7 weird but challenging exercises you should try!

There are some very strange exercises out there, but which ones should you try? Although the 7 exercises below may have a funky name, they are effective and challenging. If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your regular routine these exercises may do the trick.

Click on the title of each exercise to watch an instructional video.

Turkish Get-Up
Equipment: kettlebell or dumbbell
Targets: whole body
Why you should try it: This functional exercise targets your entire body, building strength, improving mobility, and challenging your balance. Do not underestimate this exercise. Before adding weight, work on perfecting the movement. Slowly add weight, increasing until the exercise is challenging, but not impossible.

Pike-Up
Equipment: stability ball
Targets: lower back, core
Why you should try it: This dynamic exercise targets your lower back and core, but you’ll also feel it in your arms and shoulders while you hold yourself up. This exercise will challenge your balance and stability, while effectively working your entire abdomen. Remember to breathe and keep your core tight to protect your lower back and prevent your hips from falling.

Bird Dog
Equipment: none
Targets: lower back, core, buttocks/hips
Why you should try it: The bird dog is an excellent stabilization exercise. It can help alleviate lower back pain by strengthening your core as well as increasing overall body awareness. Remember to keep your core tight to prevent your hips and shoulders from dipping and your lower back from sagging. To check if your hips are dropping, try balancing a book on your lower back.

L-Sit
Equipment: parallettes or large dumbbells
Targeted: arms, core, quads
Why you should try it: The l-sit is a very challenging exercise that will strengthen your arms, core and legs, specifically your quads. If you don’t have a set of parallettes available use a pair of large dumbbells. Remember to keep your shoulders active and engaged. The video shows effective l-sit progressions.

Burpee
Equipment: none
Targets: whole body
Why you should try it: The burpee is everyone’s favorite exercise to hate. The burpee works the entire body through a range of movements from a squat to squat thrust to plank to pushup to frog jump and finally to a jump squat. This is a great conditioning exercise that can be done anytime, anywhere. It helps improve flexibility, strength, and endurance.

Sumo Squat
Equipment: kettlebell or dumbbell
Targets: lower-body
Why you should try it: This squat variation has a wider stance than a traditional squat and has the toes pointed outward at about a 45 degree angle. Opening up the hips allows for a deeper squat and puts more emphasize on the inner thighs and buttocks.

Inch Worm
Equipment: none
Targets: arms, chest, upper back, lower back, abdominals
Why you should try it: The inch worm can be used as a warm-up exercise or a pushup can be added to use it as a strength training exercise. As noted in the first video, this warm -up exercise helps with core and hip mobility. When adding a pushup, this exercise targets the entire body focusing on improving mobility and stability as well as core and upper-body strength.

**Always consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program.  As always, if you experience pain with any of these exercises stop and consult a health and fitness professional for assistance.

Photo credit: J_Mag

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