Bench exercises offer many options to strengthen many body parts. Performing a lateral shuffle on an exercise bench is exercising your upper body, your lower body and your heart all at the same time. This makes bench lateral shuffles a total body workout, and therefore maximizes your exercise time.
How to Perform the Exercise
Begin by choosing a stable bench and a step bench. Pick a set of dumbbells that will challenge but not strain your muscles. Place the step bench beneath the exercise bench. Pick up a dumbbell in each hand, bend your elbows and hold the weights slightly above your shoulders. This is your starting position. Inhale and step up onto the bench while pushing the weights above your head. Step the other foot up onto the bench and lower the weights to the starting position. Step off the bench one foot at a time. You have completed one repetition.
Remember to lift the weights over your head when you first step up on the bench. When you step up with the alternate foot, lower the weights to slightly above your shoulders. Start with a couple of step benches of different heights that lead up to the exercise bench. You can decrease either the number or height of them as you become more confident. Emphasize safety over speed until you get the hang of it.
Benefits of Lateral Shuffle
By lifting the dumbbells above your head you are working the shoulders and arms. By stepping up and down on the bench you are working your entire lower body. Since this exercise involves the entire body, you are also doing cardio work, which exercises your heart muscle. Cardiovascular or heart work can help you improve your endurance and give you more energy. Stepping up and down on the bench will also improve your balance. Good balance is a vital weapon in your arsenal of injury prevention. Another benefit is that you are doing a combination exercise, which means you will complete your workout quicker.
Intensify the Exercise
Performing a lateral shuffle on an exercise bench is challenging. However, once you get the hang of it you can intensify the exercise with the following recommendations:
- Increase the weight of the dumbbells.
- Increase the height distance between the step bench and the exercise bench.
- Make it a goal to step from straight from the floor to the exercise bench.
- Speed up the pace of your stepping.
- Be certain the bench is sturdy.
- Also check the sturdiness of the step bench you are using.
- Make certain your shoes are tied so that you do not slip on an untied lace.
- Step up and down slowly.
- Begin with a light weight and increase it as you advance.
- Adjust the height of your steps to your comfort level. You can stack more or less steps depending on your need.
- Pay attention to your foot position at all times to prevent falling.