My (Current) Top 5 Exercises

I change my exercise program fairly regularly. That’s partly by design; we’re supposed to change things up fairly regularly to keep our bodies guessing and to make sure we’re covering all the vital muscles. Changing things up is, for me, also necessary to keep me interested and challenged. And sometimes I have to change an exercise because some jerk fellow fitness friend is camped out with whatever apparatus or weights I need. That’s okay, though. Change is good.

Since joining the new gym, I’ve noticed a few exercises that keep working their way into the line-up. Oddly enough, most are exercises I detested when initially learning them, but now–please don’t tell my former trainers–I look forward to them! So much so, that I’ve now decided my Friday workouts will be made up of all my current favorites, with a few extras as needed to cover all the bases. Who ever thought I’d be using exercise as a reward?!

Wanna see which exercises are on my fave list? Geez, I thought you’d never ask!

BOSU squats w/Medicine Ball I’m using an 8-lb. ball until I have my balance issues tamed. Not to mention that the medicine balls at my gym don’t have those cool handles on them and can be hard to hold onto when wearing weight-lifting gloves.

BOSU pushups These are tough for me, but when I remember that I couldn’t do any real pushups in the beginning (I did elbow creases and only three of those), I’m inspired to push-push-push!

Swiss ball jackknife I’m embarrassed by how much I used to whine about this exercise, but I’m also happy when I see how much more stable I’m able to keep the ball now. Before, I was all wiggly. :) Even now, I can’t hold back those odd little grunts on the third set.

Face pulls with lunges I couldn’t find a pictorial demo of this exercise. The link is to a standard face pull. I add a reverse lunge to it, so imagine an older, squish-bellied brunette in a t-shirt stepping back into a lunge with each pull. And again with the grunty noises midway through the final set. When I stop grunting, the weight gets increased. It’s the price of success. :)

Bird Dog
This is one of my final exercises, and I do it a couple of ways. First, I’ll do a couple sets in which I hold the poses for a 2-count, and then I do fewer reps but longer holds on the final set. I’ve seen this exercise recommended for “6-pack abs”, but I like it for how my back feels when I do it.  I’ve been doing this exercise for over a year and not a 6-pack in sight. For me, it’s simply a great way to end my workout with a happy sigh.

Those are my current favorites. For this past Friday’s workout, I filled in with some chest presses, lat pull-downs, step-ups w/weights and back extensions. Seems like there’s something else, but I’m forgetting it now. The main thing (for now) is that I got all of the favorites in! I’ll probably do a few of them throughout the week, but on Fridays, I get to do them all! Woo-hoo!

I know the roster of favorites will change as I discover new exercises or variations on old ones. At some point, I hope they include unassisted chin-ups. Since I’m currently at zero on reps completed, I’ve got a ways to go. :)

What are your current favorite gym exercises? Do you have any nominees for me to consider adding to my list of favorites?

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend! We’ve had a stormy start to it, but it’s all blue skies right now!

14 thoughts on “My (Current) Top 5 Exercises

  1. If you like the face pull lunge combo, you might want to try a squat to row combo with the cable machine. Love that one!

    Also, how about planks?

    I really do not like the jackknife on the ball. I don't do those anymore LOL!

  2. Looks like some great one!! I LOVE the Bosu. Congrats on your amazing weight loss too. Love your blog name as well its so true! baby steps :)

  3. wow, cammy, those are some pretty hardcore exercises! you go girl!

    the only other thing i can think of to add is the plank that someone else said, and also to do stomach crunches while holding a medicine ball between your knees, with your legs in table top position. you work not only your abs, but inner thighs too. :)

  4. I'm embarrassed to say I've never tried any of these exercises. The closest I have come to is the bird dog – but with a sideways variation. I really want to try the bosu & medicine ball exercises.

    My favs at the gym always involve upper body.

  5. I love all the ones you picked! Like you, I change it up all the time! I have a post already to go this week on push-ups, I think Tuesday, with lots of variations. That might give you new ways to do your push-ups but knowing you, you probably already did them! :-) The Bosu one is in there too!

    Always hard for me to pick favs since I love the weights so much!

  6. I like the recumbent bike, swimming and least of all walking or the treadmill. I think that comes from being a server in my younger years. I don't like to walk that much.

    At the size I am at, I really don't feel comfortable doing anything else right now. Also, I have issues with tendinitis and tennis elbow and can't lift right now.

  7. I used to love using the bosu when I was still doing weights. I should really start going back to the gym.

  8. It's great to see your enthusiasm for the gym and your workouts, this is an area so many people struggle with! It feels really empowering when you can enjoy these parts of your weight loss journey. Keep it up!

  9. I'm really working on the wall squats with the stability ball. I'm trying to strengthen the muscles around my knees!

  10. I think I'm going to have to start squatting on the bosu. I just discovered my love for deadlifts. Romanian and clean. They freaking work a bajillion muscles. All your core. Your hammies. Your glutes. Some of your quads. It's like my body is shaking afterward. I'm a huge fan of lunges as well.

    Thanks for the bosu idea :) Will probably get on that soon. Seems great for your core.

  11. Ok, so I'm intimidated. I thought face pulling was something you got in trouble for in football. It sounds very fit-making, though!

  12. Ooooo, that Swiss jack knife ball whatever exercise looks like a really good way to work the core without killing the back with crunches. Must try it!

  13. Oh my, the face pull name made me tilt my head and say wha? Thank goodness for the video! The BOSU squat looks really good. Thanks for posting this – I am getting to the point where I think I need to shake things up.

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