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  • COR Behavioral

COR Strength: Three Exercises Utilizing the Bench

By Krista Gialanela, Certifications, Director of Fitness & Physical Education

The COR Behavioral Group & COR Strength

Each month, we’ll provide three exercises you can include in your fitness routine, on behalf of the COR Behavioral Group and COR Strength. Whether you’re just starting out, you’re a weekend warrior, or you’re a seasoned pro, adding these exercises and augmenting them as you

progress can help you reach your fitness goals.

Modified Push Ups

Complete 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions

Muscle groups targeted:

- Pectorals (Chest Muscles)

- Deltoids (Shoulder Muscles)

- Triceps (Back of the Arms)

- Abdominals (Abs, Core)

- Serratus Anterior (The “Wing” under the armpit)

How to perform the Modified Push Up:

- Place hands on the edge of the bench about shoulder width apart

- Keep wrists in line or right outside of your shoulders

- Align feet so your head, body, and legs are in a straight line

- Keep your core engaged, or “flexed” the entire time

- Bend your elbows at about a 45 degree angle to your body

- Slowly lower your chest towards the bench while inhaling

- Push your body away from the bench while exhaling

Why are Modified Push Ups important?

- They are a highly effective bodyweight exercise to increase upper body strength as well as core stability.

- They are a great variation for someone who has strength or injury related limitations that restrict the ability to perform a standard push up.

- Using the modified version can be a helpful way to practice good form and strengthen similar muscles while decreasing the intensity and difficulty to progress into an unmodified push up.

2. Step Ups

Complete 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions each leg

Muscle groups targeted:

- Quadriceps (Front of the leg)

- Gluteus Maximus (butt)

- Hips

- Hamstrings (Back of leg)

- Calf

How to perform the Step Up:

- Stand facing the bench

- Place one foot fully on the bench

- In a controlled motion, drive up through the heel until standing on the bench.

- Torso should remain in an upwards position the whole time

- Keep knee in line or outside of the foot

- Make sure the knee and ankle are not caving inwards

- Slowly lower the other foot back to the ground

- Switch feet so the other foot is now the one that steps up

Why are Step ups important?

- Helps increase overall strength and conditioning in the lower body

- Training each leg independently ensures that each leg gets equal amounts of work, while improving any strength imbalances that a weaker side might have

- Helps strengthen muscles around the knee joint to prevent or reduce knee pain

- Improves balance while working deep core stabilizing muscles

- Practicing this functional exercise can improve the stepping movements that we perform in our daily lives.

3. Single Arm Bent Over Row

Complete 2-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions each side

Muscle groups targeted:

- Latissimus Dorsi Muscle (each side of your back)

- Biceps (Front of upper arm)

- Middle Trapezia and Rhomboid (across and between shoulder blades)

How to perform the Single Arm Bent Over Row:

- Place your left hand and left knee on to the bench

- Body should be about parallel with the ground

- Pick up the dumbbell with your right hand (palm facing you)

- Keeping your back straight, slowly pull the weight to chest

- Avoid rounding your upper back by pulling shoulders blades together

- Arm should be at a 90 degree angle when weight is raised

- Extend arm down fully in a controlled motion

- Continue with other arm

Why is the Single Arm Bent Over Row important?

- Improves muscular strength and endurance

- Increases core stability by utilizing the upper and lower back muscles

- Helps improve strength imbalances by performing each side individually

- Improves rounding of the shoulders which is a result of poor posture

- Practicing this functional exercise can improve the pulling movements that we use when we pick something up in our day to day lives to decrease the possibility of injury

To learn more about these exercises, or learn more about our training programs, you can email to set up a facility tour and start working on your new fitness routine soon!

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