As we continue on our journey through the alphabet, bringing you a unique option for a workout routine, you will notice that a number of the exercises on this list of exercises that start with the letter “C” are yoga influenced.
While many consider yoga to be a mental and stretching exercise, many of the positions also help to build strength, flexibility, and mobility that will help with numerous other exercises and activities.
So let’s jump right into a list of exercises that start with the letter C.
Some of the best exercises that start with the letter C are:
- Chest press
- Calf raises
- Child’s pose
- Concentration curls
- Clean and press
- Curtsy lunges
- Chair pose
- Chest fly
Let’s take a look at each exercises, how to do it, muscles worked, and how you can put together an alphabet workout to mix things up!
1. Chest Press
You might think this is cheating, and that it should really be under “B” for “Bench Press.”
But you’d be wrong!
The Chest Press is actually different in that it requires the use of a machine in a seated position, whereas the bench press is done with free weights while lying on your back.
Make sure that your back is firmly pressed against the backrest, your lower back can have a slight arch as you engage your abdominals while you are pushing the weight outward.
With your feet planted flat on the floor or the footrests, grab the handles of the chest press machine with an overhand grip
Press the handles outward until your arms are fully extended (do not lock your elbows). Pause for a count and then slowly return to the starting position by bending your elbows.
- Front Deltoids
- Latissimus dorsi
- Rotator Cuffs
2. Calf Raises
Often an ignored body part when it comes to working out, your calves are a vital part of any daily activity and especially important when it comes to explosive movement.
A simple anyplace, anytime exercise that can be done with or without weights. Focus on keeping your back straight, shoulders rolled back, and abdominals engaged
Standing shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, slowly raise your heels off the ground, balancing on the balls of your feet
Pause at the highest point possible
Lower your heels to the ground and repeat for reps.
A simple, yet effective back stretch that you can implement into your pre or post-workout stretch.
This yoga stretch improves your mobility, and posture and helps to prevent lower back pain.
Starting in a tabletop position, make sure your hands are under your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips.
Beginning with a neutral spine, inhale as you elevate your sit bones, pressing your chest forward and dropping your belly towards the floor (Cow pose)
After a short court, begin to transfer your body, exhaling as you round your spine, tuck your tailbone, and pull your pubic bone forward (Cat pose)
Repeat slowly through the movement and breathing pattern for equal reps.
- Hip Flexors
- Spinal Erector
- Latissimus dorsi
A legendary core exercise that helps target the much sought-after six-pack, crunches also help to improve posture and balance in a simple, any place, any time exercise.
Start the exercise lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor with your hands placed either at the side of your head or behind it (just have your fingertips lightly touching your head).
Engage your abdominals and slowly raise your upper body, elevating your shoulders off the ground as you bring your ribs in to meet your pelvis.
Remember to exhale as you lift your body upwards.
Hold for a quick one-count and then slowly lower your upper body to the starting position, inhaling on the way back down.
- Transversus Abdominis
- Hip Flexors
5. Child’s Pose
This simple yoga pose not only helps to stretch your hips and lower back but also improves flexibility and circulation while relaxing the body and mind.
Starting in a tabletop position, bring your big toes together and then sit back onto your heels while keeping your knees in line with your hips
Slowly hinge forward as you exhale, bringing your torso to rest against your thighs and lowering your forehead to the ground (you may use a towel or small pillow to rest against).
Extend your arms and hands out in front of you as far as possible.
Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, slowly inhaling and exhaling deeply.
- Lower Back
- Hip Flexors
- Inner Thighs
A simple exercise, in theory, chin-ups are among the most challenging bodyweight exercises to execute.
If you are unable to jump up and grab the chin-up bar, you can use a box, bench, or chair to help you up.
Grab the pullup bar with your palms facing towards you and arms shoulder-width apart.
Carefully step off the box (if you are using one) or if you jump up, just let your body hang with a slight bend in your elbows.
Engage your glutes, quads and core while you rotate your shoulder blades away from your spine. Keep your chin tucked in throughout the entire movement.
Slowly pull yourself upward as your shoulder blades pull down and your elbows come towards your body. Aim to pull your body upwards until your chin is slightly above the bar
Slowly lower yourself back down in a controlled motion until your arms are straight (do not lock your elbows)
- Latissimus dorsi
- Transverse Abdominis
- Teres Major
- Scapular and Shoulder Stabilizers
Another simple, yet very effective yoga pose, this back bending exercise helps to improve posture as well as increase strength and flexibility in your back, shoulders, and arms.
Begin lying flat on the floor on your stomach with your legs and feet hip-width apart, toes pointed and the tops of your feet on the floor
Place your hands under your shoulders in a pushup-like position, and keep your elbows tucked in towards your ribs
As you inhale, press your hands to the floor and use your arms to help raise your chest and the front of your hips off the ground. Keep your belly pulled in and your shoulder blades rolled back and down.
Hold the pose as you inhale and lift your chest slightly higher. Make sure to keep your neck in a neutral position throughout the exercise.
- Hip Flexors
- Ankle dorsiflexors (top of the foot)
- Cervical flexors (front of the neck)
- Spinal Extensors
- Middle Trapezius
8. Concentration Curls
Enhancing your bicep strength will help with various daily activities that require lifting as well as any athletic movements such as throwing, shooting or swinging.
Unlike the traditional bicep curl, the concentration curl isolates the bicep, placing more focus and tension on the muscle.
Holding a single dumbbell with an underhand grip, sit on a bench with your feet planted on the ground.
Position your target elbow on the inside of your thigh, slightly above your knee. Let your arm hang down to the ground.
Engage your bicep as you begin to curl the dumbbell, squeezing the muscle at the top of your rep.
Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat
- Biceps brachii
- Brachialis (the small muscle under your biceps brachii)
9. Clean and Press
A total body strength-building compound exercise, the clean and press blends together two foundational exercises into one.
It is important that you are familiar with and capable of executing a deadlift and an overhead press safely and properly in order to avoid potential injury.
Using an Olympic bar, stand with your feet hip-width apart and squat down to grab the bar with an overhand grip
In one quick-flowing movement, lift the bar upwards using an upright row motion. Flip your elbows as you lift towards your clavicle. Sink into a squat position in order to get underneath the bar.
Pushing through your heels to stand upright. Perform a slight knee dip use your legs to help you extend your arms, pressing the bar over your head.
Hold for a count and then slowly progress through the same steps to return the bar to the ground.
10. Curtsy Lunges
A great exercise to build lower body strength, power, and stability as well as sculpt and tone the booty!
As with a regular lunge, this exercise can be done with or without weights, holding dumbbells at your side, or in a goblet position or a barbell across your upper shoulders
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, begin by putting weight onto one foot and stepping back and around with the other, in a semi-curtsy bow position.
Make sure that your chest stays upright.
Lower into a lunge until your front thigh is parallel with the ground. Push back up through the front foot until your leg is straight and return your rear leg to the starting position.
You can either alternate legs or finish for reps and then switch
- Hip Abductors
11. Chair Pose
Not only a physical exercise but a mental one as well, the chair pose strengthens the lower body while it stretches the upper back and arms.
Begin standing upright with your feet together. Inhale as you raise your arms straight above your head.
As you bend your knees, slowly exhale as you lower your thighs until they are almost parallel with the floor (as if you were about to sit on a chair).
Aim to have the center of your knee over top of your second toe with your weight in your heels.
Allow your torso to lean forward over your thighs, keeping your back relatively flat. With your arms still reaching forward, rotate them so your palms face each other. Relax your shoulders back and down
Hold this pose for 15-30 seconds
12. Chest Fly
An isolation chest and shoulder exercise, the chest fly is one of the best exercises to help develop size, muscle, and strength in your upper chest.
Lying with your back flat on a bench (or on the ground), hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length over your chest with your palms facing each other.
Maintain a slight bend in your elbows as you slowly lower the weights out to your side, feeling a deep stretch in your chest. Do not lower your arms past your shoulder line.
Pause for a quick count and slowly reverse the motion to the starting point and repeat.
- Pectoralis Major
Whether you are looking for the upper body, lower body, or total body, there is something for everybody in our list of exercises that begin with the letter “C” as you continue to build your own personal and fun workout program.
You can create an entire workout based on C exercises, or you could do an “alphabet workout” using one exercise from each letter!
So, before you go, you might want to check out:
- Exercises that start with A
- Exercises that start with B
- Exercises that start with D
- Exercises that start with E
Hope this helps!