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Showing posts with label Morning Exercises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morning Exercises. Show all posts

How to do Proper Wall Pushups

For some people doing normal pushups is too difficult, but there is an alternative - the Wall Pushup.

Doing a Wall Pushup is significantly easier than doing normal pushups (especially compared to say fingertip pushups), but that doesn't mean you can be lazy about it either. To master Wall Pushups it helps to actually do them properly so you get the most benefit from them and aren't injuring yourself by accident.

Step One

Stand with your feet together about 1 to 2 feet from a wall.

Step Two

Place your hands flat on the wall at the same level as your shoulders and space them a little more than shoulder width apart.

Step Three

Slowly bend your arms at the elbows to lower your body toward the wall until your head touches the wall. (Myself I like to lower myself towards the wall until my nose brushes the wall a tiny bit.)

Step Four

Slowly raise your body back up by straightening arms. It is important that you do both steps 3 and 4 slowly. Don't rush. Take your time.

Step Five

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 slowly 10, 20 or more times and then take a short break. Ideally you should try to do perhaps 5 sets of 10 or 5 sets of 20 every day to give yourself a decent workout for your triceps, shoulders, pecs, etc.

Wall pushups are a great exercise to do every morning. They're also handy for vacations, when visiting family / friends during holidays, and they're very frugal. They're also good for elderly people or people dealing with an injury.

Another kind of pushup you can try is an Incline Pushup, usually done using stairs, large heavy furniture or something equally stable to brace yourself up against.

There are also Decline Pushups, but you should really master how to do normal pushups before attempting Decline.

15 Faster and More Effective Exercises

Are you looking for some highly effective exercises you can do while on vacation, as part of your morning exercise routine or just because they're frugal? Here are 15 exercises that don't require much equipment, take very little time but are highly effective because they take more energy to do.

Medicine Ball Wood Chop

Instead of doing a warm up that targets only legs, the wood chop targets the upper body and core as well. If you don't have a medicine ball you can use a football, basketball or even a heavy book instead.

Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and hold onto a light-to-medium medicine ball (five to six pounds). Bend knees and hips, dropping into a squat as you bring the ball down to touch your left foot, shin or knee, depending on your level of flexibility. Rise up out of the squat as you simultaneously rotate and raise the ball up and across your right side, as if throwing it over your right shoulder. Do two sets of 10 on alternating sides.

Jump Squats

"Jump Training" activates fast-twitch muscle fibers, which we lose over time. This explosive move is also very cardiovascular and, therefore, burns more calories than normal squats.

Stand with feet hip-width apart; lower your butt towards the ground until your heels start to lift off the floor -- keep your back flat and eyes straight ahead. Pause briefly and then jump up quickly, fully extending your legs. Land softly on your mid-foot and roll back towards your heels. Start with 10 to 15 jumps.

Step-Ups Plus Another Move

Adding an upper body move or a second leg exercise to a step-up increases the challenge. Choose one of these:

Add a shoulder press. Hold onto dumbbells (five to eight pounds) and perform the step-up. At the top of the movement press the dumbbells overhead before stepping back down. Repeat.

Add a glute-toner. Perform the step-up and kick back the second leg before stepping back down. The kick activates the glutes and the core because it requires stability.

Alternating Front and Back Lunges

Using both legs makes the move more functional; it mimics how you move in everyday.

Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm's length next to your sides, palms facing in. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee bends to 90 degrees. Pause, rise up and step back to return to starting position. (Note: Keep your back straight and avoid leaning forward with each step.) Repeat with left leg. Alternate legs for 15 reps.

Fitness-Ball Leg Curl

Add a dynamic component to your hamstring workout by swapping the leg curl machine for a fitness ball.

Lie on your back with legs extended, lower leg on an exercise ball. Extend arms out to sides. Raise your hips up off the ground by pressing down on the ball with your lower legs and heels until your body forms a straight line: shoulders, hips and ankles should line up. Roll the ball towards you by bending your knees; pull your heels toward your butt. Allow your feet to roll up on to ball. Slowly lower to original position by straightening knees; repeat 12 to 15 times.

Seated Calf Raises

Standing raises only work the outer calf muscles. The seated version works the flexor muscle group deep in the calf, which stabilizes the ankle (better for walking in high heels!) and helps prevent ankle sprains.

Sit on a chair or bench with toes rested on a step or ledge in front of you -- heels should be on the ground and the step should be high enough for you to feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Place dumbbells or a barbell across your thighs near the knees added resistance. Hold the weights in place with your hands as you raise your heel off the ground, squeezing your calf muscles. Pause and slowly lower heels back down until you feel a stretch. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Core Pushups

Adding instability activates the core and oblique muscles.

As you do each pushup, bring one knee up to the opposite elbow between each rep. Or, use a fitness ball as another core-activating alternative: Kneel in front of a fitness ball, drape yourself over the ball and walk out on your hands until the ball is under your shins and your body is straight -- do not let your back sag. Lower your upper body towards the floor into a pushup by bending your elbows out towards the sides, then pause and push back up. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Incline/Decline Bench Presses

The chest muscle has a fan-like appearance so, although you can't completely isolate one area, changing the angle of the weight bench shifts the emphasis on the muscle.

Increase the incline to emphasize the shoulders and upper part of the chest. Perform chest presses on a decline bench (head lower than your feet) to put emphasis on the lower part of the chest. (Note: Decline presses are not recommended for women with high blood pressure, as this increases blood pressure in the brain.)

Seated Rows

Seated rows - on a machine or with tubing anchored into a door hinge - works the entire back and is better for shoulder and spine function.

Sit with your back straight and knees slightly bent and extend your arms in front of you, gripping the handle of the device or tubing, which should be parallel to the floor. Pull the handle towards you by driving elbows back and squeezing your shoulder blades together (avoid shrugging) until the handles touch your abdomen. Pause and repeat 12 to 15 times.

Hammer Curls

Neutral wrists in the hammer curl places more emphasis on that nice muscle that runs along the outside of the upper arms - giving shape to your arms.

Do them like regular bicep curls but don't rotate your wrists. Start with arms down to your sides, palms facing in towards your body. Keeping hands in this position, bend your elbows as you bring your hands up towards your shoulders, keep thumbs facing up; repeat 12 to 15 times.

Overhead Tricep Extensions

Mechanically, kickbacks are not a very effective exercise, as it does not hit all parts of the triceps. A better, more effective way to work the triceps, involves an overhead extension.

Sit or stand holding a dumbbell behind your head. Both hands should be wrapped around one end of the dumbbell - Make a triangle with your thumbs and forefingers and wrap them around the end. With your upper arms on either side of your ears, elbows up towards the ceiling, slowly lower the dumbbell down towards the center of your back. Pause and slowly extend arms to the ceiling. Return to starting position; repeat 12 to 15 times.

Upright Rows

Lateral raises work the middle deltoid muscle of the shoulder. The upright row also works the important stabilizing muscles in back of the shoulder and upper back, which improves shoulder posture and function.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and grab a barbell in each hand, keeping them shoulder width apart. Slowly pull the weights up towards your chin. Elbows should flare out during the movement. Pause and slowly return barbell to starting position; repeat 12 to 15 times.

The One-Legged Plank

This advanced version of the traditional plank uses both abs and back muscles.

Position yourself on your hands and knees, shoulders directly over the wrists, extending your legs behind you so your body is parallel to the floor. Engage your core by drawing your stomach back and up towards your spine and hold. Without rotating your torso, lift your right leg an inch or two off the ground and hold for 10 or more seconds; slowly lower it to the starting position and switch feet. Alternate legs and repeat on each side. Do not allow your back to sag and do as many as you can with good form.

The Dead Bug

This exercise goes beyond just strengthening the lower portion of the rectus abdominis muscle (the "six-pack" muscle in front of the abdominal area) as in the reverse crunch. The dead bug strengthens the transverse abdominis, the main core muscle, as well as the obliques.

Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Focus on drawing your belly button in towards your spine to stabilize your back. Bring both arms and legs off the floor; knees should be directly over hips and elbows bent, directly over shoulders. Slowly extend right leg and lower your right heel and back of the left hand towards the floor; tap floor lightly and alternate sides - it’s kind of like a backstroke. Do 12 to 15 on each side.

The Jackknife

The jackknife challenges not only the core and abdominal muscles, but the shoulders and chest as well.

 Kneel in front of a fitness ball and roll out over top of it, walking on your hands until you're in a pushup position with the ball under the shins/ankles (easier) or tops of the feet (harder). Keep your body straight, back flat and abs engaged. Roll the ball in, bending the knees towards the chest as you squeeze your abs. Keep all the movement in the knees; avoid pushing back with your arms; keep your back stable. Return to starting position and repeat 10 to 15 reps.

Understanding Plyometrics

Ever heard of Plyometrics?

Plyometrics, otherwise known as jump training, is a sports conditioning technique to improve performance. If you've never heard of it, don't worry, but the good news is that it is very good for building strength and full body conditioning while receiving a cardiovascular benefit - all at the same time.

The exercises that are included in plyometrics cause the exerciser to utilize muscles they don't normally use, including both lower and upper body muscles important for balance and core strength.

They're also great for doing morning exercises and they cost nothing for equipment, so they're frugal too.

They're also adaptable. Exercises such as push ups, squats and lunges can be made into plyometric exercises by pushing upwards to make you leave the ground through the point of contact (heels for squats and lunges, palms for push ups). Thus the simple act of push ups becomes more difficult and also more rewarding physically.

Other plyometric exercises include:

#1. Jumping side to side, back and front
#2. Long jumps
#3. Jumping with a knee tuck
#4. Swing kicks (straight leg swinging over a chair)
#5. Exercises that mimics sports movement such as throwing a basketball in a jump shot.

When you first start doing plyometric routines you might be concerned over prior injuries in your ankles and/or knees. However, what you will discover is that the training actually strengthened those weaknesses, instead of aggravating them.

The beauty of plyometric training is that it can be easily modified for the individual:

#1. Exercises can explode out of the form without leaving the ground
#2. One leg exercises can be completed on two legged exercises
#3. Smaller jumps can be substituted for high jumps

Plyometrics training will make athletes stronger at their game and the hobby exerciser receives overall body conditioning, and provide a nice change of pace for a general fitness regimen.

You may even enjoy it and make it part of your regular routine. :)

5 Reasons Why you should Exercise in the Morning

Here are FIVE great reasons to exercise in the morning:

1. Accomplishment Something in the Morning!

It's a fantastic feeling to start the day with success. Exercising in the morning sets off every day with a job well done and an accomplishment under your belt! Plus, exercise makes you feel good and this glow will carry with you all day long.

2. Get it out of the Way

How many times have you wanted to exercise after work but ended up pushing it aside for an emergency meeting, falling behind on chores or coming home from an especially tiring day at work? Exercising in the morning ensures that the workout is completed before any of life's other surprises can be thrown your way.

3. Better for Fat Burning

There has been a lot of research that indicates that exercising in the morning burns more fat if you exercise before eating breakfast. This is because there is no sugar or carbohydrates (glucose) to burn in your body so it is the fat cells that end up being used as an energy source. Also, cardio in the morning will increase your metabolism + heart rate the rest of the day, making your body a fat burning machine for the rest of the day even if you're sitting at a desk for 7 to 8 hours.

4. Weight Lifting Burn Time

Weightlifting in the Morning is also the best time to lift weights. Your body is well rested and (hopefully) stress free. The extra rest means your muscles are ready for some action and will build up more strength. If you lift weights in the morning eat a little something before you begin. eg. Cereal. The food energy will give you the extra "push" to work out harder and stay focused (for safety). Building muscle will help to burn more calories all of the time, even at rest!

5. Good for the Bowels Too!

Now maybe you aren't old enough to be worrying about this, but exercising in the morning is good for both your bladder and your bowels. Get into the routine and your plumbing will run like clockwork!

Morning Weightlifting Exercises

Doing weightlifting in the morning for 10 minutes every day is a great way to build muscle and add to your daily routine. For best results, exercise right before eating a breakfast with a fair bit of protein in it. eg. Eggs or Pancakes.

Some people argue in favour of eating some carbs before exercising in the morning so you have more energy, which is great for jogging, but with weightlifting its typically better to exercise first and then eat something with protein in it so you are getting the benefits of post-exercise muscle growth. The sooner you eat protein after weightlifting the better. (Or even eating during the routine, although that can result in cramping.)

Handy Tips!

#1. Focus on lots of repetitions. If you can't do 10+ of the same weightlifting exercise then you are picking something too difficult. Ideally you want to be doing something 30 to 50 times.

#2. Use a variety of different exercises which emphasize different muscles. Don't just focus on your biceps. Target your forearms, triceps, core muscles, leg muscles, triceps, pectorals, obliques and more. If you only focus on one set of muscles you will see very little results. A full body approach garners better results.

#3. Hydrate! Drink lots of water, or better yet, drink juice while exercising.

#4. Listen to music to help you build a rhythm and motivate yourself while weightlifting.

#5. A small whey protein drink with your breakfast after you've exercised won't hurt. Plus a multivitamin is also a wise choice.

#6. Avoid lifting anything too heavy that you hurt yourself. You want to rip muscles, not throw your back out and be in pain for a whole week.

#7. If your primary goal isn't to bulk up with muscle and your goal is mostly to lose weight then mix your routine with cardio to give yourself a better calorie burn.

#8. Stretches! Stretches help keep your muscles limber and you maintain the full range of motion. Practice doing a variety of stretches before and/or after your weightlifting routine.

#9. Bodyweight Exercises (see the Frugal Exercise on this website) are a great way to add more challenges to your weightlifting routine without costing you an extra dime.

#10. Use your Anger! If you've got pent up emotions like anger in your system use that anger up while weightlifting. It will relieve stress and boost your adrenaline levels, allowing you to endure more than you normally would.

Happy Weightlifting!

Marilyn Monroe's Diet and Exercise Routine

The September 1952 issue of Pageant magazine gave details on Marilyn Monroe’s diet and exercise routines, written by Marilyn Monroe herself.

The entries given in the magazine detail a morning exercise routine and a diet composed mostly of protein, milk and lots of carrots.

How I Stay in Shape

By Marilyn Monroe

“Frankly, I’ve never considered my own figure so exceptional; until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all. My biggest single concern used to be getting enough to eat. Now I have to worry about eating too much. I never used to bother with exercises. Now I spend at least 10 minutes each morning working out with small weights. I have evolved my own exercises, for the muscles I wish to keep firm, and I know they are right for me because I can feel them putting the proper muscles into play as I exercise.”

She Doesn’t Like To Feel Regimented

“EXERCISE. Each morning, after I brush my teeth, wash my face and shake off the first deep layer of sleep, I lie down on the floor beside my bed and begin my first exercise. It is a simple bust-firming routine which consists of lifting five-pound weights from a spread-eagle arm position to a point directly above my head. I do this 15 times, slowly. I repeat the exercise another 15 times from a position with my arms above my head. Then, with my arms at a 45-degree angle from the floor, I move my weights in circles until I’m tired. I don’t count rhythmically like the exercise people on the radio; I couldn’t stand exercise if I had to feel regimented about it.”

How to Feel Blond All Over

“SPORTS. I have never cared especially for outdoor sports, and have no desire to excel at tennis, swimming or golf. I’ll leave those things to the men. Despite its great vogue in California, I don’t think sun-tanned skin is any more attractive than white skin, or any healthier, for that matter. I’m personally opposed to a deep tan because I like to feel blond all over.

By nature, I suppose I have a languorous disposition. I hate to do things in a hurried, tense atmosphere, and it is virtually impossible for me to spring out of bed in the morning. On Sunday, which is my one day of total leisure, I sometimes take two hours to wake up, luxuriating in every last moment of drowsiness. Depending on my activities, I sleep between five and ten hours every night. I sleep in an extra-wide single bed, and I use only one heavy down comforter over me, summer or winter. I have never been able to wear pajamas or creepy nightgowns; they disturb my sleep.”

A Set of Bizarre Eating Habits

“BREAKFAST. I’ve been told that my eating habits are absolutely bizarre, but I don’t think so. Before I take my morning shower, I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate I keep in my hotel room. When it’s hot, I break two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork, and drink them while I’m dressing. I supplement this with a multi-vitamin pill, and I doubt if any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast for a working girl in a hurry.

DINNER. My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.

P.S. It’s a good thing, I suppose, that I eat simply during the day, for in recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright’s ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes. I’m sure that I couldn’t allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods.”

According to photography of Marilyn Monroe she also enjoyed light weightlifting, jogging, yoga and horseback riding. She even tried archery, although judging by her form wasn't particularly good at it. (William Shatner also does archery, but he is GOOD at it.)

This historic look at how Marilyn Monroe kept in good shape, and she had a figure many women still aspire to, also makes for good inspiration because it makes you realize that if she could do it so can you.

And being able to inspire people to exercise is more than merely motivating them. Inspiration becomes a constant motivation that you can keep returning to, that reminds you of what your goals are and why you first started exercising.

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