Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Favorite (and Least Favorite) Orangetheory Exercises



I was in an Orangetheory Fitness class this week when I realized I've been an Orangetheory member for more than a year. After attending classes two to three times a week since October 2015, I have learned a great deal about myself and my body, and I've seen results in the form of 6-7 pounds lost, a drop in clothing size and more defined muscles. Some workouts are better than others, of course. I have found that the experience depends on 1. Your attitude and effort. 2. The coach's ability to be motivating. 3. The playlist. I have also found that I like some workout moves more than others.

Some of my favorite exercises: 

* I am including a basic description, but I am not a trainer, so these may not be the best way to describe how to do them. Consult your trainer or a professional for help when you don't know how to do something.
  • Squat jumps to chest press with medicine ball press. (Holding a medicine ball, squat down and jump up while pressing the medicine ball forward.) These will leave you out of breath. They work so much of your body at once and are especially challenging as part of a run/row.
  • Squat jacks with medicine ball. (Hold a medicine ball, then jump your feet out as in a jumping jack while lifting the medicine ball overhead.) These are also great cardio. The medicine ball of 8 to 12 pounds adds more of strength component.
  • Goblet squats (with weights). (Hold a weight in your hands like a goblet, then squat.) I like to use at least 15 to 20 pounds. I love all squats because they yield the results I seek. They also work the muscles I need to strengthen for running.
  • High and low rows on the TRX strap. (Hold the strap handles in your hands, then lean back. Row with elbows into your sides next to your ribs and then again with elbows out.) I like these when working my upper body. I have noticed increased strength in my back and biceps thanks in part to these. Because you are leaning back, you are also in kind of a standing plank that works the core. You control how much tension is on the straps and how difficult the high/low rows will be. 
  • Single-leg V-ups. (Lying down, raise your arms overhead. Lift one leg about 45 degrees while bringing your arms toward that leg. Switch legs. Keep moving.) I love any and all core work; let's be real. These get my heart racing while working my core.

My least favorite:


  • Chest press on the TRX strap. (Face away from wall, grip one handle in each hand, get in pushup position with your body at about a 45 degree angle, slowly lower body with elbows as if in pushup, then push body to your starting point.) I feel like I can never find the right position to challenge myself. Trainers are there to help, but I still don't enjoy these. These are essentially pushups while standing up.
  • Side plank with crunches or leg lifts. (Get into a side plank with elbow on ground. Your top hand is on your head or stretched overhead and away. You can also have your bottom knee down. Then keep hip/waist lifted and crunch by bringing your top leg toward your elbow to tap it, or lift your leg for leg lift.) Side planks are difficult for me because my shoulder bothers me. It's not so much the crunching or lifting that is too much; it's the tension in my shoulder. Other people without shoulder issues would like these.
  • Squats with tricep kickbacks. (With feet hip distance apart and holding weights, bend knees, bring elbows to 90 degree angle, then straighten your arm.) I can never do these properly. The coach has to come correct my body position EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I also have issues with my right shoulder feeling uncomfortable after doing these.
  • Rollouts on the TRX strap. (Stand with arms in front of you, gripping the TRX handles. Lean forward until your arms are extended over your head and you are at about 45 degrees. Keep your core stabilized and your body in a straight line.) It takes me several reps to get the hang of where to position my feet for rollouts. It's easy to lose your position. 


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