by Jon Gustin
We posted this blog last year but I thought it was a perfect time to repost while we're all in quarantine.
The act of working out doesn’t have to take up much of your time. Sometimes we can get a more effective workout if we exercise on a time crunch. Yes we should do something everyday like walking, stretching or working out but it shouldn’t take up much of your time. The excuse of not having enough time to exercise is more outdated than the flip phone. This is due to the fact that we think more is better when the opposite is true. Combining movements is one of the best ways you can get a great workout in a short amount of time. There’s also many benefits to combining movements and combining different planes of motion. I could write 100 blogs about different movements and their benefits along with a whole book on how you could create movements on your own. However, that’s not going to happen right now and after putting in 10 years of work as a personal trainer, you will not fully understand overnight. As with everything, lets start slow with one movement.
PUSHUP WITH SHOULDER TOUCH
Watch video below before reading on.
I think every woman on the planet asks how they can get rid of the jiggle on the back of their arm! They follow up that question with how they can “tighten” up their midsection or belly. So why not start with a movement that will help with both! For all the men out there that want their arms to look bigger in shirts and their Serratus Anteriors to look like that of a Greek Adonis, follow this! I’m obviously exaggerating but you get the jest!
Pushups are by far the best exercise for the arms, chest and shoulders. I say best because they’re free, don’t require a gym, and are with your own bodyweight. If you have been doing the kneeling or “girl” pushup for longer than a year, read my previous blog (HERE) about the Negative Push-Up. It also expands on the topic of getting rid of that “granny flab.” In the video below I do give you 3 options for the push-up that you can use with the shoulder touch. You can do the full pushup with a high plank shoulder touch, a kneeling push-up with a kneeling shoulder touch, or a kneeling pushup with a high plank shoulder touch. A high plank is another name for the start of a full push-up without doing a push-up, you just hold the position.
The shoulder touch is one of those moves that appears easy, until you do them. Combining the push-up with them fatigues the shoulders more than usual. This is the goal here because we are trying to get a really hard workout in a short amount of time. This is when you realize shorter workouts are way harder! You also realize you’ve been spending way too much time fussing around on simple movements! There's a time and place for everything but right now its short, hard, and effective! The shoulder touch is hard because you are taking away stability from your body by lifting up one arm. You are forced to stabilize more weight with the other arm as well as with the core, hips, and legs. Did you see how many body parts I named from just doing one simple thing with your arm? Thats why I love combining movements so much! Another great benefit to the shoulder touch is there is no flexion of the spine. If you think crunches are good for you think again! We spend enough time during the day in a rounded position why would we exercise that way too? My favorite core or ab exercises involve movements like this where the spine stays aligned with your body. Sit ups can be done this way and I will do another blog post on how that can be achieved. Until then, do shoulder touches. Another thing to note here is the wider your feet are, the easier the shoulder touch will be. This just creates a bigger base for you. If your hips rock side to side too much get your feet wider. As you improve you can narrow that stance to make it more challenging. As with every core exercise and especially with this one, keep those hips up! If you drop those hips too far you will stress the back and take out all tension from the core.
I will leave by saying these do not have to be combined. If you feel you need to work on them individually, please by all means do that. I am all for the long game and I am all for great form! Practicing will help you tremendously later and there are no side effects besides more results! I suggest starting with 3 sets of 5 reps with whatever method you choose and build from there. If you want to add another movement I would add either a bent over row or squats or both! There are no “rules” to this stuff besides the form. Get creative, practice, and have fun with it! If you guys get any ideas or want to share your progress, please message us on Facebook or Instagram! Stay healthy and safe out there!