Here are the moves and the reasons to do them. Don't belly flop.
Challenging and most importantly effective, these three moves are effective in developing body awareness, good core strength, muscular endurance, timing and postural alignment.
No belly flopping during the diamond push up! No dropping the hips while doing the bridge! Rather than cheat, you could try to make the moves smaller, or reduce the number of reps. Focus on perfect form if you are aiming for results.
The Diamond Push Up.Works: Triceps, shoulders, chest
- From a kneeling position, make a triangle shape between your index fingers and thumbs. Place your hands, in this position, below the chest in a push up position. Engage the core muscles as you would in a plank hold.
- Try to maintain your head, neck and spine in alignment rather than dropping your head or straining your chin forward. Lower your chest towards your hands without letting the back arch and the belly slap the mat. This is belly flopping – don’t!
- Press hard into the palm of the hands as you raise back to your starting position, fully extending the arms. Repeat. As many as you can.
The Bridge with Heel CarveWorks: Hamstrings, glutes
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Ensure your feet are hip distance apart. Extend your arms, palms down by your sides.
- Tighten and engage your glutes then lift your hips up, feeling your abdominals also bracing gently to stabilise and support your spine.
- Keeping your hips lifted, extend your left heel along the mat as far as you can, then imagine carving the floor open with your heel as you drag it back. The foot is flexed to really target the hamstrings. Repeat with the right leg.
- Repeat until you need to rest, then gently roll down from the top of the spine until you’re back at the starting position.
The Lying Leg LiftWorks: Quadriceps, Abdominals
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Extend your arms, palms down, by your side.
- Extend your left leg to straight, flexing the foot as hard as you can. This is to engage the VMO (vastus medialis oblique) muscle – the quadricep muscle responsible for stabilising your kneecap. Turn the leg out to the side so that you have a slight external rotation.
- Make sure you are engaging the abdominals to avoid your back arching as you raise and lower the leg. You should feel this right through the front and sides of the tummy!
- Maintaining your foot in flexion and leg perfectly straight, raise the leg straight up – hold for a second – then lower your leg until it hovers just over the mat. Do this 10 – 20 times.
- Repeat this on the right side.