Spring Clean Your Workout!

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We spring clean our homes so why not our workouts? Fitness Expert Beth Oliver stopped by to review the not-so-boring basics of our favorite exercises! For more information about Beth, visit her website, bethmarieoliver.com.

Most of us spend some time “spring cleaning” our homes, start shifting from winter clothes to summer wear and get our gardens ready for planting. But spring is also a great time to dust off the form and technique of your favorite fundamental exercises. It’s a great way to keep things safe and effective and these tips might be more interesting than you think!

1. Plank: Plank is the big daddy of your full body exercises. If you can do plank, it opens up a world of possibilities.

  • Slide the shoulder blades in.
  • Close the ribs
  • Activate the inner thighs

2. Tricep Pushups: Many women tell me that they aren’t strong enough to do triceps pushups, but that’s usually not the case…it’s usually that they don’t have a solid plank. Triceps pushups are really just plank moving in space.

  • Keep the shoulder blades and ribs in.
  • Activate the inner thighs
  • Spin the “eye” of the elbow forward.

3. Lunge: Super important move that helps us maintain the ability to get from the ground to standing. When we lose that our quality of life suffers.

  • Maintain plank from the crown of your head through your tailbone.
  • Stand on railroad tracks, not a balance beam.
  • Initiate the move by bending your back leg, this will keep you moving up and down like an elevator, not diagonal like an escalator.

4. Seated hamstring stretch: When done correctly, this is a great opening not just for the hamstrings, but also for the lower back. When it’s done incorrectly it actually shortens your hamstring and causes stress to the low back.

  • Bend the knees in order to get on top of the sitting bones.
  • Bend the knees enough that the top of the pelvis moves forward.
  • Notice how the same thing applies to a typical sun salutation.

5. Seated Twist: This is an example of a twist that should help keep the spine supple and strong. That has an added benefit of releases discomfort in the lower back, which we all need.

  • Adjust the position of your legs until you can sit high on your sitting bones.
  • Maintain plank from your tailbone through the crown of your head.
  • Create the twist from your abdominals first and then assist with your arms.