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!

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