November 21, 2017

Make the Squat Your Essential Exercise

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Make the squat your essential exercise!

A squat is a functional exercise. A functional exercise is a movement required often during your activities of daily living. How many times do you sit down and sit up during your day? Lots! Make the squat movement pattern your essential exercise. That means your main focus during a workout is to master, progress and challenge your squat exercise. Doing so will make this motion during your day much easier!

Here’s how to begin:

Hold a weight in each hand. Stand with your feet hip width apart. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower your body down about ten inches. Pause for one second to reduce momentum, then stand up to complete one rep. Do eight to twelve reps in a slow and controlled pattern. Keep your spine aligned and belly button in.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Build Total Leg Strength

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Squat for total leg strength!

Hold one weight with both hands in front of your body. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower your body into a squat. Keep your torso aligned and abs pulled in tight. Return to your starting position to complete 1 rep. Start with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Master Your Squat!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Master Your Squat Exercise…First.

Work your legs and core all in one move with a squat. Mastering proper form on your squat opens the door to endless additional variations. The squat is also a functional movement, meaning you stand up and sit down countless times during your daily activities. So having adequate strength to do so properly means a reduced risk of injury.

Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Extend both arms straight out in front of you to help counter-balance sitting back. Bending from your knees and hips, sit back and lower your body down about 6 inches to start. Stand up straight to complete one rep. Here are you essential form points:

Keep your shoulders down and back.

Keep your chin parallel to the floor and ears directly over your shoulders.

Maintain neutral pelvis.

Pull your belly button in.

Maintain knee alignment over your ankles.

 

Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Strength and Balance: All in One Exercise

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Strength and Balance: All in One Exercise

Build leg strength, core stability and balance, all in one exercise. Here’s how:

Stand on your right leg only. Hold both arms out to your sides for balance. Bend forward from your hips and keep your spine aligned. Tuck your chin in and look down at the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then release. Stand on your left leg only, and repeat the exercise. Hold for 10 seconds, then release. To progress: Place both arms across your chest and extend the duration of your hold to 20-30 seconds.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Lunge Stretch for Runners

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Lunge Stretch for Runners

Stretch your leg muscles with this Lunge Stretch: Begin kneeling on your right knee, with your left foot forward and flat. Place one hand on the floor on either side of your body for support, or place your hands on your hips. Let both hips fall forward, feeling a slight stretch in the front of your right hip and thigh. For more of a stretch lift your right knee up about two-three inches off of the floor. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then release. Repeat the stretch kneeling on your left knee, and your right foot forward and flat.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Add an Exercise Band

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Add an Exercise Band to your Lunge!

Hold both ends of the exercise band securely with each hand. Place your right foot on top of the band, so the band is securely under your arch. Step back with your left foot about 3 feet, so your right knee is directly over your right ankle. Bend both arms and hold the band into your body. Next, bend both knees and lower your body down toward the floor 10-12 inches. Straighten both knees to complete one rep. Do 10-12 reps with your right leg forward. To release, straight both arms and bend forward to put slack on the band, then carefully step off of the band. Repeat placing your left foot on the band.

*This exercise is for intermediate/advanced exercisers without injury considerations.

**Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Take your leg strength to the next level…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Do a Single Leg Squat for leg strength.

Once you’ve mastered the Squat, try a Single Leg Squat to take your leg training to the next level. Here’s how:

Stand on your right leg only. Bend from your right knee and hips, and sit back lowering your body down about six inches. Keep your right knee lined up over your right foot. Maintain proper spinal alignment with your hips level. Now stand up straight again to complete one rep. Do 8-12 times. Repeat, standing on your left leg only. For better balance, extend both arms straight out in front of you. Progress to placing both arms across your chest. For even more of a challenge, reach forward and touch a point such as a chair or cone with your hand while maintaining proper form.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

High Knees Cardio

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High Knees for Cardio!

If you’re looking to add a cardio component to your workout, consider High Knees. Great for runners, walkers and those looking for fast calorie burning, high knees provide a challenging and energizing interval option.

Begin standing. Lift your right knee straight up, adding a hop to the top of the range of motion if desired. Immediately return your right foot to the floor, and lift your left knee straight up, adding a hop to the top of the range of motion. Begin with a ten second interval and build from there. This exercise is for intermediate or advanced exercisers, without injury or illness concerns.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Sore Feet?

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Stretch!

If you’re on your feet all day, try this simple Calf Stretch to ease sore feet.

Use a step or a curb, or on any stable platform that is about two inches off the floor. Place your right foot flat on the step, hold on for balance. Place the ball of your left foot on the step with your heel hanging off. Slowly drop your left heel, feeling a gentle stretch in the left calf.  Hold for ten to thirty seconds. Release the stretch. Repeat with your left foot flat on the step and your right heel hanging off.

 

*Always consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Walk your way to fitness! By Nicole Bryan

Walking for fitness is one of the simplest activities from which we can reap worthwhile metabolic benefits, as well as cardiovascular benefits.

Begin with a five to ten minute warm up of walking at a slow to moderate pace, followed by fast paced walking. Important points regarding walking for fitness form include:

 

Focus on walking heel to toe, instead of landing with a flat foot. Doing so reduces our chance of falling and allows us to use our calf muscles easier to power our body forward.

Stride out. Try to cover at least twelve inches with each stride. Also pay attention to keep right foot stride and left foot stride even.

Keep feet parallel. Keeping our feet parallel will insure lower body musculature is able to work at full power.

Knees should be pointing forward. Pay attention to not twist knees in, out or sideways.

Keep hips facing forward. To walk more efficiently don’t rotate the pelvis with each step. Instead focus on swinging legs in a forward direction.

Belly button should be held in tight. Pulling the belly button in tight should be done without holding the breath. Doing so, helps us maintain proper upright posture.

Keep hands open. Clenching our fists will only waste energy and cause us to raise our shoulders up adding tension to our neck.

Pull shoulders down and back. Pinching our shoulder blades together slightly will force our shoulders into a back and down position.

Power arms forward or back. Keeping our arms moving forward and band, not in a side to side motion is the most efficient method to maintain a fast walking pace.

Chin should be parallel to the floor. Keeping our chin parallel to the floor, instead of tilted up will ease neck tension and allow our arms to move forward and back easier.

Head should be lifted with eyes looking straight ahead. When we are looking down the entire time, the tendency is to hunch our shoulders forward and curl our back forward as well. Both of these posture positions can add strain to our lower back and neck.