Columbus Crew SC Home Workouts

Editor's Note: Throughout the upcoming weeks, Columbus Crew SC's Strength & Conditioning Staff will deliver custom workout packages presented by OhioHealth once a week for those looking to stay fit while at home.

Single-arm or leg (Unilateral) exercises can be very beneficial in correcting asymmetries while also challenging your overall strength, balance, and stability. When equipment is limited, unilateral exercises are a great way to increase the difficulty of any circuit and continue to stimulate adaptations while at home.

OVERVIEW

Directions: Perform each exercise for designated amount of reps, moving from one exercise to the other with very little rest. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat circuit from the top 1-5 times. Exercises can be modified by reps in addition to exercise selection.

 Exercise 1: Squat w/ Single Leg Circle x5ea
  • Stand up tall with both feet facing forward and hip width distance apart
  • Begin a squat—initiate the squat first moving your hips back to engage the glutes (butt muscles), then bend at the knees to your level of comfort
  • Push through the feet to extend the hips and lift one leg in a counterclockwise circle around the chair
  • Repeat for the other side, alternating for each rep
  • Modification: bodyweight squats or jumping jacks
 Exercise 2: Single Leg Incline Push Up x5ea
  • Begin in a push up position with your hands on the seat of the chair
  • Engage your core to limit upper body and trunk movement and lift one leg off the ground
  • Lower your body with control toward the chair and as you press yourself away from the ground drive your knee to your nose
  • Extend your leg our and repeat the process for the other side
  • Modification: Incline push-ups with both feet or without knee drive
 Exercise 3: Bulgarian Squat x5-10ea
  • Place your back foot on the chair
    • Hips Square to your body
    • Position your front foot at a comfortable distance from the chair that allows you to maintain knee over ankle/foot alignment
  • Begin a single leg squat and lower your body until your front thigh is almost horizontal
  • Push through your front foot to return to the beginning
  • Modification: Split Squat with both feet on the ground
 Exercise 4: Plank w/ Alternate Toe Touches x5-10ea
  • Place your hands on the ground and your feet on the chair with your body in a straight line
  • Keep your shoulders over your wrists and core tight as you lift one leg and tap the ground on one side of the chair
  • Alternate touches
  • Modification: Foot elevated plank without toe touches or plank on the floor
 Exercise 5: Decline Push Up x5-10ea

**This is an advanced exercise and you should be able to complete several body weight pushups and be comfortable upside down before attempting

  • From a foot elevated push up position walk your hands back toward the chair
  • Lift your hips as you walk your hands in
    • Aim for hips just behind shoulders 
  • Slowly lower your body toward the ground
  • Modifications: Eliminate the push up and walk your hands back toward the chair and back out OR a forearm plank (on the ground)
 Exercise 6: Single Leg Hip Extension x5-10ea
  • Start on your back, arms by your side and both heels on the chair
  • Lift one leg off the chair
  • Squeeze your butt and push through the heel on the chair to lift the hips until your spine, hips and knee are in alignment
  • Control your decent back to ground
  • Modifications: Double Leg Hip Extension

 Home Workout #2 - March 31 | Dynamic Warm-Up

If working from home was a sport...

A dynamic warm-up is designed to prepare athletes physically for performance. It involves continuous movements that will increase blood flow and prepare the muscles and joints for the demands on the field.

This circuit can be your dynamic warm-up for the day. It will increase your blood flow while also stretching the areas that can become particularly tight from sitting i.e. your chest and hips. Use it as a break in your day or add a few rounds to use it as a workout. Never underestimate the power of a good warm-up to activate your day!

___

Directions: Perform each exercise for a designated amount of reps, moving from one exercise to the other with very little rest. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat the circuit from the top 1-5 times.

 Exercise 1: Pop Squats x5
  • Start standing with your feet together
  • Jump your feet out slightly wider than your shoulders (similar to jumping jack) and simultaneously descend into a bodyweight squat
  • From squat (above or at 90 degrees) push through the feet to extend the legs and jump the feet back into the starting position
  • Begin slow; work your depth and speed as you feel ready
  • Modification: bodyweight squats or jumping jacks
 Exercise 2: Reverse Lunge to Single Leg Knee Drive w/ OH Pull Down x5 Each
  • From standing—reach your right foot back to begin a reverse lunge
  • Bend your front leg controlling your descent and reach your arms overhead
    • Maintain knee over ankle/foot alignment
    • Go to a depth where you feel comfortable
    • Position your arms so that your palms face each other overhead
  • Push and pull with your front leg to extend front leg and drive your back knee forward to a single leg balance
  • As you return to starting position maintain an open chest and drive the elbows down and slightly back (like a lat pull-down, or pulling something down from a height)
    • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Complete all reps on the right before you begin on the left
  • Modification: Split Squat w/ OH Pulldown
 Exercise 3: Single Leg RDL x5 Each
  • Begin Standing—hands can be on hips or behind head
  • Shift your weight onto your left leg and lift your right foot off the ground
    • Find your balance before you begin moving
    • Keep a micro bend in your standing leg - don't increase it as you descend (ultimately the amount of movement will depend on your hamstring flexibility)
  • Maintain a flat back, push your hips back and bend at the waist until you are parallel with the ground
    • Your back leg should remain in line with your body throughout the rep 
  • Push through the front foot and squeeze your butt to return to the start
  • Modification: Double Leg RDL
 Exercise 4: Dynamic Spider-Man Lunge w/ T-Spine Rotation (Alternate) x5 Each
  • Bring your right foot to meet your right hand, left leg remains extended behind you
  • Keep your left hand on the ground and drive your right elbow back to rotate from your mid-back (thoracic spine)
  • Bring your right elbow back down toward the instep of your right foot
  • Shift your weight back to your feet and switch sides
  • Modification: keep your back knee on the ground and complete all rotations before switching sides
 Exercise 5: Push Up Opposites: x5 Each
  • Begin in a pushup position
  • Engage your core to limit upper body and trunk movement
  • Begin the movement with a pushup and as you press yourself away from the ground lift your opposite leg and arm
  • Repeat the process for the other side
  • Modification: bird dog on knees (go onto hands and knees, shoulders over wrists, hips over knees, slowly extend one arm and the opposite leg away from the body) or a simple pushup for more upper body and less core control
 Exercise 6: Straddle Candlestick Roll x5
  • Start in a seated straddle—feet can be separated at a distance that feels comfortable for you
  • Bring your legs together and round through your spine while you roll back slowly
  • Place your hands on the ground palms facing down for support and reach the feet up towards the ceiling
  • Use your core to roll back up into a straddle
  • Keep a micro bend in the knees and reach both arms forward to your comfort level
  • Modification: tuck the knees to check, then rock backward, and roll forward and reach between the legs
 Exercise 7: Tripod Extension x5 Each
  • Begin seated with knees bent and hands behind you for support
  • Feet are shoulder-width distance and far enough away from your body that you can maintain whole foot contact with ground
  • Bring one hand into the center and initiate the movement by pushing through the feet to extend/lift the hips up
  • Reach your arm out as your hips lift for a full-body stretch and then return to the start to switch sides
  • Modification: hip bridge with a stretch: on your back, with legs bent and arms by your side. Squeeze the butt and push through the heels to lift hips. Keep this position and move your arms above your head (as in a snow angel) for a stretch. Relax and return to start under control.
 Home Workout #1 - March 24 | Lower Body & Core

No weights? Use your body!

Lower Body & Core Circuit:

___

Directions: Perform each exercise for 20 or 30 seconds as a circuit, moving from one exercise immediately to the other. After completing exercises 1-6 rest for 30–60 seconds (the rest can be modified to challenge your level of fitness). Once through is one round. Complete 1-5 rounds, depending upon your levels of strength and endurance.

 Exercise 1: Single Leg Squat w/ 3-Way Slide x2 (for Right & Left)
  • Stand up tall with both feet facing forward and hip-width distance apart
  • Begin a 1/4 squat—initiate the squat first moving your hips back to engage the glutes (butt muscles), then bend at the knee
  • Maintain the squat with your stationary leg and simultaneously slide your other leg forward as far as you can
    • Keep a micro bend in the knee while your foot slides forward
    • To return, maintain contact with towel and pull your heel back towards you as you push and straighten with the standing (squat) leg.
  • Return to start and begin the same process except the slide leg moves sideways
  • Return to start and begin the same process except the slide leg moves behind you
  • Repeat until time is up and then switch sides for the same amount of time
  • Modification: Maintain ¼ squat for the whole time and slide other leg counterclockwise and clockwise.​
 Exercise 2: Floating Quadruped Crawl
  • Begin in a quadruped position (that’s on hands and knees): shoulders stacked over wrists, hips over knees and keep your back flat
  • Lift your knees a few inches off the ground
  • While maintaining this position and both feet on the towel walk with your hands forward and then backward 
  • Imagine you have bowl of water on your back and you don’t want it to spill while you move
  • Repeat until time is up and then switch sides. Alternate with each round which leg slides. 
  • Modification: Place the towel under your knees and keep your knees on the floor
 Exercise 3: Side Plank with Knee Drive x2 (for Right & Left)
  • Stack (place straight above) your shoulder over the resting elbow and maintain total body alignment. Your spine should be straight, and hips level.
    • This is a side plank, which is a good strength balance on its own if you can hold it
  • Move either your top or bottom leg slightly forward onto a towel
  • Drive knee up toward your face with your foot on the towel (90-degree position). Slide back down and return to start.
  • Repeat until time is up and then switch sides. Alternate with each round which leg slides. 
  • Modification: Side Plank hold
 Exercise 4: Plank w/ Alternate Toe Touches x5-10ea
  • Begin on your back with your legs bent. Your feet should be hip width apart, and your feet directly under your knees.
  • Engage your glutes and squeeze the hips off the ground. Keep your hips lifted (high enough that there is a straight line along your back between your shoulder and your knee). This is a hip bridge. From here slide one leg forward and back
  • Hips should stay at the same height for the whole time
  • Repeat until time is up and switch sliding leg
  • Modification: Perform a hip bridge without the leg slide. 
 Exercise 5: Eccentric Hip Bridge
  • Begin on your back with your legs bent. Knees should be over ankles and feet approximately hip width distance.
  • Engage your glutes and squeeze the hips off the ground. Keep your hips lifted (high enough that there is a straight line along your back between your shoulder and your knee). This is a hip bridge.
  • From here, slide both legs all the way out slowly
  • Once both legs are almost straight, drop hips to the ground and pull feet back to the starting position
  • Repeat until time is up
 Exercise 6: Sliding Mountain Climbers
  • Begin in a push-up position
  • Engage your core to limit upper body and trunk movement—the aim of this exercise is to push speed when maintaining good form
  • Alternate driving each leg up toward your face by sliding feet on the ground whilst keeping the other leg straight. It's like a leg-piston action in a press-up position.
  • Repeat until time is up
  • Modifications (harder): Move both legs forward together (Double leg pike) OR keep one leg straight and only move the other one (Single Leg mountain climber) then repeat on the other leg.

A time-based circuit is a great way to maximize your ability to build strength and endurance with very little space and equipment. Whether you have 15 minutes or an hour you can fit in a very effective workout.

Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, which is important for the soccer field, but is also important in daily activities.

Training large muscle groups in the legs and trunk as part of a core workout helps to maintain strength and endurance when you only have your body weight to help you.

*Only individuals in good physical condition should attempt these exercises. It is advisable to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program since there is the possibility of physical injury and loss. If you participate in these exercises, you agree that you are doing so voluntarily, that you assume all risk of loss and injury to yourself, and you agree to release and discharge Columbus Crew SC from any and all losses, damages, liabilities, claims or causes of action relating to the exercises in any way, known or unknown.