This week I am going to talk about one of my favorite exercises. I call this one the Up & Over. You may know it by a different name (or not at all) but below is a breakdown of the movement. It is a very versatile movement and may be used as part of a simple metabolic conditioning circuit or as a pure strength exercise depending on the execution.
We’ve made it an Exercise of the Week because it’s a great exercise to incorporate into your routine for a number of reasons. Depending on the application it can be used to build strength in the legs as a part of a weight-based strength circuit, or for challenging the cardiovascular system and improving endurance as part of a body-weight interval program.
It’s very easy to increase intensity when using Up & Overs. For Conditioning circuits that’s done by speeding up the movement and or increasing the height of the bench. For pure strength applications intensity is raised by increasing the external weight you use, slowing down the cadence, varying the ROM or any / all of the above.
Here is how to execute the Conditioning Version of Up & Overs:
Start by placing one foot on the ground and one foot on a stable, elevated surface. Both legs should be bent when starting out. Extend the elevated leg, bringing the body off the ground. Dynamically switch feet on top of the bench, as if you were hopping from one foot to the other. Lower your body down to the starting position on the opposite side. The “ground” leg should be bent, as if you were doing an uneven squat. At no point should both feet be on top of the bench at the same time. This is a speed drill designed to promote strength, endurance and conditioning so the idea is to keep a fast but controlled pace. Repeat for desired reps or time.
Here’s what it looks like using a weighted version: (TAKU doing Up & Over with a Kettlebell)
For The strength version you start in the same basic position. But now instead of moving quickly, raise yourself as slowly as you can control (keeping tension in the muscles at all times). Switch feet slowly and smoothly on top of the bench. Lower your body slowly down to the starting position on the opposite side. The “ground” leg should be bent, as if you were doing an uneven squat. Continue the movement slow and smooth. Repeat for desired reps or time.
As I mentioned above, you can easily increase the difficulty by:
1.) Increasing the speed of the movement*
2.) Increasing the height of the bench
3.) Increasing the weight you use
4.) Any combination of 1 – 3
The external weight in the example above is a kettlebell. You can also use a weighted vest, dumbbells, sandbags, medicine balls or virtually any weighted implement to get the same effect.
So give the Up & Over a run-through and see what happens. You can try for a set number of repetitions or go for time intervals, such as 60 seconds. Small increases in weight, height and speed make big differences.
Challenge yourself, but don’t overdo it.
Keep training hard!
TAKU’s NOTE: *Increasing the speed (work done in a unit of time) should only be used with the unweighted version of this movement.
TAKU’s NOTE: If you are Looking for the best Strength Training tool for in Home Training I Highly recommend that you check out the Harambe System. As far as I am concerned it is the best home gym on the market. If you visit their website you can get 15% off using the code TNT at checkout.
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