HEALTH & FITNESS
Pull Your Own Weight!
Lean times don’t mean you have to skimp when it comes to fitness, because when push comes to shove, muscles matter. If you are looking for simple cholesterol crushing exercises to improve your health, lose weight and feel great, then the body you always dreamed of starts with these ten simple but effective exercises.
Pushups are one of the most basic exercises, and one of the most effective when it comes to targeting the muscles of your upper body. The cool thing about push-ups is that they use a person’s own body weight as resistance, so there’s no need for equipment. Other benefits of doing regular pushups are that they distribute your body weight proportionately between your chest, triceps and shoulders.
Try to do 200 pushups throughout the day in sets of fifty pushups done every half hour.
Body Weight Squats
Body weight squat also known as air squat makes it into any equipment free exercise routine, mainly because it’s a straight forward exercise that focuses on your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. You can do it by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands behind your head. This will be your starting position. Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips. Continue down as much as you can and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position.
As you squat, remember to keep your head and chest up while pushing your knees outward. Perform this exercise one limb at a time in a rotational movement. This exercise is not recommended for those who have any knee or hip injuries.
Pull-ups are a great way of working the biggest muscle group in your upper body, which is the latissimus dorsi. Pull-ups require a different approach from the other free weight exercises, because it focuses more on a person’s ability rather than the weight they can lift. So, the amount of pull-ups you can do in a set will dictate what routine suits you best.
Step-ups are terrific for developing leg muscles and is one of the most effective exercises for developing a person’s lower body. The trick to getting the most out of a step up exercise is to make sure you’re stepping onto a platform that’s high enough to activate those muscle fibers, normally fifteen inches off the ground should be good and you can also hold a dumbbell in your hands to add some intensity. You can do the basic version of the step-up by, standing behind a platform, place right foot in the middle of platform and step up as you balance your body for a few seconds on the right leg. Your left leg should be behind your body. Step down and repeat with the other leg. You can do two sets of ten reps for each leg.
The plank exercise or hover as it’s called is the best way of building endurance in the back, abdominal and core strength. Many people do this exercise for a solid six-pack, unfortunately many people also get this one wrong. Begin in a lying down position, looking at the floor, with your forearms and toes on the floor. Keep your torso straight and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no bending. Hold this position for 10 seconds to start. In time you can work your way up to 20, 40 of 60 seconds. To try the plank with your left or right arm simply shift the weight to either forearm.
At first a stick-up exercise might not be intimidating, but make no mistake this is definitely one of the toughest exercises you will perform without lifting weights. Here’s how it’s done; Stand with your back against a wall. Your feet should be six inches away from the wall and your butt, upper back, and head should all be in contact with the wall at all times. Stick your hands up overhead while keeping your shoulders, elbows, and wrists in contact with the wall. Now, slide your arms down the wall and tuck your elbows into your sides. From the bottom position, slowly slide your arms up again until they are straight position.
If you want to add a little flavor to your exercise, try doing the T-pushup. This exercise is great for strengthening the core muscles. For this exercise you will need two hex dumbbells. Place a pair of dumbbells where you position your hands. Grasp the dumbbell handles and set yourself in pushup position. Lower your body to the floor. As you push back up, rotate the right side of your body upward as you bend your right arm and pull the right dumbbell to your torso. Then straighten your arm so that the dumbbell is above your right shoulder. Go back to starting position and repeat the exercise with the left arm.
V-Up & Roll
The V-up and roll is a powerful abdominal exercise that is great for flat abs and its pretty simple to do. Lie on your back with your legs straight. Hold your arms straight above your chest, your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Now fold your body up by contracting your body and lifting your legs off the floor and stretching your arms toward your toes. Pause, then repeat.
Shoulder Press Pushup
Like the name implies the shoulder press push-up targets mainly the shoulder muscles and can be done in many different variations. In this variation you won’t need a dumbbell or barbell. Begin the exercise in a push-up “A” position. Bend your elbows till your nose is close to the ground, then push back to the top. You can increase the intensity of the exercise by elevating your feet.
One-leg Romanian Deadlift
During a workout, balance exercises are just as important because they improve your balance and toughen your ankles while strengthening your core muscles. Standing on one foot hold a dumbbell with an overhand grip in each hand. Hinge over at the waist, lowering the dumbbells while lifting the non-support leg behind you. Return to standing position by contracting your hamstrings and glutes. Switch leg and repeat. During the exercise, your torso and leg should move as one unit.
Persistence is a game breaker for those who want to stay in shape. Using these easy exercises means that you can say bye bye to expensive gym memberships, pricey equipment and personal trainers while still sculpting the body you always dreamed of.