In this Exercise of the Month video— ‘the get-sweaty-edition’— Merrithew® Lead Instructor Trainer Jennifer Dahl leads you through a series of progressive exercises that aim to increase foundational strength, functional movement and agility.
Using the Halo® Trainer Plus frame as a reference point and as an external load (it weighs 8.5 lbs/3.9 kg), she demonstrates how these multi-planar exercises can be integrated into your workout routine and progressed by increasing the speed, intensity and number of reps.
The goal is to complete the circuit while maintaining movement flow, integrity, continuity, clarity and safety.
This is a great mini workout to take outdoors as Jen has done, but it can also be completed indoors with just a mat-length of space.
How would you progress or regress this circuit for your clients?
- Configure the Halo Trainer Plus with the short handles pointing towards the ceiling or sky
- Make sure your Halo Trainer Plus is on a flat and stable surface where it won’t slip out from under you
- To increase the challenge, add some plyometric movements where appropriate
- Try a ladder approach: Starting with 5-10 reps of each exercise and progressively decreasing to 1-2 reps of each, so you’re moving through the entire sequence with more speed, challenging coordination and athleticism
- Focus on creating flow and maintaining integrity in the body as you progress through the movements and increase the intensity
Read the full transcript of the video below:
Hi, my name is Jennifer Dahl. I’m a Merrithew Lead Instructor Trainer and today I’m going to take you through a progression series using the Halo Trainer Plus. This movement series progression aims to contribute to greater foundational strength and also it’s a great way to incorporate more functional-based patterning and movement into your existing workouts.
We’re going to be using the frame in its standard configuration with short handles pointing up towards the ceiling or sky, and the long handles down on your mat on a stable surface.
You’re going to need a certain degree of space around you, but the confines of your mat should be plenty.
Let’s start with one foot on the inside of the frame, the other on the outside, a fairly wide stance here. Hands can be comfortably clasped in front of the chest, on the hips or behind the head, and I’m going to take this into a lateral lunge.
I’m going to be using the Halo frame as a bit of a physical and visual reference point and also to incorporate a bit of external load.
So from the lateral line, I’m going to shift into a suspended curtsy lunge, the knee is tapping the short handle, I’m using the short handle as a reference. Then I’m going to step back into the lateral lunge, working on weight transfer. You’re going to start with 5-10 repetitions of each of these two movements together.
Next we’re going to transition to a narrow squat inside the Halo Trainer, alternating between that and a wide squat with one foot outside the Halo Trainer. I’m alternating between a narrow to a wide squat. I’m trying to maintain the depth of my squat and the consistency and integrity through the lumbopelvic region throughout.
Now I’m going to pause in my narrow squat, put my hands onto the short handles, so I’m rotating my upper body, then I’m going to step the feet back so my knees hover above the floor in a bear position.
I’m supporting my bodyweight here with a long neutral position through the wrists, then I’m going to step the feet back in and out, getting some rotation. If you’re feeling it, you can make this a little bit more plyometric, so you’re getting some rotation and some air time as well.
Lower the knees down, pick up the Halo Trainer, and drive the arms up towards the ceiling from a kneeling squat, engage through the glutes and that posterior chain, and then squat back down onto your heels and press back up again.
If you want to, you can incorporate this press-up with the previous knee lift (bear position), working these two movement patterns in conjunction. It’s a nice way to work on coordination, athleticism, etc.
From the hovered knee position, I’m going to bring one knee forward and progressively take this into my mountain climber. The regression is just to step one foot up at a time. On your final repetition, bring the foot into the middle of the frame, and row the Halo Trainer, so I’m picking up that load while maintaining my lunge position, row and return. We can add on a hinge, lifting the back leg up, using the short handles for a little bit of balance support if you need it.
And then from there, I’m going to rewind, and take it all the way back to the start of the sequence. You can try a ladder approach with these movements, starting with 5-10 reps of each exercise and decreasing to 1 rep of each movement.
You’re trying to aim for a fair amount of flow, continuity, clarity and safety. You always want to make sure your frame is on a surface where it’s not sliding. Of course you need to repeat this whole sequence and number of reps on the opposite side.
This is a great way to get warmed-up and self-assess, and to fit a multi-planar and some integrated movement patterns into your day. I hope you have a great summer, be safe, be well, and I hope to see you next time, bye!