The 10 Most Underrated Exercises

The 10 Most Underrated Exercises

The best exercise might be the one you aren’t doing. (Isn't it always) Switching up your usual workout routine will challenge your muscles in new ways and battle boredom, which could make you more motivated to work out in the first place. Have no fear, Handstand is here!

To honor the forgotten, overlooked or unappreciated movements, here are the best exercises that aren't shown the love they deserve.  Not only will these moves build strength, improve endurance and burn calories, they’ll keep you progressing toward your goals. Whether you’ve been working out for a week or 10 years, there is no doubt that you’ll learn at least a tip or two from the 10 exercises below (listed in order of beginner to more advanced).

 

The Most Underrated Exercises You’re Not Doing

 

1. The Superman

personaltraininghandstandapp.jpeg

Targets: Hamstrings, abs, lower and upper back muscles
Superheroes might have a reputation for abs of steel, but the superman exercise is all about the back. And that’s a good thing, according to Jonathan Angelilli, fitness trainer and founder of TrainDeep, a holistic fitness system. “[Supermans] are way more important than crunches,” he says, because the exercise does a better job of promoting good posture and strengthening the muscles in your back.

2. The Brisk Walk
Targets: Cardio and endurance
Better health is literally just a few steps away. “Walking has many of the same health benefits as running, such as reduced risk of hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and improved cardiovascular health,” says Jen Sinkler, an author, personal trainer, former elite athlete and founder of Lift Weights Faster. A brisk walk won’t put undue stress on your body like running might, but taking some deep breaths while walking can help you “quiet a busy brain,” says Sinkler. “That’s a win for everyone, from newbie exerciser to veteran.”

3. The Lateral Band Walk-Out

personaltraininghandstandapp.jpeg


Targets: Glutes
Lateral band walks are about to become your glute go-to. “The exercise strengthens and targets the gluteus medius, or side of your butt, and does so without bulking. Instead, it helps chisel and tighten the booty and legs,” says Andrea Speir, trainer for Daily Burn Pilates.  Best of all, you won’t need to spend hours hobbling around like a penguin to get results. Spier says you’ll feel the burn instantly once you start side stepping around.   Keep it up for three sets of 10 reps and you’ll have a solid addition to any dynamic warm-up or lower-body routine.

4. The Dead Bug

handstandAPPpersonaltraining.jpeg

Targets: Core
No, you won’t harm any insects during this exercise. The Dead Bug is a core exercise performed on your back, where you want to engage your abs to resist extending your lumbar spine (or, arching your back) as you lower your legs to the floor.

Translation: You’re keeping your back against the floor while raising and lowering your legs and arms. “There are enough variations that can challenge anyone ranging from a beginner to the most advanced trainee, yet very few people use it,” says Hunter Cook, a California-based trainer. He likes that it teaches athletes how to brace properly, a skill important for protecting the spine during heavy squats and deadlifts.

5. The Rower

handstandappPersonalTRaining.jpeg

Targets: Quads, glutes, arms and back
Row, row, row your way fit. Anja Garcia, trainer for Inferno program, says working out on a rowing machine has helped take her athleticism to the next level. “You can change the intensity of the exercise by playing with your stroke rate, adding in sprints to really target cardio or keeping a steady cadence to work on strength and power,” she says.

 

6. The Sumo Squat with Drag
Targets: Glutes, quads and inner thighs
Level up your bodyweight squats, no equipment necessary. By adding a “drag” at the end of a sumo squat, you’ll challenge your inner thighs, says Larysa Didio, a celebrity trainer and fitness writer. “It’s really hard to target the inner thighs while standing and this exercise successfully does it,” she says. So, skip those seated adduction machines and drop it like a squat, stat.

 

7. The Stairs
Targets: Glutes, hamstring, calves and core
By running or walking up and down stairs, you’ll rev your heart rate, improve coordination and develop lower body strength. If your Handstand sessions happen at near stairs, use them!

 

8. The Plyo Workout

handstandappPersonalTraining.jpeg

Targets: Cardio and Strength Training
Harder, better, faster, stronger aren’t just song lyrics — they’re also benefits of plyometric training. By incorporating jump squats, broad jumps or other plyo moves into your fitness routine, you’ll fire up muscle groups that you wouldn’t ordinarily work moving in just one plane of motion. Plus, developing explosive power that will make you a better all-around athlete? Awesome.

 

9. The Single-Leg Deadlift
Targets: Core, glutes and hamstrings
While regular deadlifts are great for building strength, balancing on just one leg means your core has to stay engaged throughout the movement. Kira Stokes, an instructor at BFX Studio in NYC, is all about firing up the posterior chain with single-leg deadlifts. “Added bonus: This is a fantastic exercise for ankle and knee rehab,” says Stokes, since the movement can help strengthen and stabilize your joints.

And best of all, she notes that the single-leg deadlift is a “no-excuse exercise,” meaning you can do it anytime with just your own bodyweight.

 

10. The Russian Kettlebell Swing

handstandAPPpersonaltraining.jpeg

Targets: Glutes, lower back, hamstrings, shoulders and legs
Want to benefit from kettlebell training but not sure where to start? Let us introduce you to the Russian kettlebell swing. “It has a low learning curve,” says Kellie Davis, celebrity trainer and co-founder of GetGlutes.com. “[It’s] a full-body workout wrapped into a single exercise,” she says, noting it strengthens your posterior chain while also revving your heart rate and testing your endurance.

 

Recognize any? Do more than you thought you did? What are you waiting for? Show these moves to your trainer or tweet them to us @Handstand ! 

personaltraininghandstandapp.jpeg

 

 

adapted

 

 

Recipe: Healthy Easter Egg...

Recipe: Healthy Easter Egg...

Eat For the Abs You Want!

Eat For the Abs You Want!