The Fitness Trail: More Great Compound Exercises
Second in a two-part series
Try these two great compound exercises, which are easy to perform anywhere. However, if you have knee limitations, consult your certified instructor or trainer beforehand to see if you require modifications. And as always, consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
Stationary Lunges/Bicep Curls (works the quadriceps/hamstrings/gluteals/biceps and the core muscles as stabilizers)
– Begin standing with the right foot staggered in front and the left foot in the back. The feet should be on two separate railroad tracks in width and widely staggered front to back so that when you lower the body toward the floor, the right knee will track directly over the right heel.
– The left heel should remain elevated throughout the exercise to protect the Achilles tendon.
– Relax the shoulders back/down, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and both knees relaxed.
– Shoulders, hips, knees and toes should all be facing the same direction with the torso straight up and the eyes looking forward.
– Hold a moderate to heavy dumbbell (optional) in each hand and perform a bicep curl with the lower arms moving toward the upper arms as you lower the body toward the floor bending both knees, no more than a 90 degree bend at the knee joint.
– Driving through the heel of the right foot, extend both legs back to the standing position as you lower the arms toward the floor fully extending the arms at the elbow joint.
– Rather than thinking about a forward motion with the body, think of lowering the body toward the floor and back up to extended but soft knees. The right knee (front knee) should never shoot over the toes, nor should the upper body drop toward the floor.
– Perform one-three sets of 8-12 repetitions on both sides, two slow counts down/up, two to three times per week.
Squats/Upright Rows (works the quadriceps/hamstrings/gluteals/trapezius/deltoids and core as stabilizers)
– Begin with feet slightly wider than shoulder distance apart, knees and toes facing forward, shoulders rotated back/down, rib cage lifted and navel pulled toward the spine.
– Hold one moderate to heavy kettlebell (optional) on the handle in both hands with the arms suspended in front of the body, palms facing the thighs.
– Hinging from the hip joint, lower the body toward the floor as though you were going to sit in a chair.
– Keeping the torso upright, as you squat down, row the arms up toward the shoulders, bringing the fists toward the chin, shrugging the shoulders toward the ears, in one smooth motion.
– Then, drive through your heels bringing the body back to a standing position with soft knees, as you lower the arms back to the beginning position by the front of the thighs depressing the shoulder girdle.
– Think elevation and depression with the upper body and think tailbone to the back wall as you squat down toward the floor.
– Perform one-three sets of 8-12 repetitions of this exercise, two slow counts down/up, two to three times per week.
Next week, we discuss how to focus upon what you physically can do, not what you cannot do and still become fit and healthy.
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