Category: exercise/workouts


video link (How to do the Plank exercise)…….Plank exercise

One of my favorite exercises is The plank. It’s a great exercise for people who have trouble doing situps because of back problems. It’s a great exercise that engages the muscles and works the core.  It builds endurance in both the abs and back . It also helps with balance. You may be feel unsteady, or shake when you do it at first. But that just means it’s working 🙂 Try it!

How to:

  1. Lie face down on mat resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor.
  2. Push off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows.
  3. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominals to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air or sagging in the middle.
  5. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds, lower and repeat for 3-5 reps.
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20 minute workout

Even short durations of exercise can be beneficial. If you are consistent with your workouts and put all your effort into each session, you don’t need hours of working out to see results. Here is a 20 minute workout you can do. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment or time. Just get up and get moving!

One-Minute Cardio Interval

Beginner

March in place, pumping your arms vigorously and lifting your knees to waist level.

Intermediate

Step up and down on your step. Be sure to pump your arms and plant your entire foot firmly on the step platform. Lead with your right foot half the time, and with your left foot for the other half.

Advanced

Step on the platform with left foot, then lift right knee to waist level. Pump arms, left arm forward, right arm back. Step down with right foot, then with left. Next, step up with right foot, and lift left knee; right arm forward, left arm back. Continue alternating.

A note about intensity: Whichever cardio level you choose, give it your best effort. You should feel slightly breathy and sweaty by the end of each minute. Your heart should be thumping, but you shouldn’t be so out of breath that you can’t talk or have to take a break before moving on to the next exercise.

 Body-Sculpting Move 1

The ultimate butt move: side squat and arm raise. Also works outer thighs, inner thighs, front of thighs and shoulders.

1. Stand tall with feet hip width apart, arms at sides with palms facing in and elbows slightly bent. Hold a weight in each hand.

2. Step right foot out about a foot and a half to the side and bend knees until thighs are parallel to the floor. As you do so, lift arms up and out to the side until hands are at shoulder level. Push off the right foot to return to the start.

Sequence: 15 reps to right side; one-minute cardio interval; 15 reps to left side.

Body-Sculpting Move 2

The ultimate back-of-thigh shaper: double curl. Also works front of arms.

1. Leaning forward slightly, stand with feet as shown, left foot forward. Bend left knee slightly and lift right heel off the floor. Hold arms at sides with palms forward, clasping a weight in each hand.

2. Simultaneously bend right knee so that right heel moves toward buttocks, and bend elbows to bring hands toward shoulders.

Sequence: 15 reps with right leg lifted; one-minute cardio interval; 15 reps with left leg.

Body-Sculpting Move 3

The ultimate upper-back toner: row and extension. Also works shoulders, arms.

1. Holding a weight in each hand, stand with feet hip width apart. Keeping your back flat and abs tight, bend knees, lean forward from hips and let arms hang down, palms facing in toward each other.

2. Bend elbows and raise weights to chest level then straighten elbows and press the weights behind you. Bend elbows again and lower arms to start.

Sequence: One set of 15 reps; one-minute cardio interval; second set of 15 reps.

Body-Sculpting Move 4

The ultimate chest firmer: step push-up. Also works shoulders, arms.

1. Place a mat or towel underneath your knees and lie on stomach in front of an aerobic step placed lengthwise. Bend knees and cross ankles. Place hands shoulder width apart on edge of aerobic step and straighten arms so that you’re balanced on palms and thighs, just above knees as shown. Tighten abs.

2. Bend elbows until upper arms are parallel to floor. Push back up.

Sequence: One set of 15 reps; one-minute cardio interval; second set of 15 reps

Body-Sculpting Move 5

The ultimate ab sculptor: hover. Also works lower back, arms.

Don’t be fooled — this simple exercise is a total ab and lower-back move.

1. Kneel on the floor; then lean forward. Bend elbows and balance upper body on forearms; stretch out legs and balance weight on toes. Clasp hands together and tuck chin toward chest. Tighten abs so that back is straight; make sure lower back does not sag downward and don’t raise your butt above the rest of your body.

2. Hold this position for 5 to 10 slow counts. Keep torso straight the entire time. Do two reps per set. To rest between reps, sit back on heels and stretch upper body forward.

Sequence: One set of two reps; one-minute cardio interval; second set of two reps.

6 Low-Cost Work…

6 Low-Cost Workouts

(some info. Taken from everydayhealth.com)

Even if your financial resources are slim, you need to exercise. For the options on this list, all you really need is a little motivation.

1.Walk for weight management

The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days a week. To meet this recommendation, you have to get your heart pumping and your breathing rate up, which is easy enough on a brisk walk. If you can’t walk for 30 minutes straight, break it up in to 10-minute sessions, and slowly add time as you get in to better shape. The best part? To start walking more, all you need to invest in is a good pair of walking shoes and some socks.

2.Dance for Aerobic Exercise

It costs nothing to plug in your iPod and dance from room to room. If you want to take your dancing skills out on the town, grab some pals and head to the local salsa club (many offer free lessons on certain nights of the week), or find another dance group that suits your tastes and abilities.

3.Weight Train

When you build muscle, your body doesn’t have to use as much insulin, and your blood sugar is easier to keep in check. To strength train at home, invest in free weights (such as a pair of dumbbells and ankle weights), plastic tubing, or resistance bands. If you want to improve both strength and flexibility, try a stability ball for ab and stretching exercises. If you’re not ready to make the investment, you can start by doing upper-body exercises while holding a can of soup or jug of water in each hand. You can also try body-weight moves, such as lunges, squats, and push-ups.

4. Jump Rope to Burn Calories

If you want to lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels and lose weightas well, you need high calorie-burning exercise. One of the cheapest and most effective options is simply jumping rope. A 150-pound person can torch 750 calories with just one hour of jumping, and the good news is, you can break that hour up throughout your day and still see the same benefit.

5.Try Exercise DVDs at Home

Whether you love Zumba, yoga, Pilates, or calisthenics, there are hundreds of at-home exercise DVDs you can try — and there are probably a wide variety to choose from at your local library. For a completely free exercise program, try the online resources available.

6.Stream Free Online Videos

If you don’t want to invest in DVDs, free home fitness programs are readily available online. For example, the American Diabetes Association has an excellent video you can watch online that gives a good introduction to at-home exercise. The American Heart Association also offers a free 12-week online fitness and nutrition course. There are also a variety of fitness videos available for free on YouTube

Standing Abs!

Core-strength exercises strengthen your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities. You can do core-strength exercises standing, on a carpeted floor or mat. Breathe freely and deeply during each core-strength exercise. Here are some standing exercises. Ab exercises should be done 2-3 times per week.

 

STANDING AB EXERCISES

 

3 sets

8-15 reps each

rest 10-15 seconds between each

 

Dumbbell Side Bends

Side bends target the obliques and the rectus abdominis muscles. Stand with the legs slightly apart. Hold a dumbbell in one hand and place the other hand behind your head. Bend your torso to the side opposite the dumbbell, “crunching” the obliques. With control, return to the initial position. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions on one side before switching the dumbbell to the other side. Complete three sets total.

Standing Knee Crunches

Knee crunches primarily work the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis. Stand in a

split-stance position with your hands clasped together above your head. Contract your core and with control, drive the back knee up and bring the hands down so that they meet at waist level. Return to starting position. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions on each side.

 

Side Knee Crunch

Side knee crunches are another great exercise to target the obliques and help banish the love handles. Stand with feet hip width apart, with your weight balanced on the left leg. Place your left hand on your hips and your right arm straight up in the air. Your right foot should be pointing outward, and your leg should have a slight bend in it. Contract your core and slowly raise your right knee up the side of your body while at the same time bringing your right elbow downward so that they meet at waist level. Hold for a count of one; then slowly lower back down. Be sure not to push off the floor with your foot. Perform 15 repetitions; then switch sides. Complete a total of three sets per side.

Standing Sumo Crunch

The sumo crunch is a great exercise for the oblique muscles. Stand with feet wider than shoulder width apart, with your toes pointed outward. Lower down until your thighs are parallel with the floor and clasp your hands behind your head. With control, lower your right elbow as far as you can toward your right thigh. Return to the starting position; then lower to the left side. Complete three sets of 20 crunches on each side.

Standing Pike Crunch

Standing pike crunches engage all of the ab muscles. Stand with your feet hip width apart, arms pointing straight above your head. Contract your core and simultaneously raise your right leg and lower your arms so that your hands and foot meet at about waist level. Return to starting position and repeat the movement with the left leg. Allow your torso to flex with the lowering of your arms and keep your moving leg as straight as possible. Perform three sets of 20 repetitions with each leg.

Quick workout moves!

Don’t have a lot of time but still want to get in your workout for the day? If you put your all into a short workout, you don’t need a lot of time to see and feel results. Here are some high intensity moves you can do within 20-25 minutes.

Do as many reps as you can within the time frame for each exercise. If you can’t do the exercises with the jumps you can do a modified version without the jump and still feel the benefit. NO EXCUSES! 🙂

  • Jump Squats for 30 seconds – At the lowest point in your squat, explode up by leaping off the ground.
  • Squat Reach Jumps for 30 seconds – Squat, touching the floor with your fingertips, and explode up into a jump with your hands reaching up as high as possible.
  • Leapfrog Squats for 30 seconds – Wide leg squats and jumps.
  • Gap Jumps for 30 seconds – Leap forward as far as possible, and then leaping back.
  • Squat Jacks for 30 seconds – Jumping jacks, only landing in a squat position instead of with straight legs.
  • Swing Kicks for 60 seconds – Kick each leg up over and across a stool for one minute.
  • Military Marches for 60 seconds – This is intended as a break — you march in place slowly, lifting your legs until they’re perpendicular to your body.

Start from the  top and Repeat exercises consecutively for the amount of time you plan to work out.

Workout on the Go!

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The holiday season is here and many of you may be traveling. Don’t let travel stop your workout! Here is a workout you can do when you’re “on the go”. No weights or gym required.  Always make fitness a priority and you’ll see how easily it becomes second nature.

(FitnessRX)

30 Seconds Each exercise:

1)    High knees

2)    Squat jumps

3)    Jump lunges

4)    Side to side boxer twists

5)    Jump rope (you don’t even need an actual rope, use an invisible one!) 
6)    Burpees

Go straight into:

1)    25 pushups

2)    50 walking lunges (you grab something heavy that’s around you and hold it overhead for these)

3)    2 minutes of your choice of abs

Repeat 4-5 times

As promised, here is another item you can use to exercise that’s right in your home. No more excuses if you don’t have weights or other exercise equipment.

While it might seem like a clunky option, a good thick hardcover book can be great for strengthening the core muscles. Look to a thick volume, such as a hardcover dictionary, to use in abdominal exercises such as crunches.

  • Keep the book on your chest as you’re lifting your abs and middle up, but be sure not to strain your neck.
  • You can use the book in doing exercises that focus more on your lower abs as well. Lie flat on your back with your arms fully extended above you, holding the book. Using only your stomach muscles to propel the movement, lift your shoulders straight off the ground, keeping the rest of your body flat.
  • For another lower abs weight exercise, sit on a chair with your legs together and extended in front of you, feet about eight inches off the ground. Balance the book on your shins and slowly lift your legs up, keeping them extended. Lower and repeat.(fitday.com)

Household item exercises #1

 

We often think we have to workout in a gym, which is false. There are items right in our home we can use. I will do a series of different household items you can use for workouts. The first item is a towel. You can use a smaller towel or a large bath towel. Below are 10 exercises you can do in the comfort of your home, all with a simple towel.

1. Single-Leg Squat with Towel (Glutes)

This targets that messy undies spillover area between the very back of your bottom and the lower part of your hips.

Stand with your feet together and place your right foot on top of a folded towel.

Shifting your weight to your left leg, slide the towel out slowly to your right.

Then slowly return to the start position. Work this side for 30 seconds, keeping

your elbows bent and your fists together near your chin.When you squat, your

left knee should bend between 45 and 90 degrees.

After 30 seconds, switch legs and do the squats and slides for another 30

seconds.

2.Sliding Plank to Pike with Towel Sliding Plank to Pike with Towel (Core)

Get in push-up position on floor, hands shoulder-width apart and feet on a towel; your body should be straight from head to heels.

Use your abs to draw your feet forward, lifting hips and keeping legs as straight as you can. Return to starting position and repeat. Keep shoulders over your hands.

3.Ditch: Side Knee Crunch (Obliques/Core)

Lie faceup on floor with knees bent and aligned over hips, and calves raised and parallel to floor.

Hold ends of a towel in each hand, arms extended so towel is stretched over knees.

Roll head and shoulder blades up off floor while extending left leg to about 45 degrees from floor and moving towel to outside of right knee. Then extend right leg and bend left knee, moving towel to outside of left knee, keeping shoulders lifted. Continue alternating without dropping torso. Do 10 to 15 reps.

4.Uneven Pushups (Chest, Arms, Core)

Get into a pushup position with your left hand on top of a rolled-up towel and your right hand on the floor (A).

Lower into a pushup until your chest is as close to the floor as possible (B). Press back up.

Do five or six reps, then repeat with your right hand on the towel and your left hand on the floor. Quick Tip: If this move is too difficult, start in a modified pushup position, with your knees on the ground.

5.Mountain Climbers with Towel  (Core and Shoulders)

Get in push-up position on floor, hands shoulder-width apart and feet on towels; tighten your abs so your body is straight from head to heels.

Keeping upper body still, draw one knee at a time toward your hands [shown], moving as quickly as possible.

6.Isometric Shoulder Hold with Towel (shoulders)

Starting Position

Twist a large towel so that it is in a long straight line.

Step onto one end of the towel with your right foot, grasping the other end of it in your right hand (palm facing down arm at right side).

Keep feet slightly apart, knees slightly bent.

Allow enough tension to feel resistance as you raise your right arm up, approaching a parallel line with the floor. Hold at 45 degrees for 30 seconds. Adjust tension (step further away from hand) and hold arm parallel to floor for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat for one set.

7.Isometric Biceps Hold with Towel (biceps)

Starting Position

Twist a large towel so that it is in a long straight line. Step onto one end of the towel with your right foot, grasping the other end of it in your right hand (palm in front of hip facing outward). Keep feet slightly apart, knees slightly bent.

Allow enough tension to feel resistance as you curl your right hand in towards your chest. Hold (with tension) at 90 degrees for 30 seconds. Step further away and hold at 45 degrees for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat for one set.

Adjust resistance by stepping closer (more difficult) or away (easier) from the end of the towel in your hand. You should feel enough resistance during each part of the exercise (may need to adjust it by stepping further away from hand at each different angle mentioned). Be sure not to hold breath.

8.Back Pull (back)

Starting Position

 Roll your towel lengthwise. Grasping an end in either hand, raise the towel over your head, arms extended. Click arrow to see the next step.

Inhale, then slowly exhale, bending arms and lowering the towel down behind your head. Keep tension on the towel as you raise and lower it, but don’t tense your neck.

9.Arm Extension, Starting Position (Tricep)

Roll up the towel lengthwise. Place one end in your left hand. Straighten your left arm directly over your head. Click arrow to see the next step.

Now, reach behind your back with your right arm and grasp three quarters of the way down the towel. Gently pull the towel behind your head with your right arm, bending your left arm behind your head, so your elbow points straight up. Inhale, holding the towel steady. Exhale and extend your left arm back to

10.Ankle Stregthener

Sit in a chair and put a towel down on the floor in front of you.

Put your bare foot on the towel, and keep your heel on the ground.

Starting with your little toe, contract your toes to bunch up the towel tightly and sweep it toward the midline of your body. Imagine that you are bringing your little toe under your foot to meet your big toe.

Without moving your heel, continue to gather and sweep the towel until you have done 10 repetitions or you run out of towel. Switch feet and repeat.

 

People are sometimes wary about lifting weights because they think they’ll get too bulky or muscular (particularly women). But lifting weights can help tremendously, if you want or need to lose body fat. Here are just some benefits weight lifting can bring by adding it to your workout routine.

Researchers from East Carolina University found that weight training increased fat use in abdominal fat during and for at least 40 minutes after exercise. Weight training increased subcutaneous (under the skin) abdominal fat oxidation and promoted whole-body fat burning during and after exercise. (taken from fitnessRX.com)

Weight training causes healthy changes in cellular metabolism, such as improved blood sugar control, and can be an important source of energy expenditure in people trying to lose or maintain weight.

Weight training also stimulates growth hormone (GH), which is a potent fat-fighter. GH is an anti-fat hormone that stimulates the release and breakdown of fat from the fat cells and helps maintain blood sugar.

Muscle weighs more per square inch than fat, so, even if your weight isn’t  dropping very quickly, your clothes will feel baggier and you’ll see a healthier, slimmer and better toned you in the mirror

Weight training is a great fat-fighter, particularly if you follow some basic principles:

• Include whole-body, multi-joint exercises in your program.
• Move quickly between sets and exercises.
• Do aerobic exercise three to five days per week.
• Do cardio first and then lift weights if the goal is to maximize caloric expenditure.
• Train intensely.

The best combination for fat-loss includes a calorie-restricted diet, aerobics and weight training.

Do you have a computer, a laptop, internet access? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you can get a great workout, wherever you are. Recently, I’ve been doing free workouts at home that I’ve found on sites like, http://www.exercisetv.com and http://www.youtube.com. I love it, because I can do a different workout everyday! There are tons of options. No matter what your level of fitness is, you can find a workout that is right for you. Whether you want to do cardio, strength training, Yoga, Pilates, or  a quick 10-20 min. workout;you can find it online. So, what are you waiting for?…BOOT UP, LOG ON, and GET MOVING!!!!