Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oh Those Gym-less Days

Let's face it, there are days we just can't make it into the gym for our full workout that we need. That being said, don't just allow yourself to not do anything! Go for a long walk, play outside with your kids or take a bike ride around the neighborhood to get your heart pumping. In addition to that, here are some toning exercises you can do every day right inside your home. Do them whenever you have a second!

For your arms, try push-ups. Everyone cringes at that word, but they aren't too bad. If you can't do them on your toes, move to your knees. Remember though, that if you are on your knees, you need to be going deep into the push-up to get the most out of it. But mix up where your arms are...try some wide arms, standard width and then in close. All of those tone different parts of your arm. Try to do as many as you can for 3 reps.
Chair dips work the triceps on the back of the upper arms. They can be done with one or two chairs, depending on your level. To make it harder, try a chair under your arms and your feet. For beginners, just one chair under your arms. Stand in front of one chair with the other in front of you. Bend down and place your hands on the sides of the chair while propping your heels up on the other chair. Slowly lower and raise your body by bending your elbows. Without two chairs, do the same but with your feet on the ground.

As for your are a few to try! A leg pull front is an exercise that targets the thighs, back and abs. It is usually seen in Pilates. Sit on the 
floor with your legs straight, hands by your hips and fingers facing forward. Slowly lift your hips off the floor and form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Keeping your arms fully extended, lift your right leg as high as possible and hold for three to five seconds. Slowly lower your leg, repeat with your left leg and alternate back and forth.
Squats and lunges work the quads and hamstrings and glutes, all major muscles in your legs. To do squats, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower and lift your body by bending your knees. Lunges work the same leg muscles as squats, except they are done with your feet in a split stance. Lower yourself down until both knees form 90-degree angles, stand up and repeat. To make these more challenging, add some hand weights. Try to do about three sets of 10-15

Last of all, here are some ab exercises. At home you can do things such as the bicycle maneuvers, scissor kicks, reverse crunches, long lever crunches and crunch ups. To do crunch ups, lie on your back with your legs lifted straight in the air and arms parallel to your legs. Steadily lift your shoulders off the floor, reach for your toes and squeeze your abs forcefully. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat. With abs, do as many as you can until you think you need to stop, and then do 5 more. Take a rest, and try again.

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