I've been trying to put together a good workout that doesn't involve, or minimally involves, the legs and hips. There are planks in this workout, but I find that they really don't work the hamstrings very much, if at all. As a self-described insane runner, I tend to engage in running as exercise, and running only. I would change up my routine by trail running, lol! Many runners, like me, tend to forget about the importance of strength training and core strengthening to prevent injury. A huge reason why I am so affected by hamstring problems is that I am really weak in my hips, glutes and core. Based on past experience from PT back in May, June and July, right now is not the time to try and strengthen my hips or glutes. It required too much use of my hamstrings and the their tendons. I found that even when I used proper form, I was still aggravating my injury. So I am mainly focusing on my core and upper body in these moves.
**Disclaimer: I am not a personal trainer, a physical therapist, or a running coach-although that would be really cool. This workout is what *I* do, and doesn't necessarily mean you can do it safely without being under direct supervision of one of these aforementioned professionals. I am not suggesting you do these exercises. I am merely showing you what I do and how I do it. K? Thx :-)**
Ok, now that that's out of the way, let's get started. These can be done in any order, but this is what I've done.
- 60 second prone plank
- 10 push-ups
- 5 elbows-in push-ups (works triceps)
- 4X30 second planks-prone, left side, prone, right side
- 15 bicep curls (8lb dumbells)
- 15 tricep extensions (15lb kettle bell)
- 15 kettle bell high pulls (15lb kettle bell)
- 20 crunches
- Either 10 superman poses holding 30 seconds each or 20 back extensions (will explain reason for choosing one or the other below)
- 15 Pilates roll ups
- 15 oblique crunches each side
- 15 fast bicycles each side
- 10 slow bicycles elbow pressing against opposite knee
- 20 tricep dips (on chair or in crab walk position)
Some of these are obvious, while others require some explanation. I will show you what most of them look like. I think bicep curls are pretty self-explanatory.
Make sure you tuck your pelvis and keep your abs engaged. Your body should be straight from the shoulders all the way down to the feet. Don't let your hips sag down or stick your butt up in the air. My upper back tends to curve a little when I engage my abs really hard. Your arms, core, and quads should burn if you are using proper form.
How I wish I could do all 10 push ups:
How I actually do them:
My goal is to work my way up to doing all 10 in the full prone plank position!
Elbows In/Tricep Push Ups
So position yourself exactly like you would to do a regular push up, but bring your hands in toward each other, and keep your elbows snug to your side while you lower down. You will notice your triceps engaging while you do these.
Prone Plank with Side Planks
My position doesn't look correct in the bottom picture. Just do the same thing as the picture of me facing the camera above, but on the other side.
Kettle Bell High Pulls
These work the deltoids, which are the shoulder muscles.
Supermans or Back Extensions
As you can see, the only difference is arm position and the involvement of the legs in the Superman. The Superman engaged my hamstrings too much and started to hurt, so I had to switch to just back extensions. Sucks, I know. At least I tried them!!
Pilates Roll Ups
Oblique Crunches-Each Side
Bicycle Crunches-Fast and Slow
Do 15 of these in each side quickly without worrying about your elbow touching the opposite knee. As long as it gets close and you feel the burn in your oblique, you're good.
Then, do 10 on each side slowly, touching your elbow to the opposite knee and pressing it to engage your ab muscles a little bit more. Take your time and do these slowly. As you press your elbow into your knee, you'll feel the extra burn. This is the goal.
You're almost done!!
You can do these on the floor in “crab walk” position or on the edge of a stable chair to really work those triceps.
The key with these is to use only your arms and don't move your butt up and down. That's called cheating ;-). You will definitely feel the burn if you're doing these right!
That's it! Do this workout twice through, and call me in the morning :-). You'll be hurting! Hurting so good, though! I hope you enjoy this and it works for you! Leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it!
I got my sports bra and crops at Sole Sports in Tempe if you guys are interested. Go there and get them before they're gone!!