Notice how Dr. Stephen maintains a great “plank” platform position – most people think a push up is an upper body exercise; it’s also a core exercise.
This warm up work, which can also be done with PVC pipe, is SOOOOOOO overlooked – it’s essential for keeping the shoulders from getting injured AND it can be a stand-alone shoulder injury rehab exercise that works miracles.
Do these faithfully before every workout and you will be rewarded with increased shoulder flexibility in addition to decreased injury.
The first few, you’re thinking ‘Okay, I can do this’. After 25, they’ll have your attention
- Put your hands and feet on the ground, with your knees raised
- Start crawling forward on your hands and feet, moving your right leg with your left arm, and your left leg with your right arm
- Keep your hips as low as possible
- Crawl for a set distance, then rest
- Can be alternated with any other exercise for a complete full-body workout
- Start with your legs shoulder width apart
- Bend at the knees and swing your arms back
- Jump forward & swing your arms forward, landing gently with your knees still bent with your weight in your heels
- Return to standing position
I know, Dr. Stephen makes everything look easy, but this variation of the “Crunch” is a core builder. Alternate with sets of push ups, squats and pull ups for a total body workout (sets of ten each for 4-5 rounds, no stopping).
- Lay flat (or balance on a box for a challenge)
- Tuck your knees and chest upwards to meet
- Return to the flat position.
To turn this into a more demanding exercise, this can be done holding a weighted object – dumbbell, kettle bell, weight plate, or … your baby (start teaching it the importance of working out).
Alright, no comments about my bird legs. – Dr. Paul
- Tie up a rope or string at hip level, or slightly lower for a challenge.
- Start standing parallel to the rope.
- Bend at the waist and sweep your foot forward
- Move under the rope while keeping your chest as proud as possible
- Stand up to full extension on the other side
- Also, lower the rope, and then step OVER the rope each time
Leap into great agility and fitness with this fantastic full-body single exercise – it’s harder than it looks (have we said that before?). Notice that Dr. Stephen is doing this with a weighted vest.
- Drop down into the bottom of your squat
- Jump forward without coming fully out of your squat, like a frog
- Optional: wear a weighted vest or hold a 5, 10 or 15 lb slam ball or wall ball
This is a super simple but great movement to do on a regular basis – like Overhead Squats, Kettlebell Swings help “undo” the bad effects of all the sitting we do (like me creating this post – dang!)
- Notice in the video how Dr. Stephen is using the hip thrust motion to “swing” the kettle bell – although the arms are active and involved, it’s not their motion that brings the weight to vertical; the arms simply continue the momentum of the motion of what the hips generate.
- That (above) being said, use your arm strength to maintain a controlled stop at the top.
- One thing to be careful of: Don’t hyper-extend your lower back at the top – engage your core (your abs and upper torso) to stop the motion of your pelvis at vertical – meaning DON’T arch your back.
A simple, yet solid full range-of-motion exercise for the shoulder in particular but that also engages the entire upper body (if done standing – don’t do sitting). Should be in your regular weekly or biweekly rotation.
As Dr. Paul demonstrates, this exercise is scaleble – can be done with an empty PVC pipe to barbell with weight, whatever is right for you!
- Hold a barbell, PVC pipe, or digging bar at the level of your collar bones with your hands just outside your shoulders
- Bring upper body backwards as you push bar up and overhead (do not push bar away from body, move body backward to allow bar to go vertical)
- Completely lock out arms at top
- Release down to original starting position
- As you move up in using heavier weight, a slight “dip drive” – bending your knees to initiate the movement is okay.
If you add a squat after each shoulder press, it’s called a Thruster. Here Dr. Stephen demonstrates full body, full range with strength.