The Fitness Trail: Stand Up for Fitness
April 5, 2013
Standing up, whenever feasible, to perform the vast majority of your fitness program is a great way to improve your core strength/stability, expend more calories and to functionally train the body. So many of our physical tasks we perform throughout the day require us to stand. While it is true that many of us sit at computers or in front of the television for way too many hours a day, we are still required to stand or ambulate to take care of our families, business and life in general.
Several of our clients have completely changed how they work during the day by perching their computers on elevated surfaces so that they are standing while working or even mounting the computer on their treadmills so that they may walk as they work. These are creative methods of standing throughout the day; however, this week we will discuss effective methods of performing your muscular strength exercises in a standing position rather than seated. Is there anything wrong with sitting to perform an exercise? Not particularly, except that in many cases, when we are required to push, pull, lunge forward or squat down, we do so from or to a standing position. Consequently, training to functionally strengthen just necessitates a good deal of standing.
Consider the following examples of performing these classic exercises standing and add a few to your exercise program, then reap the rewards of standing up for fitness. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Stand Up and Pull – Let’s use upper body rowing exercises as the example
Standing up and performing a high/low row, low/high row, mid-row, bent over row with resistive tubing, from a cable/pulley system, TRX Suspension System or RIP Trainer will require significantly more stability, throughout the body, than a seated position.
Other pulling exercises such as standing hamstring curls at the cable/pulley system or with ankle cuff tubing or biceps curls with dumbbells/resistive tubing or at the TRX Suspension System are also excellent standing pulling exercises.
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A classic pull up or chin up are both outstanding pulling exercises which strengthen the latissimus dorsi, biceps, deltoids and the core. Both of these may be modified for those unable to safely/effectively perform the classic by adding support or assistance in a standing position.
Stand Up and Push – Let’s use lower body lunging/squatting exercises as an example
Free standing lunges and squats are sort of like pushups for the legs simulating sitting down/standing up (i.e. squats), stepping off of a curb (i.e. lunges) and require significantly more engagement from the hip abductors/adductors and the remainder of the core as stabilizers than a seated leg press or leg extension exercise. Add barbells, dumbbells or resistive tubing as external resistance and the challenge is significantly increased.
Other pushing exercises such as standing triceps pushdowns at the cable/pulley system or with resistive tubing, French curls (i.e. for the triceps) with a dumbbell, farmer’s walks pressing a weighted bar or dumbbells overhead and chest press at the TRX Suspension System or RIP Trainer are all excellent standing pushing exercises.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC. She may be reached at her website at neversummerfitness.com, her email at NSFGL@comcast.net, her blog at skyhidailynews.com and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.