Sunday, January 24, 2010

The TV Workout -- Part Two: Strength Training

Two weeks ago, we introduced you to some simple exercises that can be performed while enjoying your favorite TV shows or movies. This article will continue that idea, but with more emphasis on resistive muscle training.

Squatting: Squatting is the most important, most functional strength exercise. Stand in front of a couch or chair, facing away from it so that it is behind you. It recruits from various leg muscles while also improving the health of your core's muscles. Placing your feet approximately shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed either straight ahead or out at a small angle (around 25 degrees at most) is ideal. Maintain balance on the bottom of your heels while you slowly lower your hips behind you. As you lower your upper body to the couch or chair, keep your lower leg perpendicular to the floor. Then return to a fully standing position, being certain to keep your knees above and in line with your heels throughout both phases of the movement. Breathe regularly and steadily during this exercise, and aim to perform between eight and eighteen repetitions each time you do this.

Pushups: This is an excellent exercise for your upper body muscles as well as your core muscles. With your knees on the floor, position your hands under your shoulders with straight arms (do not lock your elbows). Slowly bend your elbows to allow your body to gradually work its way toward the floor. As your chest reaches the floor, your elbows will be flexed. Then, straighten the arms to bring your body back up to its starting position. As you become more comfortable with this exercise, you should keep the knees off of the floor and, instead, press your feet into the floor. Breathe regularly and steadily during this exercise, and aim to perform eight to eighteen repetitions each time you do this.

Reverse Flies Held Still: Standing in front of a wall, hold your arms directly out to their sides so that your elbows and hands are parallel to the floor and in line with your shoulders. Press your elbows backward so that they are being pushed against the wall behind you. Hold this for five to thirty seconds, breathing regularly while you maintain this. Please note that this exercise is not ideal for some hypertensive clients.

You now have three new exercises that can be easily performed during your TV time. These will build lean mass, improve metabolism, strengthen your heart, improve joint health, strengthen your bones, and burn off unwanted & excess calories. Please also refer to our previous article for exercises that target your core/midsection muscles.

Enjoy the workout!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The TV Workout - Part One: Core Muscles

Good day, readers!

Today's lesson is the first part of our new TV Workout series. We at Perfect Personal Training hope that you will find these exercises to be helpful in improving your physique while still enjoying your favorite TV shows. These are not fat-burning exercises, but they are integral in improving balance, core strength, athletic ability, and in developing better postural and spinal health.

Perform each of these exercises at least once or twice at first, until fatigue. Stop prematurely if any of them causes you any pain. After a week or two, most people will be able to safely progress to doing these several times each, and for a longer period of time. Please consult a physician or your Perfect Personal Trainer to avoid injuries and to better understand this workout.

Core TV Exercise #1: Crunches
This exercise will improve your abdominal muscles' abilities. Lie back onto the floor or sofa with knees bent and hands behind your head (as pictured) or touching the side of your face. Keep elbows back and out of your sight. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between your chin and chest. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise your shoulders off the floor or sofa. Return to starting position and repeat. Breathe regularly throughout this exercise.

Core TV Exercise #2: Side Crunches
This exercise is a modification to exercise #1 that will reach more into the oblique muscles that surround the abdomen. Simply position your legs as shown and spend an equal time with the legs facing in the opposite direction. Follow the directions from exercise #1.

Core TV Exercise #3: Ankle Wiggles
Lift your shoulders off of the ground with your palms facing down. Then, alternate from side to side, reaching one hand to one ankle and then switching to the other side. This exercise utilizes the obliques, which run alongside your body. Avoid straining your neck while you perform this, keeping your focus on reaching for the ankles. Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent and hands at your side. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between your chin and chest.

Core TV Exercise #4: Planks
This exercise does not involve movement. Position your elbows directly underneath the shoulders and press them into the floor. Hold this for as long as you can without causing back pain. This exercise is not for those with stage 2 or 3 hypertension. Those with stage 1 hypertension should first consult a physician. Stop this exercise if dizziness, a light-headed feeling, back pain, or other issues occur.

Core TV Exercise #5: Modified Planks
In this modification, you can bring one leg up by several inches or more and hold it for up to three seconds. Be certain not to hold your breath. Consult a physician before doing this if you are hypertensive.

Core TV Exercise #6: Alternating Toe Touch
Lie back onto the floor or sofa with your feet up into the air. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between your chin and chest. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise the shoulders. Extend one arm and reach for the opposite foot. Return to start position and repeat with the other hand. Remember to keep your head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion may cause injury. To increase resistance, hold something in your hands, gradually increasing to heavier items for a deeper workout. To decrease resistance, position your hands closer towards the body.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Workout Wellness Success for 2010

The NEW YEAR is here!
Are your resolutions underway?

All New Years Resolutions Programs are not created equal! Many are lacking in fundamental areas while others overtrain you and leave you run down.

Need a few pointers? Here are a few bulletpoints that will make your exercising top notch!

* Work out your cardiovascular system at a moderate or high intensity at least three or four days each week. Spend at least 20 or 30 minutes for health benefits, or 40-60 minutes for weight loss.

* Work out with weights at least twice per week or more if you have time. Training bands and tubes are just as good when used appropriately. Be sure to target all of your major muscles and that you use good form. A Perfect Personal Trainer can help you in selecting exercises that are right for you.

* Stretch your muscles after every workout and hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds. If you do yoga, try to do some after your muscles workout.

* Keep lots of water or your favorite sports drink on hand for your workouts. You should also drink a glass or two before and after you train.

* Try not to workout on an empty stomach or right before bed.

* Eat small meals several times a day to boost your metabolism and burn more fat in your workouts. If you are trying to lose weight then consult a professional and consider limiting your consumption to around 250-300 calories each time you eat.

* Don't forget to workout your core! The muscles in the middle of your body should not be left out.

Do you have any questions for us? We're always here to help! (877)698-DO-IT (3648)

Happy New Year and Good Luck with your Resolutions!