I am on vacation, and you might be too, so making the most of our workouts is important. While in the small rec center gym in Ulysses, Kansas, I came up with this simple workout that hits all over body! Being in an unfamiliar gym comes with its own hurdles. I kept the gear for this one basic and universal (most gyms have these pieces of equipment) and it’s easy to set up your own little space to complete the entire workout. Grab a bar, an ab mat, and a medicine ball and get to work!
Deadlifts: Set Up the bar with appropriate weights. Stand with feet about shoulder width apart and hands gripping the bar slightly wider than that. With knees bent, butt back and back flat, stand up tall. Squeeze your butt on the way up, engaging your glutes, hamstrings, and back. Return slowly.
Burpees: The burpee consists of four jumps. Start down in the plank position, hands directly under chest and body in a straight line. Jump those legs up, tucking knees to chest. Jump your entire body straight up in the air, reaching for the sky. Jump back down to a crunched position. Finally, jump those legs back out into plank position. That’s one rep. This one builds power in legs, engages core and gets heart rate up, which is why it’s such a staple in most workout plans.
Med Ball Full Sit Up: Start laying completely flat on the ground, with med ball in hand overhead, yet on the ground, too. Use your abdominal muscles to sit up, keeping ball overhead and then reaching it towards toes. Slowly sit back down, keeping ball in the air the entire time until it reaches overhead and hits the ground briefly.
Power Cleans: Start with bar on ground. Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, bend down with flat back to grab the bar with hands on the outside of the legs. Drive from your ankles to your knees, generating momentum from your hips to quickly swing the up, catching it against your shoulders with elbows sticking out underneath. Catch with knees slightly bent, then stand up tall and do a quick shoulder movement (kind of like reverse chicken wings) to return the bar to starting position. The movement is fast, it is a power exercise after all. You will feel this one all over including your core, but my shoulders are always sore after this exercise.
Med Ball Alternate Push ups: Start in a good pushup position, hands directly under chest and body in a straight line. Hold med ball under one hand. Lower body and squeeze chest to perform the pushup. As you come up, push ball into the other hand and pushup again, alternating hands to get all reps. If you must go to your knees, that is okay, just make sure your body is in a straight line from knees to shoulders and butt is not going up in the air.
Med Ball Plank Oblique Crunch: Start in a plank position, with both legs on ground and hands directly under chest while body is in a straight line. Shift your weight to the left side of the body as you lift your right arm and leg off the ground. Reach your right arm in front of your head to grab medicine ball and roll it back towards your stomach. At the same time, bend your right leg and move your right knee towards the ball, meeting it in the middle of your body. Return slowly so the leg is extended in air and arm and ball are reaching above head. Repeat all reps on one side before switching to the other.
Bar Bent Over Row: Start with bar on ground and loaded with plates if you want extra weight (most bars start at 45 lbs by themselves). Use an overhand grip to grab the bar and stand bent over…knees slightly bent, butt back and back flat. Squeeze your lats (the largest muscle in your back) to pull the bar up towards your chest. Keep elbows close to torso. You might also feel this in your biceps.
Med Ball Kneeling Wood Choppers: Start kneeling in a good position…back knee directly under hip and front knee directly over ankle. Take a med ball in both hands and reach across your body overhead, over the front leg. Control the diagonal movement back across torso as you lower ball towards your back knee. Anyone can swing this ball up and down, but you really need to focus the crunch in the abs to get the right form and really feel it. Complete all reps on the first side before switching to the next.
Med Ball Ab Figure 8’s: Start on the ground, balancing on your butt with your legs off the ground. Holding the med ball in left hand, lift right leg and feed ball under leg. Catch it with your right arm, lowering right leg and lifting left leg, feeding ball under the left this time. Catch it with your left arm and lift over the left leg to start the figure 8 movement again. Get a complete figure 8 around both legs for one rep. It really is a challenge to focus on the figure 8 while maintaining your torso in a slightly leaned back position.