Exercise Glossary

Ever see a workout and have NO idea what the exercise even IS? Welcome to the Fit Momma Exercise Glossary. Please email or comment suggested additions!

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

Get a pair of dumbbells and lie on your back on a flat bench (or ottoman or even the floor), holding the dumbbells at the sides of your chest. Press one weight straight up, and then lower it back to your chest. Now press the other weight, and lower it back down. That’s one rep.

Alternating Dumbbell Overhead Press

Standing up or sitting in a chair, hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Press one dumbbell straight overhead, and then lower it back to the starting position. Now press the other dumbbell and lower it.

Alternating Dumbbell Row

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend forward at the hips until your torso is about 45 degrees to the floor. Row one dumbbell to the outside of your chest, and then lower it to start. Repeat on other side.

Alternating Exercise Ball Leg Curl

Lie on your back on the floor and rest your legs on an exercise ball. Straighten your hips so that your body rises into the air, raise your right leg off the ball, and bend your left knee so that you roll the ball toward you (the movement is similar to a hamstring curl on a machine). Straighten your knee again and switch legs, this time rolling the ball with your right leg.

Ball Bridge

Lie back on an exercise ball with your arms straight out to your sides and knees bent 90 degrees. Keeping your hips elevated (in line with your body), step to your left and roll your torso to the left until your left shoulder is in line with your left knee. Hold for three seconds, and then return to the starting position. Now lower your hips to just an inch above the floor, and then extend them to return to the starting position again. Repeat on the opposite side.

Bench Press

Grab a bar or dumbbells with a shoulder-width grip. Lower the bar until it touches the middle of your chest. Now press it back to the starting position.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Stand a few feet in front of a bench, bend one knee, and rest the top of your foot on the bench. Keeping your torso upright, bend your opposite knee and lower your body towards the floor. (The movement is basically a lunge with your back foot elevated.) Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Burpee

Stand normally and quickly drop into a push-up position, shooting your legs straight back behind you. Now reverse the motion, bringing your knees up under your chest and jump straight up to a standing position again.

Deadlift

Stand over the bar or hold dumbbells with your knees slightly bent. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, crouch down and grab the bar overhand, your hands about shoulder-width apart. Your shoulders should be directly over or even a little behind the bar, and your eyes should be focused straight ahead. Driving with your legs, straighten your hips and knees, pulling the bar to hip level as you come to a standing position. Reverse the motion to return the bar to the floor. That’s one rep.

Dip

Stand between two parallel bars (or counters or sturdy chairs…whatever you have that won’t fall over!) and grab each with an overhand grip. Straighten your arms so that you’re suspended over the bars. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor . Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie on your back on a flat bench (or sturdy coffee table, ottoman, or floor), holding the dumbbells at the sides of your chest. Press the weights straight over your chest, and then lower them back to the starting position.

Dumbbell Curl

Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your elbows locked against your sides, lift the weights until your elbows are fully bent. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Curl to Overhead Press

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Without moving your upper arms forward, curl the weights as high as you can. Now rotate your elbows away from your torso as if you were in the bottom position of an overhead press. Press the weights straight overhead. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Jump Squat

Hold a light dumbbell at shoulder level in your right hand. Get into a position as if you were about to jump, and lower your body until your thighs are about 45 degrees to the floor. Jump as high as you can off the floor and press the weight overhead. Land with soft knees.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Hold dumbbells at shoulder height and press them straight overhead.

Exercise Ball Jackknife

Get into pushup position, resting the tops of your feet on an exercise ball. Contract your abs and bring your knees to your chest, rolling the ball toward you.

Jump Squat

Squat down and explode upward, jumping as high as you are able. Land with soft knees and go again!

Lateral Lunge

Take a wide step to the left with your left foot. Bend your left knee while keeping the right knee straight, and lower your body as far as you can. (Your left leg will be at the 9:00 position, if you imagine a clock. Right leg will lunge out at 3:00.)

Lunge

Step forward a few feet with your left leg. Lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor . Push off from your left foot to return to the starting position. Repeat with other leg and alternate, or finish reps on one side before switching sides.

Plank

Get into pushup position and then bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Keeping your entire body in a straight line, hold the position as long as you can. Hold your abs in tight and keep your body still.

Push-up

Place your hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart and extend your legs straight behind you—your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head. Lower your body until your torso is about one inch off the floor, and then push yourself back up. Put your knees on the floor, if needed.

Reverse Crunch

Lie flat on the floor with your arms out to your sides, your palms up, and hips and knees bent 90 degrees (your calves will be parallel to the floor). Contract your abs and curl your hips up off the floor. Lower your hips slowly until your calves are again parallel to the floor.

Russian Twist

Grab a medicine ball, dumbbell, or weight plate and sit on the floor with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Hold the weight straight out in front of you and keep your back straight (your torso should be at about 45 degrees to the floor). Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left, swinging the weight to the left, and then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right.

Squat

Stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly outward. Take a deep breath and bend your hips and knees, lowering your body as far as you can – like sitting on a low stool . Don’t let your knees go over your toes. Come back up by pushing through your heels and squeezing your butt.

Step Up

Place one foot on the bench, stool, or sturdy chair so that your knee is bent 90 degrees and your thigh is parallel to the floor. Drive your foot into the bench and raise yourself up so that you’re standing on the bench with your rear foot hanging off it. Reverse the motion to return to the floor. Do all your reps on one leg, and then switch.

Superman

Lie facedown on the floor with your arms straight out in front of you. Now extend your hips and upper back so it looks like you’re flying.