Reverse Axe Chop

Move of the week, reverse axe chop, exercise, legs, butt, thighs, upper body, arms, core, biceps, shoulders, squat, tips from town

This move of the week works better if you use some weight. If you have a kettlebell great but if not you can easily do this using one heavy dumbbell, weight plate, medicine ball or even a small duffel bag filled with books or some other weight. If you have none of these use a large juice bottle or detergent container. This exercise specifically targets the legs and glutes but is really a whole body exercise, as the “axe chop” will target the arms and back, plus the controlling of the movement challenges your core. Depending on the speed you use, you may even get a little cardio out of this too. Stand with your feet wider than your hips and your feet slightly turned out (this will allow your weight/”axe” to move freely between your legs without hurting yourself). Holding your weight in both hands, shoulders down and back, back flat not curved and abs engaged, let the weight swing back between your legs as you drop into a squat. As you use your legs to straighten back up, you will engage your core and reverse the momentum of your weight to swing it back up to about shoulder height or higher WITHOUT letting your lower back arch (this is where the abs come into play). Inhale as you squat down and let the axe swing on its own momentum through your legs, exhale as you reverse the axe chop (swing it UP) and straighten your legs. Repeat 20-30 reps.

Notes: To protect your back, especially because you will be working with and against momentum, keep your head up, back flat and abs engaged. Keep your body weight in your heels and don’t let your knees go past your toes in the squat. Keep your arms relatively straight throughout so that you use the whole body to swing the weight as opposed to just your biceps.

Modifications: Easier: Use a lighter weight or NO weight – just clasp your hands together and swing your arms (the axe is your arms). Don’t go too deep into your squats and don’t lift your weight higher than your chest level. Do the movement slowly with control. As you get stronger you can allow a little more momentum into the movement.

Harder: Drop lower into your squats (watch your knees) and/or swing your weight over head but don’t let your arms go past your ears. Use a heavier weight but know your limits! Any issues with your lower back means lighten the weight and slow it down. Go at a faster pace – again, ONLY if you can maintain control. As always, increase the number of reps and/or sets.

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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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