Sled driving mimics many exercises we might encounter in our day-to-day lives - pushing a cart, sliding furniture around the house, or getting your car out of a ditch. Therefore, it’s quite an easy exercise to learn at the start. You’ll soon be huffing-and-puffing with this total body exercise - your legs driving behind you, core bracing to power the force into the bar, and arms held out extended. Sled pushes are a great joint-friendly, high intensity option to get the heart rate up and work the legs.
Similar to pushing things around, you've probably been carrying things your whole life. Anyone who has had to tote groceries a few blocks or book it through the airport with bags can attest to how strenuous it is. Weighted carries can be varied to combat injury or instability that new clients often have, allowing for progression to more complex exercises. Try the waiter’s carry, suitcase carry, or front rack carry for new challenges.
Dumbbell step up
Moving your own body weight around should be the first skill you learn when embarking on a new program. This ensures you’ve got a solid foundation of strength before jumping too far ahead and risking injury. Add in dumbbell step ups for a single leg strength challenge that uses the biggest engines in your body - your glutes and hamstrings. Make sure to get your whole foot on the step, stay tall, and drive through the heel. Incorporate these in a circuit or as a stand alone exercise to develop a strength foundation.
Isometric Squat plus row
Isometrics are where you load up in one position and hold it without moving. You’re producing force in the muscle without even going anywhere, so it helps to really switch the focus on. If you’ve had difficulty with squat form, start here with a quarter squat. Grab a cable machine bar or a band, and sit back like you’re sitting in an imaginary chair while you pull in to your chest. The movement of the row will challenge your core and upper back as you fight to stay upright. Truly a total body movement that hits all the right areas.
Barbell Push up to Bodyweight squat
If you’re working toward push ups, add this combo movement with a barbell to keep the blood flowing and pump your arms. Adjust a barbell or Smith Machine to a height where you can smoothly execute at 8-10 push ups, chest to bar and arms locked out. Do one push up, then stand up and do a body weight squat. That’s one full rep. Add in as many of these as possible in an interval for a metabolic workout.