Workouts

Challenge Strength Workout #3: Total Body, Core, and More

In the third of our strength sessions from Kate Ligler prepare yourself for a good mix of upper body and core work.

As we work towards the strength section of our Triathlete Challenge at the end of the month, strength and conditioning coach Kate Ligler is continuing to get you ready with this third workout of the series. The challenge, on May 29/30, will involve 15 minutes of working through as many rounds as possible of five different exercises. This workout builds on the last two weeks (week 1, week 2) and includes some mobility/activation work for warm-up followed by two sets of upper body, total body, and core work, including some favorites such as squats, lunges, and planks. It is not an easy workout! As with the previous routines, there are options to use weights (5-15lbs) if desired—or just stick to bodyweight only. 

There are videos from Ligler showing you how to perform each exercise, so be sure to watch closely for correct form and technique. Many of these exercises are similar or identical to the work she undertakes with pro triathletes such as Meredith Kessler (you can hear Kessler talking about the importance of this during our recent Triathlete Live show). 

Ligler has more than 15 years of experience working with age-group and pro endurance athletes. She specializes in hands-on functional strength and conditioning, as well as sport-specific program design, and is a seasoned road cyclist and mountain biker. 

Triathlete Challenge: At Home Strength Workout #3

Warm-up: Mobility/Activation

Repeat x3 rounds

Reverse Lunge + Upper Back Opener (Video). 8 reps/side. Step back into a reverse lunge while focusing on a tall, straight spine as you rotate through this movement to release hip and mid-back. Return your twist to center and squeeze your glute of the non-stepping leg and return to standing with good posture. 

Hip + Upper Back Activation (Video). 8 reps. Drop down into the base of your best squat. Without rounding your shoulders or tucking your hips, press your hands directly out from your sternum to best extension.

Frankensteins (Video). 8 kicks/leg. Extend your arms in front of your shoulders and parallel to the ground. Engage the core and kick your leg to the palm of the opposite hand directly in front of you. Alternate legs.

Main Set: Set 1, Upper Body and Core

Repeat x3 rounds

Superwomen (Video). 5 cycles from low to high. Lying on your stomach, squeeze your knees together to engage your inner thighs and glutes. With a slight lift of the chest, rotate your arms up and through 3 separate positions in an arc around your shoulders. The emphasis should always remain on staying “long” versus lifting high.

Inchworms + Downward Dog Toe Taps (Video). 5 reps. From standing, forward fold at the waist driving your hips backwards until your hands reach the ground. Walk out to hand plank position before dropping your head between your elbows and pushing back to touch your foot with your opposite hand. Complete touches of both feet before walking back in by reversing the motion. Your legs should remain as straight as possible (advanced), but can be softly bent for beginners.

Hand Release Push-Ups (knees or toes) (Video). 5 reps. From a hand plank position, tighten your core and screw your hands into the floor as your chest drops between your elbows entirely to the floor. Squeeze your mid-back to lift the palms off the floor entirely before returning them to the floor. From knees (beginner) or toes (advanced), press up to starting position. 

Main Set: Set 2, Total Body and Core

Repeat x3 rounds

Overhead Squat (Video). Do this without a TRX. 10 reps. Engage your mid-back and drive your shoulder blades down towards your pelvis as you lift your arms overhead. Without allowing your arms to drop forward, sink your hips back into a squat. A chair or bench is recommended for this movement to control range and form. Perform this exercise with either straight arms (advanced) or a 90 degree bend in the elbows (beginner) without sacrificing range on the squat.

Alternating Reverse Lunges (Video). 10 reps/leg. Begin by stepping backward to a stagger stance and focus on dropping yours back knee directly towards the floor while minimizing the twist or lean from the hips. Squeeze the glute of the non-stepping leg and drive posture forward and up to starting position with good form. Additional weight (5-15lbs) can be added to challenge the glutes/quads (advanced).

Lateral Weighted Slides in Plank (Video). 10 reps/arm. Starting from a hand plank position, reach your hand down and through the opposite armpit to touch the ground on the outside of the opposite wrist. While holding pressure on the floor, drag your fingers back across to the starting position by creating tension with the back of the shoulder. Alternate external wrist drags/side (beginner). If able, drag a weighted object from the outside of the opposite wrist back to the plant hand’s starting position before switching arms (advanced).