How-to’s – Alphabetical

Your Training Toolbox!

Check out our catalogue of over 80 detailed instructional videos. Learn the correct form and get tons of ideas for your next team workout! These videos are organized alphabetically by exercise name. If you’d like, you can see the videos organized by area of focus instead.

Four Hacks to Make Push-Ups Easier

Make Push-Ups Easier | Roller Derby Athletics

Push-Ups. Love them or hate them, they’re here to stay.

They are an excellent, equipment free way to train multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which is why trainers like me like them so much!

Plus, with all the bracing going on in roller derby today, more than ever we skaters need strong backs, shoulders, chests, and arms in order to provide effective defence.

So if you hate push-ups, or if you find them too hard, painful**, or just plain impossible, this video is for you!

First I want to help you fix the two biggest mistakes I see skaters making with their push-ups. These quick fixes will actually make push-ups easier for you (I swear!!), and reduce neck and shoulder pain. We’re going to learn about having a strong back, and “Pecs not Pecks.”

Next, I’m giving you two new ways to modify your push-ups. If you struggle to complete a set of 10 push-ups in full plank position, then finding ways to modify push-ups is critical. Modifications help make push-ups easier, which will in turn allow you to safely build up your strength, instead of just struggling and failing at the full movement (hint: it’s not knee push-ups!).

Take a look:

[rda_video video_url="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zvn1Uc90p3s"]

If you want to work on those two modifications I showed, to build up your strength for full push-ups, then here’s a routine I recommend.

Do three sets of 10 to 15 reps, for 3 days:

  • Do hands-elevated sets on days 1 and 2
  • Do Eccentrics (aka Negatives) on Day 3.
  • Rest on Day 4,
  • …and then keep repeating the sequence!

**A note about pain with push-ups. If you have a wrist, elbow, or shoulder injury, it may legitimately impede your ability to do push-ups. Your best bet is to work with a sports med doctor or physiotherapist to either a) address and correct the issue if possible, or b) find an alternative exercise that works for you.

Your mission now is to try the two form-fixes I shared at the beginning of the video. How did it feel? Is it different from what you’ve been doing? Did they make push-ups easier for you? Please leave a note in the comments area below and tell me all about it!!

Want more derby training tips like these? Sign up for our free newsletter!

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PS: Keep your eyes on this site… our Sun's Out Fun's Out upper body challenge starts April 8! 

How to Stretch Everything After Your Workout

How to Stretch Everything in 8 Minutes

The perfect time to maximize your flexibility gains is when your muscles are nice and warm, like right after you’ve finished working your butt off through a workout or practice. I recently posted my Quick and Dirty Post-Derby Stretch routine, for when you still have your skates on, but today’s video is for flexibility training after your off-skate sweat sessions instead!

Here’s the drill:

This is a full-length, follow-along video. If you prefer the short version, go here instead.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/166874952"]

Click here to download a printable of this routine: How-To-Stretch-Printable

Here are some quick tips and reminders to help you get the most out of this routine:

  • Always be warm before trying flexibility training. Stretching a cold muscle is like taking a rubber band out of the freezer and trying to stretch it: not good for the rubber band, yo.
  • Breathing deeply while stretching may provide some physical benefit and can definitely be calming.
  • Be aware of tension in your jaw. Aim to keep space between your teeth (don’t clench) to maximize your ability to relax your other muscles.

And here are the stretches, with notes: 

  1. Chest opener: Keep elbow at shoulder height or above
  2. Standing Quadriceps: Point knee straight down, tilt pelvis under.
  3. Lunge: Tilt pelvis under.
  4. Hamstring: Keep hips square.
  5. Pigeon (glute/piriformis): Keep front foot flexed, experiment with angles to suit your hips and knees.
  6. Taco Stand (groin/adductors): experiment to find a position that gives you the best stretch.
  7. Seated Twist: sit up very straight before twisting.
  8. Windshield-wiper twist: Take deep breaths. Try to keep both shoulders on the floor.
  9. Seated forward fold: Take deep breaths.

Follow this cool down routine after all your off-skate workouts to maximize your flexibility, potentially reduce future injuries, and feel noticeably less sore the day after.

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How-to: Ab Leg Lifts & Scissors

Exercise: Ab Leg Lifts & Scissor Leg Variation

Do: Lower with control, keep your low back in contact with the mat, use your abs to lift and lower.

Don't: Do if you have low back problems, allow your body to move around during the leg movement

Easier: keep the range of motion smaller, rest your head on the mat

Harder: lower your legs closer to the mat

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98605827"]

 

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How-to: Agility Hops

Exercise: Agility Hops

Variations: Front/back, Side-side with feet together; side-side one foot at a time

Do: Wear shoes! Use something soft as an obstacle, e.g a rolled towel or t-shirt. Move feet quickly

Easier: Go slow

Harder: Move quickly! Extend your time

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98493966"]

 

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How-to: Balance with Eyes Closed

Exercise: One-Foot Balance with Eyes Closed

** if you touch your foot down during your time, just keep going, no need to re-start your timer!

Do: Go barefoot! Tighten your core to improve your balance

Don't: put your hands on your hips or touch your raised foot to your supporting leg.

Easier: shorter elapsed time

Harder: longer elapsed time

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98453526"]

 

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How-to: Bear Crawls

bear crawl

Exercise: Bear Crawls

Great for: warm up, coordination, core strength, shoulder strength.

Do: Get on all fours, then just hover your knees above the ground. Crawl using opposite hand/foot. Keep your core braced and relatively still.

Do: When going backwards, take smaller steps with your feet (so that your hands can keep up!)

Don't: Raise your butt up in the air, or bring your knees to your elbows as you crawl.

Easier: n/a

Harder: backwards is more challenging for most people!

 

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/203242517"]

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How-to: Bench Dips

Exercise: Bench Dips (aka Chair Dips)

Do: Keep shoulders down, elbows pointed back

Don't: let your shoulders hunch towards your ears.

Easier: Place feet closer to your bench

Harder: Elevate feet

See also: Triceps Push-Ups, Triceps Roll-outs

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131919642"]

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How-to: Bicycle Situps

Exercise: Bicycle Situps

Do: Go slowly, keep your lower torso still, twist strongly

Don't: Go fast, "flail"

Easier: keep your outstretched foot higher

Harder: lower your outstretched foot closer to the ground

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99205205"]

 

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How-to: Bird Dog

Exercise: Bird Dog

Do: Go slowly, keep your hips and shoulders as still as possible

Don't: Overextend arm/leg above parallel to the floor

Easier: only do one leg or one arm at a time

Harder: n/a

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99249730"]

 

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How-to: Body Tap Planks

Exercise: Body Tap Planks

Do: Keep good plank form.

Don't: Sway side to side as you swap hands; or, let your butt rise up

Easier: Go slow and steady.

Harder: Elevate feet on a bench or chair.

See also: Planks

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/164562823"]

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How-to: Box Jump Variations

Exercise: Box Jumps (Standard, Squat Box Jump, and Seated Box Jump)

Do: Land with feet completely on the box, and come to a full standing position, before stepping down. Explode up with the highest jump possible.

Don't: hit your knuckles on the box!

Easier: use a 20" or shorter box / step

Harder: use a 24" or higher box; jump higher.

Variations:

  • Squat box jump - hold the squat position for a full second at the bottom.
  • Seated box jump - Sit with no weight on the feet, then explode upward.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131924377"]

See also: Tuck Jumps, Squat Jumps

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How-to: Bridge – Feet on a Ball

Exercise: Bridge - Feet on a Ball (FOB)

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/65523185"]

 

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How-to: Bridges & Variations

Exercise: Bridges

Variations: Basic, One leg, Marching, One leg with a Kick

Do: Keep hips level and as still as possible. Engage your abs and glutes before lifting your hips

Don't: Allow hips to dip side to side

Easier / Harder: The variations are listed in order from easiest to most difficult.

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98603757"]

 

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How-to: Build A Slosh Pipe!

Stability Training for roller derby is really really important. I talk all about that in my recent Stability Pre-Hab Video, which you should definitely check out!

In it, I use a cool, low-tech hack called a slosh pipe. Although that sounds like some kind of college binge-drinking apparatus, it is essentially a length of plastic piping, capped at both ends, with water inside. When you move it around, the water sloshes according to gravity, and creates a dynamic load for you to resist.

As promised, here is the how-to video on how to make your own! It's easy, I promise. A trip to the store plus the full assembly will take you less than an hour. More, if you're like me and realized you forgot something and have to go back. And then the store is closed. But that is another story...

[rda_video video_url="//www.youtube.com/embed/bY6nlTAMPa0?feature=player_detailpage"] 

You can definitely use a longer pipe, especially if you're all hardcore and you want to use more weight. A 6' slosh pipe is limited to about 5L of water, maybe 6, to maintain the slosh action. That will give you 5 to 6 kg of weight (11 to 13 pounds). If you go to an 8' tube, you can get up to 7L (15.5 lbs), but good luck getting it in your car to take to your team off-skates practice...

** here is a hot tip that I forgot to mention in the video!!**

If you intend to store your slosh pipe in your garage or outdoors in a climate that has winter... ADD ANTIFREEZE to your water! This will change the weight ratio a little because antifreeze is not as dense as water. But it will prevent your pipe from cracking! You may also want to add a splash of bleach to your water if you plan to store it with water as well, to prevent any goo from growing inside.

I hope you dig this DIY project and it's not too intimidating. It's really super easy and it's a worthwhile tool to have in your arsenal for improving your stability and proprioception for roller derby.

xo Booty Quake

PS - please comment below if you have any questions about this DIY!

PPS - bonus points if you get why I picked that song for the video...

 

How-to: Burpees & Variations

Exercise: Burpees

Variations:Half Burpees, Squat Thrusts

Do: Hit all the 'stops' with good form: Squat, plank, push-up, squat-jump

Don't: Rush through it and sacrifice form

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99249736"]

 

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How-to: Calf Raises

Exercise: Calf Raises

Do: Rise and lower with control; distribute weight evenly across the balls of your feet.

Don't: let your heels splay out to the sides.

Easier: hold on to a wall for stabiity

Harder: one-leg calf raises; add weight

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113217976"]

How-to: Calf Raises with weight

Exercise: Weighted Calf Raises

Do: Rise as high as possible; lower with control

Don't: drop down quickly without resistance.

Easier: Use lighter weight; use a calf raise machine at the gym.

Harder: Lift heavier weight.

See also: Calf Raises (single leg)

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131927721"]

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How-to: Chair Squats

Exercise: Chair Squats

Do: Lower with control, keep your supporting knee pointed straight forward over your toe

Don't: Drop heavily into the chair; allow your supporting knee to cave inward

Easier: use a higher platform (bed, arm of a couch), or do with both legs

Harder: use a lower platform

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99202316"]

 

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How-to: Chair Step-Up

Exercise: Chair Step-Ups & Step-Up / Cross-Under Combos*

Do: Drive through your heel, all the way up

Don't: Get only halfway up

Easier: Standard step up

Harder: Double-time, Up and Over variations

*check out the Cross-Under squat video for more tutorial on the combo movement.

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113218992"]

How-to: Clamshells

Exercise: Clamshells

Do: Line up your shoulders, hips, and heels on a straight line

Don't: Race through the reps

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/65507212"]

 

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How-to: CoreBuilder Stretching Sequence

Exercise: CoreBuilder Stretching Sequence

Do: Perform this sequence after every CoreBuilder workout!

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/68514904"]

 

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How-to: Cross-Under Squats

Exercise: Cross-Under Squats

Do: Keep head and chest lifted, get hips down low, reach far across with the back leg

Don't: take miniature steps, or only bend forward at the waist instead of bending from the knees

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113219690"]

How-to: Cross-Under Swipes

Exercise: Cross-Under Swipes

Do: Bend your supporting leg; keep a flexed foot with instep facing the sky on your follow-through; adjust your pressure, surface, and footwear to make the exercise doable but challenging

Don't: forget to "reach" with your active leg

Easier: Hold the wall for stability

Harder: No hands!

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113219933"]

How-to: Crossover Twists with a Ball

Exercise: Crossover Twists with a Ball

Do: Keep your shoulders in contact with the mat

Don't: rush, or twist further than you can with control

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/65524829"]

 

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How-to: Dead Bugs

Exercise: Dead Bugs

Do: Keep your low back pressed HARD into the ground! Breathe out forcefully as you touch down. Go slowly.

Don't: Bicycle - it's one leg at a time.

Easier: n/a

Harder: 

1) Add arms in opposition - raise right arm overhead towards the floor while you lower your left leg, and alternate.

2) Lie down with head about 3" from a wall. Press your hands horizontally into the wall behind you, as if to push yourself away from it, while you perform the exercise.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/181392158"]

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How-to: Deadlift and Romanian Deadlift

Exercise: Deadlift; Romanian Deadlift

Do: Warm up with the bar only. Set up with weight in heels, bar touching shins, chest lifted, shoulders directly above the bar. Pull first, straighten knees second.  To lower, hinge at hips, then bend knees when bar is past them.

Don't: lean forward with weight over toes and shoulders forward of the bar; don't set up with the bar far away from your shins.

Easier: lift lighter weight

Harder: lift heavier weight

Romanian Deadlift:

Do: Start in the upright position. Hinge at the hip to lower. Keep the bar close to the legs.

Don't: lean forward with weight over toes; allow the back to round.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131937223"]

See also: Single Leg Deadlifts (1LDL), Good Mornings

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How-to: Duck Walk

Exercise: Duck Walks

Do: Take long, low strides

Don't: Pop up between steps

Easier: Shorter sustained periods of walking

Harder: Keep going! quack!

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113222353"]

How-to: Engage your TVA

Exercise: Engage your Transverse Abdominis (TVA)

Do: Hold for a count of eight, and repeat three times. This is a good beginning to any on-skate time or an agility or plyo workout, to get your core working for you.

Do: Start easy and increase the force of your contraction in set 2 & 3.

Don't: 

Easier: n/a

Harder: push harder!

 

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/181391321"]

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How-to: Fire Hydrants

Exercise: Fire Hydrants

Do: Keep hips and torso as still as possible

Don't: arch your back, lift your hip, or look down

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99249735"]

 

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How-to: Flying Plank Push-Up

Exercise: Flying Plank Push-Up

Do: Keep your hips neutral - flat line from your head down to your heels; do a full push-up; try to keep your hips and shoulders square to the floor when doing the "flying"

Don't: Allow your hips to rise up or sag

Easier: Do push-ups and/or flying from your knees (See Bird Dogs); raise one foot or one arm at a time instead of simultaneously.

Harder: n/a

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99249727"]

 

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How-to: Forward Lean-Over Lunge

Exercise: Forward Lean-Over Lunge

Do: Take a big enough step forward that your back leg is fairly straight; push through your heel to "spring" back to the starting position

Don't: let your front knee "cave in" towards your centreline - instead keep you knee tracking right over your ankle

Easier: n/a

Harder: Add weight

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99205208"]

How-to: Frog Jumps

Exercise: Frog Jumps

Do: Jump for distance, not height, try to minimize the number of hops backward you need to get back to your starting point

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113222807"]

How-to: Good Mornings

Exercise: Good Mornings

Do: Keep head lifted, focus on sending hips backwards

Don't: Let your weight move forward into your toes

Easier: n/a

Harder: add weight

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98613055"]

 

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How-to: Hamstring Curls on a ball

Exercise: Hamstring Curls on a ball (FOB)

Variations: 2 legs, 2-to-1, single leg

Do: Keep hips lifted

Easier: 2 legs; take more rests

Harder: single leg variations

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/65522689"]

 

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How-to: Heismans

Exercise: Heismans

Do: Keep feet fast and light; use your abs to tuck and crunch toward your knee

Don't: look for height - the movements should be lateral

Easier: go slower and more deliberately

Harder: faster feet!

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131434856"]

How-to: High Bridge with Marching on a Ball

Exercise: High Bridge with Marching on a Ball

Do: Keep hips lifted, keep torso as still as possible

Don't: let hips sag

Easier: no arms

Harder: with arms

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/65524827"]

 

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How-to: High Knees

Exercise: High Knees

Do: Get your knees high!

Don't: look down, let your chest and shoulders sag

Easier: fewer reps, go more slowly

Harder: step quickly

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98698078"]

 

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How-to: Hollow Body Holds + Rocks

Exercise: Hollow Body Holds, Hollow Body Rocks

Do: Keep your low back pinned to the floor, engage your lats, glutes, and basically everything!

Don't: Crunch your chin to your chest.

Easier: Knees bent to a tabletop position

Harder: Arms overhead (biceps to ears); Hollow Body Rocks can be done after you master this position.

See also: Planks, Push-ups

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/161397131"]

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How-to: I, Y, & Tees

Exercise: I, Y, & Tees

Do: Engage your core and glutes throughout, keep the motions small

Don't: overdo the pulsing motion

Easier: take rests

Harder: add small hand weights

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99249729"]

 

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How-to: Isometric Stride Push

Exercise: Isometric Stride Push

Do: Get low, try to push the wall right over!

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113223593"]

How-to: Lateral Roll on a Ball

Exercise: Lateral Roll on a Ball

Variations: Iron Cross, Charlie's Angels

Do: Keep hips lifted

Don't:

Easier: Iron cross variation

Harder: Charlie's Angels variation

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/68507467"]

 

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How-to: Leg Circles

Exercise: Leg Circles

Do: Keep your trunk as still as possible; keep circles small enough to allow this control.

Easier: smaller circles

Harder: larger range of motion

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99557152"]

 

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How-to: Lizard Planks

Exercise: Lizard Planks

Do: allow your hips and shoulders to twist with the side knee movement

Don't: let your hips rise up into a pike position

Easier: take rests

Harder: n/a

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/66576423"]

 

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How-to: Long Jump Tuck Jump

Exercise: Long Jump + Tuck Jump Combination

Do: Spring up into the tuck jump quickly and vertically.

Don't: jump forward on the tuck jump.

Easier: Separate the two jumps with a pause.

Harder: n/a

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131928162"]

See also: Long Jump with Weight, Tuck Jumps, Advanced Tuck Jumps

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How-to: Long Jump with Weight

Exercise: Weighted Long Jumps

Do: Swing the weight out in front of you, imagine it dragging you forward. Take it slow as you get used to the feeling.

Don't: look for height, or swing the weight above shoulder height.

Easier: eliminate the weight

Harder: heavier weight, more reps.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131933121"]

See also: Long Jump + Tuck Jump

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How-to: Lunge (Basic)

Exercise: Basic Lunge & Variations

Do: Try lunging in different orientations; keep your knees aligned with your ankles; keep your head and chest lifted; drive through the front heel as you push back to standing.

Don't: let your front knee drive forward past your toes, or cave inward towards your centre line.

Easier: Body weight only

Harder: Add weight or jumps. 

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131435111"]

See also: Split SquatsLunges with Weight, Walking lunges

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How-to: Lunge Jumps

Exercise: Lunge Jumps

Do: Jump high! Keep your chest and head lifted

Don't: Allow your front knee to cave in towards centre, or push forward past your toes

Easier: Go slower, step between positions instead of jumping

Harder: n/a

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98698079"]

 

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How-to: Lunge Stretch

Exercise: Lunge Stretch

Do: Focus on tilting your pelvis under; keep your knees aligned with your ankles

Don't: let your front knee drive forward past your toes, or cave inward towards your centre line.

Easier: Back knee resting on the floor. Back toes can be tucked under, or top of the foot resting on the ground

Harder: Rise up to a high lunge. Maintain the pelvic tilt.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131434705"]

How-to: Lunge Twist

Exercise: Lunge Twist

Do: Practice good lunge form - front knee tracking straight over your supporting ankle

Don't: Allow front knee to "cave in" towards centre or come past your toes

Easier: Keep arms closer to your body

Harder: Add weight

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/99794091"]

 

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How-to: Lunges with Weight

Exercise: Weighted Lunge

Do: Warm up with the bar only. Keep knees over toes. Drive through the heel of the front foot to rise up. Keep chest and head lifted.

Don't: allow front knee to cave inward, or take too large a step forward.

Easier: Do split squats instead

Harder: lift heavier weight

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131933987"]

See also: Split Squats, Lunges

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How-to: Mountain Climbers & Spidermans

Exercise: Mountain Climbers and Spidermans

For Mountain Climbers, bring your knees straight in towards your chest without touching your front foot to the floor; for Spidermans, bring your front foot to the outside of your hand and transfer your weight to it.

Do: Place wrists directly below shoulders

Don't: allow hips to rise up

Easier: go slowly

Harder: n/a

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98606954"]

 

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How-to: Pass The Ball Situps

Exercise: Pass The Ball Situps

Do: Keep head lifted, keep low back in contact with the mat at all times

Don't: Rush

Easier: only lower your legs to 45 degrees

Harder: lower your legs to within inches of the floor

[rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/74055649"]

 

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How-to: Penguins

Exercise: Penguins

Do: feel it in your oblique muscles (either side of your trunk)

Don't: roll your shoulders up side to side - keep them roughly parallel to the floor

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/98601955"]

 

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How-to: Plank

Exercise: Plank

Do: Keep hips in line with heels and the crown of your head, keep arms "pulled out" of their shoulder sockets

Don't: drop or raise hips, sink into your shoulders

Easier: plank from the elbows on all fours

Harder: from the wrists; raising one arm or one foot; raising one arm and foot simultaneously.

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How-to: Plank – Elbows to Hands

Exercise: Plank - Elbows to Hands

Do: Follow all the good form advice for a standard plank; remember to alternate which arm leads

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How-to: Planks on a Ball

Exercise: Planks on a Ball

Variations: Feet on the Ball (FOB) and Hands on the ball (HOB)

Do: Keep a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels

Don't: allow hips to sag or rise, or sink into your shoulder sockets

Don't: attempt the HOB plank if you have wrist problems or wrist pain - do this one from your elbows instead

Easier/Harder:  In order from easier to harder: FOB plank, HOB plank from the elbows, full HOB plank

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How-to: Planks with Knee Tucks (FOB)

Exercise: Planks with Feet on the Ball & Knee Tucks

Do: Initiate the movement by lifting your hips up

Easier: straight knee tucks

Harder: Side to side knee tucks

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How-to: Planks with Single Knee Tucks on a Ball

Exercise: Planks with Single Knee Tucks on a Ball (HOB)

Do: Try to keep as still as possible in your upper body and trunk

Modification: do this from the ground, or with your elbows on the ball if you have wrist pain

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How-to: Power Push-Ups

Exercise: Power Push-Ups

Do: practice good plank and push-up form

Don't: allow your hips to rise or sag

Easier: Do push-ups from your knees

Harder: n/a

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How-to: Praying Mantis Plank

Exercise: Praying Mantis Plank

Do: Return to good plank form between each rep

Easier: Touch outstretched foot to floor near hand, instead of touching hand & foot in the air; or leave both hands in place and just reach your foot out.

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How-to: Prisoner Get-Ups

Exercise: Prisoner Get-Ups

Do: take your time, and hit all the "Stops": 1) lie down 2) sit up 3) tuck your knee under 4) rise to kneeling 5) stand up

Easier: Use your hands to support

Harder: Add weight

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How-to: Push-Up Progression

Exercise: Push-Up Progression

A simple trick for progressing to a full push-up if you can't do any (or very many) yet!

Practice at your lowest comfortable hand position. Work up to where you're comfortable with 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps at one position, before you progress to the next lower hand elevation.

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How-to: Push-Ups

Exercise: Push-Ups

Do: Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, point elbows about 45 degrees away from your torso, get to a 90 degree bend in your elbows at the bottom position

Don't: allow your hips to rise up or sag

Easier: do push-ups from your knees

Harder: place feet close together (works stability); elevate feet on a step, bench, or ball

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How-to: Push-Ups on a Ball

Exercise: Push-Ups on a Ball

Variations: FOB Push-ups; FOB single-leg push-ups; HOB push-ups from the knees; HOB push-ups (lowering motion only); HOB full push-ups

Do: Practice good standard push-up form

Don't: Allow your shoulders to rise towards your ears

Easier / Harder: variations are listed in order of challenge

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How-to: Reverse Leg-Lifts on a Ball

Exercise: Reverse Leg-Lifts on a Ball

Do: engage your back and glutes throughout; keep your neck in a neutral position

Don't: overextend your legs, arch your back

Easier: One leg at a time

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How-to: Roll-downs on a Ball

Exercise: Roll-downs on a Ball Do: Roll slowly and with control, initiate the roll-down by tucking your pelvis under Don't: Start sitting in the centre of the ball, or go too quickly Harder: Raise one arm at a time as shown [rda_video video_url="http://player.vimeo.com/video/68507470"]  

How-to: Roll-Ups

Exercise: Roll-Ups

Do: Rise and lower with control; engage your abs; focus on tucking your pelvis under before starting the roll-down

Don't: use momentum; forget to breathe!

Easier: use hands to support you

Harder: n/a

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How-to: Rollover & Situp

Exercise: Rollover & Situp

Do: Use your core muscles to roll you over

Don't: use your hands or feet to roll yourself; use momentum to rise up to the situp

Easier: Use hands to support yourself in the situp

Harder: n/a

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How-to: Russian Twists

Exercise: Russian Twists (with a ball)

Do: Keep a flat back, keep hips relatively still so that knee caps remain aligned

Easier: Sit up at a more upright angle

Harder: add weight

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How-to: Seated Hip Tilts and Swivels

Exercise: Seated Hip Tilts and Swivels

Do: Go slowly, with control, using small movements

Don't: rush

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How-to: Seated Marching on a Ball

Exercise: Seated Marching on a Ball

Do: Go slowly, check your form in a mirror

Don't: Allow the ball to roll or dip from side to side as you march; rush through

Easier: No arms

Harder: Add arm raises

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How-to: Side Lifts

Exercise: Side Lifts

Do: Align your head, butt, and heels in one straight line

Don't: Look down at your feet

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How-to: Side Lunge

Exercise: Side Lunge

Do: Keep weight in your heel, hips pointing back; spring back to the starting position

Don't: Look down

Easier: n/a

Harder: Add weight

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How-to: Side Plank

Exercise: Side Plank

Variations: from elbow or from hand; arm lifted; leg lifted; both arm and leg lifted

Do: Align your head, hips, and heels in a straight line

Don't: Look at your feet

Easier: hand on hip, from the elbow

Harder: Variations are listed in order from easier to harder

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How-to: Side to Side Switches

Exercise: Side to Side Switches

Do: Hold weight close to body, use core to control the movement, move quickly and sharply

Don't: swing the weight in large arcs or compensate with a wide stance.

Easier: n/a

Harder: go faster, use heavier weight.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131935245"]

See also: Heismans

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How-to: Sideways Stairs

Exercise: Sideways Stairs

Do: Use "outside" and "inside" leg equally, & remember to swap sides every flight of stairs or two.

Don't: forget to get low and attack the stairs like a speed skater

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113231037"]

How-to: Single Leg Dead Lift

Exercise: Single Leg Dead Lift, aka SLDL or 1LDL

Do: Engage your core, hinge your torso and leg as a unit, send your hips backward and weight over your heel

Don't: use the same forward arm as your supporting leg! 

Easier: n/a

Harder: Add a dumbbell or kettlebell

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113224493"]

See also: Deadlifts, Good Mornings

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How-to: Single Leg Squat

Exercise: Single Leg Squat

Do: Engage your core, shoot for a 90 degree bend, try different leg positions

Don't: let your shoulders and head do all the lowering!

Easier: hold on to a wall or counter for support

Harder: get lower!

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113225100"]

How-to: Skater Jumps & Hops

Exercise: Skater Jumps

Variation: Skater Jumps & Hops

Do: Take speed skater posture, low and bent at the waist. Jump wide and low. For the jump+hop variation, get as much air under your toes on the Hop as you can!

Don't: Pop up and over; transfer your weight to the back foot on each side of the jumps

Easier: go slower, touch your back foot down for balance if needed

Harder: go faster

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How-to: Skater Strides

Exercise: Skater Strides

Do: Stay low throughout, keep head and chest lifted, use arms like a speed skater

Don't: bob up and down, or half-ass it and wind up looking like a tap dancer :)

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113225196"]

How-to: Split Squat

Exercise: Split Squat

Do: Keep chest lifted, stance wide enough that both knees bend to 90 degrees but no further

Don't: Allow your front knee to cave inward

Easier: n/a

Harder: add weight

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How-to: Split Squat with Raised Leg

Exercise: Split Squat with Raised Back Leg

Do: Place about 70% of your weight on the front foot. Drive through the heel of the front foot to rise up.

Don't: allow front knee to cave inward.

Easier: Do standard split squats instead

Harder: lift heavier weight

See also: Split Squats, Lunges

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131934623"]

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How-to: Squat with Weight

Exercise: Squats with Weight

Do: Keep weight in heels, maintain a slight curve in the lower back at the bottom position, keep chest and head lifted.

Don't: squat lower if you can't maintain good form.

Easier: Use lighter weight; use a Smith Machine at the gym.

Harder: Lift heavier weight.

See also: Squats & Squat Jumps

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How-to: Squats & Squat Jump Variations

Exercise: Squats

Variations: Squat Jumps, Squat Jump + Tuck Jump

Do: Send hips back first, keep chest and head lifted. For jumping variations, do land with soft knees!

Don't: allow weight forward into your toes; look down

Easier: If you can't perform a squat on your own with good form, hold on to e.g. a door frame for support until you get stronger

Harder: add weight to basic squats (but not to squat jumps!)

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How-to: Sumo Push-Ups

Exercise: Sumo Push-Ups

Do: Take a wide stance with feet and hands; practice good push-up form

Don't: allow hips to sag or to rise up into a pike position

Easier: do the push-ups from your knees

Harder: n/a

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How-to: Sumo Squats & Variations

Exercise: Sumo Squats

Variations: Sumo-Squat-Tiptoe, Sumo Squat Pulses

Do: Rotate your legs from the hip, use adductors (inner thighs) and glutes (booty) to hold this rotation throughout

Don't: Turn your feet out further than your hip flexibility allows;

Don't: Allow your knees to bend forward in front of your ankles!

Easier: n/a

Harder: add weight

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How-to: Supermans

Exercise: Supermans (to be grammatically correct, should this be Supermen? Or better yet, maybe Superwomen?!)

Do: engage your core and glutes before lifting up to hover

Don't: raise hands and feet too high, creating an arch in your back

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How-to: Swimming on a Ball

Exercise: Swimming on a Ball

Do: Maintain a straight line from head to heels, keep your neck neutral, engage your abdominal muscles

Don't: Overextend/arch your back, look up or look down

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How-to: Tabletop Rollout on a Ball

Exercise: Tabletop Rollout on a Ball

Do: Go slowly, with control; bend at the hips; keep your neck neutral

Don't: pitch forward at the hips as though in a plank

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How-to: TFL + IT Band + Hamstring stretch

An overused IT band can get tight and angry for lots of skaters. Use this stretch to calm it down, but don't forget to do your glute strengthening work to help the underlying cause!

Exercise: TFL + IT Band + Hamstring Stretch

Do: Work with a friend or use a strap or band; Play around and find the angle of stretch that works best for you; hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds on each side.

Don't: stretch into pain - pull back until you feel a stretch but no pain.

Easier (less intense): Inactive foot flat on the ground with knee bent.

Harder (more intense): Inactive leg outstretched (straight).

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131435262"]

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How-to: Thrusters

Exercise: Thrusters

Do: Drive up powerfully with legs and hips

Don't: separate the movement into a slow squat and a slow overhead press.

Easier: Use lighter weight.

Harder: Lift heavier weight (in the video I have 15 lb dumbbells in each hand)

See also: Squats, Burpees & Variations

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131935334"]

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How-to: Tricep Rollout on a Ball

Exercise: Tricep Rollout on a Ball

Do: Maintain a plank position and neutral neck position

Don't: Pop back up to the starting position (go slowly instead)

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How-to: Triceps Push-Up

Exercise: Triceps Push-Up

Do: Keep elbows tucked to your sides, practice good push-up form

Don't: allow hips to sag or rise up into a piked position

Easier: From the knees

Harder: Elevate your feet on a step, bench or chair

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How-to: Tuck Jumps

Exercise: Tuck Jumps

Do: Get your knees UP! Land with soft knees

Don't: try these before being well warmed up

Easier: take small stutter jumps in between each tuck jump

Harder: jump higher, go faster

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How-to: Tuck Jumps – Advanced Variations

Exercise: Tuck Jumps - Advanced Variations

Do: Get low to start every jump. Power up as high as possible and tuck both knees to chest. Attempt to stick the landing each time.

Don't: do these without a very good warm-up.

Easier: take more rest between jumps.

Harder: n/a

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131935398"]

See also: Long Jump with Weight, Tuck Jumps

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How-to: Upper Body Stretch

Exercise: Upper Body Stretch Sequence

Do: Just follow along and hold each stretch for 30 seconds minimum!

Here's the list:

  • Chest stretch on the wall (or door stretch)
  • Door frame back stretch
  • Forearm stretch - inside and outside

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/161396728"]

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How-to: Upper Body Warm-Up

Exercise: Upper Body Warm-Up and Mobility Sequence

Do: Follow this sequence before doing heavy lifting or extensive upper body training.

Don't: Let your ribs poke forward during pass-throughs, pull-aparts, or cactus arms.

Here's the sequence:

  • 10 Pass-throughs
  • 10 Cactus Arms
  • 10 Wall Push-ups
  • 10 Pull-Aparts - overhand
  • 10 Pull-Aparts - underhand
  • 10 T-Spine roll-outs in each position (or modified Cobra stretch)
  • 10 Wrist rotations each direction

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/161394355"]

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How-to: Upper Body Warm-Up

This movement prep will help you be more successful in your upper body workouts, by improving your mobility and stability while warming you up!

The video itself takes a little longer as I walk you through the do's, don'ts and alternatives, but the whole warm-up routine should not take you more than 5 minutes. 

Do: Follow this sequence before doing heavy lifting or extensive upper body training.

Don't: Let your ribs poke forward during pass-throughs, pull-aparts, or cactus arms.

Here's the sequence:

  • 10 Pass-throughs
  • 10 Cactus Arms
  • 10 Wall Push-ups
  • 10 Pull-Aparts - overhand
  • 10 Pull-Aparts - underhand
  • 10 T-Spine roll-outs in each position (or modified Cobra stretch)
  • 10 Wrist rotations each direction

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/161394355"]

Tried it? Got questions? Let me know in the comments, below!

xo Booty Quake

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How-to: V-Sit

Exercise: V-Sit

Do: keep head and chest lifted, try to keep a flat low back

Don't: round your back

Easier: support yourself with hands behind your knees

Harder: longer balances

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How-to: Walking Lunge

Exercise: Walking Lunge

Do: Keep head and shoulders lifted, drive up through your front heel

Don't: let your front knee drive forward past your toes, or cave inward towards your centre line.

Easier: hold on to a wall for support, don't bend as deeply

Harder / Stability variation: Add a twist, reaching back toward your back heel with the same hand.

[rda_video video_url="https://player.vimeo.com/video/131435654"]

How-to: Walking Push-up

Exercise: Walking Push-up

Do: Practice good push-up form

Don't: Allow hips to pike up or sag

Easier: Do pushups from your knees; step hand and foot one at a time instead of simultaneously

Harder: n/a

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How-to: Walkout Push-ups on a Ball

Exercise: Walkout Push-ups on a Ball

Do: Maintain a plank position and neutral neck position; alternate which hand leads the march

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How-to: Wall Sit

Exercise: Wall Sits, and one-leg wall sits

Do: Maintain a 90 degree bend in the knee

When testing your single leg wall sit, get into a 2-leg sitting position, and start your timer when you lift one foot off the ground.

Don't: rest your upper body/arms on your knees

[rda_video video_url="//player.vimeo.com/video/113225360"]