The harder you push yourself in the gym, the more likely you’re going to feel sore, tight, tired and weak at some point. If you keep going at that pace, your body could break down. But taking a complete rest from exercise isn’t the answer. Instead, give your body what it needs to get back to full strength with a “reset” workout to realign and recalibrate.
By doing a more restorative circuit of exercises and stretches, you’ll help reposition your muscles for better performance, relax your nervous system and work your cardiovascular system to relieve those sore, tender muscles.
For even better results, foam roll your muscles for 3–5 minutes before getting started. Your body will thank you.
15 yards x 1
The move: Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips; keep your knees an inch above the ground. Crawl forward by taking a small step with your right arm and left leg at the same time and alternate. Keep your hips low and your head up.
8 reps each leg x 1
The move: Lie on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend one leg straight out and hold it there. Drive through your heel and squeeze your glutes to push your hips up. Repeat. Do not use your lower back you pull yourself up.
SQUAT TO STAND
5 reps x 1
The move: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes turned slightly out. Keep your legs straight, bend over and grab your toes to stretch your hamstrings. Pull yourself down into a squat and keep your chest out and your knees outside of your arms — this opens your hips. Then, lift each arm overhead and drive back up.
TURKISH GET UPS
3 reps each side x 2
The move: Lie on the ground with your right knee bent, right foot flat on the floor, right arm holding a weight above you and left arm and left leg at your side. Drive through your right foot and roll onto your left elbow. Then, straighten your left arm. Squeeze your right glute and drive your hips straight up. Pull your left leg underneath and behind your body, resting on the knee and ball of your foot. Move your torso straight up, then lunge to a stand. Reverse the sequence to descend. Do all your reps on one side and repeat on the other side. Keep your chest up and watch the weight the entire time.
25 reps x 1
The move: Grab the end of one dumbbell in both hands and hold it by your chest with your elbows underneath. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your toes slightly out. Start the movement by sitting backward and spreading your knees apart. Descend below parallel while keeping your lower back flat. At the bottom, drive through your heels and keep your knees apart.
** The goal is to stay as calm, relaxed and at ease throughout this exercise. For the goblet squat, choose a weight you can lift quickly and easily, but that’s still challenging. Do one rep and take as much rest as you need before the next rep. (As it gets more challenging, take a longer rest.) Make your lifts look and feel easy — you should NOT be grunting, breathing heavily or straining. Remember, the goal is to feel as comfortable and stress-free as possible throughout the duration; the goal is recovery, not pushing yourself.
8 reps x 3
The move: While lying with your chest on an incline bench, raise your arms above your head in a Y-shape while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then lift your arms straight out to your side in a T-shape while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then, with your elbows bent, make a W-shape with your arms and lift your arms behind you while squeezing your shoulder blades together. Finally, keep your upper arms out to your side and turn your wrists up to the sky while squeezing your shoulder blades together and keeping a 90-degree angle at your elbows.
5 each side x 3
The move: Lie on your back with your arms and knees in the air (like a dead bug), press your lower back into the ground, and lift your glutes. Reach out with your right leg and left leg at the same time while keeping your lower back flat on the ground, keeping your hips off the ground, and exhaling all of your air. Switch sides and repeat.
10 yards each arm x 3
The move: Use a heavy kettlebell and hold it overhead. Keep your shoulder down-and-back and walk while keeping your hips and shoulders level. Keep your wrists as straight as you can.
DEEP SQUAT BREATHING
5 breaths x 3
The move: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes straight ahead. Drop into a deep squat and hold onto something in front of you. Round your spine and breathe deep into your belly and back.