Exercise Circuit

Do these exercises in a circuit. Meaning, do one round of each activity, rest for 1-2 minutes, then repeat the course three to five times over.

Bicep Curls
Begin with a dumbbell in each hand with the arms straight down at the sides and the palms facing forward. Keeping the core engaged, begin to curl the palms up towards the shoulders while keeping the elbows tight to the ribs. As you curl, gently squeeze the shoulder blades together to stabilize the upper body. You want to avoid any roundness in the upper back or hunching in your posture. Repeat 12x for three to five rounds.

As with pull-ups, there are also many correct variations of push-ups out there. Again, for our purposes, we’ll keep a wider stance in the arms. Begin with the hands a bit wider than the shoulders, and the fingers turned slightly towards the middle. Keep the body engaged as you would in your plank and bend the elbows to ninety degrees. Press back up powerfully. It’s essential to keep the body steady without letting the pelvis sag down and the back buckle. To keep it safe, you want your alignment to be on point. Only do them until your form starts to suffer, then back off and take a break. Repeat 12x (if possible) for three to five rounds.

Beginning in a down dog, come on to the tiptoes. Unlike in yoga, please take your arms more expansive than you usually would and bring them more expansive than the shoulders. Pitch the butt up towards the sky, so the back is nice and long, and the weight is more in the shoulders than in the feet. Bend the elbows deeply, so they point right and left, respectively. Bend, so the arms come to ninety degrees and then press back to your down dog. No need to tap the head on the floor! Repeat 12x for three to five rounds.

Take a dumbbell in each hand and stand with the feet about shoulder-width apart. Soften the knees and brace the core. Starting with the palms facing each other in front of you, take a breath in and extend both arms out to the sides, to shoulder height. Careful not to fly above there! As the arms lift, make sure they’re not pulling backwards; you should be able to see the components out of your peripheral vision when they lift. Also, be sure to keep the palms facing down, even as you raise and lower the arms. Repeat 12x for three to five rounds.

Stability Ball Crunches
Bring your hands down to the floor and line the wrists under the shoulders as you would in plank. Take the top of one foot onto the stability ball, and do the same with the other. Take a moment here to make sure you feel stable. You have two options: The more accessible version is to “crunch” the knees in towards the chest and then slowly extend the legs back to where they started. To make it more challenging, keep the legs straight and draw the feet in closer to the chest while you lift the hips over the shoulders, just like you would in a handstand. Then slowly extend the legs back to where they started. This requires more strength in the upper body and stabilization in the core. Repeat 12x for three to five rounds.

1-Minute Plank Hold
Super simple but one of the most important things to do to nail your handstands. Bring the hands under the shoulders and draw the shoulder blades down the back. Corset the belly in on all sides and draw the upper ribcage back towards the spine. Slightly tuck the tailbone down towards the heels, and engage the quads away from the floor. Keep the body in one long line; don’t let the lower back buckle and the pelvis sag towards the bottom. Hold for one minute using the timer on your phone for measurement. If you can’t make it to a minute, hold in 15 or 30-second increments with a 5-second break in between until you build your strength. Don’t cheat yourself here! Get in your minute however you can, eventually working up to two and three minutes.
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