An advanced strength circuit includes consecutive resistance exercises with no rest between movements. The circuit works all major muscle groups and may use equipment, body weight or both. Advanced circuit exercises require body coordination because multiple muscle groups and joints are moving simultaneously. The exercises also challenge balance when you remove one hand or one foot from your base of support. A typical circuit protocol involves lifting up to 40 percent of your one rep max for 12 repetitions before moving to the next exercise. Strength circuits are generally 30 to 60 minutes in duration.
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A single-arm, single-leg Romanian dead lift is an advanced strength training exercise. Stand with your feet parallel, core tight and a dumbbell in your left hand. Slowly lift your left leg off the floor behind you while hinging the upper body forward at your right hip. With a neutral spine reach the dumbbell toward the floor while balancing on your standing leg. Reverse the motion by contracting your right glute and hamstring and return to standing. Complete all repetitions on one side before switching arms and legs.
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Barbell jammers integrate the full body. Place one end of a standard barbell against a wall and a weighted plate on the opposite end. Stand facing the weighted end with your feet hip-width apart and your core tight. Hinge the hips back into a deep squat with your chest lifted. Lift the end of bar with a two hand, closed grip. Keeping a neutral spine, press your heels into the floor and drive your hips forward to stand with the bar. As you near a full standing position, press the bar forward with extended arms. Return to the starting position to complete the movement.
Stability Ball Exercise
Stability ball pikes target your core. Start your movement with two hands on the floor and two feet on the ball. Your core and legs are straight to stabilize you in a plank position. Squeeze your abdominals to lift your hips toward the ceiling and roll the ball toward your chest until your upper body is directly over your wrists. Finish the movement by returning your body to the starting plank position.
Body Weight Exercise
Increase the intensity of a standard push-up by performing the exercise on one leg. Start in a standard push-up position with two hands and two feet on the floor and the body in one straight plank. Shift your body weight onto your right foot and hover the left foot above the ground. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and then straighten your arms without locking your elbows to complete one repetition. Finish all repetitions on one leg before shifting your body weight to the other foot.
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Advanced movements require familiarity with strength training. You should move carefully throughout each exercise while focusing on form and technique. Take five to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of a workout to sufficiently warm up and cool down.
Amanda McVey has been teaching fitness and personal training since 2008 in the San Francisco, New York City and Seattle markets. She is an ACSM certified personal trainer, AFAA certified group fitness instructor and UGI master trainer. McVey has many credits to her education including indoor cycling, pre- and postnatal, TRX, rip training, and trigger point therapy.