Don’t think, just train

It’s easy to get complicated about exercise. Being a strength/fitness nerd, it’s not only easy for me, it’s fun. For those embarking on their fitness journey though, I suspect it can be a little overwhelming.

After all, you might just want some simple advice on getting started. If so, this article is for you. This information starts you off with a few basic movements that are guaranteed to increase your overall strength and fitness if you’re a beginner.

Of course, this is just a start. You are encouraged to look around this blog, take in all the information and even e-mail questions to Laura, Mark or myself. You’re definitely encouraged to learn enough to start putting things together on your own. Unless you’re an iron-pumping savant, however, this will take more than an afternoon.

And you want to get going now! Good. So while you’re learning, may I present a starter program.

Here’s what you’re going to do:

Warm-up

Move around. Step deep, reach high and breathe deep. Laura used to have a personal trianer what had an amazing warm up routine that was so simple it was basically two moves repeated that hit all of those basics in-between. Pay attention to where movement feels restricted by tight muscles and gently (gently!) move through that range of motion. Now start moving faster. Jog, crawl, shuffle from side to side. Up the pace until it’s a challenge to keep your breathing even. This whole process should take about 10 minutes. You don’t have to be Ali or Fraser, but you can pretend. Hood up, jab, hook, upper cut. Why not? Have a bounce around and pretend you’re a bass-ass even if you’re far from it.

Exercise 1: Split squat – 10 each leg
Weight: Bodyweight

Take a lunge position, but leave your feet in place as you go up and down. The front heel stays dug in, the rear heel stays up. Get nice and long – long enough for you to feel a real stretch. Your feet should be at hip width and both pointed forward. The rear knee should almost touch the ground with each repetition. Your front hip, knee and ankle should form a straight line. Up and down on one side, then the other. If there is any joint pain, stop.

Exercise 2: Squats – 10 reps
Weight: Bodyweight

Begin by standing tall with your spine long, core engaged, and feet about shoulder width apart.  Turn feet up to 15 degrees to the outside,  just make sure your knees track in the same direction as your feet when you squat. Break at the waist first — pretend you’re sitting back in an imaginary chair. Your back should remain neutral throughout. Squat to the point where you can maintain a flat back. That’s your current range. Press through your heels to return to standing. In essence, bend down, stand up. there is any joint pain, stop.

Exercise 3: Push -Up – 10 reps
Weight: bodyweight

Assume the Push-up starting position with your elbows locked. Lower yourself by bending your elbows until your chest almost touches the floor. Come back up by pushing through the floor. If there is any joint pain, stop.

Exercise 4: Forearm plank – 60 seconds total
Weight: bodyweight

Lie face-down, with only your forearms and feet touching the ground. Hold just a slight pike (your ass should just be slightly higher than the rest of your body). Take very short breaks whenever you feel like your spine is trying to bear the weight (as opposed to your abs). If there is any joint pain, stop.

Now that you’ve been through all four exercises, go through them a second time. Maybe even a third.

Now get on an exercise bike and perform the following:

Go fast: 30 seconds
Go slow: 2 minutes
Repeat this four times (that’s 10 minutes tota
l).

Towel off, go home and do some more reading. Keep it simple and don’t stress.

Dan

Stay Fit. Be Collective

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