Guest Author - Terri Johansen
Develope fitness faster with combination exercises in which you work more than one muscle group at a time. Here are five combination exercises that are a great way to save workout time and burn more calories. Start with 10 exercises working all the major muscle groups: back, chest, arms, legs, and abs. Each of the following exercises tells which muscles you are using. When you perform the exercise contract and concentrate on that particular set of muscles.
You will need hand held dumbbells to do the following exercises. Depending on your level of fitness I suggest starting with 1 set of 10-12 repetitions working up to 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions. Start with a 1lb. dumbbell. If this becomes too easy, increase the weight and start back with 1 set.
Squat and Press
This exercise works the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, triceps, and deltoids.
•Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders, with the palms facing forward.
•Slowly bend your knees and squat down and back. Keep your back flat, and don’t allow your knees to extend out over your toes.
•At the same time as the squat extend your arms and press the weights straight over your head.
•Pause then reverse the motion back to your starting position.
Curl and Press
This exercise works your biceps, triceps, deltoids, and trapezius.
•Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms extended down by your side and palms facing forward.
•Focus on keeping your upper body stable. Bend your elbows and curl the weights up toward your shoulders.
•Without stopping rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing each other. Press the weights over your head.
•Pause lowering the weights to your shoulders then rotating your palms to face your body and bring your arms down to your sides.
Weight Press and Ab Curl
This exercise works your pectorals, triceps, and abdominals.
•Lay on your back, bend your knees with feet flat on the floor.
•Hold the dumbbells with both hands and rest them lightly on your chest. Keep your elbows out to the sides and tilt your pelvis slightly to keeping your back flat on the floor.
•In one movement, contract your chest muscles and straighten your elbows, pushing the weights straight up above your chest. Keep your arms outstretched.
•Immediately lift your head and shoulders off the floor about 30 degrees. Hold for 2 seconds and lower your body bringing the weights down to rest gently on your chest.
Do 15 repititions.
Forward and Back Kick
This exercise works your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and glutes. It can be done with or without ankle weights.
•Stand next to a chair with your left hand on the back. Bring your feet hip-width apart and your toes forward. Slowly lift your right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the ground.
•Lower the leg and slowly swing it back behind you until it is fully extended, keeping your upper body erect.
Do 12 repetitions then repeat on other side.
This exercise works your abdominals, erector spinae, obliques, hip flexors, and glutes
•Lie on your back with your legs in a table top position. A table top position is when your calves are parallel to the floor at a 90-degree angle.
•Put your hands behind your head, with your elbows out to the side.
•Slowly lower your knees to the right about 45-degrees. If this is too much of a stretch bring the knees back up a little.
•Hold your legs in the position for 2 seconds, and then raise them back to center. Once at center drop the legs to the opposite side hold for 2 seconds and return to center.
•Repeat this back and forth movement without letting your legs touch the floor. Repeat the full movement 12-15 times.
After working all the muscle groups in your body it's time to stretch the muscles. Flexibility is part of a complete workout.
Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Lace your fingers and take both arms up over head pressing palms towards the ceiling. Hold for 5 full breaths.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Wrap both arms around your upper body as though you were giving yourself a hug. Grasp the backs of your shoulders with your hands and drop your chin towards your chest. Hold for 5 full breaths then repeat with opposite arm on top.
Stand with your right hand resting on a chair for balance. Lift the left foot towards your butt grabbing it with your left hand. Hold for 5 full breaths then repeat on other side.
Sit and Reach
Sit on the floor with your left leg extended straight out in front of you keeping your foot flexed. Bend your right leg and rest the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh. Keeping your back straight slowly bend forward from the waist, walking your hands down your left leg. Hold for 5 full breaths. Repeat on other side.
Sitting on the floor, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Let your knees drop open to the side as far as comfortable. Place your hands on or near your ankles. Keep your chest lifted. If your upper body begins to cave in then you are trying to push the knees down too hard. Allow the legs to relax into a more comfortable position. You might also try moving your hands further up your legs onto the calves.
You have just completed a short but full body workout. Remeber always exercise caution when working out. Be healthy,Be happy!
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