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8 Fun Football Exercises - Useful for Everyone

You don't have to play football to enjoy football exercises. Indeed most football exercises are actually stretches or cardio. A few are even bodyweight exercises.

Some of them are also ab workouts and/or work your obliques (side muscles). The end result is that football exercises are both versatile and inexpensive (you can buy a football for approx. $15 to $20).

So find yourself a clear space to exercise, get out your football [although in theory, any large ball will do - basketball, soccer ball, volleyball, etc.] and get ready for some exercises.

#1. Twists

Standing with two feet apart hold the football in front of you with both hands. Without moving your hips or legs, twist your upper torso as far to the right as you can. While you do so maintain arm pressure on the football in front of you. Do the same again to the left. Repeat 100 times.

This is my personal favourite of all my football exercises. Once you get good at it you can go really fast and it ends up being really exhilarating. It stretches and works the obliques and your lower back muscles.

#2. Squat Jumps

Holding the football in front of you and maintaining your torso in an upward position lower yourself into a squatting position. Then jump upwards, raising the football high above your head. Repeat 20 times.

#3. Forward + Backwards Bends and Sides

Standing with your feet apart place the football behind your head and hold it in place with both hands. Lean forward like you are doing a situp. Then do the same but lean backwards. Next lean to the right as far as you dare, then the left. Repeat 20 times.

#4. Knee Bumps

Holding the ball in front in front of you with both hands, raise your right knee until it is just below the football. Next in one swift motion lower your right knee and raise your left knee in a jump and try to bump the football out of your hands. (You may feel like you are doing that kick from the 1st Karate Kid movie.) With your hands try to with-strain the ball as best you can. Repeat 20 times.

#5. Squeezes

This exercise is easy. Just squeeze the football between both hands and move from side to side, squeezing as hard as you can, alternating which arm you are pushing the most with. Continue this exercise for 2 minutes.

#6. Toss and Catch

Catching a football requires good hand-eye coordination and also muscle coordination / balance. Simply tossing a football in the air and catching it with one or both hands is good exercise. Try to alternate which hands you throw and catch with. Throw and catch 100 times.

#7. Football Situps

Sit and balance yourself on top of your football. Place your feet out in front of you and lean backwards about 45 degrees. Then lean forward you are doing a situp, but without falling off the football. I admit this is nearly identical to using a standard exercise ball, but with a football it is lower to the ground and provides less stability due to it shape, thus you will need to pay attention to you balance. Try not to fall off it. :)

#8. Circle Passing

Pass the football behind your back from your left hand to your right hand, then in front of you from right to left, completing a circular motion. Repeat 50 times and then switch direction.


Better yet, find a friend or family member and go outside and throw the ball back and forth for an hour or so!

50 Frugal Bodyweight Exercises

Full Body

1. Inchworm: Stand up tall with the legs straight, and then bend over until your fingertips hit the floor. Keeping the legs straight (but not locked), slowly lower the torso toward the floor, and then walk the hands forward. Once in a push-up position, start taking tiny steps so the feet meet the hands. Repeat 10 times.

2. Tuck Jump: Standing with the knees slightly bent, jump up as high as possible and bring the knees in toward the chest while extending the arms straight out. Land with the knees slightly bent and quickly jump again! Repeat 10 times.

3. Bear Crawl: Starting on the hands and knees, rise up onto the toes, tighten the core, and slowly reach forward with the right arm and right knee, followed by the left side. Continue the crawl for 10 reps.

4. Plyometric Push-Up: Start on a well-padded surface and complete a traditional push-up. Then, in an explosive motion, push up hard enough to come off the floor. Once back on solid ground, immediately head into the next repetition. Repeat 10 times. For extra fun try clapping your hands together while in the air. Don't face-plant yourself.

5. Stair Climb with Bicep Curl: Grab some dumbbells (or household objects such as a stack of books) and briskly walk up and down the stairway while simultaneously doing bicep curls to work the whole body.

6. Mountain Climber: Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward. Repeat 10 times.

7. Prone Walkout: Beginning on all fours with the core engaged, slowly walk the hands forward, staying on the toes but not moving them forward. Next, gradually walk the hands backwards to the starting position, maintain stability and balance. Repeat 10 times.

8. Burpees: One of the most effective full-body exercises around, this one starts out in a low squat position with hands on the floor. Next, kick the feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position. Leap up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion of the show. Repeat 10 times.

9. Plank: Lie face down with forearms on the floor and hands clasped. Extend the legs behind the body and raise up on the toes. Keeping the back straight, tighten the core and hold the position for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can hang). Repeat 5 times.

10. Plank-to-Push-Up: Starting in a plank position, place down one hand at a time to lift up into a push-up position, with the back straight and the core engaged. Then move one arm at a time back into the plank position (forearms on the ground). Repeat, alternating the arm that makes the first move. Repeat 5 times.

Legs

11. Wall Sit: Slowly slide your back down a wall until the thighs are parallel to the ground. Make sure the knees are directly above the ankles and keep the back straight. Go for 60 seconds per set (or until you can't hold the position any more). For extra results add some bicep curls with some small dumbbells.

12. Lunge: Stand with the hands on the hips and feet hip-width apart. Step the right leg forward and slowly lower your body until the right knee is close to or touching the floor and bent at least 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Try stepping back into the lunge for a different variation.

13. Clock Lunge: Complete a traditional forward lunge, then take a big step to the right and lunge again. Finish off the semicircle with a backwards lunge, then return to standing. Repeat the sequence 10 times and then switch legs, to repeat again.

14. Lunge-to-Row: Start by doing a normal lunge. Instead of bringing that forward leg back to the starting position, raise it up off the floor while lifting the arms overhead. The leg should remain bent at about 90 degrees. Add weights for extra fun.

15. Lunge Jump: Stand with the feet together and lunge forward with the right foot. Jump straight up, propelling the arms forward while keeping the elbows bent. While in the air, switch legs and land in a lunge with the opposite leg forward. Repeat and continue switching legs. Repeat 10 times.

16. Curtsy Lunge: When lunging, step the left leg back behind the right, bending the knees and lowering the hips until the right thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Remember to keep the torso upright and the hips square.

17. Squat: Stand with the feet parallel or turned out 15 degrees — whatever is most comfortable. Slowly start to crouch by bending the hips and knees until the thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Press through the heels to return to a standing position.

18. Pistol Squat: Stand holding the arms straight out in front of the body, and raise the right leg, flexing the right ankle and pushing the hips back. Then lower the body while keeping the right leg raised. Hold position as long as you can, then return to standing. Without falling over. :)

19. Squat Reach and Jump: Perform a normal squat, but immediately jump up, reaching the arms straight overhead. Aim for 15 reps and take a quick breather before the next exercise.

20. Chair Squat Pose: Stand with the feet hip-distance apart and squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor while swinging the arms up. Straighten the legs, then lift up the right knee while swinging the left arm outside the right knee. Return to standing and repeat on the other side.

21. Step-Up: Find a step or bench, and place the right foot on the elevated surface. Step up until the right leg is straight, then return to start. Repeat, aiming for 10-12 reps on each side.

22. Single Leg Deadlift: Start in a standing position with the feet together. Lift the right leg slightly, and lower the arms and torso while raising the right leg behind the body. Keep the left knee slightly bent and reach the arms as close to the floor as possible. Raise the torso while lowering the right leg. Switch legs.

23. Quadruped Leg Lift: Starting on the hands and knees, keep a flat back and engage the core. Raise the left leg straight back, stopping when the foot is hip-level and the thigh parallel to the floor. Balance for as long as possible, then raise the bottom right toe off the floor, tightening the butt, back, and abs (try to be graceful here!). Hold for up to 10 seconds, then switch legs.

24. Calf Raise: From a standing position, slowly rise up on the toes, keeping the knees straight and heels off the floor. Hold briefly, then come back down. And repeat. Try standing on something elevated (like a step) to achieve a wider range of motion.

Chest & Back

25. Standard Push-Up: There’s a reason this one’s a classic. With hands shoulder-width apart, keep the feet flexed at hip distance, and tighten the core. Bend the elbows until the chest reaches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body). That’s one!

26. Dolphin Push-Up: Start out in dolphin pose (aka the yoga pose downward dog with elbows on the floor). Lean forward, lowering the shoulders until the head is over the hands. Pull up the arms and return to the starting position

27. Donkey Kick: Start in a push-up position, with the legs together. Tighten the core and kick both legs into the air with knees bent, reaching the feet back toward the glutes. Just try to land gently when reversing back to the starting position.

28. Handstand Push-Up: Get set in a headstand position against a wall and bend the elbows at a 90-degree angle, doing an upside down push-up (so the head moves toward the floor and the legs remain against the wall). Be careful doing this the first couple of times until you get the hang of it.

29. Judo Push-up: From a push-up position, raise up those hips and in one swift movement use the arms to lower the front of the body until the chin comes close to the floor. Swoop the head and shoulders upward and lower the hips, keeping the knees off the ground. Reverse the move to come back to the raised-hip position. Try to repeat for 30-60 seconds.

30. Reverse Fly: For DIY dumbbells, grab two cans of soup/beans or bottles of water. Stand up straight, with one foot in front of the other and the front knee slightly bent. With palms facing each other and the abs engaged, bend forward slightly from the waist and extend arms out to the side, squeezing the shoulder blades. Repeat.

31. Superman: Lie face down with arms and legs extended. Keeping the torso as still as possible, simultaneously raise the arms and legs to form a small curve in the body

32. Contralateral Limb Raises: Lie on your stomach with the arms outstretched and palms facing one another. Slowly lift one arm a few inches off the floor, keeping it straight without rotating the shoulders and keeping the head and torso still. Hold the position, then lower the arm back down, moving to the other arm.

Shoulders & Arms

33. Triceps Dip: Get seated near a step or bench. Sit on the floor with knees slightly bent, and grab the edge of the elevated surface and straighten the arms. Bend them to a 90-degree angle, and straighten again while the heels push towards the floor. For some extra fire, reach the right arm out while lifting the left leg.

34. Diamond Push-Up: These push-ups start with a diamond-shaped hand position (situate them so that the thumbs and index fingers touch). This hand readjustment will give those triceps some extra burn.

35. Boxer: Starting with feet hip-width apart and knees bent, keep the elbows in and extend one arm forward and the other arm back. Hug the arms back in and switch arms.

36. Shoulder Stabilization Series (I, Y, T, W O): Stand up straight or lie down on your stomach with arms extended overhead and palms facing each other. Move the arms into each letter formation.

37. Arm Circles: Stand with arms extended by the sides, perpendicular to the torso. Slowly make clockwise circles for about twenty to thirty seconds (about one foot in diameter). Then reverse the movement, going counter-clockwise.

Core

38. L Seat: Seated with the legs extended and feet flexed, place the hands on the floor and slightly round the torso. Then, lift the hips off the ground, hold for five seconds and release. Repeat 10 times.

39. Rotational Push-Up: After coming back up into a starting push-up position, rotate the body to the right and extend the right hand overhead, forming a T with the arms and torso. Return to the starting position, do a normal push-up, then rotate to the left.

40. Dynamic Prone Plank: Starting in a standard plank position, raise the hips as high as they can go, then lower them back down. Continue this movement for as long as possible. Make sure the back stays straight and the hips don’t droop.

41. Flutter Kick: Start lying on your back with arms at your sides and palms facing down. With legs extended, lift the heels off the floor (about six inches). Make quick, small up-and-down pulses with the legs, while keeping the core engaged. Continue for a minute straight!

42. Bicycle: Lie down with knees bent and hands behind the head. With the knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides.

43. Crunch: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With hands behind the head, place the chin down slightly and peel the head and shoulders off the mat while engaging the core. Continue curling up until the upper back is off the mat. Hold briefly, then lower the torso back toward the mat slowly.

44. Segmental Rotation: Target your obliques. Lying on your back with your knees bent and core tight, let the knees fall gradually to the left (feeling a good stretch). Hold for five seconds, return to center, and repeat on the right side.

45. Shoulder Bridge: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Place arms at your side and lift up the spine and hips. Only the head, feet, arms, and shoulders should be on the ground. Then lift one leg upwards, keeping the core tight. Slowly bring the leg back down, then lift back up. Try to do 10 reps per leg, then bring the knee in place and spine back on the floor.

46. Single Leg Abdominal Press: Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet on the floor. Tighten the abs and raise the right leg, with the knee and hip bent at a 90-degree angle. Push the right hand on top of the lifted knee, using the core to create pressure between the hand and knee. Hold for five counts, and then lower back down to repeat with the left hand and knee.

47. Double Leg Abdominal Press: Follow the same run-down for  the single leg press (above), but bring up both legs at the same time, pushing the hands against the knees.

48. Side Plank: Roll to the side and come up on one foot and elbow. Make sure the hips are lifted and the core is engaged, and hang tight for 30-60 seconds (or as long as you can stomach!).

49. Sprinter Sit-Up: Lie on your back with the legs straight and arms by your side — elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Now sit up, bringing the left knee toward the right elbow. Lower the body and repeat on the other side.

50. Russian Twist: Sit on the floor with knees bent and feet together, lifted a few inches off the floor. With the back at a 45-degree angle from the ground, move the arms from one side to another in a twisting motion. Here, slow and steady wins the race: The slower the twist, the deeper the burn.

For more Do It Yourself Bodyweight Exercises see:

69 Frugal Exercises using your own Body Weight

How to Save Money on Personal Trainers

Want to save money when hiring a personal trainer?

Here is some tips:

#1. Sign up for multiple months and pay in advance

You can sign up for auto-debit via PayPal or your bank, or pay the whole amount at once (for a bigger discount). The regular sessions with a Personal Trainer will keep you motivated to keep exercising and will teach you new things along the way.

Why? Because personal trainers (including myself) will give you a discount if you sign up for bulk lessons in advance.

eg. Paying in advance.
Sign up for 6 sessions over a 6-month period, get a 10% discount. ($35 x 6 x 0.9 = $189.00)
Sign up for 12 sessions over a 6-month period, get a 15% discount. ($35 x 12 x 0.85 = $357.00)
Sign up for 12 sessions over at a 12-month period, get a 15% discount. ($35 x 12 x 0.85 = $357.00)
Sign up for 24 session over at a 12-month period, get a 20% discount. ($35 x 24 x 0.8 = $672.00)

#2. Group Training Costs Less

Sign up for yourself and a friend (or a group of friends) and you can pay a group rate instead.

Lets say for example the Personal Trainer charges $35 per hour. But if you sign up for a 2-person rate of $50 per hour then you and your friend are only paying $25 each. Assuming both of you have similar exercise goals (eg. to lose weight, tone those abs, etc) then it will work out really well for you.

Organizing larger groups can be trickier, but it can be done if everyone has matching schedules and are willing to make the commitment. Plus its more fun / competitive with larger groups, and you save more money.

eg. A group of 5 people for $100 per hour is very reasonable. Its only $20 per person. The key therefore is to try and negotiate a better rate for you and your group, while still offering the personal trainer the opportunity to make more $$$ per hour.

#3. Try booking 90 Minute Sessions

Typically personal trainers do 1 hour sessions, but you can get more bang for your buck if you think you have the endurance to do 90 minute sessions. The trainer will give you a better discount and you get a heavier workout as a result. Plus you won't feel rushed.

To schedule a workout email me at charlesmoffat@charlesmoffat.com.

Swimming - A Full Body Workout

The beauty of swimming is that you can control how fast or slow you want to exercise.

Furthermore its a full body workout, utilizing all of your major muscle groups.

Plus the water works like resistance weight training. Thus swimming combines the benefits of cardio with a light weightlifting program.

You can also alternate different kinds of swimming activities whenever you want to try something different. eg. Snorkeling!

Lastly swimming is FUN. So it makes it easier to stay motivated.

Below is a calories burned chart for a variety of swimming activities.


Activity, Exercise or Sport (1 hour)
130 lb
155 lb
180 lb
205 lb
Swimming laps, freestyle, fast
590
704
817
931
Swimming laps, freestyle, slow
413
493
572
651
Swimming backstroke
413
493
572
651
Swimming breaststroke
590
704
817
931
Swimming butterfly
649
774
899
1024
Swimming leisurely, not laps
354
422
490
558
Swimming sidestroke
472
563
654
745
Swimming synchronized
472
563
654
745
Swimming, treading water, fast, vigorous
590
704
817
931
Swimming, treading water, moderate
236
281
327
372
Water aerobics, water calisthenics
236
281
327
372
Water polo
590
704
817
931
Water volleyball
177
211
245
279
Water jogging
472
563
654
745
Diving, springboard or platform
177
211
245
279

Great Tips for Maintaining Motivation

#1. Hire a personal trainer.

Why? Because nothing is more motivating than knowing you are spending $300 amount for 10 sessions with a trainer, and their sole job is to challenge you and keep you motivated.

#2. Cultivate a winning attitude by focusing on the times you've been successful.

A lot of people don't think they can change. They blame their genetics, fate, god, etc.

These people often believe / say things like "I can't" or "I'm not good enough" and think them being overweight is just reality and they need to accept it. It isn't. They're negativity is a handicap which causes them to give up easily every time they try. A negative person will look at others who are successful and happy and say, "They're just lucky." They're not just lucky. They've worked diligently for a long time to get where they are. They had a certain mentality that drove them to do what they did. You, too, can call upon that drive and you can change.

Learning to be positive and stay motivated is tricky. One way is to focus on times when you've been really successful at something. Recall the specific thoughts, feelings and images you had surrounding that success. Remember and use those sensory factors to drive yourself toward other successes. If you had a great time jogging, picture the route and other factors that made up your visual field. Take the time to visualize the route and the feeling of pride when you finished it.

Draw on any success in your life and remember those feelings of satisfaction, pride and self-worth. Think about how good it felt to succeed and use that feeling as a catalyst to stimulate the behaviour that brought you that success.

When people fail they end up getting negative feelings. They come back as memories and make it more difficult to find the COURAGE to do those same activities again. But if you focus on positive memories you will find it easier to find that necessary courage and determination.

#3. Replace unrealistic images with achievable goals.

Patience is a virtue. But it is also more realistic to be patient when seeking to succeed at goals.

If you're looking at an advertisement featuring a young, hard-bodied fitness model smiling and enjoying her workout and you're thinking, I'm going to do that and it will QUICKLY be the same for me, banish that notion. It isn't going to happen overnight. You have to be realistic about what it takes to get in shape. Working out is, well, work. And you have to do it over many months and sometimes years, not weeks.

Lets say for example someone weighs 300 lbs and they want to lose 120 lbs. If they lose 2 lbs per week it will take them 60 weeks - Approx 14 months to accomplish that goal.

But to do so this means healthy eating (1800 to 2000 calories per day), daily exercise, and they will want to be burning an extra 7,000 calories per week (3,500 calories = 1 lb of fat) in order to burn 2 lbs of fat per week. So 1,000 calories worth of exercise per day.

And to burn 1,000 calories in one hour you need to be doing some kind of really intense workout like swimming laps - But most people who weigh 300 lbs simply don't have the endurance to be doing that for an hour. So instead its more realistic to be doing a 2 hour workout of an activity that is less intense (500 calories per hour).

However that kind of heavy duty routine isn't for everyone. So if 2 lbs per week is too much set the more realistic goal of 1 lb per week (burning 500 calories per day). It will take twice as long to achieve your goal, but if you're patient then you will succeed.

Learning patience and self-control is tricky. But once you realize it is the realistic approach then you know you can do it.

#4. Determine and choose the workout that is best for you.

First decide what your goals are: Do you want to lose weight or tone and build muscle? Or both?

Once you know that then you can pick your workout(s) accordingly. Lose weight? Do cardio workouts. Add muscle? Weightlifting with targeted strength training.

If you want to become both stronger and trimmer, you should combine a cardiovascular routine, such as jogging, cycling or swimming, with targeted weight training.

Also you will need to pick workouts which are more FUN so you can stay motivated. My suggestion is that either find ways to make your workouts fun, or pick activities that are naturally fun (ie. archery, boxing, rock-climbing, sports, etc).

#5. Find a workout environment you like that caters to your needs.

Sometimes gyms aren't the best place for people. Busy gyms can be intimidating to people who lack confidence about their appearance. Thus if you can find a gym that isn't busy, or you go at a time of day when it isn't crowded, then maybe that will help deal with your confidence issues.

Or maybe you just don't like gyms. In which case find a place, outdoors or indoors, that suits your needs.

#6. Slip into a workout mentality before you get to the gym.

Think about all the bonuses of working out: how great you'll feel afterward, your increased self-respect and energy and your decreased tension. Before you walk into the gym, visualize the gym ambiance and feel yourself begin to go through the paces and engage in the workout, enjoying the surroundings, the sounds, the people, the exertion and feeling good about yourself. The purpose: To mentally get yourself into the mood.

#7. If you need someone to push you, look for a workout partner.

With a partner you'll have two people's motivation to get you going. Look for a workout partner who has goals that are similar to yours and similarly motivated.

Or if you have difficulty finding a workout partner who has the same availability then you can hire a personal trainer.

#8. Schedule regular workout times and treat them as you would any other important commitment.

If you can't find 60 minutes for yourself a few times a week, you're either over-scheduled or you don't value yourself enough. Get your kids and wife/husband to help keep you on track. Tell them that staying in shape mentally and physically helps you be the best parent/spouse you can be.

Treat each workout like you're meeting a doctor for a very important meeting concerning your health. Because your health is important to you, isn't it?

Working out will also help you release stress and work through problems. How? Your negative energy is consumed during physical activity and, as you get fit, your body works more efficiently and you feel more positive about yourself. As well, working out releases endorphins, peptides that react with the brain's opiate receptors to make you feel better.
Don't beat yourself up if you miss the occasional workout or if you fall short of your goals. Give yourself some respect and understanding when you slip up. Just decide to make it up to yourself by getting back on track and continuing with your motivated, determined workouts.
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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