Jackie Wright – No Equipment Required
September 24, 2009
Last of a three -part series
Last week we featured exercises for the lower body that require little or no equipment. This week we will feature body weight exercises for the abdominal and core muscles. As always, consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Bicycles – Targets the inner and outer core unit muscles
• Lie supine (i.e. face up) on the floor with the knees bent 90 degrees from the knee joint, the feet off the floor, and the lower legs parallel to the floor.
• Place the fingertips by the back of the ears, resting the head into the fingertips, elbows open, shoulders off of the floor and the navel pulled toward the spine.
• Leading with the right shoulder and rotating from the waistline, draw the right shoulder toward the left knee, then extend that leg as you lead with the left shoulder rotating from the waistline, draw the left shoulder toward the right knee, and then extend that leg.
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• Move smoothly/slowly from one side to the other.
• To lessen the intensity and potential stress on the lower back, begin with the legs more fully extended toward the ceiling.
• Perform bicycles four-six days per week, two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions, two slow counts right/left.
Side Bridge/ Torso/Hip Lift – Targets the inner and outer core unit muscles
• Begin lying on your right side on the floor with the right elbow directly aligned under the right shoulder and the right palm flat on the floor.
• Shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted and the navel pulled toward the spine.
• Stagger the legs so that the left leg is staggered in front of the right leg (i.e. in a scissor formation).
• Brace the sides of each foot into the floor for leverage.
• Engaging the core muscles, lift the entire torso/hips off of the floor creating a diagonal line from the top of the head to the feet.
• Extend the left arm toward the ceiling with the palm facing forward.
• Hold this position, looking straight ahead, and as you do, press the hips toward the ceiling focusing upon engaging the muscles of the right (bottom) side of the torso.
• Lift up and down slowly without experiencing any discomfort in the shoulder or cervical joints.
• Perform 8 repetitions on each side, two to three times per week.
Superman – Targets the inner core unit muscles
• Lying prone (i.e. face down) on the floor with the arms and legs extended so that you are one straight line from your fingers to your toes.
• Engage the core muscles by pulling the navel toward the spine, externally rotate your legs at the hip joint, pointing your toes outward, clenching the buttocks and lift the legs off of the floor, keeping your hip bones in touch with the floor.
• Then, lift the arms off of the floor without hyperextending the spine.
• You are now hovering over Metropolis.
• Keep the eyes on the floor holding this position for 10-15 seconds.
• Release and repeat, each side, two to three times.
• Perform this exercise two to three times per week.
Next week, we will discuss what equipment is the most economical and practical to purchase for in-home use.
– Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness LLC in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at http://www.neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net and her blog at http://www.skyhidailynews.com
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