I’m in my strength training era and have really been feeling amazing. Through quarantine and the pandemic we obviously had to utilize what we had at home, and at the time, it was a lot of resistance bands, water bottles, and jump rope. A lot of us made the most of it and managed to stay in great shape because, like I’ve said many times before, “all you need is five feet of space to get a good sweat!” But since having access to more equipment, I’ve never felt more confident in my body because of how strong it has become and sharing my journey with my community has been so rewarding. We’re always learning and growing together, especially through our private Facebook page you get access to with most of my fitness guides. Now that we’ve wrapped our most recent round of my 8-week GOOD // SWEAT STRENGTH program, I’m leaning into different movements to focus on continue strengthening, while also improving my form.

One major focus for the next few weeks before we start the STRENGTH guide again (April!) is slowing things down, focusing on the mind & body connection, and strengthening deep core muscles.

Today I’m sharing the this incredible low-impact move you can do with very little equipment to work not only your deep core muscles (which includes your diaphragm, transverse abdominis, pelvic floor and multifidus muscle), but your glutes, hamstrings, and upper back. That move is the bird-dog variation with renegade row.  This low-impact strength move is great to work into your weekly workouts, and you can literally do it anywhere. Watch the tutorial on my Reels HERE + more explanation below!

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

  • Non-slip mat: this one is my ride-or-die and truly doesn’t slip and slide.
  • 1 medium-weight dumbbell: between 5-15 lbs, depending on your experience and strength.

THE SETUP

Start in a tabletop position with your palms underneath shoulders and kneed underneath hips. Distribute your weight evenly between all four limbs, press down through the length of your fingers and draw your belly-button up toward your spine. Make sure you shoulders are rolled back, not allowing them to round forward or up toward your ears. Take a few rounds of breath here, feeling stable and engaged.

Grab hold of the weight with one hand, and pull the dumbbell toward your hip in a row while you extend the opposite leg long behind you. Hold at the top for a beat, mindfully engaging the upper back, core, glute and hamstring. Then return the weight to the mat and tuck the knee of your lifted leg into your chest. Repeat for 10-12 reps on both sides, repeat for 2-3 rounds total.

TIPS

  • Avoid any arch in your back, staying elongated throughout the movement from the crown of your head to your tailbone.
  • Keep your hips parallel to your mat while you move, avoid letting them rotate to lift your leg.
  • Move slowly – your deep core will engage to keep you stable throughout the movement, which is more effective when you’re not speeding through.
  • Use your breath! Your deep core also responds to your breath, so don’t hold your breath or clench your jaw at the peak of this shape. If you find yourself clenching or not breathing, try doing this move without any weight to start šŸ™‚

Welcome! Iā€™m Rachael.

I enjoy sharing my love for food and fitness. I'm a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and a New York Times Bestselling author. Here you'll find all kinds of recipes and kitchen hacks, as well as workouts and fitness motivation. Enjoy! ā€” xx Rachael

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