In the second installment of our workout progression, you added weight to increase strength and stability. Now, at the end of your 12-week fitness journey, you’re ready to focus on functional moves that demand even more from your muscles.
“This is what you’ve been working toward,” says Gold’s Gym fitness expert Andy Coggan. “Now go crush it.”
Workout progression: advanced
Coggan created this advanced-level workout of mobile movement to incorporate core stability, unilateral weight distribution and posterior chain flexibility.
He recommends performing these moves three times a week, with one or two rest days in between. Remember to warm up for five minutes (with cardio or the beginner moves) and cool down with five minutes of stretching.
Dumbbell squat thrusters
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. The backs of the dumbbells should rest on the top of your shoulders, with your elbows in line with your wrists. With the weights in this position, perform a full squat, keeping your back flat and your knees over your toes. As you rise to standing, press the dumbbells straight overhead with your arms fully extended.
The goal: Four sets of five reps. Coggan suggests using five to 30 pounds per dumbbell, depending on your ability to maintain form. You’ll feel the squat in your glutes, hips, thighs and lower legs, and the press will activate your shoulders and triceps. Your abs and lower back will get a workout, too, since they’ll help stabilize the dumbbell on your shoulder.
Depending on your strength, you can loop a band around the pull-up bar for assistance or use an assisted pull-up machine. Begin by hanging freely from a bar (or if using assistance, with a foot in a band or your knee or foot on the machine’s padded support). With your arms fully extended, raise your body up until your chin is above the bar. Once there, lower your body down with control until your elbows are nearly locked.
The goal: Four sets of five reps to work your upper back, biceps, forearms and abs.
From standing, hinge at the hips and place your palms on the floor. Gradually walk your hands out, lowering your body until you reach a plank position (or your limit). Keep your shoulders stacked above your wrists. Then walk your hands back to your feet and stand up.
The goal: Three sets of 10 reps. This is a total-body movement, but you’ll especially feel the burn in your core muscles. Increase intensity by doing burpees instead (start in a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you, kick your feet back to a pushup position, bring your feet back up to the squat position and then jump up on your toes with your arms extended overhead).
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