When it comes to exercise, you would expect that the name of a particular exercise should automatically make sense. Things like a bicep curl, overhead press, chest press, squat…all pretty much tell you what the exercise is.
And then there are those exercises where the name might make you pause and think, “what in the world is that?”
Do think Royal H. Burpee, a New York City physiologist, had any idea that when he developed an exercise for a fitness test in the early 1940’s that it would go on to become one of the most widely known (and hated) exercises in the world?
Because of its popularity, most of you know what a burpee is despite the strange name it goes by.
But what about some of the other great exercises out there that, based on the name, many people have no clue what it is?
Let’s take a look at some that may have a strange name, but will go a long way in helping you get some great results in your workouts…
The renegade row is a great exercise that primarily targets the middle back, core area and, to a lesser degree, also targets the chest, shoulders, abs, triceps, and lats.
Renegade rows can be done with dumbbells, kettlebells or simply your own bodyweight.
The pledge plank takes the basic plank up a notch as you’ll alternate bringing a hand off the floor and into your chest. Focus on keeping belly button facing downward and hands directly under chest. Widen feet to make easier.
The sumo squat primarily targets the glutes and to a lesser degree also targets the groin, quads, and hamstrings.
Sumo squats can be done holding a kettlebell or dumbbell between the legs or with a barbell across the shoulders. Be sure to take your feet wider than your shoulders and turn your toes out a bit.
The star jump takes the jumping jack to a new level by adding a bit of a plyometric component. The purpose of the star jump is to extend the limbs, attain maximum height and develop power throughout the torso.
Add these into your program to increase total body power and to quickly get your heart rate up!
The Dead Bug is a great ab exercise, especially for those who have any kind of low back issues. This exercise allows you to strengthen the abdominal muscles while minimizing the pressure on your low back.
To get the most out of this exercise, perform the movements slowly and in control.
Dead Stop Push Ups
The dead stop push up adds a new level of difficulty to the regular push up by having you come to a complete stop at the bottom position while you pull your hands off the floor. This forces you to move through a full range of motion and is a true test of strength when it comes to doing your push ups!
About the writer: Ken Grall is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and owns and operates an Edge Fitness in Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more about Ken.