contact with the ball. Bring the dumbbells directly above your chest with your arms straightened (not locked) and palms facing each other. Inhale as you open your arms to the sides, keeping your elbows slightly bent. As you exhale, close your arms and lift the dumbbells back to the starting position over your chest.
HAMSTRING CURL: Put your dumbbells down and lie down on a mat with your feet on your stability ball. Exhale as you lift your hips into a stability ball hip bridge. Inhale as you press your heels (toes facing the ceiling) into the ball and straighten your legs, allowing the ball to roll away from your body. Exhale as you continue pressing your heels into the ball and roll the ball back towards your hips (bending your knees). Keep your hips lifted in the bridge throughout this exercise.
BENT-OVER ROW: Come to standing and pick up your dumbbells again or choose a slightly heavier set (8- to 20-lbs). Hinge forward at your hips to no more than 90 degrees. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing each other and your arms slightly bent and directly below your shoulders. As you exhale, pull the dumbbells upward, keeping your elbows close to the ribs as you “row” and leading with your elbows towards the ceiling. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
CALF RAISE: Hold the dumbbells or a slightly lighter set (8- to 15-lbs) in each hand, arms at your sides. Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Exhale as you lift your heels off the ground, transferring your weight to the balls of your feet. Inhale as you lower the heels back down.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT
During the chest fly, you should feel your chest working. To maintain correct form, keep the movement of the dumbbells controlled and avoid letting them touch when bringing the dumbbells back together overhead. Using the stability ball as your seat will also work your core muscles (abdominals and hips). During the hamstring curl, you should feel your hamstrings (back of the upper legs), butt, and core working. To maintain correct form, keep your abs strong and tailbone tucked slightly to avoid putting pressure on your low back. During the bent-over row, you should feel your back and core working. To maintain correct form, make sure you engage your abs to keep a flat back in the bent-over position and make sure that you keep your elbows in line with the ribs as you row. During the calf raise, you should feel your calves (back of the lower legs) working. To maintain correct form, keep your chest lifted; shoulders back, down, and away from your ears; abdominals engaged; and tailbone tucked under. You should feel like you cannot do another repetition at the end of EACH exercise during EACH set. If you can easily continue any of the exercises, try one of the progressions below.
HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Do the chest fly on a bench instead of the stability ball; do a hip bridge on the ball instead of the hamstring curl; do the row with a staggered stance (one foot in front of the other) or in a standing position using a resistance band and an anchor (such as a door, pole, or park bench); or do the calf raises with lighter or no dumbbells. You can also try 1 to 2 sets if 3 to 5 is too challenging.
HOW TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF OR PROGRESS
If you can do 2 additional repetitions on any of the exercises, consider challenging yourself: To make the exercises tougher increase the weight of your dumbbells or the number of repetitions (only increase repetitions if you’re currently doing fewer than 20 reps To make the chest fly harder, try performing a set using the right arm only, followed by a set using the left arm only. Performing a one-armed chest fly will require more core engagement to stay centered on the stability ball. To make the hamstring curl more challenging you can extend your arms to the sides or overhead or try a single-leg hamstring curl, alternating legs. To make the bent-over row harder you can use a resistance band instead of dumbbells or try the row while balancing on one foot. To make the calf raise harder, you can try a single-leg calf raise, alternating legs.
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ORDER OF MOVES
- CHEST FLY
- HAMSTRING CURL
- BENT-OVER ROW
- CALF RAISE
SETS & REPS & TIME
Do 10 to 20 repetitions of each exercise. Repeat the circuit (workout) 3 to 5 times.
WEIGHT OR RESISTANCE
Medium- and/or heavy-weight dumbbells (5- to 15-lbs for most women; 5- to 20-lbs for most men)
stability ball; medium and/or heavy-weight dumbbells (5- to 15-lbs for most women, 5- to 20-lbs for most men); mat
DON'T DO THIS MOVE IF
Don’t do the chest fly if you have shoulder problems. Don’t do the hamstring curl if you have neck or hamstring problems. Don’t do the bent-over row if you have low back problems.