“My upper body is SO weak! How should I modify and still complete my workouts?”
Okay, ladies, let’s be honest. Upper body strength doesn’t tend to come naturally, right? So many warriors come into the MA programs and the upper body workouts are VERY challenging. It’s important to modify where needed so that you can truly build the strength without compromising form and risking injury. Filming yourself is helpful so that you can check your form. Here are a few notoriously challenging moves and some ideas on how to modify. Peep the bottom for an overall tip to build strength on ALL of these moves.
Push-ups: HELLO! If you want to test your UB strength, try a push-up. If you notice your hips sagging or your neck doing the chicken, you can either drop the knees, or if that regresses the movement TOO much, try simply elevating the arms on a step, your couch, some books, etc. ALWAYS REMEMBER TO KEEP THE HIPS TUCKED UNDER AND PUSH AWAY FROM THE FLOOR THROUGH THE ENTIRE EXERCISE.
Dolphin Press: This one is as much a mobility move as it is a strengthening move (TRICEPS!). When these feel too difficult, again elevate the arms (preferably on a flat surface where the entire forearm can push away from it) OR simply bend the knees.
Planks: If a plank is too difficult and you find yourself compromising form a lot, go for a modified forearm plank where you will have the forearms and the knees on the ground, then do your best work by keeping the hips tucked under and pushing away from the floor with your forearms.
Inverted Rows: You will find these on the MA60 program. Easiest modification is to 1) bend the knees slightly and/or 2) adjust the height of the bar, rings, or whatever you are holding. The higher it is, the easier it will be.
TIP TO GAIN STRENGTH IN ALL OF THESE MOVES: THE BELOVED ISO HOLD.
You will find ISO holds all throughout the MA programs, and that is very much on purpose. When you hold a move at it’s most difficult part, you build strength there and over time you will be able to perform the full range of motion. If you simply cannot complete a movement, go for the ISO holds. You can try a 5×5 method where you hold the position for 5 seconds and repeat that 5 times, or you can hold anywhere from 15-30 seconds. For example, push ups, you would hold the low push up position since this is the most difficult part of a push up.
All right. Let me know what other movements are challenging for you, and let’s talk about some modifications!
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