June 10, 2013
Everyone knows I perform primarily superset workouts. Supersets are where you perform two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between each set. However, for quite some time my workouts were starting to become stale. In my quest to discover some brand new exercises, I came across Circular Strength Training (CST).
CST was developed by Scott Sonnon. The whole idea of Coach Sonnon’s philosophy is to focus on health and athleticism first, before your physique. But what interested me most about CST was their bodyweight exercises. CST Bodyweight movements are a combination of dance, gymnastics, and yoga.
Top CST Exercises for You to Include in your Next Superset Workout
I’ve picked out 5 great unique bodyweight exercises you can start to incorporate in your training today:
- Start off in kneeling position. Place your hands on the floor in front of your knees. Fall forward so that your back is parallel to the floor. This should look like a pushup with elbows slightly flared out, and knees bent. Now move your body towards the floor by bending both your elbows and your knees at the same time.
- One of the mistakes I made when first trying this movement was only bending my the elbows. That would make the movement too easy. Keep going down as far as possible. Now push up and return to the original position, with hands and toes still on the ground.
- As you get better at this movement, you can perform it more explosively by catching air. Eventually you can try to perform a clap in the air, almost like a plyometric pushup. In fact, I kind of like to think of this movement as a combination of a squat and a pushup.
- You can superset this movement with any pullup variation, and you have a great full body workout.
Coach Adam Steer shows you how to do a Quad Squat:
- At first, I was extremely confused about how to perform an ellipse. But, here’s the best way to explain it: do a reverse hindu pushup. Even if you’ve been performing hindu pushups for quite some time, you want to start off with the most basic starting position: knees bent and shins on the floor.
- Place both your hands on the floor in front of your knees. Push your body back as far as it will go, so that your spine is stretched and arms are straight. Now lift your body up and forward over your hands. Think of yourself as a missile trying to hit a target far away, but your legs and arms act as a chain.
- Keep moving forward until your chest moves past your hands. Now, imagine your “chains” pulling you back down to starting position. Move your body down, towards the ground, and backwards. Make sure your chest does not touch the floor.
- Keep pushing backwards to starting position. As I stated, this is like a reverse hindu pushup. As you get strong, come up on your toes. Best exercise to superset this movement would be a difficult lower body movement such as the squat jump.
Gym guy shows you how to do an “elliptical pushup” or ellipse:
- Here’s a movement from yoga. This is an isometric movement that build upper body strength and balance. Get on all fours, with your hands on the floor, elbows slightly flared. Place your knees against the triceps muscles of your bent arms.
- Lean forward and transfer your weight from your toes to your hands. Pick a point on the floor, and focus on it as you balance your entire weight on your hands. When you get strong enough, take one leg your triceps and press it backwards as far as you can.
- n the beginning, focus on just a small, one-inch backwards motion. Build yourself up to full extension. Bring your leg back and repeat on the other side. This movement is a killer movement and will literally make you sweat. It may not be as “pretty” as doing a lot of pushups and pullups, but the trust me, it’ll build some amazing upper body strength.
- And when you start to press legs backwards, that is when your core is activated most. This movement should be supersetted with a basic lower body movement such as a squat.
Yoga lady shows you how to do a crow:
- The superman is like the plank on steroids. Start off on all fours. Your knees can be on the floor (suggested) or you can be on your toes. Start walking your hands forward as far as possible without falling to the floor. You should feel your abs working hard to stabilize your body.
- Hold this position. Now slowly drop your body to the floor and repeat. You should start off with performing a basic plank to get your abs stronger for this movement. A plank is simply holding the top position of a pushup. Work up to at least a 30 second plank before attempting the superman.
- An easier version of the superman would be to perform the exercise with your arms bent. So to recap, start off with plank, then superman with your knees on the floor, superman with knees off the floor and arms bent, then finally, superman with knees off the floor and arms straight.
- This movement can be supersetted with and lower body movement. All isometric exercises should alternated with a easier exercise.
Here’s a great plank workout you can use to build yourself up to the superman:
- Start off with both hands and toes on the floor. Knees are slightly bent, and back is parallel to the ground. Lift your left hand off the floor. Straighten your right leg out behind you as you roll to the right side, towards the floor.
- Bend your elbows in to your body as you touch your right shoulder to the ground. You may use the left hand as support. You will need your left hand has support as you lift your body up to starting position. Switch sides and repeat.
- This movement works your triceps, shoulders, and obliques (side abs). At first, thought it was an easier version of the one-arm pushup, but in fact the two exercises are completely different. The shoulder, and tricep work you get with this movement will certainly help improve your one arm pushups.
- As you get stronger, rely less on your other hand for support. Once you’ve conquered this basic version, try the movement starting off with a basic pushup position. You can superset this movement with any lower body or pullup variation of moderate difficulty.
In this video, you’ll see coach Ryan Murdock doing an explosive version of the screwing press:
There you have it, 5 incredible brand new exercises you can start incorporating into your workouts right now.
If you’re ready to incorporate bodyweight training as part of your fitness plan, then you should check out Bodyweight Exercise Revolution. Coach’s Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock show you how to use unique bodyweight movements to lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, improve athletic fitness, and enhance longevity.