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3 Strength Moves to Boost Your Tri Training



Yesterday I spent some time working out with SHAPE’s fitness editor-at-large, Jay Cardiello. It was one of the hardest (but also one of the most upbeat and positive) exercise sessions ever. We did only body-weight exercises, and only moves that you can do on a small mat (you can find many of them on his DVD, JCore or in his book, Cardio Core 4X4). Plus, we didn’t focus on an exact number of reps or sets—just as many as I could in 15 to 30 seconds. Yet I was sweating like crazy within the first five minutes!
Jay is a big proponent of functional exercise (moving in the gym the same way you would in life). And since he knows that I’m training for a tri, he incorporated a lot of moves into our workout that will help me perform better in the pool or on the road. Here are a few examples:
Knee Touches  Get in push up position. Lift left leg off the floor behind you and draw the knee toward the chest. At the same time, lift right hand off the floor to touch left knee. Return to starting position. Repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep. Repeat for 30 seconds.
“Because this move takes you from four points to two points, it will help create symmetry and balance in the body,” says Cardiello. “Plus, it looks a lot like running or cycling, doesn’t it? That means you’re working the same muscles.” 
Popsicles  Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lift right knee to hip height in front of you. Hinge forward at the hips, reaching hands down to touch the floor as you extend right leg to hip height behind you. Reverse the motion to complete 1 rep. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides to complete set.
“This move works your posterior and your kinetic chain,” says Cardiello. “Your lower back needs to be really strong for a tri—especially during cycling.”
Get Ups  Lay faceup on floor with right knee bent and right foot on the floor with right arm extended overhead. Roll up to standing. Lower right arm at side and lift left arm overhead. Squat to sit down on floor and roll back so that you are lying faceup with left knee bent, left foot on floor and left arm overhead. Repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep. Repeat for 30 seconds. 
“This exercise works your whole body at once—just like swimming, biking, and running do,” says Cardiello. “It even causes your body to work in the same alignment that it will during a freestyle swim stroke or while you’re running. Plus, it really engages your core.”
Try adding these moves to your strength training sessions and let me know what you think in the comments or on twitter, @DaniSMcNally. And don’t forget to check out Jay’s blog, The Fit List with Jay Cardiello.

Danielle McNally is the associate fitness editor at SHAPE magazine, where she reports on the latest news, trends, and gear in the exercise world, along with the occasional travel and pop culture piece. She was previously an assistant editor at Food Network Magazine, but left shortly after completing the ING New York City Marathon, when she realized her passion for working out. She’s run seven half marathons, and regularly practices yoga and pilates. This summer she’ll be competing in the New Jersey State Triathlon (her first!) and blogging about it here!


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