For this video series, Variations on Six Conventional Exercises, I adapted familiar exercises to freshen your workout program. Watch how the variations take you into a new approach to using your whole body in the surrounding space.
This standing version of lat pull downs does everything the seated version does while adding whole body weight bearing, changing levels, and balance challenges. You are using multiple shoulder joint functions, pulling not only downward but pressing upward, while supporting your verticality and good posture.
This Side Leg Raise sequence is designed to place you in the correct position to work the muscles of your gluteals as you raise your leg. The roll into the side-lying position loads the gluteal tissue and energizes it to do its job—to keep your pelvis level when you stand and walk. Bonus effect: you protect your spine and the muscles of your back from soreness and stiffness.
Oblique Crunches are a whole-body contralateral pattern typically thought of as a core exercise. I have repurposed them by adding a coordination challenge that crosses and re-crosses the midline. This video takes you step-by-step through a complex pattern of spiraling contralaterality that contributes to whole-body strength.
This variation takes biceps and triceps work to a new level by using big movement through space and rotation of the shoulder joint. Rather than conventional "pumping" of the elbow joint, enjoy the elegant reach and pull of the whole arm into the space along with a big postural shift.
This gentle pectoralis stretch performed on the floor has many benefits. It improves range of motion (ROM) and flexibility in shoulder joints and spine for reaching in any direction. It mobilizes the vertebrae using a gentle, gradual whole-spine rotation. And helps correct upper body slump, rounded shoulders, forward head, and concave chest.
This deceptively simple sequence for the deltoids, uses a sustained, eccentric action in the deltoids by engaging a big space. It’s the space that loads the tissue. Add repetitions rather than weight if you want to work harder. And remember to lead the movement with your hands, not your upper trapezius.