The Ultimate Winter Sports WorkoutBy Sandra Prior
Peak performance for any sport or training regime in the cold requires muscles strong in three dimensions. But most men train their muscles in only one direction. That means they're not reaching their potential. This workout trains your muscles from every angle, speeding growth and improving stability. These may be the best exercises that no one's doing.
Do this workout two or three times a week. For exercise one, complete as many reps as you can in 20 seconds. Rest 60 seconds; repeat once. Then move on to exercise 2A. Do exercises 2A and 2B as a superset, performing one set of each exercise before resting 90 seconds. Complete two to three sets of eight reps for each. Then move on to exercise 3A. Do exercises 3A and 3B as a superset, performing one set of each exercise before resting for 90 seconds. Complete a total of two to three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions for each.
1. Mogul Jump
Holding a medicine ball between your thighs, stand with your feet and lower body facing two o'clock and your upper body turned straight ahead. Dip your knees until they're bent about 60 degrees. Jump and twist your lower body to the left so your hips and knees are now pointing at 10 o'clock while your upper body is still facing straight ahead. That's one rep. Repeat until you complete all your reps.
2A. Lateral Lunge and Press
Grab dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Press the dumbbells overhead, arms straight. Then step 60cm to your left and lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor while you lower the left dumbbell to shoulder height. (Do this in one move, keeping your torso as upright as you can.) Drive your body back to the starting position. Repeat, this time stepping to the right.
2B. Side Plank (With Reach Under)
Lie on your right side, knees straight. Prop your upper body up on your right elbow and forearm, which should be directly below your right shoulder. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line. Contract and brace your abs. (Imagine you're about to take a punch in the gut.) With your left hand, reach under your torso and behind you. Then straighten your left arm above you. Do eight reps and switch sides.
3A. Lateral Step-Up
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your left side next to a gym bench. Place your left foot on the bench. That's the starting position. Press your left foot into the bench and push your body up until both legs are straight. Slowly lower back to the starting position, making sure that your right foot is parallel to and lined up with your left foot when you touch back down. Complete all reps and switch sides.
3B. Stability Ball Jack-Knife
Assume a push-up position with your shins on a stability ball. Your arms should be straight and your back flat; your body should form a straight line. Roll the ball towards your chest by raising your hips as high as you can and rounding your back as you pull the ball forwards with your feet. Pause, then return the ball by lowering your hips and rolling it backwards. If that's too easy, perform a push-up between reps.
Drink a cup of chocolate milk as soon as you put that last dumbbell back on the weight rack. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found the cheap, tasty concoction was more effective than expensive carbohydrate sports drinks as a form of post-workout nutrition. Consider it your muscle-building smoothie for winter.
About the Author: Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu