The Locust

The Locust offers many of the same benefits as the Flying Locust (see the previous exercise in this workout). It develops your shoulders, chest, arms, legs, back, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. Instead of working all four limbs at the same time, however, you work only two — an opposite arm and leg. For this reason, the Locust develops cross-coordination and fires the nerve pathways of your brain.

\ If the Locust proves too difficult at first, use lighter weights, or do the exercise without weights until you develop your strength.

Pick up one hand weight and strap on both ankle weights for this exercise. When you're ready, follow these steps:

1. Lie flat on your belly with your forehead resting on your right forearm and your left arm extended vertically, holding the hand weight palm-down (see Figure 12-3a).

This, the starting position, is sometimes called the skydiving position. Draw your belly in and up and your tailbone down for support.

2. Inhaling to a count of four, lift your right leg, your left arm, and your shoulders and head (see Figure 12-3b).

In other words, lift your opposite arm and leg as you lift from the shoulders up. Rise to a position that works your muscles but doesn't strain them. Gently but firmly press down on your forearm to help lift your head and shoulders.

You can keep your head down in a neutral position or lift your head when you lift your arm and leg; the choice is yours. If you want to lift your head, keep your ear in proximity to the lifting arm, and be careful not to toss your head — lift it slowly.

3. Exhaling to a count of four, lower your arm, leg, shoulders, and head to the starting position (see Figure 12-3a).

Feel the strain in your abdominal muscles as you slowly work your opposite limbs.

Repeat this exercise six to eight times with each arm-leg combination, pause to rest, and then do six to eight more repetitions with each arm-leg combo.

Figure 12-3:

The Locust works your core muscles and focuses on your c oordination and balance.

Figure 12-3:

The Locust works your core muscles and focuses on your c oordination and balance.

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