September 24, 2017

Row for Upper Body Strength!

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Row for upper body strength!

Rowing strengthens your upper back, lower back, shoulders, arms and core. Master proper form without weight first, and then choose a light weight to begin adding load to your muscles. Maintain proper posture and control during the entire range of motion. Bend forward from your hips, keep your back aligned with your chin tucked into your chest. Hold the barbell slightly wider than shoulder width. Pulling your shoulders back, lift the bar toward your belly button, pause, slowly lower the bar until your arms are straight. Start with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

 

Increase your weights!

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Increase your weights!

Have you been lifting the same weights for months on end, or for even longer? Increase your weights to challenge your muscles! If the muscles are not stimulated or overloaded, there will not be a strength gain. Do a rep check during your next workout. If your goal is strength improvements and you’re regularly and easily cranking out 12 reps, increase your weight on the next set. Go to the next weight available and begin with 8 reps in good form. And remember, you can lift a different amount of weight on each set. Your muscles want to be challenged!

 

Slow Down Your Weight Training

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SLOW DOWN your weight training!

Completing your strength training exercises at a slow, controlled pace makes sure the goal muscle is working to the max. Here’s how to know:

Lift the weight for a 2-3 second count, pause, and then lower the weight for a 3-4 second count, pause. Performing your strength exercise at a slower pace means your muscles are under tension for a longer time. You’ll also break momentum, prevent sloppy form and increase the work all of your stabilizing muscles do, not just the muscle targeted in the exercise.

 

Important Rule for Strength Training

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Mix up your exercises every 4-6 weeks!

Your muscles will adapt to the load of your workout over time. Mixing up your routine every 4-6 weeks means your muscles have to adapt to a new angle or way of working. This means your muscles continue to change, shape and improve strength. Here are just a few choices for strength training:

Examples: use free-weights, barbells, body weight, cables, bands.

 

Straighten Up Your Posture

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Row for improved posture!

A Standing Row is an effective strength exercise for your upper and middle back. Strong back muscles mean better posture! Here’s how to start:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Hold a weight in each hand. Bend forward from your hips. Keep your spine aligned, and shoulders back and down. Begin with both arms straight. Bend both elbows and pull the weights straight up to your waist. Slowly lower the weights back down to your starting position. Begin with 10 reps.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Build Upper Body Strength

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Build Upper Body Strength with the Standing Shoulder Press

The Standing Shoulder Press strengthens your lifting muscles of your upper body, as well as your core. So if you’re having to lift and carry heavy items during the day, this exercise is for you. Choose a weight that allows a controlled 8-12 reps.

Begin standing in neutral posture with your knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows so the weights are in front of your shoulders, with your palms facing in. Pull your shoulders down and back. This is your starting position. Keeping your forearms vertical, push the weights straight up overhead so the weights are level with the top of your head, keeping your torso stable. Pause for a second to break momentum, and then slowly lower the weights to your starting position. As you build strength, lift the weights all the way overhead stopping just short of straight arm.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise. This exercise is for those without injury concerns.

Pushups…To Go!

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¬†Pushups…To Go!

Choose any solid and stable surface and crank out a set of 5-10 pushups. The sink, counter, desk top, back of a chair, hood of your car, park bench, all provide great surfaces to add fitness into your day. The key is to maintain good posture with your back straight. Here are a few progressions if you’re looking for variations:

Lift and hold one foot up off the floor.

Slow your pace to allow a 4 second count when lowering and pushing.

Add in a 10 second plank hold in between each rep.

Lift and hold one leg out to the side of your body.

Hold the pushup for 5 seconds when your arms are bent.

Extend your elbows only half way up when pushing.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

 

 

Progress your Ab Plank

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Side Plank

Lie on your right side on the floor. Place your right hand on the floor directly below your shoulder. Place the outside of your right foot on the floor, with both legs straight. Lift your body up off the floor and hold your body straight in a side plank position. Release by dropping your hips to the floor. Repeat with your left hand and left foot on the floor. Lift your body up and hold the side plank position. Begin with a ten second hold on each side. Breathe through each plank, hold your belly button in tight and maintain proper spinal alignment.

 

*Consult your physician before performing exercise.

Take your ab workout to the next level

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Abdominals…Plus!

Crank your ab workout up a notch with this exercise:

Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your ears. Hold both feet up off of the floor with your knees over your hips. Begin by lifting both shoulders up off of the floor. Next lift your right shoulder up toward your belly button, at the same time bringing your left knee toward your belly button. Return to your starting position. Now lift your left shoulder up toward your belly button, at the same time bringing your right knee toward your belly button. Repeat 10 times.

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

Master Exercise Form

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Form matters!

Master proper exercise form for an effective workout. Learning how to execute an exercise safely is paramount, and that means learning proper form. This means you should know what muscles you’re working with the exercise and why it’s important to your fitness program.¬† Here’s how to begin:

Maintain proper spinal alignment during the entire set.

Stabilize your core throughout the range of motion.

Master the exercise without weight first.

Control the entire range of motion on each rep.