Slow and controlled. It’s a phrase you hear often in the gym. Thing is, you can move fast, too.
And to develop muscle and insulate your joints against injury, you need to challenge your body to be explosive on some exercises, then flex your patience and move slowly on others.
That’s the game plan with this workout: Do it three or four days a week.
Directions: Complete the warm-up, then do the exercises in order. Rest 60 seconds after each movement. Pay attention to the tempo notes, too; we'll tell you whether to focus on speed with your movements, or if slowing down will serve you better.
Reverse Lunge to Reach and Rotate
Start standing, arms at your sides, then step back with your right leg and lower into a reverse lunge.
Let your back knee touch the floor. Reach both arms overhead, stretching your back and chest. Then put your hands together and rotate your shoulders as far to each side as you can. Stand and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 5.
Single-Arm Split-Stance Snatch - FOCUS ON SPEED
Start standing, holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Push your butt back slightly and bend your knees. Explosively stand, squeezing your glutes and jumping off the floor slightly. As you do this, pull the dumbbell up to your chest, keeping it close to your body. Punch it overhead, squeezing your abs and glutes; land with your right leg in front of your body and your left leg behind, both knees bent. That’s 1 rep; do 5 per arm. Rest 30 seconds; do 5 sets.
Kickstand Split Squat
Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell at your chest. Step your right foot back so your toes line up with your left heel, then lift your right heel off the floor; the majority of your weight should be on your left leg. Push your butt back and bend your knees, lowering into a squat. Press back up explosively. Return to the start and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 6.
Glute Bridge Alternating Press
Lie on your back, dumbbells directly over your shoulders, feet near your butt. Squeeze your glutes and abs, lifting your butt off the floor. This is the start. Without moving the left dumbbell, lower the right dumbbell to your shoulder; press it back up. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 10. Rest 40 seconds; do 3 sets.
Paused Romanian Deadlift - SLOW IT DOWN
Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, dumbbells held at your sides. Keeping your abs tight and the dumbbells close to your body, push your butt back and lower your torso toward the floor. Stop lowering when you feel your hamstrings tighten or if you begin to feel your back round, whichever comes first. Take 3 seconds to lower, then pause for 1 second. Stand and squeeze your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do 10. Rest 60 seconds; do 4 sets.
Alternating Dead-Stop Step-Back Row - FOCUS ON SPEED
Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, a dumbbell on the floor between your legs. Push your butt back and take a step back with your right leg. Your left shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Keeping your hips and shoulders square, grasp the dumbbell with your right hand, squeeze your shoulder blades, and row it to your rib cage. Lower, reverse the movements, then repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 8. Rest 60 seconds; do 4 sets.
Prone Pulsing Superman - SLOW IT DOWN
Lie on your belly, arms and legs outstretched. Squeeze your glutes, raising your thighs off the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades and mid-back muscles, raising the top of your chest. This is the start. Squeeze your back and glutes harder, raising your torso and legs higher. Return to the start. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 45 seconds. Lower all the way to the floor and take 2 deep breaths whenever your form slips. Rest 30 seconds; do 3 sets.
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