Strength Workout II

The following are the suggested individual strength exercises for this workout. If there are exercises that are problematic for you, please skip and/or substitute as appropriate.

For this workout, there are two grouped sets, 1 & 2, with 4 exercises per set. Do each exercise within set 1 sequentially with short rests (stretching), and repeat (2-4 times). After getting through all of set 1, move to the set 2 exercises and complete them sequentially in a similar manner, again 2-4 times.

To keep things fresh and continually challenge your muscles, mix up your sets and reps from session to session. 
Session 1: Lift heavy (3 to 4 sets of 3 to 6 reps with 3 to 5 minutes of rest between sets)
Session 2: Lift light (2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps with 1 to 2 minutes of rest between sets)
Session 3: Lift moderate (2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps, 1 to 2 minutes of rest between sets).

Body weight exercise can be done at higher reps, since you will have less weight.

Make sure you are utilizing good form for all exercises. If fatigue is negatively impacting form, reduce weight/resistance or increase the rest between sets. Do not continue to do the work with poor form.

If you are new to strength training or any of these particular sets, start these unweighted or with light weights, to avoid excessive muscle soreness. It is better to ease into new programs than risk unnecessary pain or potential injuries.

Set 1, Exercise 1 - Kettlebell Swing / Dumbell Swing / Cable Band Pull Through

Start with the kettlebell (or barbell) on the floor slightly in front of you and between your feet, which should be shoulder-width apart. Bending slightly at the knees but hingeing mainly at the hips, grasp the kettlebell and pull it back between your legs to create momentum. Drive your hips forwards and straighten your back to send the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Let the bell return back between your legs and repeat the move.

Alternatively, you can utilize either cable machine or band to perform a similar pull through type motion… the following video.

Set 1, Exercise 2. T-Pushups

Assume a standard pushup position, your body aligned from ankles to head. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. As you push yourself back up, rotate one side of your body up as you raise the same side arm your toward the ceiling. Pause, and return to the starting position and perform another pushup. Alternate sides with each rep.

If this is too challenging, utilize standard pushups instead or standard pushups on your knees.

Set 1, Exercise 3 - Weighted Step Ups with Kickback

Stand in front of a step or bench holding a pair of dumbbells. Place one foot on top of the bench and press down with your heel to lift your body up until your planted leg is straight, while also extending your back leg behind you and contracting your hamstrings and glutes. Without placing your second foot on the bench, slowly lower your free leg back to the ground. Keep your planted foot pressed into the bench, and repeat with the same leg. After you’ve completed the reps with one leg, switch legs and repeat.

To reduce the challenge, perform this unweighted.

Set 1, Exercise 4 - Side Plank with hip Abduction

Position the body in a traditional side plank set-up with the supporting elbow under the shoulder and the legs aligned one on top of the other. While maintaining a side plank, slowly lift and lower (abduct and adduct) the top leg up and down while keeping a neutral alignment between the shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles.

Individuals who are unable to perform this exercise from a full side plank position can modify the activity by bending the bottom leg to 45 degrees and using the top hand to provide support as needed prior to progressing to the straight leg version.

Set 2, Exercise 1 - Renegade Rows

start renegade rows in a high plank position, with your hands gripping the handles of your dumbbells. Your body should be a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels. Make sure your wrists are directly under and in line with your shoulders, and that your shoulder blades are tucked down alongside your spine. You don't want to crunch your shoulders. Your arms should be completely straight.

Shift your weight to your left side and lift your right arm, keeping your elbow in and raising the weight along your side. Your elbow should go up past your back, which should remain flat. Raise and lower your arm in a slow, controlled movement. Once you've rowed up, don't simply drop the weight to the ground. Resist gravity and control the movement on the way down.

Once your right arm is back to the start position, raise your left arm in the same movement. A brief pause between rowing with your right arm and rowing with your left arm will help you maintain control and position. The movement should be in your arms only. Don't rotate or rock your body as you switch from side to side.

If you're just starting, you may want to come to a half-plank on your knees, at least until you get used to the rowing movement and can do it with good form. Alternatively, you can do these unweighted, or using resistance bands (one end in each hand).

Set 2, Exercise 2 - Single Leg Deadlift

Stand with your feet together. Plant the working foot and press hard into the ground. Slide the unloaded leg back behind you until it is slightly hovering off the ground. Straighten the back leg, dorsiflex the foot, and push through the heel. While maintaining a flat back with squared hips and shoulders, inhale a breath and begin to slowly hinge at the hips. Begin to bend the working side knee more for a deeper hinge and push farther back with the straight leg for more muscle recruitment of the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. After reaching the bottom position, pause for a second to work balance. Then use a power breath to return to standing position by pressing hard into the ground and fully extending the hips. Pause at the top of each repetition in a single leg “standing plank,” then repeat for desired reps.

Once you have performed SLDL slowly with your bodyweight only, then feel free to advance to performing the movement while loaded.

Set 2, Exercise 3 - Front & Lateral Band Raises

Utilize bands under your feet and gripped by your hands. Keeping your abdominal muscles and your back muscles tight, raise your right arm the directly in front of you with your arm straight, while simultaneously raising your left arm laterally out to your left side. Stop once you reach the level of your shoulders. Keeping your core muscles tight, return your hands to the starting position. On the next set, raise your right arm laterally out to your right side (arm straight again), while simultaneously raising your left arm directly in front of you. Again, your hands return to their starting position. Repeat.

Set 2, Exercise 4 - Planks with Side Arm Raise

Start in a plank position. Keeping your torso stable, slowly rotate your left arm out to your side, keeping your elbow roughly at a 45 degree angle. Brace through the abs by pulling your navel to your spine. Hold this position briefly at the top and slowly return to the original plank position. Do not round your back or twist your spine. Repeat this same motion on the other side.

This exercise can be done by number of reps or by time (e.g. 30s, 45s, etc).