Home Fitness for the Advanced

Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation. The increased blood flow raises the oxygen levels in your body. This helps lower your risk of heart diseases such as high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and heart attack. Regular exercise can also lower your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.


Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.


Regular trips to the gym are great, but don't worry if you can't find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.


Here are some exercises that you can easily practice at home at any time.

Use the following 10 moves as a one circuit.


[1] Bridge with leg extended



Directions:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and heels flat against the floor. Keep your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides, palms against the floor. This is your starting position.

  2. Brace core and press your heels into the floor, driving your hips upwards and finishing the movement by squeezing your butt, making sure not to use your lower back.

  3. While in this position, take one foot off the ground and extend that leg fully in front of you

  4. Return your leg to the ground and repeat with the opposite leg.

[2] Overhead squat

Extending your arms overhead will challenge your mobility and range of motion in your upper body, as well as give your lower body the benefits of a squat.



Directions:

To do an overhead squat, you'll need a barbell. Depending on your strength, mobility, and comfort level with the movement, you may or may not need plate weights to add extra resistance to the exercise.

  1. Stand tall, your feet roughly shoulder-distance apart, your toes angled slightly outward. Place the barbell across the back of your shoulders, resting on your traps, as though you were about to perform a back squat. Position your hands slightly wider than you might for a back squat so that they're closer to where the plates are loaded.

  2. Take a deep breath in and brace your core to help keep your spine stable. Keeping your torso upright (don't tip forward from the hips), bend your knees and drop your hips a few inches. In a powerful movement, extend your knees and hips as you drive the barbell up over your head, fully extending and "locking" your elbows at the top. Allow your wrists to bend back slightly to prevent the barbell from rolling forward over your thumb joint. Check to make sure the barbell is positioned more or less directly over the center of your feet. You don't want it positioned too far backward or forward, which can mess up your center of gravity and lead to problems during the squat. This is the starting position.

  3. Keep your core tight and your elbows fully extended, then press your hips back slightly and start bending your knees, squatting down as if you were trying to sit on your heels (keeping your hips from pressing too far back). It's very important to keep your chest up, your gaze straight ahead or angled slightly upward, and your torso as erect as possible as you squat down. If you lean forward from the hips, the weight will also shift forward and you're likely to lose your balance or make other form mistakes to compensate for the misalignment of weight. You want the weight to remain "stacked" directly over the center of your feet throughout the squat. Inhale as you squat down.

  4. Squat down as far as you comfortably can, even to the point where your glutes are almost grazing your heels. This, of course, depends on hip mobility, strength, and flexibility. If you can't get to the "ass to grass" position, simply go as deep into the squat as you can while maintaining perfect form. It's okay if your knees extend past your toes slightly at the bottom of the exercise, just make sure your knees angle out so they're aligned with your toes and not caving inward.

  5. Use your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core as you press through your feet and fully extend your knees and hips as you return to the starting position. Exhale as you rise to stand. Perform the movement steadily, keeping your knees angled out slightly in alignment with your toes.

  6. Perform a full set, then carefully bend your elbows and return the barbell to your shoulders. From here, rack the barbell safely.

[3] One-legged pushup

Lifting one leg will again put more weight into your other three limbs, thus creating more of a challenge.



Directions:

  1. Get into a push-up position on the floor/mat.

  2. Lift one leg and lower yourself down until your chest is a few inches from the ground.

  3. Push yourself back up and repeat the movement as desired.

[4] Jumping lunges

Jumping lunges are a great cardio move if you also want to build strength and power in your legs.



Directions:

  1. Starting standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Jump your left leg forward and your right leg back into a lunge, with both knees at 90 degrees.

  2. Jump up and switch your legs in midair so that you land in a lunge with your right leg in front.

  3. Continue jumping back and forth, pausing as little as possible.

  4. Make sure you’re keeping your chest up and be sure to land with your entire front foot on the floor.

  5. Do 20 seconds of jumping lunges, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat eight times.


[5] Elevated pike pushups



Directions:

  1. Get into a standard push-up position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and with your feet on the stepper.

  2. Lift your hips up as high as possible to an inverted V, keeping the back flat. Your legs and arms should stay as straight as possible.

  3. Bend your elbows and lower your upper body until the top of your head nearly touches the floor.

  4. Hold for one or two counts and push yourself back up until your arms are straight.

  5. Get-up squat with jump


[6] Advanced Bird Dog



Directions:

  1. Put your hands closer together. This narrows your base of support, and will make stabilizing your upper extremity more difficult when lifting your contralateral arm.

  2. Put your knees closer together. This narrows your base of support, and will make stabilizing your lower extremity more difficult when lifting your contralateral arm.

  3. Now for the hard one: lift your back foot off the ground. This narrows your base of support in the anterior-posterior direction, while the other two were in a medial-lateral direction.

[7] One-leg and/or one-arm plank

This exercise primarily targets the abs and to a lesser degree also targets the glutes, hip flexors, lower back, obliques, quads and shoulders.



Directions:

  1. Start by laying face down on the ground. Support your body weight by balancing and placing your upper body on your forearms, keeping them at a 90 degree angle with your elbows under your shoulder.

  2. Start the movement by extending your right arm and alternate leg straight out. Keeping arm and leg fully extended and parallel to the floor.

  3. Return to the original position and repeat with opposite arm and leg. Continue for desired time.

[8] Side plank with hip abduction

Doing hip abductions not only helps to strengthen and sculpt your outer thighs but can also improve your balance and stability.



Directions:

  1. Start in a modified side plank position, with your top leg extended and your bottom leg bent back with the knee on the mat.

  2. Lift your top leg as high as possible and then lower it back down.

  3. Repeat and then switch sides.

[9] Hollow hold to jackknife



Directions:

  1. Lying on the ground with your back on the floor, stretch your arms out over your head.

  2. Keeping your limbs straight, activate your core and crunch so your shoulders and legs lift off the ground.

  3. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower and repeat

[10] Get-up squat with jump

This exercise is an advanced dynamic power move that should be done only after a complete warm up.



Directions:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bent.

  2. Bend your knees and descend to a full squat position.

  3. Engage through the quads, glutes, and hamstrings and propel the body up and off the floor, extending through the legs. With the legs fully extended, the feet will be a few inches (or more) off the floor.

  4. Descend and control your landing by going through your foot (toes, ball, arches, heel) and descend into the squat again for another explosive jump.

  5. Upon landing immediately repeat the next jump.


References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/at-home-workouts#intermediate-routine

http://www.youtube.com

http://www.verywellfit.com

http://www.self.com


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