This page is for becoming a healthier you... no matter your size or shape. It is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure any ailment or condition. Please consult your doctor before starting a new exercise or diet regime, especially if you have a condition.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Leg Squeeze (It would be wise to have both people around the same height.)
You and your partner lie on the floor with feet facing each other and buttocks approximately 12-18" apart. Raise legs toward the ceiling. One person has their legs on the inside spread hip width apart while the other has theirs on the outside of the first person. Contact legs at the ankles. The inside leg person pushes their legs apart while the outside person pushes their legs together. This creates natural resistance. Continue your "battle" for 8 seconds. Relax, and repeat as many times as you two decide. Make sure you are switching off the inside and outside positions equally.
This is a classic that most moms play with their kids, but don't think to use it as an adult exercise. Here is the adult variation:
Use a dowel or pole (a sturdy broomstick will work) for both partners to hold onto while facing each other. Place the feet heel to heel on the person across from you. Bend the knees slightly. Without jerking, one person pulls toward themselves while the other resists, but not fully. This is to create tension, but not complete resistance. When the person pulling toward themselves has pulled their partner to their full reach, switch tasks. Now the puller becomes the tensor and the partner can now pull them to full reach. Remember to keep knees slightly bent. Straight legs may be injured from tense stretching while limp legs to not create enough tension. This rowing action will use your arms, legs and core to control movements. (singing not required)
This one is a no brainer. Pick any exercise the two of you enjoy or want to get better at, and do it side by side or facing each other. Have a race! Decide the goal, and ....ready, set, GO! First person done wins!
Monday, June 21, 2010
(Originally posted on June 14, 2010) *Still working on finding all the pics for the exercises.
Now that a week has passed and hopefully you have been stretching every day, are you feeling a bit better? Adding daily walks, even a leisurely stroll makes a significant difference as well.
This week I will introduce low impact and isolated exercises for the beginner coupled with an intermediate version of the same routine for those who need a little more. Please always remember to have a warm up and cool down period when working out. This is a perfect opportunity to use those stretches from last week. This wakes up the muscles to be ready for strain, and afterward it releases the amino acids that build in the muscles to prevent the "burning" sensation that lingers after the work out is done. You will also be less sore.
This week's exercises will be focused on the arms and sides. Tip: Keep your tummy zipped and get a double work out!
Modified Push-Ups (beginner)
Find an empty space of wall from floor to just taller than your head and twice your shoulder width. Stand with your back to the wall and take one large step forward. Turn around to face the wall. With knees slightly bent and feet together, hold out arms shoulder width apart and place on wall. Do 10 "push-ups". Repeat sets of 10 until fatigued.
Modified Push-Ups (intermediate)
Kneel on floor with legs together. Place hands on floor and "walk" your upper body forward until you are no longer bent (except at the knees), forming a "V" with the floor. Have hands shoulder width apart. Bend at the elbows, bringing your nose as close to the ground as possible without bending your back. Hold for 2 counts then go back up. Repeat "push-ups" 5 times. Repeat sets of 5 until fatigued.
Arm Lifts (beginner)
Lay on the floor with legs together (bent with feet on the floor, or straight down). Raise arms all the way above your head. Make 2 fists. With slow controlled movements, lift your arms up and back over your head (keeping elbows straight) and down to your sides while imagining you are attached to a pulley with a weight at the other end. Relax. Now repeat in the opposite direction, imagining you are trying to keep that weight from crashing down. Movements should be conscience and not left to momentum. Each back and forth arm lift is one repetition. Do 5 reps. Repeat sets until fatigued.
Arm Lifts (intermediate)
Routine is the same as the beginner, but add weight. 1 lb, 3lb, or 5lb hand weights may be used to increase resistance. When you feel the weight you are comfortable with is too easy, go to the next weight suggested. I do not recommend more than 5 lbs max! Just do more sets to increase your endurance.
Use one weight. Hold each end with one hand. You will not be able to put arms all the way down at your sides. Stop when your arms reach a 45 degree angle with the ground or your tummy, whichever comes first. Reps and sets are the same as the beginner's.
Side Arm Reach (beginner)
This exercise can be done seated or standing. Lean upper body slightly to the left. Extend right arm upward and to the left. Reach as far as you can. Bend at the elbow and use it to "push" your arm back down to the right side. Repeat until fatigued. Count how many you do! Repeat on left side and make sure you do the same number of reps as on the right side.
Side Arm Reach (intermediate)
Same as beginner but done with weights. 1lb-3lb weights only!
Side Crunch (beginner)
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Reach both arms above your head, and lean slightly to the left. As you bend your elbows and "pull" your arms back down to navel level, lift the right knee up as far as you can (with your weight on your left leg) so you are "crunching" your left side. Put leg back down as you reach back up. Do 10 times, then switch sides and repeat. Repeat sets until fatigued.
Side Crunch (intermediate)
Same as beginner, but add a slight bounce to leg movements and extend leg behind you as far as you can instead of to the side when lowering. Add 1lb weights to arms if desired.
Side Plank (beginner)
Side Plank (intermediate)
This is geared for beginners, but anyone can do it. Here is the routine:
Sit on your bottom with legs extended in front of you and out, like a "V" shape. (Make sure you are holding your stomach in high and tight, like your being "zipped" up from your pelvis to your sternum. This helps strengthen your core which is vital for exercising and preventing injuries.) Reach for your right foot with your right hand (as far as you can, you don't have to touch) while your torso is facing left. Reach with your left arm up and over your head with your hand pointing toward your right arm crook. Breath and hold for 8 counts. Switch to left side and repeat on opposite side. Do this 5 times (10 if you feel up to it).
Kneel down with legs hip width apart. Bend over and place hands on the floor shoulder width apart. Arch your back upward, tilting your pelvis toward your navel and bending your neck and head down so you are now looking at your thighs. Zip that tummy! Breath and hold for 4 counts. Then go back to the starting position and invert your back as if your navel is being pulled to the ground. Look up at the ceiling as far back as is comfortable. (still zip that tummy!)Breath and hold for 4 counts. Repeat 5 times alternating arches as you just did.
Find a spot on the wall where you have access to it's space from floor to just above your head and twice your shoulder width wide. Note- doors do not work well, as they wobble and can be opened unexpectedly! Stand with back against the wall and take one large step forward. Turn around while staying in that spot. Reach arms forward at a comfortable distance apart and place on wall. Is your tummy zipped? Take your right foot and place toes up against the wall at floor level. Bend right knee. Keep left leg straight out behind you with toes facing the wall. You should feel a pull and burning sensation. Breath and hold for 8 counts. Straighten right leg slightly until pulling feeling subsides. Rest for 3 counts. Bend right knee again, repeating previous process. Do 5 times. After the 5th time, bend the left leg, shifting your weight to that leg, and straighten your extended right leg with toes pointed to the ceiling.(don't move your position) Dig your heel into the ground if needed while stretching the backside of your right thigh by acting as though there is a rope around your knee pulling it to the ground. Breath and hold for 8 counts. Relax. Repeat 5 times. Switch to left side and repeat 5 times for each exercise.
Cross Arm Stretch
You may be sitting or standing for this. Be sure you are zipping up your tummy! Reach your right arm straight across your chest. Grab your right elbow with your left hand. Pull your right arm closer toward you with your left hand as far as you can (it may burn). Breath and hold for 8 counts. Switch arms. Repeat process twice. Reach straight up with right arm and bend down at the elbow leaving right hand dangling behind your head. Grab right wrist with left hand and pull toward left shoulder. Breath and hold for 8 counts. Switch arms and repeat process twice.
Congratulations! You've just done a whole body stretch from head to toe. Feel a little better? These stretches can be done at anytime. I suggest the morning time to help wake your body and limber it up for a day of activity!
June 8, 2010