4/28/14 WOW – Crisscross Ladder, Part Deux

The WOW, or Workout of the Week, is a short workout that you can do on your own as an add-on to your training. These workouts are designed to be mostly equipment free (so you can do them anywhere) and of medium to high intensity. Modify as needed depending on your fitness level and intensity needs.

Make sure to warm-up before each WOW. Some suggestions would be a minute or two of jumping jacks, jogging, or stair walks. Then do two to three minutes of 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 half roll backs, and 10 bird dogs. Do the squats and push-ups at an easy-for-you modification. In other words, if you typically do plank push-ups from the floor, do some low incline push-ups for your warm-up.

Last time our Crisscross Ladder was made up of two of the five basic human movements* – a pulling motion (Body Rows) and a Pushing motion (Spider-man Push-ups). This week we’re emphasizing two more of the movements – squatting and hinging – with Goblet or Prisoner Squats and Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts (weighted or unweighted depending on your fitness level and availability of equipment). These movements will challenge your lower body, core, and even your balance.

The Goblet Squat is an excellent exercise for increase hip flexibility as will as strengthening the quads as will as the hamstrings, and glutes. The Single Leg Romanian Deadlift is all about the posterior chain (or back of the body). Single leg RDLs are a great hamstring and glute strengthener.


Goblet Squat

  1. Holding a kettlebell (or medicine ball or dumbbell) at your chest, stand with your feet at about shoulder width, with the feet in parallel or slightly turned out (depends on your flexibility).
  2. Sit down and slightly back to get into the squat position. Push your knees out to the side SLIGHTLY as you lower down into the squat.
  3. Continue to squat down until your hip creases are just below the tops of your thighs. Make sure that your elbows are touching your inner thighs in the bottom position.
  4. Make sure to keep your spine long and straight. No rounding in the upper or middle back.
  5. Keep pushing your tailbone slightly back. No butt wink!
  6. Pause for a second at the bottom and then stand back up.

Single Leg RDL

  1. Stand on one foot. Squeeze the glute of the non-standing leg.
  2. Start the movement by hinging at your hips. Your back should be long and straight. NO BENDING AT THE WAIST OR SPINE!
  3. As you continue to hinge think of pushing your tailbone back towards the wall behind you and bringing your shoulders forward towards the wall in front of you.
  4. Let the knee of the standing leg bend slightly as you hinge, and keep your gaze out across the floor in front of you.
  5. Continue to hinge until you reach the end range of your hamstring flexibility, but do not lower your back any more than parallel to the floor.
  6. Squeeze the glute of the stationary leg and return to standing.

*These movement patterns are taken from my first fitness crush, Dan John.


  1. Eileen Davis on April 28, 2014 at 11:26 am

    What!!?? Brett is your FAVORITE trainer???? I can’t wait to hear this story?
    PS. Went to University of Maryland on Saturday for their annual “Maryland Day” and walked all over campus for 4 hours. I think that counts as a “WOW” workout…at least my legs think so 🙂

    • michelle on May 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Ha! The others have redeemed themselves, Eileen.