To Your Health
December, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 12)
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A Chin-Up Bar

The chin-up is a powerful exercise that will significantly increase upper body strength and muscle tone. An inexpensive addition to your home that is attached to the inside of any doorway, the chin-up bar will become a base foundation exercise. Now you might be saying, "There is no way I can do a chin-up!" On the contrary, you can do a lot of chin-ups until you get strong enough to do them without help. Simply put a chair underneath the bar and use one leg to push off of the chair to help perform the exercise. Removing a slight bit of your body weight makes it easier to complete. The key is not to help too much. You want enough weight to struggle after 8-10 repetitions. In no time at all, you will be doing them unassisted.

Resistance Bands/Tubing

Resistance bands are ideal for home exercise programs and can easily be incorporated into a circuit-training routine, helping to condition the cardiovascular system as well as strengthening specific muscle groups. Resistance tubing is extremely adaptable, and exercises can be completed with very little additional equipment. The unique toning effect of the bands comes from the eccentric (pulling) resistance on your muscles at the midpoint of each movement. Smaller muscle groups that are hard to train with more traditional free-weight exercises can be targeted. This makes it ideal for home athletic conditioning.

A Kettlebell

If I had to choose one single fitness tool to use, this would be it! Created in Russia, the kettlebell is a round iron weight with a handle on it. (Like a cannonball with grips). If you've ever had a gym membership, you've probably seen someone using it. This fun-to-use tool can shred body fat like crazy, especially for women wanting to get rid of stubborn hip and thigh fat. The secret is a series of dynamic swinging movements. You use practically every muscle for whole-body resistance training and high-speed, fat-burning cardio. A must-have for your fitness routine. >

It is recommended that you always check with a health professional and ask their opinion before undertaking any strenuous exercise program. Here are some general guidelines to follow when you begin:

  • Start off gently and work within your comfort zone.
  • Increase your intensity gradually over several weeks.
  • Maintain regular breathing throughout the exercises (do not hold your breath).
  • Try to keep strict form with control.
  • Do not undertake any exercise if you are in pain. If you feel faint, dizzy or unwell while exercising, stop immediately.

Perry Nickelston, DC, is clinical director of the Pain Laser Center in Ramsey, N.J., where he focuses on performance enhancement, corrective exercise and metabolic fitness nutrition To learn more about Dr. Nickelston, visit