To Your Health
March, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 03)
Dumbbell squat to press: Stand holding dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing each other.
Lower yourself into a squat until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Push back up and press the weights overhead. Return to the starting position. Try to keep your arms in line with your ears. Complete 8 reps. Aim to increase the weight lifted for 8 reps.
Standing press-out: With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell or kettlebell by its ends and next to your chest. Try to press the ends together as you simultaneously push the dumbbell away from your body and slightly up (to eye level) until your arms are straight. Pause, and pull the dumbbell back as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Complete 8 reps. Aim to increase the weight lifted for 8 reps.
Up-chop kneel: Kneel with a band or tubing handle attached below hip height. Grasp the handle in both hands to the side of the hip nearest the band. Lift the arms up and at the same time, rotate the shoulders away from the anchor, keeping hips facing forward and arms straight. Complete 8-10 reps on each side.
Down-chop kneel: Begin with the handle attached above head height, grasping the handle in both hands above the head to the side of the band. Keeping the hips facing front and the arms straight, pull the hands down and turn the shoulders away from the band. Complete 8-10 reps on each side.
Repeat Routine as Time Allows
Don't Forget About Interval Training
On the two days you're not doing one of the above routines (Tuesdays and Thursdays), make sure to do some interval training to help burn fat. Running intervals, or sprints with intermittent rest periods, burns more fat than when you run at slow, consistent speeds. Run outside, or jump on a bike or a treadmill if you have one. If you don't have a treadmill or can't get outside, use a jump rope or a kettlebell. Learn how to perform kettlebell swings for the interval portion of your workout.
Sprint, jump rope, or perform swings for 15 seconds (if you cannot maintain the sprint for the whole 15 seconds,slow down a bit so that you can) and rest for 30 seconds. After resting for 30 seconds, repeat the activity for another 15 seconds, then rest for another 30 seconds. Try to repeat this as many times or until you feel "done" - in other words, don't get sick performing this routine.
After four to five sessions of this, it should begin to get easier. Progress to 20 seconds on and 30 seconds off for 10 cycles for the next four to five sessions. Then progress to 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off for 10 cycles for the next four to five sessions, and then go to 30 seconds on 20 seconds off for 5 cycles (that's right, more work than rest - but lower volume) for four to five sessions.
Perform the intervals two times per week with a day of rest between. This is interval training! Before starting your sprints, start out with 5 minutes of fast walking, or do the dynamic warm-ups listed at the beginning of this article. Then do interval training for a total of 15 minutes on the days you are not performing routines.
20 Minutes to a Healthier, Happier You
This 20-minute workout will allow you to spend more time in your fat-burning zone - without having to spend your whole day in a gym. This workout offers a variety of exercises and keeps the boredom down. Remember, it might be tough at first, but with each passing week, you will be able to perform more work. Some of you already know that you won't make much progress doing 3 sets of 10 exercises for the rest of your life. To achieve success, it's smarter to alternate workout cycles within a 10-12 week training period, an approach called periodization. This is what the 20-minute workout is all about! Be sure to follow a balanced diet in conjunction with this program. Talk to your doctor for more information.
Jeffrey Tucker, DC, is a rehabilitation specialist who integrates chiropractic, exercise and nutrition into his practice in West Los Angeles. He is also a speaker for Performance Health/Thera-Band (www.thera-band.com).