The Body Engineer
An Equinox trainer transforms figures using movement theory from her former career.
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It’s called body mechanics for a reason. The foundation of how we move through exercises — and through life — is deeply rooted in the science of mechanical engineering. When designing movement patterns, trainers must consider elements like angles, levers, torque, etcetera to ensure proper form and maximal results. It’s only fitting then, that former engineer-turned-trainer Valerie Jurkovich could take program design to a whole new level. “Applying these principles guarantees that you're working your body most efficiently, so you're going to get optimal performance, which translates to results."
Equinox’s Pasadena-based pro designed the total-body circuit below exclusively for Q. Repeat the circuit 3 times, resting 10 seconds between each exercise and 1 minute between each set:
1. Kettlebell Single Arm Swing- Works quads, hips, butt, abs, back, shoulders
The Principle: Pendulum Swing
The Concept: A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. The gravitational force that brings the weights back to equilibrium will be controlled by the movement and power of the legs, hips, abs, back and shoulders, so any exercise using this principle essentially becomes total body.
The Move: Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, a kettlebell in right hand, palm facing body. Bend knees and swing kettlebell through legs, then drive hips forward and exhale as you swing kettlebell up to shoulder-height, keeping arm straight. Repeat for 30 seconds.
2. Power Plate Close-Grip Push-ups- Works abs, chest, triceps
The Principle: Frequency Waves
The Concept: When frequency waves are transmitted through the body, more muscle fibers may be activated during a specific movement.
The Move: Start in push-up position with hands on Power Plate, forming a triangle with thumbs and index fingers. Lower chest down to plate, then return to start. Repeat for 30 seconds.
3. ViPR Speed Skater: Works quads, butt, abs, back, biceps, shoulders
The Principle: Plane of Motion
The Concept: All muscles and joints are designed to function in 3 planes of motion. Moving this way ensures that certain areas do not become overstressed so your body stays balanced.
The Move: Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart holding ViPR handles so ViPR is horizontal to body at chest level, elbows slightly bent. Jump on right foot bringing right end of ViPR toward right hip and left foot behind you, left knee bent, then repeat on opposite side. Continue for 30 seconds.
4. Indo-Row Machine: Works quads, hamstrings, abs, chest, back, biceps, shoulders
The Principle: Fluid Dynamics
The Concept: This specific machine uses water as resistance, so you're getting a more authentic experience. Because of the fluidity of the water, the resistance stays constant, so you're working each muscle group consistently.
The Move: Sit on rowing machine and strap in feet. As you row, think: legs, core arms on the way out, then arms, core, legs on the way in. Row quickly for 60 seconds. Need some tips? Watch our video demonstration.
5. Triceps Kickback
The Principle: Pivot Point
The Concept: The elbows are used as a fixed pivot point, which helps to isolate the triceps muscle so you're getting the maximum contraction.
The Move: Stand with feet hip-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing body. Hinge forward from hips and bend elbows so dumbbells are at chest. Keeping elbows lifted, extend arms straight behind you, then bend elbows and bring weights back to chest for one rep. Do 10-12 reps.
6. Biceps Curl: Works biceps
The Principle: Concentric and Eccentric Force
The Concept: When you curl your arm, the movement is concentric, meaning the targeted muscle is shortening under contraction. When you straighten your arm, the movement is eccentric, or lengthening the biceps muscle while contracting. Combining these two types of movement can increase your metabolic rate, quicken muscle repair and build stronger muscles.
The Move: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, a dumbbell in each hand, arms at sides, palms facing forward. Curl dumbbells towards chest, keeping elbows tight to sides, then release slowly to start. Do 10-12 reps.
7. Oblique Tilts: Works abdominals, obliques
The Principle: Parallel and Perpendicular
The Concept: When you keep your back parallell to the ground and your legs perpendicular to the ground, the juxtaposition engages the core to its fullest.
The Move: Lie on back with legs extended straight up in the air, feet flexed, arms extended at shoulder-height, palms flat on ground. Engage abs and lower legs about 6 inches to the right, keeping left shoulder flat on ground. Return to start, then repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do 10-12 reps.
Want more workouts? Try our 4-Week body changing plan.