• December 25, 2014

Exercises for February

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 1:45 pm

There are exercises that are good for any fitness level and then there are those that are either too advanced for most people or results in injury if not done properly. There are exercises that work best for beginners and others that you can do repeatedly (with variations) that will continue to challenge you.

Whatever category you fall under, here are some effective exercises to pick up and a few overall ones to switch out:

Abdominal Side Plank: Great for beginners but once you can hold it for more than 60 seconds change things up and challenge your body in a different way. Once the body adjusts to an exercise the best thing you can do is switch things up to continue seeing results.

Total Body Exercise 1: Try this instead. Squat, curl to press progression (literally a squat, followed by a bicep curl then an overhead press); great for stabilization and engages the core as well.

Seated Knee Extensions: Some exercises such as this one (and exercise machines in general) target one muscle group and are not dynamic-body exercises, meaning that you’re not actively using a variety of muscle groups to perform repetitions. The more muscle groups engaged in an exercise (as with free weights) the more the overall benefits.

Total Body Exercise 2: Walking lunges or front squats use more muscle groups and have similar benefits to a seated knee extension.

Hanging Knee Raise: Same as the seated knee extensions, except with this machine if it’s not done correctly (and most people don’t perform it properly), you risk the chance of injury.

Traditional Crunches: Apart from the neck and shoulder injuries and (again) working that one targeted muscle group, crunches do work. However, if you’re doing them too fast you tend to lost proper form. You’re better off using a stability ball and engaging more muscle groups.

Total Body Exercise 3: Try a burpee with jump. Or if you just can’t give up on crunches, try an incline knee-in with hip thrust or a rope crunch; all will work the core muscles and not target just one muscle group.

Bench Press: This is a great exercise and equipment but it shouldn’t be the bulk of your exercise routine (nor should too many horizontal exercises). You want to work more body parts; too much chest exercises may lead to rotator cuff and upper body imbalance so switch it up often.

Total Body Exercise 4: To vary your chest workout try some power exercises such as a rotation chest press, a staggered-stance two-arm medicine ball chest pass or a plyometric push-up. 

What are some of your favorite exercises? Which ones can you add to this list?

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