When it comes to fitness, you can’t just stick with the basics. Once you’ve gotten stronger, it’s time to raise the ante in your fitness regimen to keep your mind and body challenged. Push yourself harder by trying the following exercises.
If you want to test your strength and coordination, start crawling, as this movement works the core, shoulders, and quads in ways that typically don’t challenge these muscle groups. And since crawling isn’t part of your normal routine, your mind and muscles have to work together to master the patterns. The enhanced communication between your brain and your body gets you more focused on your movements, and you engage more muscles.
Start in a push-up position and start crawling forward without bending your arms. As you lift a hand off the floor to move forward, lift the matching bent leg. Remember to keep your knees at a maximum of a couple of inches above the floor. Switch to crawling backward and doing lateral or side to side bear crawls.
This works on your balance while strengthening your core. Start by lying supine with your hands on the floor over your head. As you raise your legs from the floor, keeping them straight the whole time, simultaneously raise your torso by reaching for your legs, as if you’re trying to touch your toes.
Lying leg raise
No real workout is complete without lower ab and hip flexor work. This one doesn’t only engage your core, it also works out muscles at the front of your groin, which is perfect for sports that use these muscles, such as soccer.
To do a good leg raise, envision your body as one muscle you’re trying to elongate and contract. Place your hands under your glutes with your palms facing down. Keep your legs as straight as possible. Slowly raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor, lifting your hips as you go higher. Hold the contraction at the top for a second, and then slowly lower your legs to starting position.
Vary each set by performing timed holds. For added resistance, hold a dumbbell between your feet, though go for moderate weights to avoid abdominal distension.
After your leg raises, do this to target your obliques and six-pack muscles. The bicycle crunch is a great trunk-toning exercise because it isolates the upper abs.
Do as you would a sit-up, but twist your body sideways with each crunch. Raise a bent leg and try to connect the knee with the opposite elbow to increase the twist in your upper body.
Photographer: Ronan Capili
Model: Adam Lloyd
This story originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Garage Magazine.