The following compound movements are incredibly challenging. These specific exercises require a combination of strength, flexibility, balance and, in some cases, a bit of endurance. While these aren't exactly beginner moves, they can definitely highlight where your fitness regimen may be lacking. If you are unable to hold your own body weight, focus on strength gains. If you have limited range of motion and you have trouble keeping correct form due to stiffness, practice your flexibility. If you have trouble keeping your balance, build a stronger core and lower back. If you are easily winded without completion of the exercise, train your heart and lungs for stamina.
Incompletion of Some or All Exercises = Room for Improvement
Completion of Most or All Exercises = Good Level of Fitness
Completion of All Exercises, With Possible Extra Repetitions = Excellent Conditioning
1) Jack Knife Push Ups for 10 or more reps. Begin in a push up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Press up through the straight-arm plank position into a jack-knife by quickly snapping your feet and hands together into a toe-touch motion. Land back in plank position and begin to lower your body down into a push up. This is one complete rep.
2) Lower Body Drag for one length of an aerobics room (or 75 feet each way), for six reps. Begin on a smooth floor surface, such as tile or wood, and make sure you are wearing socks. Start in a straight-arm plank position with your hands directly in line with your shoulders. Keep your feet together and place the top part of your foot on the floor surface so your lower body will slide easily on the floor. Walk the distance of the room length using only your arms to propel you forward. One length of the room, or 75 feet a single direction, is one complete rep.
3) Handstand Wall Walk Press for five or more reps. Begin in a straight-arm plank position with your hands directly in line with your shoulders and feet together against the base of a wall. Now start to walk your feet up the wall while keeping your core tight as your body becomes parallel to the ground. Once you approach a full handstand position, you will need to walk both your hands backward and your feet upward until your body is almost against the wall. Push up once and touch your head to the ground. Now descend the wall by walking your hands forward and your feet back down to the starting position. This is one complete rep.
4) Divebombers for 10 or more reps. Begin in the downward dog position with your feet about hip-width apart. Now bend your elbows and "dive" your nose toward the floor between your hands while you move your body forward and straighten your arms. Envision your head and upper body gliding under a low bar. Reverse the movement as you bend your elbows and glide back into the starting position. This is one complete rep.
5) Scorpions for five or more reps on each side. Begin in a straight-arm plank position with your hands placed wider than your shoulders and below the armpit. Keep your feet together as you lower your body down into a push up and lift your left leg up and over your body. Imagine your left foot reaching to touch your right hand. Make sure to keep your weight in your hands and keep your upper body from twisting with your lower body. Return to the starting position and do the alternate leg.
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