Getting in Shape Without a Gym…

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excercisesSounds impossible but the fact is that we can stay in shape and keep fit without going to the gym. HEALTH talks to Mark Sullivan , Fitness Manager in Ajman about how this works…

Time Crunched


According to Sullivan, in today’s world people find it really hard to find time to go to the gym. “I personally encourage all folks to exercise at home as much as at the gym,” he says, this way, they are more apt to adopt fitness as a lifestyle. “ The key thing is that you do something, somewhere, sometime.”

Equipment
It doesn’t take much effort or money to design an effective workout program at home, tells Sullivan. “Things like fit balls, dumbbells, exercise bands or tubing, and push-up bars are an inexpensive way to create a routine that works all the major muscle groups,” he explains, but even without any of these materials you can build muscles and burn a good amount of calories. If someone wants to get started they could take a brisk walk and then do some abdominal exercises and some push-ups.

The Exercises

SUPERMAN’S (body part- back, gluteus/hip, shoulders)

  1. LIE ON YOUR STOMACH with legs outstretched behind you.
  2. REACH YOUR ARMS OUT overhead with your palms facing each other.
  3. EXHALE. Deepen your abdominal and core muscles to stabilize your spine and slowly and strongly reach both legs away from your torso until they lift a few inches off the floor.
  4. AT THE SAME TIME FLOAT BOTH ARMS A FEW INCHES OFF THE FLOOR. Keep both legs and arms straight and allow any rotation in the arms, legs, shoulders or pelvis. Hold for a few seconds and come down slowly to the starting position. That’s 1 repetition. Do 15 to 20 reps.

PUSH UP (arms, chest, shoulders)

  1. Come to a hands and knees position (quadruped) on the mat with your hands directly under your shoulders; fingers facing forward or slightly inward and knees under your hips. Engage the abdominals and pull the shoulder blades down your back.
  2. Reach one leg out and away followed by the other leg, bringing you to plank position. Keep the abdominals/core engaged to brace the torso.
  3. Your head should be aligned with your spine. Your feet are together with your toes tucked under and your heels reaching toward the wall behind you. Come back smooth and slow.
  4. Continue curling up until your upper back is lifted off the mat. Hold this position briefly and come down to start position very slowly.

BENT KNEE SIT UP/ CRUNCHES (Abdominals)

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and heels a comfortable distance away from your seat. Exhale. Engage your abdominal and core muscles.
  2. Nod your chin slightly as you slowly curl your head and shoulders off the mat.
  3. Pull your rib cage together and toward your pelvis. Keep the neck relaxed. Your feet, tailbone and lower back should remain in contact with the mat at all times.

FRONT PLANK (abdominals, back)

  1. Lie on your stomach on an exercise mat or floor with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders, palms down and fingers facing forward.
  2. Engage your abdominal/core muscles. It should feel like you are tightening a corset around your ribs, waist and lower torso.
  3. Contract your thigh muscles to straighten your legs strongly and flex your ankles.
  4. Slowly lift your torso and thighs off the floor or mat. Keep your torso and legs rigid. Do not allow any sagging in your ribcage or low back.
  5. Continue to breathe, keeping the abdominals strong while holding this position. Try holding this position for 5 seconds or more. Keep the torso and legs stiff as you slowly and gently lower your body back towards the mat or floor.

SUPINE REVERSE CRUNCHES (abdominals)

  1. Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms spread out to your sides with your palms facing down.
  2. Slowly lift your feet off the floor, raising your knees directly above your hips. Bend the knees to 90 degrees. Hold this position and breathe normally. Use your arms as a base of support.
  3. Exhale, and slowly raise your hips off the mat, rolling your spine up as if trying to bring your knees towards your head. Gently inhale.
  4. With control, lower your spine and hips back to the start position.

SQUAT JUMPS (gluteus, hips, quadriceps)

  1. Stand with your feet hipwidth apart, arms by your sides.
  2. Shift your hips back and down. This will create a hinge-like movement at your knees.
  3. Continue to lower yourself until you feel your heels about to lift off the floor. With ONLY a very brief pause at the bottom of your downward phase, explode up through your lower body, fully extending your hips, knees and ankles.
  4. As you jump into the air, try to keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor. The most important components of the landing phase are correct foot position and avoiding excessive forward movement in your lower extremity, which places additional stress on your knees.

STANDING CALF RAISES (legs/calves)

  1. Stand 6 to 12 inches away from a wall with your feet hip-width apart and toes facing forward.
  2. Place your hands on the wall, shoulder height. Slowly rise up on to your toes, lifting your heels off the floor. Keep your knees straight. Do not allow the feet to rotate.
  3. Use your hands on the wall to support your balance. Hold the raised position briefly. Inhale and slowly lower your heels back to the floor.

GLUTE BRIDGE (abs, buttocks, hips)

  1. Lie on your back on an exercise mat or the floor in a bent-knee position with your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet hip-width apart with the toes facing away from you.
  2. Gently contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your lower back into the floor. Gently exhale. Keep the abdominals engaged and lift your hips up off the floor. Press your heels into the floor for added stability.
  3. Avoid pushing your hips too high, which can cause hyperextension (arching) in your low back. Keeping your abdominals strong helps to prevent excessive arching in the low back. Inhale and slowly lower yourself back to your starting position.
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