Exercises To Take Your Fitness to the Next Level

Whether you work out indoors at a gym or outdoors with your favourite hiking trails, these exercises can take your passion for fitness to the next level. By incorporating these exercise movements, you can help prevent injuries and also improve your sport. Proper technique, for any physical activity, comes from a strong foundation and core. By working our major muscle groups, such as our abdominal muscles, glutes, and quads, we build strength and muscular endurance.

Location: Repsol Sport Centre, Calgary, AB

1. Standing Abs

1-3 sets, 20 reps each side

Standing upright with feet shoulder width apart, extend your right arm towards the ceiling.
Bring your right knee up to 90 degrees while bringing your right elbow down towards your right knee, crunching at the same time.
Avoid touching the floor with your right foot between each rep.

Photo: Katy Whitt

2. Crouching Squats

1-3 sets, 20 reps

Flexing the knees at 90 degrees, and rest your elbows on your legs. Keep your core tight and head forward.
Without locking your knees extend both (knees back) and feel the stretch in the hamstring then return back to your original position with knees flexed at 90 degrees.
You can do these as singles or pulses to make it more challenging.

Photo: Katy Whitt

3. Narrow Row Lunge with Step & Weights

1-3 sets, 12-15 reps each side

Using a bench, place your right foot in the middle of the bench and your left foot back into a lunge position on the floor.
With weights in each hand and palms by your side and facing each other, bend your right knee to 45 degrees and hinge slightly at the hips so that the back is straight and leaning forwards slightly.
The weights will now be by your right knee with palms still facing each other.
The left back foot should be up slightly on your toes.
Bring your elbows back towards the wall, squeezing the scapula and simultaneously bringing your right knee up to 90 degrees while keeping your core tight and body straight.
Then, protract the arms towards the knees while bringing the right leg behind and lowering yourself into a lunge so that both knees are at 90 degrees.
Keep your core tight, the weights by your side, and chest up.
Then bring yourself up to the starting position by bringing your right foot back to the middle of the bench.

Photo: Katy Whitt

4. Elevation Squat with Step & Optional Weights

1-3 sets, 15-20 reps each side

Using a bench, place your right foot towards the left edge of the bench and the left foot on the floor.
With weights in each hand by your side, keep your core tight and chest up, lower into a squat so that the knees are at 90 degrees while keeping the knees behind the toes.
Then come upright and place your left foot beside the right foot on the bench.
Keeping the optional weights by your side, take your right leg over to the right side of the bench and lower into a squat so that the knees are at 90 degrees while keeping your knees behind the toes.
Then return your right leg back beside your left leg, and repeat by bringing and standing your left leg back on the floor into that squat position.

Photo: Katy Whitt

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