Take Your Fitness in a New Direction

By: Jill Yaworski 


As good as most strength-training moves are for your body, they have a drawback: They tend to work your muscles in a single plane of motion—up and down or forward and back (think biceps curls and lunges). But the way you move every day isn't so straightforward. That's why rotational moves are so valuable.

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"Twisting or throwing exercises engage more muscles, improve your balance, and build functional, real-world strength," says Tony Gentilcore, a strength coach at Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. "Plus, the rotation comes from the core, so you'll gain power and carve flat abs while you're at it." That's a pretty awesome bonus. (Search: Health benefits of a flat tummy) Complete these moves as a circuit, going from one to the next without taking a break. Then rest 60 seconds. Do the circuit four times.

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Photo Credit: Munetaka Tokuyama

Medicine Ball Reverse Lunge and Shot Put


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3
  1. Stand 10 feet from a wall, holding a medicine ball at your chest.
  2. Step your right leg back and lower into a lunge, rotating your torso and bringing the ball to your right shoulder.
  3. Throw the ball at the wall, then push yourself back to start, catching the ball on the rebound. That's one rep. Do five, then switch sides.
This move works:
Total Body
Photo Credit: MCKIBILLO

Barbell Twist


Step 1

Step 2
  1. Place a barbell on the floor in the corner of a room, and hold one end with both hands at eye level, feet hip-width apart.
  2. Rotate your hips, torso, and feet to the right and bend your knees to lower the bar, without bending your arms. Return to start. That's one rep. Do five on each side.
This move works:
Core, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quadriceps
Photo Credit: MCKIBILLO

Rotational Cable Row


Step 1

Step 2
  1. Adjust the cable station to its lowest setting and stand to the right of it (or use a resistance band), handle in your right hand, feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Pivot to the left, bending both knees and extending your right arm toward the pulley.
  2. Pull the handle across to your right hip as you rotate into a standing position. That's one rep. Do 10, then switch sides.
This move works:
Abs, Core, Obliques
Photo Credit: MCKIBILLO

Side-to-Side Medicine-Ball Slam


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the ball overhead.
  2. Rotate to the left and bounce the ball off the ground, pivoting your feet and bending your knees slightly.
  3. Catch the ball and quickly reverse the motion to bring the ball back to overhead, then immediately repeat to the right. That's one rep. Do 10 on each side.
This move works:
Abs, Core, Obliques
Photo Credit: MCKIBILLO

Medicine-Ball Scoop and Toss


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3
  1. Hold the ball at your waist and stand so your left side is closest to a wall that's five feet away.
  2. Shift your weight onto your right foot as you scoop the ball back to your right hip, then quickly shift your weight onto your left foot and explosively throw the ball underhand at the wall. Catch the rebound. That's one rep. Do 10, then switch sides.
This move works:
Total Body
Photo Credit: MCKIBILLO

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