Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Deadlifts

Alright. Let's get back to basics.

Deadlifts are one of the most effective exercises to strengthen and tone your legs. You need to use multiple muscle groups in order to complete a deadlift, including your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, abs and back, arms, and shoulders. This total body aspect of the deadlift also makes it imperative that you do it correctly, so please pay attention to your form. I suggest that you perform the exercise in front of a mirror as well as a mirror to your side so you can be sure your form is correct.

deadlift benefits - proper form
1-Stand with your feet a few inches behind a barbell. Make sure that you are creating length in your spine, keeping your chest up, and your shoulders actively down away from your ears and pressing into your lower back. Keep this form in your upper body the ENTIRE TIME!

2-Bend at your knees, lowering until your hands are able to grasp around the barbell. Again, your chest is up and your shoulders active, keeping a flat back. Make sure you do not bend your knees past your toes. Keep your glutes going backwards.

3-Begin to push through your heels, standing back up. As you lift the barbell, keep your arms straight. Keep that proper posture in your upper body to protect your back!! The barbell should be moving straight up if you are in the right position.

4-Using the power from your glutes, stand completely upright, the barbell resting right in front of you.

5-Bend at the knees and lower the barbell back down towards the floor. Right before the barbell would rest on the floor, push yourself back into the standing position as you did so in step 3.

Do 8-12 reps. Rest for a minute and do two more sets of 8-12 reps.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Standing Mountain Climbers

That's right, you can do mountain climbers standing. It is quite simple, but the key to making this an effective workout is to really push yourself! It will get your heart racing in no time, and with added weights in your hands, your upper body will gain a workout that it was not receiving when you do standard mountain climbers in a plank position.

1-Start standing, holding weights in each hand at your chest.

2-Raise your right arm straight up in the air as you use your lower abs to raise your left leg up, bringing your knee towards your chest. Really reach your arms, like you're climbing up a rope that is going straight up a mountain.

3-As soon as you lower your right arm and left leg back to their starting position, raise your left arm straight overhead and your right knee towards your chest.

4-Repeat this alternating movement as fast as you can while still maintaining control. Try to transition between sides with a hop, adding a little plyometrics into your exercise.

My personal recommendation? Do it Tabata style to guarantee you push yourself and give your total body that burn!!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Spider Push-ups

Here is your secret weapon for toning your abs and getting your upper body ready for swim suit and tank top season: Spider Push-ups! You'll be working your core, chest, and triceps overtime so be prepared, and because it is a full body workout, you also are maximizing the amount of calories you burn.

1-Begin in a plank position on your hands, being sure that your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are in line with one another and your core is engaged so you have a flat back.

2-As you lower yourself into a push-up, bend your right knee and bring it to meet your elbow, keeping your foot off the ground and parallel with your legs.

3-Exhale as you push yourself back up into the plank and bring your right foot back to its starting position.

4-Lower yourself into another push-up, this time bringing your left knee to your left elbow.

5-Exhale and return your body to the starting plank position. This is one repetition.

Do as many as you can until you can no longer keep form.

If your flexibility does not allow you to bring your knee all the way to your elbow, it is totally okay!! Just bring it forward as far as you can.

Want an extra challenge??? Elevate your feet on a plyo box or a step.


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