Select one of the options on the left to get more info on how best to prepare and train for race events or on how to safely execute your individual day to day exercises.

5K Training Program

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest or Run/Walk 1.5 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 1.5 Mile Run Rest 40 min Crosstrain 3 Mile Run
2 Rest or Run/Walk 1.75 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 1.5 Mile Run Rest 40 min Crosstrain 3.5 Mile Run
3 Rest or Run/Walk 2 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 1.5 Mile Run Rest 50 min Crosstrain 4 Mile Run
4 Rest or Run/Walk 2.25 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 1.5 Mile Run Rest 50 min Crosstrain 4 Mile Run
5 Rest or Run/Walk 2.5 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 2 Mile Run Rest 60 min Crosstrain 4.5 Mile Run
6 Rest or Run/Walk 2.75 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 2 Mile Run Rest 60 min Crosstrain 5 Mile Run
7 Rest or Run/Walk 3 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 2 Mile Run Rest 60 min Crosstrain 5.5 Mile Run
8 Rest or Run/Walk 2 Mile Run Rest or Run/Walk 2 Mile Run Rest Rest 5K Race

Beginner Runners' 10K Training Schedule

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Rest 1.5 m run CT or Rest 1.5 m run Rest 2 m run 25-30 min EZ run or CT
2 Rest 2 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 2.5 m run 25-30 min EZ run or CT
3 Rest 2.5 mi run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 3.5 m run 30-35 min EZ run or CT
4 Rest 2.5 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest 3.5 m run 35 min EZ run or CT
5 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2.5 m run Rest 4 m run 35-40 min EZ run or CT
6 Rest 3 m run CT 2.5 m run Rest 4.5 m run 35-40 min EZ run or CT
7 Rest 3.5 m run CT 3 m run Rest 5 m run 40 min EZ run or CT
8 Rest 3 m run CT or Rest 2 m run Rest Rest 10K Race!
CT = Cross-Train ((biking, swimming, elliptical trainer) at easy to moderate effort for 30 to 40 minutes. If you're feeling very sluggish or sore, take a rest day.

EZ = Your run should be at an easy (EZ), comfortable pace, which helps loosen up your muscles. Or, you can do a run/walk combination or cross-train.

10-Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
1 3 Rest 3 3 Rest 4 Rest 13
2 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 5 Rest 15
3 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 6 Rest 16
4 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 8 Rest 19
5 3 Rest 5 3 Rest 10 Rest 21
6 4 Rest 5 4 Rest 11 Rest 24
7 4 Rest 6 4 Rest 12 Rest 26
8 4 Rest 5 4 Rest 9 Rest 22
9 3 Rest 4 3 Rest 8 Rest 18
10 3 Rest 3 Walk 2 Rest 13.1 Rest 21.1

Half Marathon Training Program

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Stretch & Strengthen 3 Mile Run 2 Mile Run or Crosstrain 3 Mile Run & Strength Rest 30 min Crosstrain 4 Mile Run
2 Stretch & Strengthen 3 Mile Run 2 Mile Run or Crosstrain 3 Mile Run & Strength Rest 30 min Crosstrain 4 Mile Run
3 Stretch & Strengthen 3.5 Mile Run 2 Mile Run or Crosstrain 3.5 Mile Run & Strength Rest 40 min Crosstrain 5 Mile Run
4 Stretch & Strengthen 3.5 Mile Run 2 Mile Run or Crosstrain 3.5 Mile Run & Strength Rest 40 min Crosstrain 5 Mile Run
5 Stretch & Strengthen 4 Mile Run 2 Mile Run or Crosstrain 4 Mile Run & Strength Rest 40 min Crosstrain 6 Mile Run
6 Stretch & Strengthen 4 Mile Run 2 Mile Run or Crosstrain 4 Mile Run & Strength Rest or Easy Run Rest 5K Race
7 Stretch & Strengthen 4.5 Mile Run 3 Mile Run or Crosstrain 4.5 Mile Run & Strength Rest 50 min Crosstrain 7 Mile Run
8 Stretch & Strengthen 4.5 Mile Run 3 Mile Run or Crosstrain 4.5 Mile Run & Strength Rest 50 min Crosstrain 8 Mile Run
9 Stretch & Strengthen 5 Mile Run 3 Mile Run or Crosstrain 5 Mile Run & Strength Rest or Easy Run Rest 10K Run
10 Stretch & Strengthen 5 Mile Run 3 Mile Run or Crosstrain 5 Mile Run & Strength Rest 60 min Crosstrain 9 Mile Run
11 Stretch & Strengthen 5 Mile Run 3 Mile Run or Crosstrain 5 Mile Run & Strength Rest 60 min Crosstrain 10 Mile Run
12 Stretch & Strengthen 4 Mile Run 3 Mile Run or Crosstrain 2 Mile Run Rest Rest Half Marathon!

Chest (Body Weight & Bar)

Beginner Push-up

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Sternal pectoralis major, clavicular pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps.

Proper Form & Technique – Start out on the floor with hands under the chest shoulder width apart, feet crossed at ankles. Make sure when performing the exercise to keep your entire back straight and core tight. Inhale and slowly start to lower your body towards the ground. Once you reach a 90 degree angle with your arms, exhale and begin the push up.

Training Considerations – None

Advanced Push-up

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Sternal pectoralis major, clavicular pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps.

Proper Form & Technique – Start out on the floor with hands under the chest shoulder width apart, feet spread out for balance. Make sure when performing the exercise to keep your entire back straight and core tight. Inhale and slowly start to lower your body towards the ground. Once you reach a 90 degree angle with your arms, exhale and begin the push up.

Training Considerations – Difficult exercise, not designed for beginners.

Bench Press

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Sternal pectoralis major, clavicular pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps.

Proper Form & Technique – Lie supine on an exercise bench with both feet planted firmly on the floor. Make sure when performing the exercise to keep your entire back flat on the bench at all times. Grasp the barbell evenly with both hands slightly wider then shoulder width apart. As you lift the barbell off the rack inhale and slowly lower the bar, keeping arms at 90 degrees until the bar reaches 4-6 inches from the chest. Exhale and push thru the chest extending the bar back to the starting position, return bar to rack. Engage the core through out the exercise.

Training Considerations – Barbell bench press requires balancing the bar while pressing the weight. A spotter should be on hand especially when using heavy weight.

Chest (Dumbbell)

Dumbbell Chest Press on Swiss Ball

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Sternal pectoralis major, clavicular pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps.

Proper Form & Technique – Lie supine on a Swiss ball with both feet planted firmly on the floor. Make sure when performing the exercise to keep your upper back flat on the ball at all times. Start with a set of dumbbells extended over the chest with straight arms. Contract the core before beginning the press. Lower both arms down to the chest, keeping them at 90 degrees. Exhale and push thru the chest extending both arms back up.

Training Considerations – To increase the intensity of the exercise perform alternating dumbbell presses on an exercise ball with dumbbells. A spotter is recommended.

Alternate Dumbbell Chest Press on Swiss Ball

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Sternal pectoralis major, clavicular pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps.

Proper Form & Technique – Lie supine on an exercise bench with both feet planted firmly on the floor. Make sure when performing the exercise to keep your entire back flat on the bench at all times. Start with a set of dumbbells extended over the chest with straight arms. Contract the core before beginning the press. Stabilize one arm as you start to lower the opposite arm down to the chest, keeping arm at 90 degrees. Exhale and push thru the chest extending the arm and dumbbell back to meet the stabilized arm. Repeat on opposite side.

Training Considerations – To increase the intensity of the exercise perform the press with one foot off the floor. A spotter is recommended.

Dumbbell Chest Fly

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Sternal pectoralis major, clavicular pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps.

Proper Form & Technique – Lie supine on a Swiss ball with both feet planted firmly on the floor. Make sure when performing the exercise to keep your upper back flat on the ball at all times. Start with a set of dumbbells extended over the chest with straight arms. Contract the core before beginning the fly. Start to open up both arms into a fly position. Lower arms until they are even with the top of the shoulders. Exhale and start to bring the dumbbells back together at the top.

Training Considerations – This exercise is not designed for heavy weights due to the pressure it puts on the shoulder joint.

Upper Back

Lat Pull-down (to the front)

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Latissimus dorsi, bicep brachii, scapular retractors.

Proper Form & Technique – Attach a long bar to the lat pull-down machine, and adjust the thigh pads so that when you are sitting your knees are at right angles and feet flat on the ground. Grasp the bar using a wide grip and sit down maintaining the upper body in an upright position, slightly leaning back from the hips. Pull the bar in front of your face to the top of your chest and pause. Slowly release the bar back to the starting position by straightening your arms. Keep core contracted during exercise.

Training Considerations – Lat pull-downs behind the neck are not recommended and should be avoided. This type of exercise can cause neck pain. This exercise can also be done with different grips and tools.

Seated Cable Row

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids,bicep brachii, erector spinae

Proper Form & Technique – Start out seated nice and tall on the bench with a slight bend in your knees. Grasp the handle in front of you with an overhand grip. Contract the core, exhale and start to gradually pull the handle back to your chest, keeping elbows tucked to the side. At the very end of the pull, squeeze both shoulder blades together. Inhale and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.

Training Considerations – Make sure you keep your torso straight while performing the exercise. Do not have a rounded back.

Standing Dumbbell Row

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Latissimus dorsi, posterior deltoids, scapular retractors, spinal extensors, hip extensors.

Proper Form & Technique – Select a set of dumbbells appropriate for your strength level. Hold the dumbbells with a neutral grip. Legs should be just inside shoulder width apart with knees slightly bent. Lower the upper body until it is parallel with the floor. Allow both arms to hang down slightly in front of the shoulder. Activate the core and begin to pull the arms back and up while contracting the shoulder blades together. Hold then slowly lowering both arms to starting position, relaxing the shoulder blades.

Training Considerations – This exercise places a high stabilization demand on the spinal and hip extensors and a high level of hamstring flexibility.

Lower Back

Prone Opposite Arm and Leg Raise

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Lower lumber spine

Proper Form & Technique – Lay in a prone position with arms and legs fully extended. Do not flex the knee; this will create unnecessary tension on the lumbar spine. Lift up the right arm and left leg simultaneously in a slow controlled manner. Perform the same move on the opposite side (left arm and right leg). Make sure to continue breathing throughout the exercise.

Training Considerations – Height is not as important as the extension and the stretch. This exercise can be performed with only one arm or one leg at a time if the lumbar area is weak or range of motion deficiencies.

Quadraplex

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Core (transverse abdominis, diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, and transversospinalis group), contralateral hip extensors and shoulder flexors, contralateral hip abductors and scapular stabilizers.

Proper Form & Technique – Start on your hands and knees with your knees located directly under your hip and your hands located directly under your shoulders. Take one foot and one arm on opposite sides and extend them out from the body and just off the ground. Always inhale and exhale while performing the exercise. While keeping the head in a neutral position and the spine in proper posture contract the abdominal muscles and slowly raise the arm and opposite leg. Hold the top position for a few seconds then slowly lower the arm and leg. Repeat as needed.

Training Considerations – Keep in mind that this exercise can be challenging and that you can lower the intensity if needed by holding the top position instead of raising and lowering. The focus of this exercise should be placed on stabilization of the spine and pelvis and on the core activation as opposed to the limb movement.

Swiss Ball Reverse Trunk Extension

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Targets the spinal erector group but also targets hip extensors and gluts

Proper Form & Technique – Lie in a prone position on top of a Swiss ball aligning the hips with the body’s center of gravity. In this position the client’s forearms are going to stabilize the upper torso. The client should be lying in a slight decline position. Keep both legs straight as you lift them at the same time slow and controlled until full extension in the hips is achieved. Contract the back, inhale and exhale with each lift.

Training Considerations – This is an advanced exercise and should not be perform with individuals with lumbar weakness.

Trunk Extension

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Targets the spinal erector group (lower lumbar)

Proper Form & Technique – Lie in a prone position on top of a Swiss ball aligning the hips with the body’s center of gravity. Cross arms in front of the chest. Keep both legs straight and pressed against the floor or a wall. Slowly start to raise the upper portion of the body until the entire body makes a straight line. Hold, then lower to starting positon.

Training Considerations – This is an advanced exercise and should not be perform with individuals with lumbar weakness.

Shoulders

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Anterior and lateral deltoids, supraspinatus, triceps

Proper Form & Technique – While seated on an exercise bench, making sure to keep the core engaged, feet firmly planted on the floor and back straight hold dumbbells at the shoulders with elbows below the wrist. Inhale and press the dumbbells slowly and evenly until the arms are extended overhead. Return both dumbbells back to the top of the shoulders.

Training Considerations – Individuals with a weak core should use an exercise bench that has back support.

Lateral Dumbbell Raise

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Anterior and lateral deltoids, supraspinatus, triceps

Proper Form & Technique – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a set of dumbbells along your side. Contract the core, Exhale and begin to lift both arms out to the side until the dumbbells reach the top of the shoulder. Do not fully lock out the elbow. Hold at the top, inhale and begin to lower the arms back to the side. Make sure not to swing the arms while performing the exercise.

Training Considerations – This exercise can be preformed sitting on a bench or one arm at a time to decrease the intensity.

Front Dumbbell Raise

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Anterior and lateral deltoids, supraspinatus, triceps

Proper Form & Technique – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a set of dumbbells along your side. Contract the core, Exhale and begin to lift both arms up in front of the body until the dumbbells reach the top of the shoulder. Do not fully lock out the elbow. Hold at the top, inhale and begin to lower the arms back to the side. Make sure not to swing the arms while performing the exercise.

Training Considerations – This exercise can be preformed sitting on a bench or one arm at a time to decrease the intensity.

Rotator Cuff

Shoulder Internal Rotation

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Supraspinatus, teres major.

Proper Form & Technique – Using a cable machine, clip a single handle attachment to it. Make sure to adjust the handle at elbow height. Roll a small towel up and place it under the elbow. Stand in a neutral position with feet shoulder width apart. After grasping the handle start with the arm rotated out forming a 90 degrees angle with the shoulder. Take a deep breath, exhale and slowly start to rotate the shoulder, pulling the arm in to the body. Be sure to keep the elbow stationary and firmly pressed against the towel. Continue the pull to its final position, hold then slowly allow the arm to rotate back out to its original starting position.

Training Considerations – Consider using this exercise along with external rotation for rehabilitate shoulder injuries.

Shoulder External Rotation

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Infraspinatus, teres minor.

Proper Form & Technique – Using a cable machine, clip a single handle attachment to it. Make sure to adjust the handle at elbow height. Roll a small towel up and place it under the elbow. Stand in a neutral position with feet shoulder width apart. After grasping the handle keep the arm internally rotated. Take a deep breath, exhale and slowly start to rotate the shoulder, pulling the arm out and across the body. Be sure to keep the elbow stationary and firmly presses against the towel. Continue the pull to its final position, hold then slowly allow the arm to rotate back in to the body.

Training Considerations – Consier using this exercise along with internal rotation to rehabilitate shoulder injuriesd.

Cross Country Skier

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Anterior deltoids, posterior deltoids, traps.

Proper Form & Technique – Feet are staggered one in front of the other. With a set of dumbbells, extend arms in opposing directions in a slow controlled manner. Pause at the top before returning back. Core is contracted at all times and upper torso remains stationary.

Training Considerations – This particular exercise does not work with heavy weights and can cause injury if done incorrectly. Make sure to use proper form at all times.

Biceps

Alternate Dumbbell Curl

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Biceps group, wrist flexors, shoulder and scapular stabilizers.

Proper Form & Technique – Start holding a set of dumbbells along your side, palms facing front, with a shoulder width stance, hips and knees slightly flexed. Exhale, activate the core and begin pulling one arm forward, flexing at the elbow. Continuing pulling the arm up to its highest point, hold then slowly allow the arm to return back to its starting point. Repeat the same process with the opposite arm.

Training Considerations – To add extra intensity curl both dumbbells at the same time or stand on one foot.

Cable Straight Bar Curl

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Biceps group, wrist flexors, shoulder and scapular stabilizers.

Proper Form & Technique – Start holding a straight bar hooked to the cable at its lowest position. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hips and knees slightly flexed. Exhale, activate the core and begin pulling the bar up towards the shoulders, flexing at the elbow. Continuing pulling to its highest point, hold then slowly allow the bar to return back to its starting point.

Training Considerations – To add extra intensity stand on one foot.

Concentration Dumbbell Curl

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Biceps group, wrist flexors, shoulder and scapular stabilizers.

Proper Form & Technique – Use a Swiss Ball or exercise bench to sit on. Place both feet out in a wide stance for balance and support. Hold one dumbbell in your hand while the other hand is supported on the opposite knee. Make sure to keep a straight back and contracted core throughout the exercise. Exhale and slowly start to curl the dumbbell up toward the shoudler joint making sure not to move the upper portion of the arm. When it reaches the top, hold for a second then start to bring the dumbbell back to its starting point.

Training Considerations – Start with a light dumbbell to make sure your form is correct then gradually move up to a heavier weight.

Triceps

Standing Tricep Push-down

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Triceps Brachii

Proper Form & Technique – Feet should be close together and the knees slightly bent. The upper torso is in a neutral position while the core is held tight. Make sure both arms are tightly pressed to the side of the torso with elbows under the shoulders. Exhale and extend the handle straight down to a locked position by bending at the elbows.

Training Considerations – To increase the intensity of the exercise the client can perform the exercise standing on one leg or with both feet on a balance disk.

Lying Tricep Extension

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Triceps Brachii

Proper Form & Technique – Start out lying on a Swiss ball with neck and shoulders supported by the ball, feet flat on the floor, hips aligned and core tight. Hold a set of dumbbells over the chest with straight arms. Inhale and start to bend at the elbows bringing the dumbbells down towards your head. When both arms reach 90 degrees, exhale, activate the core and begin to extend the arms back up to a straight position.

Training Considerations – This exercise is designed for advanced exercisers. Beginners should perform the exercise on an exercise bench and with a spotter.

Standing Tricep Extension

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Triceps Brachii

Proper Form & Technique – This exercise only requires the use of one dumbbell. Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees. The chest should be pressed out and the core held tight before starting the exercise. Hold the dumbbell behind your head in both hands making sure to keep elbows close to your head. Exhale, and begin to extend the dumbbell up until arms are almost straight. Hold at the top for a second then begin to lower the dumbbell back behind the head.

Training Considerations – Do not let elbows wing out to the side. Start with a light dumbbell to make sure your form is correct then gradually move up to a heavier weight.

Tricep Kickback

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Tricep Brachii

Proper Form & Technique – This exercise also uses only one dumbbell. Position your body, one knee and one hand on an exercise bench. Flatten out the back before starting. Bring the elbow, of the working arm, up so that it is level with the shoulder. Exhale and begin to extend the dumbbell back behind you until the arm is almost straight. You do not have to fully lock out the elbow. Make sure not to move the upper portion of the arm while extending back. Pause at the end, the slowly begin to bring the weight back to its starting point.

Training Considerations – To add intensity to this exercise perform the exercise standing up with two dumbbells at the same time. Start with a light dumbbell to make sure your form is correct then gradually move up to a heavier weight.

Abdominal (Floor)

Abdominal Crunch 1- Beginner

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Spinal Flexors (Rectus Abdominis, Obliques)

Proper Form & Technique – Lie on the floor in a supine position making sure your lower back remains flat. Place your finger tips behind your ears making sure to relax the neck, spine and shoulders. As you exhale out, slowly curl the upper torso up making the rectus abdominis as small as possible. Return the upper torso to the floor one vertebra at a time. Beginner level only brings the shoulder blades off the floor.

Training Considerations – Do not anchor feet but make sure knees are close together and feet are flat on the floor.

Abdominal Crunch 2 - Intermediate

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Spinal Flexors (Rectus Abdominis, Obliques)

Proper Form & Technique – Lie on the floor in a supine position making sure your lower back remains flat. Place your finger tips behind your ears making sure to relax the neck, spine and shoulders. As you exhale out, slowly curl the upper torso up making the rectus abdominis as small as possible. Return the upper torso to the floor one vertebra at a time. The difference between level 1 crunch and level 2 crunch is that with a level 2 crunch you are going to lift the upper torso as high as you can off the floor with each crunch unlike level 1 which only brings the shoulder blades off the floor.

Training Considerations – Neck pain can occur if hands are pulling on neck while crunching. Make sure not to do this while crunching.

Abdominal Crunch 3 - Advanced

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Spinal Flexors (Rectus Abdominis, Obliques)

Proper Form & Technique – This crunch is going to be performed with a medicine ball in hand. Once again lie flat on the floor in a supine position making sure your lower back remains flat. Hold the medicine ball at your chest and perform the same crunch as level one and two. Exhale on the way up; perform each crunch slow and controlled, keeping the rectus abdominis contracted al all times.

Training Considerations – Designed for intermediate or advanced clients

Abdominal (Swiss Ball)

Swiss Ball Crunch

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Rectus Abdominis

Proper Form & Technique – This crunch is performed on a Swiss ball. Sit on top of the ball and walk your feet out so that your lower back and glutes are on top of the ball. Place both hands behind your head, making sure not to pull on your neck while you crunch. Exhale, start to crunch up making sure not to move the ball. Perform each crunch slow and controlled, keeping the rectus abdominis contracted at all times.

Training Considerations – Due to balance requirements this exercise is not designed for a beginning exerciser.

Swiss Ball Oblique Crunch

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Rectus Abdominis, Obliques

Proper Form & Technique – This crunch is also performed on a Swiss ball. Sit on top of the ball with one hip and place both feet out to the side for support. Place one hand behind your head, making sure not to pull on your neck and the other along the side of the ball. Exhale, start to crunch up to the side making sure not to move the ball. Perform each crunch slow and controlled, keeping the rectus abdominis contracted at all times.

Training Considerations – Due to balance requirements this exercise is not designed for a beginning exerciser.

Kneeling Rollout on Swiss Ball

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Spinal Flexors (Rectus Abdominis, Obliques) Core

Proper Form & Technique – Assume kneeling position on the floor facing the ball. Place extended arms with a neutral hand position on top of the ball. Slightly flex torso, lean forward and control decent speed by applying pressure downward on the ball. The ball will travel up the arm. Contract the abs and push downward on the ball to ascend to the starting position.

Training Considerations – To increase intensity, position the ball further away from the torso in the starting position.

Squats

Swiss Ball Wall Squat

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Hip extensors (glute, hamstrings, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), spinal extensors.

Proper Form & Technique – Position the Swiss ball against a supportive surface. Stand in front of the ball. Press the lower thoracic and upper lumber portion of the back against the ball. Feet are placed under the torso shoulder width apart. Arms are hanging along your side. Contract the core, inhale and lower the hips down allowing the ball to slowly roll up the torso. When the hip and knees meet 90 degrees slowly start pressing through the heels of the feet and raise back up to the starting position.

Training Considerations – Make sure the Swiss ball is the proper size and in the proper starting position. Be careful not to lower too far down with beginner clients.

Dumbbell Squat

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Hip extensors (glute, hamstrings, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), spinal extensors.

Proper Form & Technique – Standing with your feet shoulder width apart with both arms along your side holding dumbbells. Contract the core, inhale and slowly push the hips back, bending at the end and lower the trunk. Continue lowering making sure the knees to not pass in front of your toes and the trunk remains in good posture over both legs. Keep the dumbbells along side slightly in front of the hips. Hold, then exhale and push through both feet extended back up to the starting position.

Training Considerations – Check for knee problems before performing this exercise.

Medicine Ball Squat

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Hip extensors (glute, hamstrings, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), spinal extensors.

Proper Form & Technique – Stand in an erect position with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a medicine ball with both hands in the center of your chest. Slowly lower the body down where the glutes meet the knees at a 90 degree angle. Be sure to keep the core contracted at all times and inhale before and exhale out with each squat.

Training Considerations – To make exercise more advanced extend the medicine ball out in front with each squat. Be sure not to lower past the knee for safety reasons.

Smith Machine Squats

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Hip extensors (glute, hamstrings, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), spinal extensors.

Proper Form & Technique – The smith machine bar should be placed just above the scapula not on the neck. Comfortably place the hands on the bar and relax the elbows. Both feet should be placed shoulder width apart angled out 20-30 degrees. Stabilize the position by engaging the core and contracting the trunk and legs. As you inhale push the hips back, allow the knees to bend, and the trunk to lean forward. Start lowering the body as far a possible with proper form. Hold, and then slowly begin to exhale and raise the body back up.

Training Considerations – Having a spotter is recommended. Never lock out the knees when in the starting position or after completing a squat. Keep knees behind the toes.

Inner Thigh Dumbbell Squat

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Adductors (glute, hamstrings, hip extensors), knee extensors (quadriceps).

Proper Form & Technique – Start out holding one dumbbell in the center of the body with both hands. Feet are slightly wider then shoulder width apart with toes facing out. Keep a tight core and straight back as you inhale and begin to lower into a squat position. When the dumbbell reaches the floor hold for a second, exhale and start to press back up.

Training Considerations – The farther you point your toes out, the more you will work your inner thigh.

Hamstring (Ball, Cable & Dumbbell)

Swiss Ball Bridge Hamstring Curl

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Knee flexors (hamstrings), gluteus maximus

Proper Form & Technique – Lie in a supine position with a swiss ball under your feet. Hands are on the floor along the side of the torso. Press downwards with both feet by performing hip extensions at the same time performing knee flexion and rolling the ball towards the gluts. Hips should be about 2-3 inches off the matt. With each roll in of the ball squeeze the hamstrings and gluteus. Inhale and exhale with each roll in of the ball.

Training Considerations – This exercise can be performed with a single leg to increase the intensity.

Standing Hamstring Flexion

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Knee flexors (hamstrings), hip extensors, posterior oblique subsystem.

Proper Form & Technique – Using a cable machine, properly attach the foot/ankle strap. Stand with your weight on one leg and with the foot of the other leg in the strap. The leg with the strap is located in front of the stationary leg. Keep a bent knee with the stationary leg. Activate the core; begin to extend the hip by pulling the leg back. As you pull back flex the knee to 90 degrees. Maintain good posture throughout the exercise. Hold then slowly allow the leg to pull back in.

Training Considerations – Having the weight set too heavy will not allow the client to perform the exercise with correct form or use the correct muscles.

Dumbbell Deadlift

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Hip extensors (glute, hamstrings, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), spinal extensors.

Proper Form & Technique – Reach down in a squat position and grasp barbell in an under handed grip. Slowly stand up in an erect position. Concentrate on squeezing gluts and hamstrings and not the back. Keep knees slightly bent and lower the body down in a squat position keeping core contracted at all times.

Training Considerations – Do not bend at the spine by rounding the back. This can cause back pain and other injuries

Lunges (Floor & Step)

Forward Lunge

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Lead leg – hip extensors (glue, hamstring, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), hip abductors.

Proper Form & Technique – Stand in a neutral position. Lunge forward at a 90 degree angle, never allow the front knee to extend over the shoe and keep the back leg soft. Alternate lunges with each leg. Keep core tight at all times. Perform each lunge in a slow and controlled manner making sure to focus on form.

Training Considerations – Lunges can be difficult for clients who do not have proper balance and coordination. Allow beginners to hold onto a support bar while learning correct form.

Side Lunge

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Lead leg – hip extensors (glue, hamstring, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), hip abductors.

Proper Form & Technique – Stand on top of an exercise step with proper posture, shift body weight to the lead leg leaving the other leg just touching the step for balance. Activate the core, bend in the knee and hip of the lead leg and step off the step at a diagonal angle while lowering the body to where the pelvic crest touches the thigh. Hold and then press the body back up to the starting position.

Training Considerations – If using a dumbbell, begin with the weighted arm slightly in front of the body. This exercise can be done without an exercise step.

Reverse Lunge

Primary Muscle Group(s) – Lead leg – hip extensors (glue, hamstring, hip adductors), knee extensors (quadriceps), hip abductors.

Proper Form & Technique – While standing on an exercise step shift most of your weight to the lead leg balancing with the opposite toe on top. Keep proper erect posture with core muscles contracted and arms to your side. Bend the lead knee and step back off the step. Continue by lowering the torso so that the crest of the pelvis touches the top of the thigh of the lead leg. Hold; slowly begin to extend back up to the starting position.

Training Considerations – Consider the clients balance level. Be careful with knee alignment on the lead leg. The knee should not cross the front of the toe. Heavy weights will tend to protract the scapula and flex the thoracic spine, diminishing optimal posture.