May 23, 2024

Strong Shoulders and Core

Fit Body:

Kneeling Arm Raise for Strong Shoulders and Core

Do this all in one exercise to strengthen your shoulders and core. Here are your form pointers for the Kneeling Arm Raise exercise: Begin on your hands and knees on the floor. Hold a weight in each hand. Make sure each hand and weight is securely placed on the floor. Keeping your torso still, lift your right arm straight out the side of your body about six inches. Do 10 reps, then release. Next, lift your left arm straight up out to the side of your body. Do 10 reps. Be sure to keep your shoulders pulled down into your body and your back straight during the entire range of motion.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Develop a Strong Back and Core

Fit Body:

Develop a Strong Back and Core

The Opposite Arm Raise exercise requires a strong and stable core. Begin with only one arm completing one motion to learn the exercise. When you’re confident in your form, add the other arm and move simultaneously. Begin without weights. Once you master form, hold a light weight in each hand. Stand with both feet together and your knees slightly bent. Bend forward from your hips, keeping your torso aligned. Bend both arms tucking your elbows into your waist. In one motion, extend your right arm forward and up, and your left arm back and up. Slowly return to your tucked-elbow position to complete one rep. Next, extend your right arm back and up, and your let arm forward and up. Begin with 10 reps total.


*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Build Total Leg Strength

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Squat for total leg strength!

Hold one weight with both hands in front of your body. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower your body into a squat. Keep your torso aligned and abs pulled in tight. Return to your starting position to complete 1 rep. Start with 10 reps.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Build Upper Body Strength

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Build Upper Body Strength with the Standing Shoulder Press

The Standing Shoulder Press strengthens your lifting muscles of your upper body, as well as your core. So if you’re having to lift and carry heavy items during the day, this exercise is for you. Choose a weight that allows a controlled 8-12 reps.

Begin standing in neutral posture with your knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows so the weights are in front of your shoulders, with your palms facing in. Pull your shoulders down and back. This is your starting position. Keeping your forearms vertical, push the weights straight up overhead so the weights are level with the top of your head, keeping your torso stable. Pause for a second to break momentum, and then slowly lower the weights to your starting position. As you build strength, lift the weights all the way overhead stopping just short of straight arm.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise. This exercise is for those without injury concerns.

Are you lifting too heavy?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Effective exercise is more important than load of exercise.

How heavy is too heavy? Regardless of the number of reps you’re logging or particular move you’re attempting, sometimes the weight is simply not safe or appropriate for you.

Are you lifting too heavy? Here’s how to know:

Unable to load and unload the weight properly. You should be able to lift the weights off the rack and move, with proper mechanics, into your starting position. The same applies to racking the weight after your set is complete.

Unable to maintain proper form. You should be able to stabilize your body against the weight throughout the entire range of motion.

Unable to control the speed of the exercise. You should be able to stop the move at any time during your range of motion. Controlling the weight, rather than using momentum, is key.


5 Must-Try Exercises at the Gym by Gen Levrant

One of the biggest challenges with a gym workout is not having a plan. Wandering around aimlessly between machines, doing a few reps here and there, resting for a bit and then maybe spending remaining time on whatever cardio machine is available is not an effective workout!

What’s the solution?
Here are my five must-try exercises to try at your next visit to the gym. They require little or no equipment, recruit every major muscle group and will give you a short, sharp effective workout without having to wait for any machine! (As always, be sure to obtain clearance from your physician before beginning this or any exercise regime.)

1: Pivot Clock Lunge
Alternative to: regular cardio warm up
Good for: warming up entire body three-dimensionally
Keeping one foot static, pivot the other foot forwards and backwards into a lunge. Repeat in every direction (as if you were lunging to each opposite number on a clock face) before swapping feet.

2: 3D Press Ups
Alternative to: regular press ups/chest press machine
Good for: core, chest, arms
Perform a regular press up (either full or on knees) but keep changing your hand position on each rep: wide, narrow, one hand forward, one hand behind…

3: Wide to Narrow Squats (with/without dumbbells)
Alternative to: leg press, squat rack
Good for: lower body, core, cardio
Perform a regular squat and jump your feet together as you straighten up. Squat again before jumping your feet to wide again.

4: One-legged shoulder press (with/without dumbbells)
Alternative to: shoulder press machine, sit ups
Good for: shoulders, core, balance/proprioception
Set your core and balance on one foot. Reach one arm at a time up. To hit all muscles of your shoulder and challenge your core further, keep changing the direction in which you are reaching: out to the side, across the body…

5: Air Jack Burpees
Alternative to: a long time on any cardio machine!
Good for: fat-burning cardio
Perform a regular burpee but once your feet have jumped towards your chest, perform an air jack: a star jump but off the ground. If this is too intense, try a regular star jump!

You are now armed with a new gym plan that means: no waiting around for machines, every minute spent in the gym will be effective, a fat-burning workout that can be done in minute intervals or a circuit (try 3 rounds of 15 reps of exercises 2-4), and a happier and less frustrated you!

Gen Levrant is a Faster Health and Fitness certified Personal Trainer and Advanced Functional Training Specialist. She operates out of a private studio in Southampton, UK. For more info please visit You can reach Gen via email at visit her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter @PTGen