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How To Do An Alternating One Leg Table Top With Perfect Form

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

KC holds a Master of Arts in Gender Politics from New York University

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "KC Clements, MS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_ALTERNATING_ONE_LEG_TABLE_TOP.jpg" } }, "headline":"How To Do An Alternating One Leg Table Top With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-30", "description":"Learn How To Do An Alternating One Leg Table Top With Perfect Form.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2019/11/Intermediate_ALTERNATING_ONE_LEG_TABLE_TOP.jpg" } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">Instructions</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Things to Keep in Mind</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">Conclusion</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>At Warrior Made, we’re all about doing single-leg variations of some of our favorite exercises, and with good reason. For one, these moves give us the opportunity to improve our balance and strengthen the accessory muscles we use to maintain that balance. More importantly, they ensure that we’re building symmetrical size and strength in our muscles which is both aesthetically pleasing and a crucial way to prevent injuries. Here we’re going to teach you an awesome intermediate single-leg exercise: the alternating one-leg table top.</p> <p>The alternating one-leg table top builds on the classic table top, a move in which you prop yourself up on your arms and legs as your lift your hips towards the ceiling, forming a table-like shape with your body. For the alternating one-leg variation, each time you lift your hips towards the ceiling, only press up with one leg while lifting the opposite leg. This compound exercise focuses on your glutes and hamstrings, but it’s also great to build shoulder strength and improve your posture.</p> <p>If you’re just starting out, you may want to try the regular table top before you move on to the alternating version. Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you and your arms planted behind you, fingertips facing away from your body. Squeeze your glutes and press through your heels to lift your hips towards the ceiling, then drop back down and repeat. You can also begin with a modification of this move called the shoulder bridge lift. Perform the same hip-lifting move, but for this version, keep your shoulders on the ground rather than propping yourself up on your arms.</p> <p>On the other hand, once you feel like you’ve got the alternating one-leg table top down, you can move on to an advanced exercise: the reverse plank. For the reverse plank, prop yourself up on your arms the same way you did for the table top. Now plant your heels into the ground to form a straight line from your toes to your head. Hold this position for an allotted amount of time to complete the exercise. When done correctly, this move will fire your core muscles hard while building strength in your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.</p> <p>But first, let’s learn how to do the alternating one-leg table top with correct form.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Plant your hands next to your hips, fingertips pointing behind you.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-1.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-1.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-1.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-LR-1.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-table-top-1"> </picture> <li>Drive your right heel into the ground and press your hips up while lifting your left leg up into the air with a bent knee. </li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-2.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-2.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-2.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-LR-2.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-table-top-2"> </picture> <li>With a slow, controlled movement, lower yourself back to the ground Repeat with the opposite side, this time driving your left heel into the ground while lifting your right leg.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-3.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-3.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-3.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-LR-3.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-table-top-3"> </picture> <li>Continue alternating until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.</li> </ol> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section2"> <h2>Things to keep in mind</h2> <ul> <li>Dig your heel into the floor hard at the beginning of the movement to make sure you’re firing your hamstrings effectively. Drop the foot of the leg you’re lifting down as slow as possible. This will emphasize the curl of your hamstring, giving you a great workout.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-4.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-4.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-4.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-LR-4.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-table-top-4"> </picture> <li>As you approach the top of the movement, you should feel your glutes taking over the lifting. When you lift through your right leg, you’re actually de-emphasizing your left glute. This forces your right glute to do all the work and vice versa which is great for building strength in each leg individually.</li> <li>Keep your shoulders and arms active during the movement by firing your muscles as though you’re pressing your arms back behind you. Good posture is crucial here. Make sure your chest is open, pull your shoulder blades back, and keep your spine nice and straight.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-5.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-5.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-5.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/instructionals-content/alt-table-top-LR-5.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="alt-table-top-5"> </picture> <li>Inhale as you lift up and exhale as you drop back down. Good breathing not only helps you focus on form, but it also gets the blood pumping to your muscles.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion:</h2> <p>The alternating one-leg table top is an incredible exercise for building symmetrical strength in your legs, improving your posture, and developing power in your posterior chain—the muscles on the back of your body including the hamstrings, glutes, and more. Form is especially key here. Be sure to focus on your movements and take it nice and slow to get the greatest benefit out of this exercise.</p> <p>Again, if you’re not quite ready to perform this move, start out with the regular table top instead. Forego lifting one of your legs and press up to the table top position with both legs instead. If that’s still too challenging for you, try out the shoulder bridge lift we mentioned earlier. From there, move on to the reverse plank. This move will blast your core, build your arm and shoulder strength, and dramatically improve your stamina.</p> <p>Want to know the best part? You can do any of these moves from the comfort of your very own living room. Get started by doing a few sets of alternating one-leg table tops the next time you have a few spare minutes around the house.</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-reverse-plank/">Reverse Planks</a>. If this exercise is too difficult, try <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/perfect-form-table-tops/">Table Tops</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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