Start 2022 by reminding your body that it’s built to twist and turn.
This underrated skill utilizes muscles you know well (abs, obliques, lats, and glutes, among others), but it’s often forgotten in training plans. That leaves you vulnerable to injury when you shovel snow or pick up your toddler. Fix that by doing this workout four times a week. All other days, go for a 20-minute run.
WHO CAME UP WITH THIS ROUTINE? The mind behind your first workout of 2022 is Rui Qiang Liu, C.S.C.S., a San Francisco–based trainer who was part of the second flight of the Strength in Diversity Initiative, a Men’s Health program that works to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fitness industry. Systemic issues have long prevented trainers from marginalized communities from forging successful careers. Strength in Diversity offers those trainers a jump start. Liu, 36, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Albany High School, and he’s working on a personal-training program, Lightning Dragon Athletics.
Directions: Do this workout as a 4-round circuit. Do each move for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.
Bear Crawl to Reach Jump
Start in bear-plank position, back flat, hands directly below your shoulders, knees below your hips, shins off the floor. Keeping your back flat and abs tight, walk forward 2 steps. Aim to move your right arm and left leg at the same time (and vice versa). Walk back 2 steps, then stand up.Jump and reach for the ceiling. That’s 1 rep. Do reps for 30 seconds, then rest 30seconds. Do 3 sets.
Lateral Lunge to Overhead Press
Start standing, holding dumbbells at your thighs, shoulder blades squeezed, abs tight. Step to the left with your left foot. Keeping your right leg straight, and keeping the majority of your weight on your left leg, push your butt back and bend your left knee. Lower until your left thigh is parallel to the floor or you feel your back round, whichever comes first. Push through your left heel to drive back to standing position. Push your butt back slightly, then explosively stand, pulling the dumbbells up to shoulder height as you do this. Press the dumbbells over-head. Return to the start and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. You’re building lower-body strength and shoulder muscle, too.
Plank Row to Side Plank
Blast your abs and build posture-saving back muscle. Start in pushup position, hands on dumbbells directly below your shoulders, feet wide. Lower into a pushup. Press up; as you do, row the right dumbbell toward your rib cage. Return to the start.Do another pushup. Press up, remove your right hand from the dumbbell, and reach it toward the ceiling. Hold, then return to the start; repeat the entire sequence on the other side. That’s 1 rep.
Core Focus: Keep your hips square to the floor during the row. Let them rotate during the reach.
Rack-Down Walking Lunge