To Your Health
March, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 03)
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Routine 5

Romanian deadlift: Place your feet hip-width apart, abs tight and holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees to 20 degrees and keep your back straight. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead and your shoulder blades pinched together. Lower the dumbbells down your legs toward the floor (making sure to keep your back flat) until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings. Inhale as you lower the weight and then exhale and squeeze the glutes as you come back to your starting position. You will feel this in your glutes and hamstrings. Perform 8 reps.

Power skips: This is a simple skip, performed very dynamically. The aim is to drive up as high as possible with each skip, then land softly and step onto the other foot to drive up again. Perform 10 skips (5 each leg) and increase to 3 sets of 20 skips.

Reverse crunch: Lie on your back with arms out to the side, then lift your legs off the floor with knees bent. Focusing on your abs, curl your pelvis and low back off the floor, crunching up. Don't kick or swing your legs to gain momentum - the slower you do the movement, the more effective it is. Complete 20 reps. Progress by adding a dumbbell between the ankles to increase the load lifted by the abs.

running - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Repeat Routine as Time Allows

Routine 6

Arms-out squat: Standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, grasp one dumbbell or kettlebell in your hands and hold it straight out from your eyes. Now try to press the ends together as you simultaneously push your hips back, bend your knees and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor (squat). Pause, and push back up. Complete 8 reps. Aim to increase the weight lifted for 8 reps.

Bench press: Lie face-up on the stability ball or a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with straight arms, palms facing each other. Slowly lower the weights to the sides of your chest. Pause and then push them back up. Bring the weights all the way down to the sides of your chest. Complete 8 reps. Aim to increase the weight lifted for 8 reps.

Single-leg deadlift: Stand holding the dumbbells or a single kettlebell in your hand in front of your thighs; feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Raise one foot and extend it behind you, just off the floor. Contract your glutes, brace your abs, and keep your spine naturally arched. Focusing on balance, lower yourself until your torso is parallel to the floor. Initiate the movement by pushing your hips back. Push back up to the starting position. Perform 8 reps per leg.

Back extension: Lie on the floor on your stomach. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms straight along the sides of your body. Your body should form a straight line. Begin to lift the head and torso off the floor as high as you can. Lower your torso. Raise your upper body up again off the floor. At this point, you should have a slight arch in your back, and your shoulder blades should be pulled together. Pause for a second, then repeat. Complete 8-10 reps.

Repeat Routine as Time Allows

Routine 7

Deadlifts with a row: Keeping your knees slightly bent and your back arched, push your hips back to lower the dumbbells or kettlebell to your shins. At the bottom, draw the weight up toward your rib cage, (pull the dumbbell up until your elbows pass your torso) lower it, and then return to the starting standing position. Complete 8 reps.

Band pulldowns: Stand facing the handles of the bands as you reach up and grasp the handles with an overhand grip that's 4 to 6 inches wider than your shoulders. The band needs to be anchored at a high place above the door or ceiling. Sit on the floor, letting the resistance of the bar extend your arms above your head. When you're in position, pull the handles down until it touches your upper chest. Hold this position for a second, then return to the starting position. Complete 8-15 reps.

Traditional crunch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your ears. Slowly crunch up, bringing your shoulder blades off the ground. Complete 12-15 reps.

Repeat Routine as Time Allows