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My client’s (who we will call Jane)current workout is power walking everyday and a yoga class once or twice a week. I spoke with her before her actual session about her goals and she wanted to work on her upper body and abdominal strength. This is an excellent choice because that covers the basics of a total body workout.
Knowing what Jane’s goals were I set-up a simple upper body strength training workout. This workout is done using dumbbells and a stability ball. I laid out her plan with pictures of the exercises and the instructions with each picture. This was our framework which is open to changes as we go through it. Some exercises will not work for everyone so if not I can always find a replacement. Here is how Jane’s session went.
•Jane got on the treadmill and walked moderately for 10 minutes as her warm-up.
•We began the strength work with the dumbbells. Part of my job is to demonstrate the exercise and then monitor her as she does it. I will give advice and make adjustments as we work. Jane wrote down a lot of my suggestions next to the pictures of the exercises.
•It is also my responsibility to watch her movements and to evaluate that she uses proper poundage. In Jane’s program she will have been given a number of how many repetitions and sets for each exercise.
•This is usually were the adjustments are made. In order to tailor the workout to Jane’s abilities I can suggest we lower or push up the amount of weight being used. I can also help her decide if the repetitions and sets given are suitable and that we are following the “exercise prescription” applied toward strength training.
•For each of Jane’s exercises I started her with 10 repetitions and 2 sets. We adjusted this right away. This was too much for her so we dropped it to 10 repetitions and one set. She knows that she will be working to reach the recommendation.
•I prescribed the following upper body strength exercises for Jane :
o Shoulder presses for shoulders
o Standing upright rows for shoulders, neck and back
o Concentration Bicep curls for biceps
o Seated Triceps overhead extension for triceps
o Kneeling dumbbell row for back and arms
o 4-way lifts. I named this myself so you won't find it listed anywhere. Here is how you do it:
Stand with feet hip width apart
Hold a dumbbell in each hand
Lift arms forward in front of the chest
Open the arms into a T
Lower arms to your side
Lift arms back into a T
Bring arms back together in front of the chest
Lower your arms to your side
Begin next repetition by lifting the arms forward in front of the chest
•Next I gave Jane an abdominal exercise for her do each workout. It is called an In-and-Out. She is to do this 20 times. She was only able to start with 10.
•I then listed 4 more abs exercises and told her to pick one of them each workout and do 20 repetitions. She will rotate the abs choice exercise.
If I were going to make this a total body workout I would add Walking Lunges, Wall Squats, and Heel Lifts.
This workout took us about 50 minutes. This is because of the instruction involved. When I did the workout myself I was able to do all the reps and sets in 20 minutes. When Jane completed the workout we did an upper body routine of stretches. They are great anytime not just after a workout. Watch for my article about them. Jane left happy with her new workout. Her assignment is to do this routine 2 times a week for six weeks. Then we will reevaluate.
Always check with a medical professional before starting any exercise routine. Be healthy, be happy!
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