Happy Wellness Wednesday!
As the cooler weather sets in and the holiday parties start to take place it is easy for us to leave our fitness on the back burner.
However, we won’t let you forget that you can still be fit and eat your cookies too! Next week we will feature a healthier versions of traditional Christmas treats. But for this week we are focusing on your fitness!
Today we will focus on the body weight training, which not only helps you build up lean muscle but helps with balance and stability control.
The Top Five Featured Body Weight Exercises:
One of the best and easiest exercises is the squat. This movement works all of the muscles in the lower body including: the quads, glutes and hamstrings. The lower you squat the deeper you will feel the burn.
Pushups are often the most dreaded but are one of the best upper body exercises because it works your entire upper body. When done correctly, pushups work your chest, back, arms and abs.
How to: Line your wrists with your shoulders and tuck your elbows toward your sides. A common mistake is flaring your elbows out in a wide stance. As you lower, try to get your chest and hips as close to the floor as possible, without touching.
The Bridge or Hip Raises
The bridge, also known as hip raises, help strengthen your glutes, hamstrings while simultaneously working your abdominal muscles and back and inner thighs.
How to: lay on your back with your knees bent and slightly apart. Raise your hips toward the ceiling with your feet flat on the floor, while resting on your elbows. For an advanced position, lift your hips with your feet flat on the floor and slowly extend one leg up toward the ceiling or out in front of you. Hold for eight counts then switch legs and repeat.
Almost as familiar and easy as the squat, the lunge works out your lower body and helps strengthen your stability.
How to: Start with feet together and arms at your side. Step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your front knee is at 90 degrees and your knee is not touching the floor. To complete the exercise, push off of your front right foot and straighten your left leg while keeping your right foot off of the floor. Balance with your right thigh parallel to your hip.
Advanced Exercise: For an advanced version of this exercise do switch lunges. Switch lunges help tone your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. In addition, it helps improve your stability and improve your body weight power.
How to: Start in a lunge position as described above, instead of raising the right foot in the air jump into a lunge position but landing on the opposite foot. For images and a more detailed “how-to” guide visit live strong fitness here.
Whenever engaging in any type of body weight exercise, it is always important to stretch the spine and back.
How to: Come into a table top position on your palms and knees. Do not strain the head or neck but allow it to rest in a natural position. Extend your right arm out directly in front of your shoulder with your palm facing inward. Slowly extend your left leg back behind you with your heal lifted and your leg in alignment with your hips. Therefore, you should have opposite arm and leg extended out.
To complete the exercise, bring your right elbow in to touch your left knee while rounding up through your spine and tuck your chin into your chest. Return to starting position and begin on opposite side.
Do you have body weight exercises you do on your own? If so, share it with us and our readers!