Strength training is an important part of any good exercise regimen. Not only do you build muscle (which burns fat), but strength training also helps to speed up the metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories for longer periods of time. Looking for new ways to strength train without having to move around too much? Here are six static positions that require very little movement while still building muscular endurance and strength.
1. Plank Hold/Shift
How to Do It
Begin with a plank hold on forearms with palms facing up and arms shoulder-width apart. Shift body forward onto tips of toes with weight in your shoulders, and hold that position for three seconds. Then, shift back to the balls of the feet; hold for three seconds. This completes one set. Repeat for 10 total sets.
Be sure to keep your back in a straight line, squeezing your butt, thighs and abs. Do not let your back sag or your chest cave between your shoulders. Keep eyes focused on the floor so that your head remains in a neutral position. This allows you to use your own body weight as resistance and develop a strong midsection.
Core, back, shoulders, glutes and quads. This is a fantastic full-body isometric strength exercise!
2. V-up Hold
How to Do It
Begin seated on the floor. Keep your knees bent with hands behind your knees, pulling your knees into the chest. Point toes and keep your heels off the floor. Lean back slightly and lift feet off the floor, balancing on your butt. Lift chest up and keep your back straight while looking forward. Extend one leg to a 45-degree angle while still holding behind the knees. Then, extend the other leg. Release one arm forward, then the other. Hold this position for 4 seconds and then lower for four seconds. Repeat for five total sets.
Don’t forget to breathe. For a modification of this move, keep both knees bent or extend one leg at a time and alternate legs. You can make this move more advanced by reaching for your toes.
Your entire core should be on fire from this move! This is excellent for building balance and learning to use the core as your stabilizer.
3. SupermanHow to Do It
Lie flat on your stomach with arms extended in front of you and legs extended straight behind you.
Variation 1: Lift opposite arm and leg, hold for three seconds, then come down and alternate sides. Repeat for 10 sets.
Variation 2: Lift just the arms off the floor for three seconds, then come down. Then, lift just the legs off the floor and hold for three seconds, then come down. Repeat for 10 sets.
Variation 3: Lift both arms and legs off the floor at the same time, hold for three seconds, then come down. Repeat for 10 sets.
When you lower your arm or leg back to the floor, don’t completely collapse and let everything go! Gently touch the floor with control.
This move will really work your mid and lower back.
4. Crab HoldHow to Do It
Start in a seated position with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward. Place your hands flat behind you about shoulder width apart and fingertips facing your heels. Lift your hips up off the floor as high as you can, coming to a table-top position. Keep your head at a 45-degree angle. Squeeze your butt, flatten your stomach and breathe. Hold for 15 seconds and then slowly lower back down to the floor. Repeat for three sets. To intensify the crab hold, you can do this move using only one leg. Simply lift one leg (straight) off the ground during the entire movement.
Keep your abs flat as possible, butt tight and hips as high as you can.
This exercise is not only a great isometric core, quad, hamstring and glute movement, but it's also good for increasing shoulder and hip flexibility.
5. Squat Hold with Arms Behind HeadHow to Do It
Start in a standing position, hands behind head, feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Keep chest up, back straight, abs in and weight in the heels. Lower into the squat as if you’re going to sit in a chair. Hold the squat at the bottom while maintaining good posture and not compromising your form. Hold squat for 10 seconds, then return back to standing position. Repeat for six sets.
Think of pushing the knees out throughout the movement. Once you're in the squat, do a little squat check. Wiggle your toes to make sure you are driving through your heels and contracting your hamstrings and glutes.
This move works your core, quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
How to Do It
Start in a seated position. Place hands flat on the floor just outside your hips. Extend legs out in an L-position. Engage abs first, then press hands into the floor and lift butt and legs off the floor at the same time. Hold 15 seconds then rest 15 seconds for five sets.
To modify this move, begin in a seated position in a loose cross-legged position. Press hands into the floor and lift butt and legs off the floor at the same time.
To modify this move further, sit in a cross-legged position with 1 leg extended. Then, press hands into the floor and lift your butt and legs at the same time.
Lean forward to help engage the abs to lift yourself up. If you’re still not there and need a little help, put a block, pillow or book under your butt to decrease the range of motion and make it a little easier to lift yourself initially.
This move works your entire midsection as well as your arms. It’s challenging and different than your normal core exercises, but once you get it, you will see a difference if you keep at it!
About the Author
Deazie Gibson is AcaciaTV’s strength training instructor. She is also an international group fitness instructor, personal trainer, fitness model & flight attendant based in New York City & Chicago. Deazie is well known for applying her D3 Lifestyle (Drive, Discipline and Determination) in every aspect of her life. deazie.com