If you’ve ever tried using exercise machines at a gym, you know they aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.
Sure, often they come equipped with a cushy seat in front of a large TV, but, aside from the apparatus’s ability to create body heat and burn calories, by and large they do little to sculpt and shape the type of bodies their equipment sets out to promote.
“How could that be?”
For starters, many exercise machines usually fail to focus on the very muscles they’re designed to target. As such, it becomes the machines that end up doing 30 to 40 percent of the work on your behalf, robbing you of measurable progress. And while the potential to burn measureable calories may be possible with machines and equipment, using your body as your gym allows you to get to the core of your muscle groups where you’re able to chisel, shape, and applaud the fruits of your labor.
Wendie Pett’s Visibly Fit™ program boasts a total wellness-and-body/weight-resistance exercise program. She has helped countless numbers of people throughout the country reach their fitness goals without compromising the health of their joints, tendons, or ligaments. Focusing on simple, easy-to-preform exercises that use your body as your gym, you’ll be thankful to be on the path to great workouts — anytime, anywhere, no excuses allowed!
The following exercises improve workout sessions by replacing outdated versions with more effective exercises:
1. Planks (a “Crunch” replacement):
Position yourself in a push-up position, propping yourself up on elbows and forearms, parallel to the floor. Maintain the hold while keeping back, rear, and heels in line with each other as your entire core is worked. Hold plank position 3 times at 30-second intervals OR hold for a solid 2-4 minutes.
2. Squeeze Bridge (Replaces the Thigh-Adductor Machine).
Feet on the ground, knees bent, hold yourself (upper body) up at a 45-degree angle. Place your arms with hands in fists at your inner leg near the knee. While your arms press into your legs with tension apply equal tension with your legs pressing in (an isometric hold). You’ll experience an inner core, thigh and arm “burn.”
3. Standing side crunch (Muffin Top Reducer). Place your feet wide apart as you envision holding a heavy weight in each hand, hold the left “weight” in front of your chest. Lift your right knee and right arm at the same time, balancing on left leg using your core in order to stabilize, bend and crunch to the left. Slowly and controlled – Return to standing. Perform 8 bends; switch sides and do the same.
4. Bulgarian Split Lunge (Better Than a Leg Press). Get more for your legs out of a split lunge, and engage your core at the same time. Stand with one foot atop a step or low chair. Slowly lower into a 90-degree angle while not moving the torso. Remember to have all of your weight into the heel of the foot and as you press up make sure to squeeze/flex your legs, butt, and abs with great intensity. Rise and repeat 12 times on both sides.
5. Pushups ROCK! (The Workout Staple) This simple but effective move really is one of the best ways to work your chest. Make sure your back is straight, your shoulders low and relaxed, and that you’re not “sinking” your chest or pelvis down into the floor. If you’re not strong enough to do a full pushup, you can always begin on your knees instead of your toes.
May you make the most of your “gym experience” as you realize that Your Body IS Your Gym™!