A great exercise to build rotational strength, the weight plate Russian twist targets the entire core, with the abs and obliques working during the entire movement.
Sitting down on the floor, lean back to 45 degrees and raise your legs so your hips and knees are at 90 degrees. Start with the weight plate in front of your body, holding it just out from your torso. From there, use your core to twist to one side, moving the weight plate down to lightly touch the floor beside you. Control the weight plate back to the centre, and then to the other side. Repeat. Ensure you are bracing your core and moving throughout the entire movement with control.
*If you are a beginner, try it with no weight plate first. If you can do 15 or more quality reps, try adding a weight plate.
A staple exercise in most shoulder workouts, the weight plate front raise targets the anterior and middle deltoids (front and middle of your shoulder).
When performing the movement, ensure the shoulders and scapular are set down and back, and the core is braced. With one hand on either side of the weight plate, start by holding the plate at hip height, and then with control, raise your arms until the weight plate is at eye height. Lower with control and repeat.
*To increase the difficulty of the movement, move your hands closer to the top of the weight plate. This will isolate the anterior deltoid even more.
One of the most basic upper body exercises out there, but one of the most effective, the humble push up builds strength in the chest, shoulders and core. Adding load to this typically bodyweight exercise really takes it up a notch, and allows for serious strength training with minimal equipment.
Start in a plank position, with your arms fully extended and your palms on the floor, just outside shoulder width. Place a weight plate on your upper back (you may need to ask for help). Keeping your entire body tight and in one straight line, lower yourself down until your chest touches the floor. Ensure you keep your elbows at a 45 degree angle (not flared out), so the load is not going through your shoulder joint. Keeping your body straight, press straight up until your arms are fully locked out and you are back in the starting position.
*If you are a beginner, perform the movement without the weight plate.
*bringing your hands in slightly and keeping your elbows in tight by your sides will change the target area to the triceps.
A take on the Clean & Press, the weight plate ground to overhead is a great whole-body exercise that develops power, speed and coordination. Similar to a kettlebell swing, this movement can also be used for cardiovascular training when performed in larger sets.
To set up, pick up the weight plate with one hand on either side, and stand up. With your arms fully extended, squat down with your chest up, until the weight plate touches the floor in between your feet. Then, extend your legs (keeping your chest up) and pull the weight plate overhead in one smooth motion. Control the weight plate back down to the starting position and repeat. Ensure your core remains braced the entire time.
*If you are a beginner, try starting with a bicep curl to press. Start with one hand on either side of the weight plate. Then, with control, perform a bicep curl straight into an overhead press. As you start to build strength and feel more comfortable with that movement, move on to the weight plate ground to overhead.
Taking the regular lunge to the next level, the weight plate overhead lunge adds shoulder and core stability to the list of target areas (quads, glutes and hamstrings just to name a few).
Holding a weight plate overhead with one hand on either side, the movement is performed by stepping forward and dropping your knee to the floor in one smooth motion (so that your font shin and back leg are at 90O with the floor). Push off your front foot and step back to the starting position. Change legs and repeat. It is important to perform the movement with control, ensuring the knee is tracking the toe, the core is braced, and the pelvis remains neutral. Press up into the plate the entire time.
*If you are a beginner/intermediate, perform a regular lunge instead (no weight plate).
*Weight plate overhead holds can help build the overhead stability required for this movement.
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