Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Run Jen Run's Animal Workout

It’s #WorkoutWednesday and time for a fun new animal inspired, full body workout routine.  Warm up then try these 6 moves.  Begin with 10 repetitions each.  Do not perform any exercise that causes or increases pain.

Frog Squats

Frog squats are a challenging exercise strengthening the quads and glutes while increasing hamstring flexibility.

Start with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, toes facing forward.  Place your hands on your ankles and press your hips back, lowering yourself into a deep squat.  Keep your back straight and head up. Exhale as you straighten your legs, feeling a nice stretch in the hamstring muscles.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Dipping Bird

The dipping bird aka single leg dead lift is great for flexibility, strength and stability of the hamstrings, glutes and core.

Start by holding a dumbbell in your left hand while standing on your right foot.  Hinge forward at the hips.  Your left leg will rise up in extension behind you and move in the same plane as your upper body.  Keep a soft knee, forward facing hips, neural head position and the core engaged.  Don’t allow your upper body to hunch forward or to move independently without your free leg.  This exercise is often done incorrectly so check in with a trainer if you are unsure of the movement.  Repeat 10-15 repetitions and switch to the other side.

Stork with Lateral Raises

This exercise will test your balance while strengthening your deltoids.

Start by standing on one foot holding two dumbbells, palms facing inward.  Raise your arms up, palms facing down, until your arms are parallel with the ground.  Lower to start position.  Repeat 10-15 repetitions and switch to the other side.


The inchworm is a core exercise that will test your hamstring flexibility and work on shoulder and core stability.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Hinge forward at the hips and place your hands on the ground in front of you.  Walk your hand out until you are in a plank position.  Challenge yourself with a push up before walking your feet in towards your hands.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks, also known as quadruped bent-knee hip extension, targets the glutes as it stretches the hip flexors.

Begin on all 4s (hands under your shoulders, knees under your hips) with your toes digging into the ground.  Keep your left knee bent at 90 degrees while you squeeze your glute and press your heel into the air.  Lower leg without touching the floor.  Make sure you use slow, controlled movements and do not swing your legs.  Repeat 10-15 repetitions and switch to the other side.

Bird Dog

Bird dog is a great core exercise that also focuses on shoulder flexion and hip extension.

Begin on all 4s (hands under your shoulder, knees under your hips) with your toes digging into the ground.  Keep your back straight while lifting your opposite arm and leg in the air, parallel to the ground.  Return to start position and switch.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Cat Camel

Finish up your workout with the cat camel stretch for mobility in your back.

Begin on all 4s (hands under your shoulder, knees under your hips) with your toes digging into the ground.  Start with your back in a neutral position then alternate between arching your spine upward toward the ceiling (cat) and rounding your back (camel) by relaxing your back and allowing your stomach to fall towards the ground.  Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

Other ideas: Seal Jacks, Bunny Hops,  Ape Squats, Crab Walks, Scorpion, Spiderman Plank

The exercises from this workout originally appeared on the Mashpee Fitness blog.  I was inspired by my 7:30 group training members to create “The Animal Workout” for this morning’s session.


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