October 16, 2009

Blast from the Past

For Ang - a repost from 2008...hope this helps anyone who's been a bit stuck in their routines!

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This morning at our Moms' group, we had 2 of our moms share with us some great exercises specifically for WE as moms to do. The 3rd mom shared some fun activities to do with our kids that will get us and them moving.

I LOVE the Playground workout that was shared with us...how easy is it to get outside (if you're near a playground) and let your kids run around like the wild indians they are? Easy right? Well, how easy is it for YOU to do something while they're running out their energy? Ummmmm...physically? Easy. Mentally? Not so much...well no more!

I am amazed at the easiness of the exercises she shared with us, and have to admit I feel like a total loser for not doing this on my own...I read magazines with this stuff in it all the time! OY!

SO...here it is...and now you all can do it too! I plan to do this in my house this afternoon while the kiddos nap, because I'm jealous of my "Me Time" and don't want to have to worry about running over Captain Chaos. I'll do it outside as the season progresses and he gets more independent.

Start by briskly walking or jogging the perimeter of the playground. You can see your kids (they might even join you) and you'll get your heart rate up and muscles warmed up.

SLIDING SQUATS
Lean up against a sturdy object like the slide, a wall, or even a pole or post. Scoot your feet out far enough so when you are in the squat position, your knees aren't bulging out over your toes. Squat, sliding down the wall, into a chair position, and use your LEGS to push back into the standing position. Do as many repetitions as you can in one minute, with CORRECT FORM, and then jog/walk the playground for 2 minutes.

PUSH-UPS (Using a bench or the bottom of the slide)
Start by lowering your upper body onto the bench/slide your arms are bent. Then, push up your body, using arms and chest muscles, keeping back and legs straight. Do as many as you can in one minute with CORRECT FORM. Jog/walk perimeter for 3 minutes.

STEP-UPS
Start by making sure the step isn't too high. How to judge? Place your foot on the surface. When your thigh is parallel to the floor, with your knee and hip in a straight line, you've got the right height! If your hip is lower than your knee, your bench is TOO HIGH. Do as many repetitions as you can in one minute with CORRECT FORM, alternating legs as you step up and down. Jog/walk for 2 minutes.

TRICEP DIPS
Start by sitting down on a bench or the bottom of the slide and place your hands next to your hips on the bench, fingertips facing forward. Next, lift your bottom off the bench and begin to "dip" your body down, bending at the elbow, and then lift yourself back up. Lift yourself up and down, without a break, and without sitting back on the bench for 1 minute. The closer your feet are to the bench during this exercise, the easier it is. Choose a position of your feet that works for you, and move them further away the better/stronger you get. Jog/walk for 2 minutes.

ONE-LEGGED SQUATS
Use the jungle gym, a pole, or post for this exercise. Stand with your toes about 6 inches away from the post. Position your feet hip-width apart and center the object in front of your body. Hold onto the pole at chest level and extend your right foot behind you. With your arms fully extended, slowly lower your body by bending your left knee until your left thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep you knee above your toes throughout this movement. Return to starting position. Do as many as you can with CORRECT FORM in one-minute. Switch sides and repeat. Jog/walk for 2 minutes.

QUICK ABS & CORE
Sit on a bench or bottom of the slide with your arms at your sides. Lean back slightly, and then bend your knees and pull them towards your chest, tightening your abs to balance yourself on the slide/bench. Then, extend your legs straight out in front of you. ** This looks like a modified crunch mixed with a Pilates move. You should be perched on the edge of the bench/slide, and your back should NOT touch anything. As you progress, you can do this on the floor at home, and include your arms in the motion, reaching forward toward your ankles as you pull your legs into your chest. Do as many as you can with CORRECT FORM in 1 minute.

Take a final jog/walk around the playground, and gather up your kids and head home for a light snack, and don't forget your water!


The great thing about this, is that you can do it at home, using your stairs and chairs, making sure you're wearing good shoes, and that your house is free of debris/clutter on the floor. You can add/change running your stairs if the laps around your house are boring you. Make sure your chair is against a wall, or on carpet and won't slide out from under you. Use a piano bench instead! Use your kids' step stool if you don't have stairs. If you feel like your own body weight is no longer a challenge, or you need something extra when doing the running, add some full water bottles, or a couple big cans of chicken broth (the 32 ounce one folks, not the normal 15 ouncers). You can also modify some of these, and work your triceps by doing an overhead lift, with a bag of apples or potatoes as your weight.

FOCUS ON FORM, not quantity...it is much better to do 10 repetitions correctly than to bust out 50 that are wrong. Not using right form can actually cause damage!

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