HOW TO DO IT
3-WAY LUNGE (front+side+backwards): Holding one dumbbell (5 to 15-lbs) in each hand, step your right foot forward, lowering your hips into the forward lunge position until your right knee makes about a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. Exhale as you engage your right butt muscles and leg and press backwards, balancing on your left foot to come back to the starting position. Next, step your right foot to the right, shifting your body weight towards the right as you bend your right knee and lower into the side lunge. Exhale as you push into the ground with your right foot, engage your right butt muscles and leg, and step back to the starting position, balancing on your left foot again. Step your right foot behind you and lower into the backwards lunge position. Exhale as you engage your left butt muscles and leg and press through your right foot back to the standing position. You can alternate right and left legs or perform an entire set stepping with the right leg before switching to the left leg (this one will be more challenging).
FRONT SHOULDER RAISE + LATERAL SHOULDER RAISE: Holding one dumbbell (5- to 15-lbs) in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Straighten your arms and let the dumbbells rest directly in front of your hips with your palms facing towards your body. Keeping your arms almost straightened, exhale and lift both dumbbells in front of you until your wrists are at approximately shoulder height. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Turn your palms so they face each other. Leading with your elbows (not your hands), exhale and lift the dumbbells laterally (out to each side) until your elbows are at approximately shoulder height. Inhale as you lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Continue alternating front raises and lateral raises.
HIP BRIDGE: Put down the dumbbells and lie on the ground with your feet about hip- distance apart and your heels as close to the hips as possible. Exhale as you push your arms into the ground and squeeze your butt to help lift your hips straight upward towards the ceiling. Inhale as you lower your hips back towards the ground. Continue lifting and lowering.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU'RE DOING IT RIGHT
During the 3-way lunges, you should feel your gluteals (butt), hamstrings (back of the thighs), quadriceps (front of the thighs), and core (hips and abs) working. To maintain correct form during the forward and backwards lunges, keep your chest lifted, abdominals engaged, forward knee directly over your ankle, and feet about hip-distance apart. To maintain correct form during the side lunge, make sure that your right hip and right foot are directly in line with each other (right toes should be pointed forward). During the raises you should feel your shoulders working. To maintain correct form during the front raise+lateral raises, keep the shoulders back and down (chest lifted) and keep a slight bend in the knees and elbows. Also make sure you do not lift the dumbbells past shoulder height. During the hip bridge you should feel your hamstrings and core (abs, low back, hips) working. To maintain correct form during the hip bridge, keep your abdominals strong and your tailbone tucked slightly to avoid putting pressure on your low back, and keep your knees pointed directly towards the ceiling.
HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Perform the 3-way lunges with no weight and/or as supported lunges (place your hand on the back of a chair, wall, vertical body bar, or other stationary object). You can also place the lead foot on the ground between lunges rather than balancing on the standing foot. Perform the front raise raise+lateral raise with lighter dumbbells or unilaterally (alternate right and left arms). Perform the hip bridges with your hands placed on the mat underneath your hips.
HOW TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF OR PROGRESS
If you are able to do 2 additional repetitions on any of the exercises, you may want to challenge yourself more. To make the 3-way lunges harder, increase the weight of the body bar; perform a set on the right leg before switching to the left leg; or increase the number of repetitions (if doing fewer than 15). To make the front raise+lateral raises harder increase the weight of the dumbbells or number of repetitions (if doing fewer than 15), or use resistance bands instead. To make the hip bridge harder place your feet on a stability ball instead (and add the hamstring curl); do the hip bridge with one leg lifted off the ground; or change the placement of your hands (for example, across your chest, or straightened towards the ceiling).
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ORDER OF MOVES
- 3-way Lunge
- Front Shoulder Raise
- Lateral Shoulder Raise
- Hip Bridge
SETS & REPS & TIME
Do 5 to 15 3-way Lunges, 5 to 15 Front Shoulder Raises and Lateral Shoulder Raises, and 15 to 20 Hip Bridges. Do more repetitions of each exercise if you are using lighter weight and fewer repetitions if you are using heavier weight. Repeat the circuit 3 to 5 times.
WEIGHT OR RESISTANCE
Dumbbells (5- to 15-lbs); body bar (15- to 24-lbs); or resistance band (green or red)
Dumbbells (5- to 15-lbs); body bar (15- to 24-lbs), or resistance band (green or red); mat
DON'T DO THIS MOVE IF
you have knee problems or if the side lunge is too challenging. Don’t do the shoulder raises if you have shoulder problems. Don’t do the hip bridge if you have neck problems.