Happy New Year! You might be recovering from the night before but there’s no time like the present to get back on top of your training & to make those new year’s resolutions a reality. To help we have the second part of our Ben Foden New Year workout.
Exercise 4 – Knees to elbow
The knees to elbows exercise, whilst resembling an abs exercise, actually utilises the whole of the torso integrating the use of the abdominal muscles, muscle of the front of the rib cage, the shoulders and the upper and lower back.
1. Hang relaxed from a pull up bar with your hands at a width slightly wider than your shoulders where you feel most comfortable through your arms and upper back.
2. Curling up from the waist, draw your knees up bending your legs slightly and trying to keep them as close to the body as possible. Stabilising with your lats, draw your knees up until they touch your elbows. At that point you may find it helps to pull slightly with the arms but try to minimise this movement as this is not a pull up.
3. Once you have touched your knees to elbows drive the legs deliberately straight back down and point your toes to the floor. Don’t let them just fall and keep them close to the body, all these actions – as well as keeping the knees close to the torso on the way up – stop the swinging motion that messes up your rhythm and makes quick reps impossible.
Exercise 5 – Battle Ropes Hip Toss
Battle ropes are an ideal conditioning exercise as they don’t overly fatigue one set of muscles but instead work the whole body meaning you’re able to do a lot of work and test the heart and lungs before becoming fatigued in any one muscle group
1. Standing face on to the ropes, grab the handle and lean back slightly against the weight of the ropes. Start the ‘hip toss’ or ‘hip throw’ movement by shifting your weight onto your right hand side, bending the right knee more, turning and leaning the torso slightly to the right and passing the hands to the right hand side and down.
2. Once in the coiled ‘set’ position, explode off driving with the right foot and twisting with the hips and torso to the left hand side. Towards the end of the movement, power the arms over to the left hand side and go up onto the ball of the right foot and twist the leg so you can twist the hips further.
3. You will now be in a similar ‘set position’ but on the left hand side. Repeat the movement, driving off the left foot, twisting to your right driving over with the arms and twisting on the ball of the left foot to allow the hip to work harder.
Repeat for as many reps and desired.
Exercise 6 – Olympic rings press ups
Ring press ups are deceptively simple but are not easy. They require a high level of stabilisation through the upper torso, shoulders and arms as well as working the lower torso and hips in a similar but much more challenging way to a plank exercise.
1. Start by setting up the rings. Here the rigs are just off the floor but you can set them to a foot or even more away from the ground, the closer to the floor they are the more challenging the exercise will be.
Kneeling in front of the rings, grip them whilst keeping the wrists firm and straight. Move from your knees onto your toes as you would for a standard press-up; holding the back in a neutral ‘flat’ position and firming your abs. Keep your arms straight with your elbows closer to your sides than you might in a normal floor press-up.
2. Slowly lower yourself down keeping the movement controlled and staying rigid through the upper body. It may help shoulder stability if you think about turning your palms to nearly face each other – this ‘winds’ the shoulder up and helps stability in the joint.
Lower yourself down as far as comfort, mobility and stability allow and then pause very slightly at the bottom to avoid ‘bouncing’, then press yourself back up.
3. As you press back up keep the torso tight and control the shoulders and wrists. It may help your stability to keep the elbows relatively close to the body.
When you have completed your set go down onto the knees again placing them as close to the rings as possible – this will make moving back from the rigs easy.
Ben Foden appears courtesy of www.multipower.co.uk