Fast and Fabulous 40-Minute Total-Body Training
This article presents a sensible, 40-minute total-body training session designed for the beginning exerciser.
Four distinct 10-minute components are presented that address all aspects of fitness: a total body warm-up and cool-down and two time periods for muscular fitness (flexibility and strength).
This routine can be performed two to three times per week and can be combined with your walking program.
Total-Body Warm-Up (10 minutes)
You can perform this warm-up using any cardio equipment you may have available, such as a treadmill or a bicycle, or you can do a free walk or run out of doors. Just be sure that the activity you choose is safe given your current health status. Activity should be performed at a modest level. On an effort scale of 0 to 10 where 0 represents complete rest and 10 represents the hardest you have ever worked, you should warm up at about level 4 or 5.
Flexibility (10 minutes)
This routine requires no special equipment other than a chair. It is recommended that you hold each of the following stretches for 15 seconds and work just to the point of feeling a stretch in the muscle. Maintain a normal breathing pattern (no holding the breath) for the entire 15 seconds.
This stretch works the back of your arms as well as your back. It may be done either standing or sitting.
This exercise stretches the chest and upper arms.
This is a complete stretch of the back.
This exercise stretches the muscles running along the backs of the legs and the bottoms of the feet.
This exercise stretches the muscles on the fronts of the thigh and those connecting the hip joints to the pelvis.
These exercises stretch the muscles of the calf.
This exercise stretches the muscles in the front of lower legs and is great for prevention of shin splints, a common problem for runners. I was taught this exercise by a physical therapist who was also a professional dancer, and believe me, it works.
Muscular strength (10 minutes)
Most of these activities require no special equipment and work with your own body weight only. If you want, you can use a set of light dumbbell weights that you are able to lift between 12 and 15 times per set, but be sure to clear this with your healthcare provider in advance. Be sure to ask your provider what amount of weight is appropriate for you. It is recommended that you perform only one set of each exercise to start. Maintain a normal breathing pattern (no holding the breath) for the entire 15 seconds.
Muscular Strength: Lower body
This exercise strengthens the muscles of the thighs and buttocks. Try to get the thighs parallel to the floor, forming a 90-degree angle with the shins. Knees should be directly above the ankle; do not let them track beyond the feet. Lower down as far as you can, but never let the thighs go below the parallel position. Hold the position for at least 15 seconds and repeat.
This exercise strengthens the muscles of the lower leg. The exercise can be performed without weights initially. You can progress to lifting first one leg and then the other, if you desire a more advanced lift.
Muscular Strength: Upper body
This exercise strengthens the chest and the backs of the arms, similar to military push-up. You can progress to doing the exercise using a table, couch and the floor as your strength increases.
This exercise strengthens the muscles of the shoulders and can be done seated or standing. The grip shown in the picture is the best to use if you have any shoulder problems.
This exercise strengthens the muscles of the back.
This exercise strengthens muscles of the front of the upper arms and may be performed with a variety of grips as well as by alternating arms.
This exercise strengthens the muscles of the abdomen. Picture 15a shows the correct form., Do not support yourself with your tailbone to do this exercise. Believe me, you will feel the difference!
Total Body Cool-Down (10-minutes)
This is identical to the warm-up warm-up, except that you can choose another cardiovascular activity for variety.
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