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An Awesome 3-Minute Workout That Can Be Done 12 Different Ways

by
author image Hoku Krueger
Hoku Krueger recently graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature Studies and a minor in French Language Studies. During her time there she wrote for the Occidental Weekly and interned with The Maui News.
360° Video Workout Circuit

Rock a 360° workout! Drag your cursor side to side to follow our 4 fitness pros as they lead you through Squat, Mountain Climber and Lunge variations. Then let us know what YOU think of this new video format!

You can watch and workout with one trainer at a time or click and drag side to side to see what each of the moves looks like as it's being done in our first 360° video circuit.

Posted by LIVESTRONG.COM on Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Trinity Workout is LIVESTRONG.COM’s first interactive, 360-degree video circuit experience. And it’s the only workout you may need for a seriously butt-kicking core and lower-body fitness fix.

Ever checked out a 360-degree video? Here’s how to use it: Use your cursor to move the camera around in order to explore four variations each of squats, mountain climbers and lunges as demonstrated by our four fitness experts.

Using the 360-degree view, you can easily compare each modification but also be able to work with one trainer at a time. Mix and match variations to create 12 different three-minute workouts. If you want to watch the video on YouTube, click here.

Check out the benefits and descriptions of each activity:

4 Lunge Variations

Lunges activate several muscles in your core and lower body. According to certified personal trainer Ashley Farley, it’s a calisthenic activity and form of resistance training: “Targeted muscles include the glutes in your hips and butt along with the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs,” she says. “The calf muscles in your lower legs, your abdominal muscles and your back muscles act as stabilizers during this exercise. Lunges also help your body burn calories for weight loss.”

1. Lateral Lunge

This variation emphasizes your hip flexors and inner thighs, but writer Kay Uzoma warns to make sure to avoid overextending your knees.

How to Do It: “From standing, root your right foot into the ground and step your left foot out to the side. As you do this, bend your left knee, keeping it in line with your left foot. You can have your hands on your hips or hanging on either side of the bent leg. Push off your left leg and return to standing,” says Uzoma.

2. Forward Lunge

The forward lunge is your standard lunge. Health and fitness expert Maria Hoven explains how to properly do a forward lunge.

How to Do It: “Stand straight with your feet together. Contract your abdominal muscles to stabilize your upper body. Lift your right leg off the floor and take a giant step forward. Slowly lower your torso by bending your left knee toward the floor. Lower until your right knee forms a 90-degree angle and your knee is aligned with your ankle. Push yourself upward and return to the starting position,” she writes.

Try the reverse lunge for less stress on your knees.
Try the reverse lunge for less stress on your knees. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Reverse Lunge

Though the muscles implicated here are the same as those used in the forward lunge, the reverse lunge puts less stress on your knees, according to Hoven. Your balance is also easier to maintain while reverse lunging.

How to Do It: “Stand straight and contract your core muscles. Lift your left foot off the floor and step backward. Bend your right knee to form a 90-degree angle between your thigh and calf while lowering your left knee toward the floor. Push yourself upward with your thigh muscles and return back to the starting position,” Hoven says.

4. Explosive Lunge

Writer Jennifer Loucks advises to use smooth movements while doing this exercise and to avoid bouncing up and down or jerking your leg muscles quickly.

How to Do It: Perform the explosive jump lunge the same way you would a forward lunge, but instead of returning to your starting position, jump to alternate legs.

4 Variations of Squats

Squats train your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and calves, according to professional fitness trainer Kevin Rail, making them a compound exercise. Practicing them properly will quickly increase the size and strength of your lower body.

Sumo squats emphasize your inner-thigh adductors and glutes.
Sumo squats emphasize your inner-thigh adductors and glutes. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

1. Sumo Squat

The main difference between regular squats and sumo squats is the placement of your feet, according to Rail. Your feet are further apart for a wider stance, and your toes are pointed more outward and away from your body. The sumo squat emphasizes your inner-thigh adductors and glutes.

How to Do It: “Stand with your feet significantly wider than hip-distance apart (about three to four feet), turn your toes out 45 degrees and hold your hands by your sides. Lower yourself down by bending your knees and hips while raising your hands to meet under your chin. Keep your abs tight and your back straight, and do not let your knees move past your toes when lowering. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, root through your heels and rise back up steadily for one rep,” Rail writes.

2. Goblet Squat

Goblet squats are a fantastic way to learn how to squat with perfect technique, according to certified strength and conditioning specialist Tony Gentilcore. The trick is to imagine that the kettlebell you are holding is a full goblet and that you are trying to avoid spilling it.

How to Do It: “Start with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward while holding a kettlebell close to your chest. Squat by pushing your hips back, making sure to push your knees out (to the left and right, not forward) in line with your third toe. Keep your chest tall and arch your lumbar spine throughout, finishing the movement by squeezing your glutes together,” Gentilcore writes.

3. Body-Weight Squat

The body-weight squat is your typical squat. Don’t underestimate it, though: Making sure to do this move properly will prevent injuries and provide optimal results, according to licensed physical fitness trainer Kimberly Caines. Follow her method below.

How to Do It: Position your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outward. Let your arms hang down and activate your core. Transfer your weight onto your heels (you can wiggle your toes to make sure you’re doing it right). Bend your knees over your feet and slowly lower your hips, getting them as close to parallel with the floor as you can. Keep your torso upright — reaching your arms in front of you can help you to maintain your balance. Push through your heels to straighten your knees and return to your starting position, squeezing your glutes on the way up.

4. Jump Squat

According to certified personal trainer Duncan Forbes, the jump squat can help to improve your vertical jump, which can come in handy if you’re a volleyball, football or basketball player. To prepare for this exercise, make sure you have a soft surface beneath you, such as grass, turf or a rubber mat, to spare your knee joints. Warm up by doing some cardio activities and other squat variations.

How to Do It: “Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Put your hands behind your head with your fingers interlocked. The direction of your jump will be vertical. Start by standing tall, then coming down into a squatting position with your thighs slightly higher than your knees. Quickly explode into the air for maximum height. In midair your body should be as straight as a stick. Land in the squat position and pause for a moment,” Forbes writes.

4 Mountain Climber Variations

From improving your balance, agility and coordination to increasing your strength, flexibility and blood circulation, mountain climbers challenge your body in all kinds of ways, according to yoga expert Tanya Siejhi Gershon. You will be utilizing your upper-arm, core and leg muscles to climb your way to the top.

1. Spiderman

Spiderman mountain climbers come with all the benefits of your standard mountain climber — emphasizing your core and upper-body muscles — while increasing flexibility, according to writer Cat North.

How to Do It: “From a plank position, bend and lunge your right leg forward and place your foot right beside your right hand. Hold for a few seconds and return your right leg to its starting position. Switch to the left leg to perform the same action,” North wrote.

The plyometric is your standard mountain climber.
The plyometric is your standard mountain climber. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

2. Plyometric

The plyometric is your basic mountain climber. This activity will push your cardiovascular endurance.

How to Do It: “Start in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists and your body in one straight line from your head to your feet. Raise your hips, bend your right knee and bring your foot up to your hip (but resting on the ground). Quickly switch legs so that the left foot is at your hip and the right one is back to where it started. Continue switching legs while maintaining proper form,” LIVESTRONG.COM editor Rachel Grice writes.

A slow and controlled mo
A slow and controlled mo Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Slow and Controlled

If you are new to mountain climbers, the slow and controlled technique can help you to focus on your form and proper muscle engagement, according to certified trainer Jamie Lebowitz.

How to Do It: Like the other mountain climbers, start in the plank position. Slowly bring your knee up to your chest without placing your foot on the ground and hold it there for a second. Slowly move your leg back into its original position, hold and then switch to the other leg.

4. Cross Body

According to a 2005 study00100-9/fulltext) published in the Journal of Pediatrics, cross-lateral exercises, or activities that require your arms or legs to cross from one side of your body to the other, have been linked to brain coordination and better academic performance. On the physical end, cross-body mountain climbers activate and strengthen your oblique muscles, according to Lebowitz.

How to Do It: Begin in the plank position. Bring your left heel up and over, aiming to reach your knee towards your right elbow, then return to your starting position. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating.

What Do YOU Think?

What do you think about the 360-degree video? Was it cool or weird? Did you try any of the variations? Should LIVESTRONG.COM do more of these? Tell us in the comments!

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