Do you have time for a quickie?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Of course you do! Look here for a 13-15 minute workout that should be easy enough to do anywhere. Minimal kit is required. It is handy to have a timer or watch with a second hand. If you are unclear what the exercise is I am describing, please look for a video or arrange for an in-person tutorial.

Please consult your doctor before engaging on any fitness regime.

Remember to go for QUALITY over quantity. Breath on the excursion (ie, exhale when pushing yourself up on the push up, inhale as you return to the ground).

Quickie WO
3-5 minutes of warm up- walking or jogging (can be in place or going up and down stairs). You want to break into a light sweat. Warm up is important because it lubricates your joints and warms up your muscles, two things which prevent injury.

1 minute of jumping jacks/star jumps- A modification to make this easier is rather than jumping extend your leg out to the side and touch your toe to the ground and alternating sides.

1 minute of squats
- Feet are shoulder/hip width apart. Toes are pointing forward. Sit back and stick out your bum (as if you were going to sit on the toilet). Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes. Extending your knees beyond your toes may injure your knees. Progression: easier- actually sit in a chair. Don't use arms to get up but instead think of a string pulling you up from your chest. More difficult- Hold weights or wear a backpack with some newspapers or magazines in it for extra resistance.

1 minute of push-ups/press-ups- These can be in several forms (from easiest to most difficult) incline against wall or counter top, kneeling, on toes/normal, decline (feet elevated). Perform whichever one you feel most comfortable with. No matter which position, remember to keep your body in a straight line. Keep hands underneath your shoulders. Don't stick your bum up in the air!

1 minute of leg lifts- Lay on your back with legs extended. You can have your hands underneath the bottom of your bum for support (hope that makes sense!). Lift straight legs up the in air and slowly bring down to the ground. If your lower back comes off the ground, modify your movement so this does not happen. This may mean that your legs are raised straight up and you can only lower them to 45 degrees. That is a good place to start until your back is stronger.

1 minute of supermans- Let's get that lower back stronger! Laying on your tummy with arms extended above your head, lift opposite arm and leg in unison and return to the ground. Only lift as high as is comfortable for you. This exercise does not call for a big movement. To make this a little more challenging, lift all 4 limbs at once. Don't forget to breath. :)

1 minute of hip raises- Time to work the hamstrings (you always want to work complementary muscle groups). Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Raise your hips so there is a straight line from shoulders to knees. Lower hips 2-3 inches (a comfortable range) and raise up again while squeezing your bum. Keep your core tight by visualizing a string pulling from your belly button to your spine or kicking your abs tight to prepare for someone to punch you in the stomach. (Don't try the punching thing at home though)

1 minute of lunges
- Do these either standing in place or walking down the hall. Start with feet together. Take a large step forward and lower your back knee almost to the ground (or within your comfortable range). Remember to keep your knee behind your toe. Do not lunge forward. Alternate sides.

1 minute of dips- On a sturdy chair or bench, sit on the edge of seat with hands beside your bum. Drop hips off of seat (keep bum close to the seat) and lower yourself down as your elbows point behind you. The closer your knees are to you (and more bent such as at 90 degrees) the easier this will be. To make more challenging, keep legs straight out in front of you. Rely only on arms to push yourself up, not your legs!

Repeat as you'd like! Stretch out when you are done to help prevent delayed onset of muscle soreness.

Measure your reps to monitor your progress. Try to keep your heart rate up by resting no more than 30 seconds between exercises. (Of course listen to your body and take more time if you need it).

Good luck!

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