athlete-running-300x223 The Universal Workout

One of my passions and pursuits in life is to excel and continually challenge myself athletically.  I LOVE FITNESS, I do!  But I realize not everyone has as much enthusiasm as I do about the topic.

We all know that we need to exercise. We need to move everyday to keep our bodies healthy, flexible, and mobile.  Exercise benefits your whole body physically and mentally.  Many think exercise is just for weight loss but exercise provides health benefits that are critical tomproving quality of life and long-term health.

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Exercise ……

  • Activates your immune system so you are less susceptible to illnesses like colds and flu.
  • improves cardiovascular health
  • increases energy
  • improves your mood
  • improves your sleep
  • reduces your risk of chronic disease
  • helps with weight management

The problem with exercise is many believe its an all or nothing approach.  You may feel its hard to find the right workout that will fit into your life.  No time for the gym and no money to spend on expensive exercise equiptment.  You start for a few weeks and then stop feeling unmotivated to continue.  

Well would you believe me if I said there is a universal workout for all of us? From beginners to athletes and can challenge each and every level!  A workout you can do at home or in the gym!  

This workout is simply called Bodyweight Exercise.

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 BODYWEIGHT Exercise is PERFECT for everyone and can be done anywhere at anytime at your own level.  Bodyweight exercising uses your own body to provide resistance.  

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Two of the best strength producing exercises are pull-ups and push-ups.  What about cardio?  no problem, you just simply alternate exercise sets from cardiovascular to strength training and this will keep your pulse up.  

So how do you do a bodyweight workout on your own?  Consider first what type of workout you are looking to do.  Is it all strength?  Do you want a little cardio?  or do you want the full burn and combo of both?

Below you will find a list of 10 bodyweight exercises that can be custom made into your own personal program.  The optimal program would be HIIT high intensity interval training.  This combo will help burn fat more effectively (6 times more than cardiovascular exercise alone) and build endurance.

So how do I do it?

First you take a bodyweight exercise and perform it at maximum exertion (90% maximum heart rate) for 30 seconds.  Repeat this with another bodyweight exercise of your choice for 30 seconds than you rest for 30 sec.

An example looks like this:

-30 sec running in place as fast as you can-30 seconds of full pushups as many as you can-then rest for 30 sec.  Repeat cycle with different exercises 3 times.

So basically you are doing three 1 minute high intensity intervals each with 30 sec rest.   Repeat this workout 4 times ideally to equal 20 minutes.  Confused?   To see this done in action watch this video by Dr. Josh Axe  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VmWEseYN90

If you are looking for more stregth exercises then you would just add those into the program.  These are just a few suggestions of many that you can do.  You can also do a online search and find many more options …

  1. burpee – cardio/strength 
    • Begin in a standing position.
    • Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
    • Kick your feet back, while simultaneously lowering yourself into the bottom portion of a pushup. Your arms will not be extended.
    • Immediately return your feet to the squat position, while simultaneously pushing “up” with your arms. You will perform a pushup as you return your feet to the squat position
    • Jump up from the squat position and clap overhead. Feet must leave the floor.  source:Wikipedia
  2. pull-up- strength
  3. push-up-strength
  4. mountain climber-cardio   
    Place hands on floor, slightly wider than shoulder width. On forefeet, position one leg forward bent under body and extend other leg back. Run legs forward and back.
  5. run in place-cardio
  6. sit-ups-strength                                          
  7. pulsing squat-strength
  8. lunge-strength
  9. squat jump-strength/cardio
  10. plank-strength

lady-doing-sit-ups-at-home-300x225 The Universal WorkoutThe health benefits of Bodyweight Exercise are numerous and include core strength plus balance and flexibility.

In a Huffington post greatest series, Dave smith discusses bodyweight exercisings benefits.

Source: http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/07/19/bodyweight-exercise.aspx

  • Workouts are highly efficient. As Dave points out, the goal is fitness, not to look like “Arnold circa 1977”. No equipment means that there’s minimal time transitioning from one exercise in your self-defined set to the next, so your heart rate is boosted quickly and keeps pumping.
  • You get both cardiovascular and strength training. It is not necessary to do two separate workouts to achieve both types of fitness.  Simply alternating exercise sets from cardiovascular to strength training keeps your pulse up.
  • Your core strength is improved.  The Mayo Clinic tells us that 29 muscle pairs located in the pelvis, abdomen and lower back form the core that’s needed to support your body and maintain balance.  Your athletic ability, posture and all the little things you do every day—like just plain sitting or doing the laundry—will be improved when your core is strengthened and stabilized.
  • You’ll be more flexible. Increased strength without improved flexibility won’t do you much good. Good posture and athletic performance require good flexibility.  Inability to stretch and girl-stretching-150x150 The Universal Workoutbend is related to lack of flexibility.
  • Your balance will improve. As you progress into more difficult variations of exercises, your ability to balance is trained. Better balance helps give better body control.  Since age and infirmity do not usually hinder performance of bodyweight exercises, they can be a great way for the elderly to maintain and improve balance.

Bodyweight exercise may just be the perfect solution for those with time constraints, location, or cost issues.  You can design your own personal effective workout for you!  When and where you want!  How great is that!  so no excuses, GET.IT.DONE. ! 🙂

 

 

 

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