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How To Do Table Tops

Published January 12, 2018
KC Clements

Written By: KC Clements, MS

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

<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Elisa Silva" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "", "image": "" } }, "headline":"How To Do Table Tops With Perfect Form", "datePublished":"2018-01-12", "dateModified": "2019-10-31", "description":"Learn how to do table tops with perfect form.", "image": "" } </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> </a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>The computer has brought us all sorts of amazing things from viral videos to social media and more. But it’s also changed the way we work and even relax in our daily lives. Many of us spend a good part of our day hunched over a computer. The way we hold our neck, chest, back, and shoulders in this position is wreaking havoc on our posture—for some it’s even causing chronic pain. Here we’re going to teach you one of the best exercises for strengthening your posture. Practice this to reduce body aches from our computer-centered lifestyles: the table top.</p> <p>For the table top, you’ll start seated on the ground with your legs extended out in front of you. Place your hands on the floor, fingers pointing backwards away from your body. Dig your heels into the ground and squeeze your glutes, lifting your hips up towards the ceiling, forming a table top with your body. This compound exercise works your arms, legs, core, and back in one simple, fluid movement. Plus, it’s going to strengthen your posture muscles.</p> <p>The table top can be challenging for beginners. If you’re struggling at first, you might want to try out the shoulder bridge lift. Lying on your back with your knees up at a forty-five degree angle, press through your heels to lift your hips towards the ceiling. Then drop down and repeat until you’ve reached your desired number of repetitions. The shoulder bridge lift is going to zero in on building strength in your glutes, quads, and lower back. It will also help you prepare for more challenging variations.</p> <p>Once you’ve got the table top down, you can transition to the alternating one leg table top. As you might be able to guess, this move is the same as the table top, except this time you’ll press your hips up with one leg at a time while extending the opposite leg. Complete a set by alternating between lifting with your right leg, then your left leg. This variation is going to challenge each of your legs separately, promoting good muscle symmetry.</p> <p>Finally, you’ll be ready to tackle the reverse plank. A normal plank positions you with your chest facing down. For the reverse plank, prop yourself up on your hands with your heels planted in the ground and your chest facing up. Just like a regular plank, hold this position for an allotted length of time. The reverse plank shares a lot of benefits with these other two movements, and it blasts your ab muscles by creating powerful core tension.</p> <p>First, let’s get started by learning how to do the table top with perfect form:</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section1"> <h2>Instructions</h2> <ol> <li>Start in a seated position on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. You want your palms flat on the floor, fingers pointed backwards.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="table-tops-1"> </picture> <li>Dig your heels into the ground, squeeze your glutes, and lift your hips up towards the ceiling. As you do this, your feet will drop down until they’re firmly planted on the floor. Hold briefly at the top of the movement.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="table-tops-2"> </picture> <li>In a slow, controlled movement, drop your hips back down to return to the starting position.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="table-tops-3"> </picture> <li>Continue repeating the movement 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>You want to make sure that your shoulders aren’t hunched while you’re performing the movement. Think about opening up your chest and squeezing your shoulder blades together to maintain a good posture.</li> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset=""> <img src="" class="img-fluid" alt="table-tops-4"> </picture> <li>Inhale as you lift your hips up, then exhale as you drop back down. Imagine that your breath is lifting you up towards the ceiling and that strong exhale is pressing your hips back down.</li> <li>This exercise is best done in a slow, controlled manner, though you do want to minimize the time you spend at the bottom of the movement since it’s that squeeze up at the top that works the right muscles. When you drop down, lightly skim the ground with your butt before pressing back up.</li> <li>Keep your arms engaged during the movement. Without actually doing so, fire your muscles as though you’re trying to press your arms and hands away from your body towards the wall behind you.</li> <li>As you perform the movement, think about your key points of alignment. Nice, tall shoulders, glutes firing hard throughout the movement, chest open, and heels powering you through.</li> </ul> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section> <section id="section3"> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>The table top is an incredible full-body exercise that is going to challenge your arms, legs, and core while preparing you for more advanced variations down the line. The key to this exercise is maintaining control and moving at a slow but steady pace. Focus on your form while doing the exercise so that you can get the maximum benefit for your time and effort.</p> <p>Again, this move might be a beginner exercise, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! If you want to start out with a simpler exercise, we recommend the shoulder bridge lift. This move is going to give you that same powerful core workout and that nice glute squeeze without taxing your arms too much.</p> <p>For those of you who have mastered the table top, the alternating one leg table top is the perfect intermediate variation of this exercise. This move is going to give you all of the great benefits of the table top, plus you’ll be promoting balance and muscle symmetry—especially in your quads and glutes.</p> <p>From there, you’ll be ready to take on an awesome advanced movement: the Reverse Plank. You’ll flip a normal plank so that your chest is facing up towards the ceiling. The Reverse Plank fires a lot of different muscles including your shoulders, triceps, and glutes, all while providing a powerful core workout.</p> <p>Now that you’ve got all the tips you need to perform the perfect table top, it’s time to test it out for yourself! Try adding a few sets to your next workout or hop on the floor and knock out a few repetitions the next time you’ve got a spare minute around the house.</p> <p>If this exercise is too easy, try <a target="_blank" href="">Alternating One Leg Table Tops</a>.</p> </section> </article>

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