This brilliantly simple exercise isn't for the fitness weary. The exercise does triple duty by extensively working the quadriceps, the glutes and the hamstrings. Still want more? Hold a dumbbell in each hand while performing the lunge.
Like most exercises, lunges can be executed in various ways. The traditional lunge is completed in a stationary position working one leg at a time. Want a change of scenery? Pick a target, say, 50 yards away, and lunge your way toward it. Either way, your legs will be begging for mercy as you finish up.
A 2010 study by the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy found, that of the 10 exercises it tested, the pike roll-out combination was the most effective for core muscles.
To do it, grab a Swiss ball (also known as an exercise ball or stability ball). Get into a push-up position with your feet on top of the ball. Begin by using your core muscles to lift your butt into the air, over your torso. This is the pike portion of the exercise. As you bring your body back down, allow your body to move along the ball until it's under your knees and your arms are now out in front of you. This is the roll-out.
Together, the pike roll-out combination is a challenging exercise that benefits nearly every muscle in your core.
Clean and Jerk
The clean and jerk is an explosive lift that targets a lot of useful muscles and can test your endurance. No wonder it's considered the ultimate test of strength in the Olympic Games.
Olympic lifters do the clean and the jerk as one complex lift. Amateur lifters can do them separately.
Begin by snapping the weight to the torso until your arms are under the bar. In an explosive movement, push the bar over your head.
The hang clean is another version, where the lift starts with the bar already hanging in the individual's hands, not on the ground.
There's a reason this single exercise has been labeled the total-body workout. The list is long—hamstrings, biceps, triceps, the back, core, quadriceps and calves are all engaged during this straightforward exercise. No matter what you're hoping to build, the clean and jerk will probably be a great addition to your training.