What the heck is the Inchworm Exercise?
If you are looking for a body weight exercise that includes the full body isometric hold of a planking exercise along with a full hamstring stretch then look no further than the inch worm exercise. This exercise is named because of the way it looks… when done properly you will mimic the movement of a worm inching along the ground. What I love is that the inchworm exercise really is a non-impact or low impact movement that can be done anywhere. It works both upper and lower body and best of all, it is fun!
What is the inchworm exercise good for? What are the inchworm exercise benefits?
The inchworm exercise is ideally used as part of your warm up to safely stretch out your hamstrings, calves and all the way up the back of your legs. In fact, head to any Crossfit gym and you are likely to see it being used as part of a dynamic warm up. This is one that I often include at the beginning of my online training clients workout plans too. The inch worm exercise will prepare your body and your muscles for more challenging strength training or plyometric movements which of course is why it is so popular with Crossfit athletes. For me, it is one of my favorite components of a warm up before you complete one of my really challenging HIIT Workouts for Women
What muscles does the inchworm exercise target?
The inchworm exercise is a great workout that targets multiple muscle groups in your body. It’s a full-body exercise that engages your core, upper body, and lower body muscles.
When you do the inchworm exercise, your abdominal muscles are working hard to stabilize your torso and maintain proper form. At the same time, your back muscles are activated to help keep your spine in the right position.
As you move forward and backward, your shoulder and arm muscles are engaged, including the deltoids, biceps, and triceps. Meanwhile, your lower body muscles, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes, are also getting a good workout.
Overall, the inchworm exercise is a fantastic way to improve your strength, flexibility, and mobility. It’s a versatile exercise that can be modified to suit your fitness level and goals, and it’s great for anyone looking to tone their muscles and get in better shape.
Inch Worm Exercise | Hamstring Stretches for Women
How to do the inchworm exercise:
Begin standing with your hips slightly tucked under and your core tight. Arms will be down at your sides.
– As you more into the inch worm, bend forward at the waist, keeping your as straight as possible and reaching your hands down toward the ground.
– Walk your hands out in front, hand over hand while keeping your feet together in the same position until you reach a full plank position.
– Hold that planking exercise briefly while holding a tight core before beginning to walk your feet upward toward your hands. During this phase, your hands stay firmly on the ground just under your shoulders.
– Press slightly forward with your shoulders holding out over your hands and use your abs to lift your hips up in the air. Your feet should come as close as possible to your hands to bring you into a full hamstring stretch or forward fold.
– Return to standing before beginning the movement again.
Want to make this movement more difficult? You can add a full pushup from the plank position which will further engage your core and your chest.
How many inchworms should you do?
The number of inchworm exercise reps you should do depends on your fitness level, goals, and overall workout routine. It’s generally recommended to start with a few repetitions and gradually increase as you become more comfortable with the exercise.
If you’re a beginner, you might want to start with 2-3 sets of 5-10 repetitions, taking breaks between sets as needed. As you become more comfortable with the movement, you can increase the number of sets and repetitions.
Intermediate and advanced exercisers might aim for 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions, or more, depending on their fitness goals and the other exercises they are including in their workout routine.
Ultimately, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard too fast. It’s better to start with a lower number of reps and sets and gradually increase over time to avoid injury and ensure that you’re making progress towards your fitness goals.
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