Monday, June 30, 2008

So lately I've been noticing a distinct enlargement of my mid-section through over-indulging and lack of exercise. I've never been one for working out like a mad woman, but I do enjoy physical activity and to be honest the hardest part is getting motivated to begin. So I recently began reading a book I've had for about a year (yes, and I'm just now reading it): YOU On a Diet which outlines a whole plan for thinking about food differently and incorporating daily activity into your life. The best part? Exercise can be done easily in the comfort of your own home.

I know it's hard to think that one can work up a significant sweat without the use of heavy duty equipment and a cute trainer (mmm....pecs) but the workout outlined in YOU On a Diet is not only easy to follow (takes about 20 minutes from start to finish) it's cheap! Should be done 3-4 times a week.
1: (Stretch) Roll with It 5 reps ea. shoulder
Basic move. Roll your shoulders forward for a count of ten then backward.

2: The Chest Cross 25 reps ea. shoulder
This is a 2 part exercise. 1)Stretch arms out straight in front of you w/ palms facing in. Left arm above right arm pulse horizontally. repeat with right arm above left. 2) Move hands rapidly up and down. For the arm going up: palm faces the ceiling. For the arm going down: palm faces the floor.

3. (Stretch) The Clapper 10 reps
Just like it sounds. In a standing position clap in front of you; then bring the arms behind you and clap behind you. Make sure to keep your chest lifted through the duration of the movement.

4. (Stretch) The Hippie 15 seconds ea. side
With feet flat on the ground, bend forward at the waist. Alternate bending one knee and keeping the other leg straight (both feet should remain flat).

5. Push Up exercise to failure (basically: go until you can't anymore)
If you can not do a full body push-up (ummm me), do push ups with knees bent. Make sure you keep your stomach muscles tight and your chin slightly up (look 6in past your fingers)

6. (Stretch) Pecs Flex
Sit up straight on your heels and clasp your hands behind your bum. Lift arms (knuckles facing out) while opening chest wide. Make sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together and breathe into the muscles being stretched.

7. Steady on the Plank exercise to failure
Get into full push-up position with elbows and toes on the floor. Kepp your bum tight and your stomach pulled in toward your lower back. Hold position.

8. Whose Side Are You On, Anyway? exercise to failure
Turn to the side by putting an elbow on the floor and rotating the opposite hip toward the ceiling. Keep your body in a straight line and resist pushing your butt back. Keep your abs tight as you hold the position for as long as you can. Alternate sides. Advanced Modification: dropping your hip, tapping it on the floor and bringing it back into the lateral plank.

9. (Stretch) Up, Dog, Up 10 seconds ea. position
From a down push-up position, with your hands below your shoulders, lift your chest and torso up into the air so your upper body is nearly perpendicular to the floor as you come onto the tops of your bare feet. Lean backwards to stretch your abdominals, but keep your butt relaxed. After holding, look over your right shoulder; hold. Left shoulder; hold.
10. The Rickety Table 20 reps ea. side
Put your hands and knees flat on the floor with your fingers spread apart and pointing directly forward. Keep your back flat and parallel to the floor. Look down 6in above your fingertips. Reach your right hand forward and your left foot back and stretch them as far away from each other as possible, keeping your right hand higher than your head. The higher your arms goes up, the more work your back has to do and the more effective the exercise. Now, bring your right elbow to your left knee. Your stomach should be pulled in the entire time, supporting your lower back. Advanced Modification: move your arm and leg out at a right angle from body, keeping them above your spine.

11. Superman exercise to failure; goal: 1 minute
Lie flat on your stomach, reaching your arms out in front of you with palms down. Spread out your extremities straight out in all four directions and lift your arms and legs simultaneously for enough repetitions to cause some mild fatigue. Continue to look down during the movement, and don't over extend your neck up. Focus on how long you can make your body-not how high you can get it.

12. (Stretch) The Seated Pretzel
Sit down with legs stretched in front of you. Set your right foot down on the outside of your left knee. For back support, put your right hand behind your right butt cheek. Bring your left toe straight up. Reach your left hand up like a stop sign and then twist to right and bring your left tricep to outside of the right thigh. To go deeper, twist more to apply pressure against your right thigh. Act like a string is pulling the top of your head up to elongate the spine. Breathe by expanding your rib cage like you are blowing up a balloon.

13. Leg Drop (like it's hot) exercise to failure
Lie on your back and put your knees at a 90-degree angle and your feet in the air. Drop your heels down, tap the mat, and bring back up to 90-degrees. Advance Modification: Do it with straight legs

14. X Crunch exercise to failure
Lie on your back with your feet on the ground and knees at a 45-degree angle. Cross your arms behind your head, putting your opposite hand to opposite shoulder forming an X behind your head. Rest your head in this X and keep your neck loose (in the beginning, you can put a tennis ball under your chin as a reminder). Using your abdominal muscles, crunch up about 30 degrees from the floor. Without holding your breath, you need to suck in your belly button to the floor to tighten the natural girdle you have to keep the entire 6-pack tight (oh it's in there). Also pull up your pelvis muscles (like when you are holding in your pee) to strengthen the bottom of the natural girdle.

15. Seated Drop Kick 2 sets of 25 reps ea. leg
Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your right leg up with knee pointing towards the ceiling. To keep your back straight, interweave your hands around this knee. Act like there is a string pulling from the top of your head elongating your spine (and don't bob your head). Lift your left straight leg 6in of the ground, keep your left toe pointed towards the ceiling.

16. Invisible Chair exercise to failure; goal: 2 minutes
Sit in a chair position (with no chair!) with your back against a wall, and with your hands palms up resting on your knees. Keep furniture near you or under you, so you can grab it to help yourself back up when you're done. Keep your heels directly below your knees and at a 90-degree angle; your shoulders should be rolled back and the back of your head against wall.

17. (Stretch) Nice Thighs 20 seconds ea. leg
While standing on one leg, bend the knee of the opposite leg and grab the foot behind your back with one hand (use one arm to hold something to keep balanced). Pull the foot toward your butt while lifting your chest forward and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Switch legs.
Combine these exercises with 30 minutes of daily cardiovascular exercise (can be broken into chunks throughout the day) and you'll be on your way to Fergielicious-ness...or at elast you won't be dying after climbing a flight of steps.
Picture and Workout Source: YOU: On a Diet, by Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz


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