By Pamela J. Long, fitness programmer, Fort Jackson FMWRApril 24, 2014
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (April 24, 2014) -- Learning all the benefits to using exercise tubes, resistance balls and your own body weight is a major first step toward effective exercising. Next, we will design a workout program to bring you a total body workout. To get the most out of your new workout, it is recommended that you perform this routine at least two times a week. You should also supplement with two extra days of exercise, providing your body with physical exercise at least four days a week.
To really get the most out of your new training program, you should commit to a daily regime that lasts at least 45 minutes. The recommended amount of exercise time is typically 30 minutes a day, every day. Exercising 30 minutes a day, seven days a week amounts to 210 minutes a week of exercise. Exercising 45 minutes a day, four days a week amounts to 220 minutes. Although that's almost the same amount of time cumulatively, something happens to our bodies when exercise time exceeds that 30 minute threshold.
I mention this because I am excited to inform exercisers about the weight loss benefits that happen through longevity. When you go beyond 30 minutes of continuous exercise, your body switches its source of fuel. Initially, the body burns a sugar called glucose for energy. The carbs that you eat get converted into this useable energy that is stored in your liver until you need it for that workout. It normally takes about 30 minutes to get rid of this preferred source of energy. When you keep going with your workout, your body begins to search for another source of fuel. That next preference is a combination of body fat and protein. This means you have entered into a greater calorie and fat burning portion of your workout. If you exercise past the 45 minute threshold, you enter into fat burning as your primary source of energy fuel.
BICEP CURLS (conditions the front of the arm)
Begin by standing on your selected exercise tube. Make sure that it is secure under your feet. Your legs should be hip distance apart and your toes should point straight ahead. You have a tube handle in each hand. As you exhale, curl your hands and forearm toward you until your knuckles are facing the ceiling. Pause for a moment and think about squeezing the muscle (not your hands). Release back to the start position. Aim for 20 repetitions of this move.
SIDE LATERAL RAISES (conditions the side of the shoulder)
Remain standing on your selected exercise tube with your arms at your sides but not resting on your thighs. Hold a tube handle in each hand. Your knuckles should face the floor. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed during each move. As you exhale, raise your arms to shoulder level, briefly pause at the top then bring the arms back to the start position. Aim for 20 repetitions of this move.
REAR DELTOID RAISES (conditions the back of your shoulder)
Standing on your selected exercise tube, your legs are a little wider than hip distance apart. Your arms are cupped behind you with your closed hands facing your buttocks (but not touching them). As you exhale, bend your elbows (do not shrug your shoulders) and pull the elbows up so the hands are at waist level (do not touch waist). Pause for a breath then return to the start position. The only part moving are your elbows up and lowering down. Exhale as you bring the elbows up, and inhale as you return to the start position. Aim for 20 repetitions of this move.
PUSHUPS (conditioning total body)
No exercise routine is complete without pushups. They have been around forever because they work. Pushups engage the entire body and typically use your own body weight to perform the exercise. This means all the benefits from the move go toward your body (equipment receives no glory). Pushups can be done on your knees or your toes. Both are very effective as long as proper body alignment is used.
If you have to begin your pushups on your knees, make it a goal to be able to perform them on your toes. Beginning on your knees (or toes). The hands are on the floor shoulder distance apart or a little wider. Your fingers are spread, and your palms are flat. Your body is on a slant and is rigid like a board. Legs or knees are together. Shoulders are down, and your head and neck are neutral with your eyes looking down. As you exhale, the elbows bend as you lower your chest towards the floor. As you inhale you will return back to your start position. Tip: As you bend your elbows the entire body goes down. Do not thrust your chest and chin forward. Aim for 20 repetitions of this move.
TRICEPS (conditioning for the back of the arm)
This move can be a bit tricky with the exercise tube, but using the tube elongates the arm muscle because of the pulling of the tube. Begin standing with the feet hip distance apart. You have your tube behind your back, one arm is up holding the tube and the other down holding the tube. The hand holding the tube over your shoulder is the only hand that moves during this exercise. Pull the tube toward the ceiling. Your knuckles should face the ceiling at the end of each repetition. Return the elbow back to bent position and aim for 20 repetitions then change arms.
DEAD LIFTS (conditions front and back of thigh)
Begin with both feet on your selected tube (secured). The legs are hip distance apart, the hands are holding low on the tube to create greater tension (you are in a bent over position). Make sure you have good tension in your tube, which you should feel every time you come up into an upright standing position. Continue the move by stooping down and coming back up (squeeze your buttocks slightly). Aim for 20 repetitions.
ABDUCTIONS (conditions outside of thigh)
The legs are less than hip distance apart. Take the tube and wrap it around your right or left ankle (not too tight). Step on the free end of the tube with your free foot (make sure it is secure). As you exhale you want to lift the wrapped leg out to the side and then back to the start position. Aim for 20 repetitions then change legs. Tip: If your balance is challenged, anchor by holding on to the back of a chair. When you perform this move your knee should face straight ahead, it should not turn up toward the ceiling.
INNER THIGH SQUEEZES (conditions inside of the thigh)
This move requires the use of a resistance ball. They come in all sizes, but typically a medium ball is the most versatile. The inner thigh is probably one of the biggest areas women complain about when it comes to legs. The inner thigh is so hard to reach and condition that it is often omitted from workout routines. Begin seated (use good posture), place your ball between your thighs (ball does not touch the floor). Your feet are flat and the toes point straight ahead. The hands do not touch the ball (you want your thighs to do the work of holding not your hands). Begin to squeeze the ball with your inner thigh muscles. You want to use slight pressure with each squeeze to condition the inner thigh. Aim for 20 repetitions, rest and repeat for four more sets of 20. This is one of my favorite moves, and it really works.
Once you have gone through each exercise, start over from the top until you have devoted 30 to 45 minutes to your new strength and conditioning workout routine.