You’ve packed your bag the night before, filled your water bottle, packed the kid’s snacks and booked her into child-minding. She wakes up with a fever. Sigh.
You got all of your paperwork filed, you’ve had your morning snack and have a packed lunch to eat at your desk after a lunch-time run. Your phone rings, and it’s a client crisis that just can’t wait. Sigh.
No matter what the scenario that you’re hit with, the one thing that gets missed in your day always seems to be you. For a workout veteran, this can be disappointing, frustrating, changing the mood and course of your entire day. For a rookie, this can be catastrophic, completely derailing your momentum.
How can you combat this? Here are five not-so-average body weight exercises that you can do at home or in the office with absolutely no equipment. Before you even begin, take a moment and focus awareness on your posture. Hold your core in tight (belly button towards your spine), open up your chest and pull your shoulder blades back. Bring your chin up and tuck your pelvis under just a bit to protect your lower back. OK, let’s go!
1. Sumo-Squat – Targets the Leg Adductors (inner thigh) – Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out towards “10 and 2 o’clock”. Raise your hands out in front of you as a counter-balance, and push your glutes (bum) backwards, bending at the knee. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes and your head up. If you feel a strain in your lower back, come back to your starting position and reset your posture. Every time you get to the top of your range of motion, squeeze your glutes tight.
2. Plank Jack/Jump Jack – Targets the Core, Leg Adductors, Shoulders – Start in a prone plank position, on either your hands or elbows, knees or toes. Hop your legs out laterally and back in, come to a standing position and up for a jumping jack. Come back into that starting plank position and repeat. Be sure to watch that your glutes don’t pop up into the air, as that essentially deactivates your abdominal recruitment. To make this lower impact, walk out 1 leg at a time in both positions.
3. Roll-Overs – Targets Oblique Abdominals (Core) – Starting on your stomach, stretch out your arms and point your toes. Roll over onto your back without using your arms/hands to assist you. Roll back onto your stomach in the other direction.
4. Plank Kick-Backs – Targets the Core, Glutes – Start in a prone plank position, on either your hands or elbows, knees or toes. Tighten your glutes (bum muscles) and slowly lift your leg upwards and back towards the ceiling. Alternate sides. Be aware of hip positioning and try to keep the pointy bones on either side of your pelvis (ASIS) pointed down towards the ground. This will help to keep your hips from rolling open to the side
5. Incline or Decline Push-Up – Targets the Pectorals (chest) – Start with a basic push-up. You can do this on either the knees or the toes. Come down to the floor as low as you can go, and push your body weight back up. If you’re on your knees, try to keep the fleshy spot just above your knee cap in contact with the floor. This will keep your hips and glutes down enabling your core to stabilize your body. Incline: have your hands positioned 6-12 inches higher on a platform. The higher up you are, the easier the push-up becomes. Decline: place your feet up on a platform, with hands on the ground. When progressing from a knee push-up to toe, start with incline, progressing to flat or decline push-ups.
To add intensity, jog on the spot or add a set of jumping jacks in between each exercise.
No Excuses left, let’s go!
The buoyancy of water can reduce your weight by as much as 90 percent, according to the American Council on Exercise. This means that stress on weight-bearing bones, joints and muscles is reduced, resulting in fewer injuries or sore muscles. Despite this, a water workouts can provide plenty of benefits, encompassing cardiovascular fitness, increased flexibility and muscular strength training to reduce body fat.
Deep-water aerobics reduces the heart rate by as much as 17 beats per minute compared to land exercises, according to the American Council on Exercise. Because of your reduced heart rate, your body might think it isn’t working very hard, when in fact you are getting a strenuous workout. The low-impact exercises in deep-water aerobics is useful for those who find movements on land, such as kicking, running or dancing, too jarring or painful.
Resistance training adds muscle mass, which in turn burns more calories. The resistance of the water acts as weight, similar to a strength-training workout. An easy way to increase the resistance of the water is to cup your hands, pushing or pulling the water away from you. You can also use hand-held paddles or water chutes to provide a more intense workout.
The buoyancy of the water helps your body perform stretches it might not be able to do on land. Thanks to this decrease in gravity, your joints will be able to move through more motions to achieve long-term flexibility.
No Age Limitations
Thanks to the water’s buoyancy, water aerobics can be performed no matter your age. This decrease in gravity causes less stress on your joints and muscles, which is particularly important for the elderly, who may suffer from arthritis or joint pain. Water aerobics is non-weightbearing, so the water, not your lower body, supports your weight and you are allowed to work all of your muscles and joints at the same time.
Rehabilitation for the Injured
The water provides resistance in all directions to help strengthen and rehabilitate muscles and joints that may have been injured. Because you are not placing your weight on your lower body, and the water is holding you up, this low-contact exercise won’t re-injure you and it can help your current injuries heal. Deep-water aerobics can be conformed to suit your injury by simply adjusting the size and speed of your movements.
Burns More Calories
Water aerobics helps you burn calories more efficiently than traditional exercise. According to Diabetic Lifestyle.com, during a 30-minute workout, you will burn 135 calories by walking on land and 264 calories with deep-water walking.
Why not try our Aqua Bootcamp – Tuesdays 12:05pm -12:45pm at the Eau Claire YMCA. Please call 403-781-1684 or visit www.ymcacalgary.ca for more information.
Aqua bootcamp uses the Aqualogics equipment to create additional resistance for both arms and legs. A great addition for any fitness level!
Let us help you keep your promises for a healthier 2013. Yoga, Fusion and Zumba are just a few of the more than twenty programs being offered at Eau Claire YMCA!
Come try one of our Aqua boot camps being offered on Mondays and Fridays at noon. Remember YMCA rolling registration lets you always be on time. Registration continues after programs have begun and fees are adjusted accordingly.
A body in motion is always headed in the right direction. Call 403-781-1684 for more information or to register .
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