Be Well Workout of the Week: The 10-Step Ladder Workout

This workout ladder starts off with 20 squat pulses, ends with two pull-ups, and has a whole bunch of full-body, strength-challenging moves in between. Your instructions are simple: Try to make it down the ladder four times with good form all along the way. Good luck and happy sweating!

Instructions: Complete circuit 4 times. 
20 squat pulses
18 ab twists (single count)
16 skiers (single count)
14 chest fly with resistance band or weights
12 rows with resistance band or weights
10 deadlifts with kettlebell or weights
8 reverse lunge with overhead press (on each side)
6 downward-dog push-ups:  start in downward dog, shift your body through to a high plank, do a push up, then send your hips back up for downward dog.
4 burpees
2 pull-ups

Explanation of exercises:
Click link for how-to video. 

Squat pulses: Get into a squat and hold, pulsing down towards the floor and never standing all the way back up.

Ab twists: Sit on the floor with knees bent, heels pressing into the ground. Lean back slightly and use your abs to twist side to side.

Skiers: Stand in a split stance, with right foot about a foot in front of the left. Jump in place and switch legs so your left foot is in the front. Repeat the motion, pumping your arms in rhythm: left arm forward when left foot is forward, right arm forward when right foot is forward. Left and right counts as one rep.

Resistance band chest flies: Loop your resistance band around something sturdy (a pole, for instance) at chest height, and standing facing away from the band, grab each handle of the band. Standing with your feet staggered and keep your arms raised to the side at chest height, pull the band handles forward, allowing your hands to meet at your chest. Slowly return to start and repeat.

Seated resistance band rows: Sitting on the floor with legs together and straight out in front of you, loop a resistance band around your feet and hold one end in each hand. Starting with arms extended in front of you, pull your elbows straight back, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Extend arms slowly to return to the starting position.

Deadlifts with dumbbells: Hold dumbbells with arms extended down so they’re resting on your thighs, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping shoulders back and abs tight (and without locking your knees), bend at the hips and let the weights lower towards the floor, going as far as you can without bending your knees too much. Drive your heels in to the floor and stand to return to the starting position.

Reverse lunge with overhead press: Hold a set of weights at your shoulders, palms facing forward. Sep back into rear lunge with right leg. As you return to standing, press the weights over head. Then step back with your left foot to alternate, repeating the motion.

Downward dog to push-up: Begin in downward dog position, then drive down and through to a push-up position, squeezing your glutes like crazy. Do a push-up, then return to downward dog.

Burpee: Just like an up-down in football. Put your hands on the ground, jump your feet out behind you so you’re in push-up position, lower to the ground, bring your feet back in, and stand up.

Pull-ups: Suspend yourself on the pull-up bar with your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up, keeping your body as straight as possible, until your chest reaches the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. (If you’re struggling with pull-ups, try these alternatives instead.)


Audrey McKenna Hasse is the owner of A.M.Fit, a personal training and healthy consultation business on the Main Line. You’ll find her workouts every week right here on Be Well Philly.

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