Wednesday, April 06, 2011

THE COUCH POTATO WORKOUT PLAN

The staircase within or outside your home can act as a master fitness equipment, useful for almost everything right from cardiovascular workout to strength training, endurance improvement, flexibility, balance and coordination.
Walking up and down a flight of stairs is a great way of losing weight. Celebrity Padma Lakshmi claims that she recently shed her post pregnancy weight by running 70 stairs daily. Besides offering an aerobic workout, it also tones up your legs. To increase the intensity, run with some weights. Moreover, incline and decline push-ups and squats can also be done on staircases, provided you are familiar with the technique.
"Incline push-ups are done by keeping your body in the incline position. Do push-ups by lying on the floor and resting your hands on staircases. This will work on your upper chest. For decline push-ups, reverse this position with body on staircases and hands on floor.

If you sit straight without back support, it strengthens the back.

Do deep breathing exercises for relaxation. Take a deep breath through nose and exhale on a count of three from mouth. Similarly, for relaxation of hands, tightly clench your fist for five seconds.
Focus on the sensations in your hand and then slowly release the tension. For relaxation of the forehead raise your eyebrows up and tense the muscles across the scalp.
Hold it for four seconds, then release slowly.
You can perform similar act on feet, calves, knees, forearms, abdomen, biceps, and shoulders too.

USE SUPPORT OF WALLS
THE WALL provides a perfect medium for stretching the calves and back muscles. “Complete body stretch is possible with wall. This mainly involves calves and back muscles and may also include shoulders, triceps, chest and oblique muscles,” says Sanehshwaran Reddy.
  • Lie on your back and straighten your legs against the wall.
Straighten both legs out to the sides and slide them down the wall as low as you can, making sure they are on the same level. Keep your knees straight and rest your hands on your inner thighs. Focus on your breath while staying in this pose for one or two minutes. This will stretch and relax your inner thigh and hip muscles.
  • Apart from stretching exercises, resistance training can also be done using a wall.
While basic or parallel pushups are done on the floor, you can modify them a bit by taking support of the wall. In fact, push-ups when done against a wall, are comparatively easier than those done on the floor.

GET ON TO THE FLOOR AND GET MOVING
FLOOR provides a firm and even surface and is one of the best mediums for almost all types of exercises. You can work on your abs, back, thighs, chest and even shoulders by different exercises in a lying, sitting or standing position. For your thighs and calves, lie on your back and do leg raises and leg circles. “Beginners can do these with single leg, while those at an advanced level can do alternate leg raises, using both the legs,”

"But remember to take support of arms, back and butt while doing these exercises else you may get injured,"
For abdominal muscles, parallel crunches and sit-ups give excellent results. “Lift your upper body with side leg raises to tone up your oblique muscles,” says Sanehshwaran Reddy. For upper body workout, you can do push-ups — both in lying position as well as in incline and decline positions. This will tone up your chest, arms and shoulders.

"Moreover, cross floor touching exercise can be done on floor which improves flexibility and helps in stretching,”. Sit cross legged on the floor and bend down on either side trying to touch your knees with forehead. It works on oblique muscles and also stretches the back.
"Besides, on-the-spot skipping, jumping and jogging are effective means of cardiovascular workout that offer alternatives to walking on a treadmill or jogging in a park,"

CHAIR WORKOUT

LEG RAISE is for lower abdominals. Sit on a chair with body weight on your glutes and lift your legs, keeping them straight. Hold the position at 90° and repeat this five times.
BENT KNEE LEG RAISE works on middle and upper abdominals. Sit on a chair and lift your legs, keeping knees bent at 90°. Remember to touch your toes with hands and lift your upper torso too.
TRICEP DIPS work on triceps and back. Rest hands on a chair with elbows at 90°. Move your body up, making elbows straight with body weight on triceps. Hold the position and repeat.
SQUATS are for hamstrings and glutes. Stand straight and bend down to a chair level, making 90° between knees. You can modify the angle depending on your fitness level. But ensure your back is straight.

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