Thursday, July 07, 2016

Step for Glutes and Quadriceps

You may have seen personal trainers do this with clients at the gym. Hold a bar of five to ten pounds, according to what you can do, or free weights of two pounds or more straight over your head. Step up on a step or a black platform with your right foot. Bring your left foot to join your right foot. For added intensity, go up only on your right leg and extend your left leg straight back. For yet added intensity, squeeze your left leg up one more inch when you think you cannot raise it further. The higher the intensity, the more you will work your right quadriceps and left glutes. Repeat for two to four sets of ten repetitions, according to what you can do. Then switch legs and repeat. The intensity also increases by the height of the step.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Small Swiss Ball for Adductor Muscles

Sit on the edge of a chair and place a small Swiss ball between your knees and upper calves. Slowly squeeze, bringing your legs closer together. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Return to starting position. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions.

For a more advanced movement. Lie on your side, supporting yourself with your forearm. Place a small or medium-sized Swiss ball between your knees and upper calves. Your leg closest to the floor should be about half a foot above the floor. Squeeze your upper leg to the Swiss ball while keeping your other leg, your hips and back, steady. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions. Switch sides and legs.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Stretch Band and Chair for Hamstrings

Sit on a steady chair with a hard cushion. Place your stretch band around your right ankle and then attach your stretch band on one end to a steady surface like a beam. While keeping your upper body and hips steady, bend your right knee slowly until your ankle is near or beyond (according to your ability) the edge of the chair. Keep it there for one second, then return to the starting position. Do four sets of ten repetitions. Then switch ankles. The higher the resistance of the stretch band, the harder is the exercise.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Alphabet for Abdominal Muscles

Lie down on your back. Lift your legs straight above you and 90 degrees from your waist. Keep your legs hip width apart. Activate your abdominal muscles so your lower back will not be stressed. Trace the letters of the alphabet with each foot. Do not work too quickly. Do not forget to breathe. 

Inner Thigh Stretch

I discovered this inner thigh stretch today:
Sit down with legs extended diagonally in front of you with feet relaxed. Lean forward. Twist to your left. Place your right forearm on the inside of your right calf. with your elbow, gently stretch your right leg outward around the knee area, without turning your knee. You will feel a concentrated inner thigh stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat as needed.

For your left leg, do the opposite. Sit down with legs extended diagonally in front of you with feet relaxed. Lean forward. Twist to your right. Place your left  forearm on the inside of your left calf. with your elbow, gently stretch your left leg outward around the knee area, without turning your knee. You will feel a concentrated inner thigh stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat as needed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Use a Towel for Core Work

Barefoot or with sneakers, place a folded towel under each foot and get into the wedge position. Stick a straight leg out to your side as far as you can without engaging the lower back muscles. Repeat for the next leg. Do two to ten sets of ten repetitions, as you can.

Advanced 1: When both legs are straight behind you, do a push up!
Advanced 2: Extend both legs at the same time, like a scissor opening. Then return to starting wedge position.
Advanced 3: Move both straight legs at a time and straighten your arms to stick your butt up and have your hands and feet almost touching. Return to the wedge position. Add difficulty: Perform a push up right after the wedge position and as you begin to bring your feet to below your belly.
Advanced 4: Repeat 3 with the difficulty, but when you return your legs to the wedge, do so with a circular motion. So, extend each leg out in a circular motion to its respective side and to the wedge.

For these exercises with the towel, and more, see this video on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/1620614438206037/videos/1722218994712247/?pnref=story

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Swiss Ball Obliques

Rest your elbows on a medium-sized Swiss ball. Extend your body out in a plank. Breathe out and raise one leg straight about a foot above the floor. Repeat 10 times for two to four sets of 10 repetitions, depending on what you can do. Repeat for the other leg.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Work Your Abominal Muscles While Driving a Car

This is from www.truthaboutabs.com:
  • You can do them standing, seated (such as in a car), kneeling in a four-point position, or even lying flat on the floor.  I prefer them seated or standing.
  • The movement is as simple as pulling your belly button in as far as you can by imagining you're trying to touch your belly button to your spine and holding for 10-20 seconds at a time.
  • Start by inhaling deeply. Then, as you exhale, start pulling the belly button in towards the spine and hold it there for 10-20 seconds while just taking short breaths. Repeat for several of these 10-20 second holds, perhaps 5-10x if you have enough time while in the car.  But even just repeating 3-4x every time you're driving somewhere can really add up over time and give you the benefit of a flatter belly!
  • Get in the habit of doing this at least 4-5 days per week while driving somewhere and you may find that this helps to flatten your stomach more by strengthening the transversus abdominis muscle (the deep abdominal muscles beneath the rectus abdominis) if you previously had a "lazy belly."