With the fridge within easy reach, and the TV asking for attention it can be very hard to keep fit in these challenging times. So here at BSANA we plan on keeping you moving, and keeping you healthy, so below is a very simple way to keep fit. The plan is a simple 15-minute routine, that allows for an easy way to just keep fit.
The exercises here are all body weight based, and thus can be done by both amateurs, and professionals alike. They can be done at any time but is effective after waking up. Not only will these allow your muscles, and ligaments to stretch, they will also encourage blood flow throughout the body.
To get the body ready for exercise, it is always a good idea to stretch. Stretching is vitally important in getting the body ready for exercise, by promoting blood flow to the muscles making them ready for exercise.
There are two types of stretching, dynamic, and static. Dynamic are stretches that are movement based. The aim of dynamic stretching is a strategy used to improve mobility while moving through a range-of- motion, often in a manner that looks like the activity or sport that is going to be performed. This primes the muscle for the exercise at hand. Static stretching is holding a stretch without movement and is used to loosen the muscle and ligaments after the exercise.
We will start with dynamic stretching, and to get the blood pumping. These are not mean to cause discomfort, or pain, but rather to get the joint mobilised. Ready for exercise.
For 15-20 seconds, rotate the arms forward in a circular fashion in slow deliberate movements. As your arms reach to the ceiling, with hands raised up push to touch the ceiling. Then when hands are by the feet, stretch the hands down to touch the feet. Do not bend the knees. After 15-20 seconds, repeat, but rotate the arms backwards. The aim of this stretch is to mobilise the shoulders, it must not be painful, but rather demonstrate your range of motion in the shoulders.
With your hands by your chest, fingers on the sternum (centre of chest), extend your arms out horizontally as far as you can and return. Focussing on the chest.
These are single bent leg raises. Do this for a minute, alternating legs. In a standing posture, bring the bent knee forward towards your head. Try and raise as high as possible to the highest comfortable point and return the foot to the floor. If you are feeling brave, you can stretch the leg back to a comfortable point, and return. Now do with the other leg.
With your hands on your hips, rotate your hips clockwise, and then counter-clockwise. Using the hula hoop movement. Do these 30 seconds one way and 30 seconds the other.
For 20 seconds move the head side to side, stretching the neck. Then 20 seconds forwards and backwards then rotate the head clockwise for 20 seconds, the counter-clockwise.
The exercises below are not designed to tire you out, but rather to build strength in the muscle. The cardio portion is the only exertion part of the routine, and is just there to get the blood flowing. The movements in the exercises, like dynamic stretching are slow and deliberate movements. With the count of three going down, and the count of three coming up. Keep your mind focused on the body, pay attention to the muscle groups that are involved in the exercise. Stop if there is a sharp pain, or discomfort. Ideally note down the numbers you can do in a minute, if you can do 2 minutes, then do 2, and so on. Once you get comfortable on the exercise, you can increase the speed to get more reps per minute or increase the duration of the exercise.
Cardio: Get that Heart going.
Just to get the blood pumping, and the blood flowing, A little cardio will get your body ready for the tasks ahead.
For around 2 minutes, or as you can manage Perform jumping jacks, run on the spot, or just do fast high knee raises. The aim is not to get out of breath, it is simply just to get the body moving.
One of the best chest exercises, to begin with use your knees as a pivot. Make sure your hands are in the position of your chest. The wider the hand stance, the harder the chest has to work. The closer to the chest, the more focus is on the triceps. Your mind must focus on the chest, whilst keeping your abs tucked in. Note the number of push ups you do and see the increases weekly.
Alternate arm raises:
In the push up position, try and rotate each arm so you end up reaching the ceiling. Only go as far as you can, and if this is shoulder height, that is perfect.
Plank Leg raises:
Staying in the push up position, lift each leg up as high as you can and then return. Then repeat with the other leg.
Now standing up, with feet shoulder width apart, and feet facing forward sit down as if you were going to sit on a chair. Slowly lower your abdomen to the point the knees are bent at 90o or as low as you can manage. Do not extend past this point as this will place strain on the knee. Do not push past any pain or discomfort, just exertion from the muscle. The movements are slow and deliberate. Count to three going down, and count to three going up.
Using a food can, or any other weighted item, place each can in each hand. Have the arms at shoulder level, with the arms at 90o, them push up and touch the cans above the head stretched out, and then return back to arms at shoulder level with arms at 90o. Focus on the muscles in the shoulders, whilst keeping your core tight.
This depends on your ability. You can either do sit ups, crunches, or bicycle crunches. For more info on how to do these routines, a quick google search will provide good videos and articles in how to do a proper crunch, or sit up. Again, focus on the core, you belly should be tense, and a slightly pulled in.
The above list is just a small list just to get you going. The list of home exercises is exhaustive. To get a good idea to google the exercises to get proper visual demonstrations. Exercise blogs are brilliant for this, and as an example here is a link to one: http://sghomegym.blogspot.com/2014/01/all-exercises-by-neila-rey.html. Further google searches for particular exercises are also a really good way to spice up the routine, and add more variety.
After exercises, it is time for stretching. The benefits of stretching can be found here in a really nice powerpoint presentation: https://www.slideshare.net/victorpilates/flexibility-8389316
Please email BSANA for more tips or tricks in keeping fit and flexible.
Stay home, stay fit, and stay healthy!