In our Tips to Stay in Shape For Fall Hunts Blog we discussed the basic walking lunge. Now, let’s add in another component to increase the difficulty of this staple exercise that will further help us get in shape for field season!
By adding in an overhead element to this exercise, you will not only work the muscles in your lower body but also challenge the muscles in your shoulders, back and core.
1.) The overhead walking lunge
First, I’d recommend beginning with either a lighter barbell or even PVC piping to get used to the movement and then progress to using a barbell, plate, or dumbbell. Begin standing with your feet shoulder width apart and grab the weight with both hands and raise it overyour head until your arms are fully extended and stable. You will then step forward with one leg, bending at your knees, you will drop your hips until your back knee touches the ground and your front leg should create a 90 degree angle with the floor. While keeping good posture and a tight core, you will then drive up through the heel of your front foot, step forward with your rear foot and then repeat the exercise.
2.) Step Ups
Steps ups are often an underutilized exercise and should be included in any serious training routine! This basic yet highly effective movement will help to improve your core, leg, and hip strength/stability and can be performed just about anywhere! For this exercise, you will first need to find a sturdy box or stump. As with all of our exercises we discuss, it is important to maintain a tight and engaged core while focusing on the movements.
The first position of the exercise involves placing one foot on the box, forming a 90 degree angle in your leg. You will then drive up through your heel as you step up and bring your other foot to the top of the box just as you would ascending up a flight of stairs. Finish by lowering to the starting position by stepping down with the same foot you first stepped up with and follow with the other so both feet return back to the ground.
3.) Box jumps
Box jumps are an effective exercise that can be used to improve athleticism by training your fast twitch muscles and building explosive power in the lower body. Additionally, they work excellent when used for conditioning.
First, choose a sturdy box that is a height that will challenge you. Begin by standing about a foot from the box with your feet shoulder width apart. Next, bend at the hips and drop into a quarter squat while swinging your arms behind you. Then, explode through the hips and swing the arms forward to help propel you up onto the box. You want to land on the box in an athletic position and absorb the landing with your knees bent. Step down from the box one foot at a time and repeat.
When performed regularly these exercises will help build your muscles and get your legs ready for climbing those mountains and hills his fall!