A new variation to the everyday push up exercise. Alternating push ups will not only add variety to you existing routine but challenge your body a little further.
Get down on the floor, with your hands and toes in a push up position. With a step on the left side of your body, contract your abs, place your left hand on the step as your right hand remains on the ground. Lower your body in a push up, going as low as you can without breaking form. Push back to the start position and repeat. After 10 reps change sides (walking your hands over the step and onto the ground on the other side) and repeat on the other side. Keep repeating this exercise for 2 minutes.
Note: If you need to intensify, change hands after each rep. If you can’t manage a full push up yet try doing the whole thing on your knees and build up to a full push up version.
This exercise focuses on strengthening the muscles of your back (specifically your lats, rhomboids and delts). The Bent Over Row can be accomplished using many variations. Today we will focus on the chosen position that will ensure the best use of your back muscles and assist you in moving on to the other, more difficult forms of this exercise.
Place one hand and one knee on a flat bench. Hold a dumbbell in the opposite hand with your arm hanging straight down from your shoulder and your back flat. Keeping your shoulders square, pull the dumbbell up toward your rib cage, keeping your elbow close to your side. Pause for a moment at the top, then slowly lower to the start position. Repeat. 15 reps with 5-10lb weights.
Note: Remember to activate (or squeeze) your back muscles as you bring the weight close to your body. This will ensure that the proper muscle group is being worked. Also be sure not to arch your back; keep it as flat as possible. This is help you to practise proprer form and avoid injury and
A cardio-vacular exercise used to get your heart rate up and work your lower body is called the Step Plyometric exercise. It is done for One (1) minute intervals and utilizes a step platform or any other 'step-like' apparatus.
Stand facing a vertical step platform with your right foot placed on top of it and your left foot on the floor behind it. Pushing off the right foot, hop up into the air and land with your left foot in the center of the box and your right foot on the floor. Repeat using alternating legs. Exhale each time you push off the bench. Keep a fast pace in order to get and keep your heart rate up.
Note: make sure you push off the foot that is placed on the step, not the foot on the floor. Always land with a slightly bent knee. Keep your abs tight and your pace fast.
So you want to work your abs some more? Try Frog Sit Ups.
First, sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching each other. This will cause your legs to be in a diamond shaped position (maintain this position throughout this exercise). Next, lay down on the floor (onto your back) and TRY and push both soles as near to the crotch as possible. Your upper thighs should optimally be very close to the floor (keep in mind that this is relative and it depends on your individual range of flexibility). Now, with your hands crossed and touching opposite shoulders or lightly touching your ears, exhale firmly and flatten your lower back to the floor while curling the torso upwards. (Like the first 1/4 movement of a sit up.) Hold at the top position for a two count, if you wish. Slowly lower to the floor or mat, relax the abdomen completely and then repeat.
(This exercise was 'invented' by Vince Gironda.)
Add this exercise to your routine in order to strengthen your core and improve your cardio-vascular endurance. You will also feel this in your upper body, due to the isometric contraction used to hold your body in place. Mountain climbers are an effective exercise that can provide great results and add variety to your core strengthening routine.
Begin in a push-up position. Keeping your hands on the ground throughout, jump one leg forward into a deep lunge (only tapping your toes to the ground in this forward lunge position). Without pausing, jump the other leg forward as the first leg returns to the starting position, as if you are running stairs horizontally. Remember to keep your abs tight during the entire exercise and make an effort not to allow your bum to bob up and down as you switch legs. The only body part that should be moving are your legs. Do 25 reps on each leg.
Focusing on the triceps more today. We will be looking at an exercise called the 'Tricep Dip'. This exercise is fairly easy to do and requires no extra equipment other than a chair which can be readily available at home or at work (if you have a closed office space ofcourse - or not, if you're that free at work).
Sit on the edge of a bench or chair (preferably one without arm rests or arm rests that do not restrict movement) with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent 90 degrees. Grasp the seat on either side of your butt. Walk your feet out slightly and inch yourself off the seat. Bend your arms, keeping your elbows pointed straight back as you dip your butt towards the ground. Lift your body and butt back upward, and hold this position (this is one rep). Concentrate on using your arms to raise your body, rather than pushing up with your legs. As you continue you should feel the contracting and relaxing in your tricep muscles. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Note: You can circuit this exercise with the standing tricep extension for added 'work' for your triceps, and to get better results.
Also be aware of the distance of your feet from the chair; the further away your feet are from the chair the harder the exercise will be, so start off closer and gradually work your way to the harder positions.
Many women are concerned with the 'wings' that appear as they age. This is caused by triceps that have become loose and flabby. In order to get rid of these unsightly wings or in order to delay their arrival, it is important to tone and firm your tricep muscles. One of the exercises (and there are many, which we will go through on this site) that can be used is called the Standing Tricep Extension.
Stand tall and hold a dumbbell in both hands over your head. Carefully lower the weight behind your head, bending at your elbows but keeping your upper arm squeezed close beside your ears. The key is to hold the upper arms close to the head as mush as possible; this way, the triceps are fully engaged. Do not allow your elbows to stray away from you head. Use the mirror to check that you are using proper form. It’s not as easy as you think. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Remember also, to keep your abs pulled in, and do not arch your back. If you find this exercise difficult for your lower back feel free to sit on a bench or chair with a lower back support.
The most ignored muscle of the lower body is the hamstrings. Most of the time individuals work their quads but forget about the hamstrings, which they can't see on a daily basis.
Today we will focus of the Hamstring curl, using the Stability ball.
Lie on your back on the floor and place both heels on the stability ball, with feet flexed. Extend your arms along your sides and lift your hips up, in line with your knees and shoulders. Bend your knees, rolling the ball toward your bum, keeping your hips lifted and your abs pulled in tight. When your knees form a 90-degree angle, roll the ball back out to the start without dropping your hips to the floor (keep it lifted). Repeat. Aim for 20 reps and three sets.
NOTE: In the picture below, the demonstrator has his arms in a T - position. This is also acceptable.
Believe it or not, anybody can learn how to execute proper push ups and be good at it. It may take some time but with practice you should be able to bang out as many as possible on command.
Push ups are excellent for working the pectoral muscles (chest - for strength and definition), the anterior delts (the front of the shoulders), the triceps and the core. Lets look at the proper push up form.
We will start with push ups from your toes.
Balance your weight on your toes and palms with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Keeping your back straight and your pelvis tucked under slightly, bend your elbows and slowly lower yourself as far as possible toward the floor, ensuring that your hips don't sag down towards the floor, then push back to start. That is 1 rep. If you are a beginner, try to do as many as you can, keeping proper form, then modify (meaning drop your knees to the floor and continue). Each time you do this exercise, do a little more before you allow yourself to drop you knees down. This will help build strength gradually.
If you are an absolute beginner, you can try this exercise with your knees on the floor, as shown in the image below. Even though this way is modified, still keep focused on proper form. Try not to let your hip drop towards the floor before you upper body. When you become comfortable with this switch to
The reverse crunch is proven as an effective lower abdominal exercise once executed correctly. It will take a few attempts to get the movement right and to get sufficient distance from your lower body and the mat.
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended in the air directly above your hips and your hands under your hips. Initiate the movement from your lower abs and curl your hips up off the floor and ‘slightly’ towards your head. Hold at the top of the movement for a second and reverse the motion slowly to the starting position and repeat. Do 10 - 15 reps.
Do not get discouraged if you are not able to lift your hips to an adequate height at first. Keep practicing this exercise and not only will you be able to execute it correctly but you will see the added benefits of a firmer and stronger lower abdominal region.
In this section, you will find a collection of various exercises as well as tips and information on proper form.