To Your Health
May, 2009 (Vol. 03, Issue 05)
Most people are familiar with Pilates and yoga; these are systems that provide stretching, strength training (especially for the core area), balance training and endurance.
Home exercise programs should include the same fitness challenges and include cardiovascular training (walking, bike, elliptical), reactive training, and speed/agility training.
Getting fit and, training without actually going to the gym is possible when you follow a proper progression and give yourself enough variety of exercises. Becoming your own personal trainer, identifying and fixing muscle weaknesses will benefit your core strength and overall fitness. Your doctor can give you more tips on which exercises and equipment will best help achieve your individual fitness goals.
The Power of the Exercise Band
A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests a short-term resistance exercise program utilizing exercise bands is as effective as a weight-machine program in increasing strength and reducing fat. The study, which compared the effects of each type of exercise program in 45 previously inactive women (average age: 51-54) for 10 weeks, yielded similar results in terms of functional capacity (assessed by knee push-up and 60-second squat tests) and loss of fat mass. The study authors concluded, "[Exercise bands] can thus offer significant physiological benefits that are comparable to those obtained from [weight machines] in the early phase of strength training of sedentary middle-aged women."
|Exercise ||Repetitions/Sets/Duration ||Rest (Between Sets) |
|Foam Roll ||30 seconds per tender point ||N/A (one-time warm-up) |
|Plank ||1 or 2 (build to 60-second holds) ||None |
|Side Bridge ||1 per side, 60 seconds each side ||None |
|Traditional Ab Crunch ||Build to 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions per set ||None |
|Glute Bridge on Ball ||2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions per set ||None |
|Supine Ball Bridge ||2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions per set ||None |
|Lateral Band Walk ||6 per side or until you feel fatigue ||None |
|Back Extensions on Ball ||12-15 repetitions ||None |
|Stability Ball Push-Up ||10-15 repetitions or until you feel fatigue ||None |
|Band Lunge Press ||10-15 repetitions per leg ||None |
|Swimmer Lat Pull ||1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set ||30-60 seconds |
|Up-Chop Kneel ||1-2 sets of 10 repetitions per set ||30-60 seconds |
|Down-Chop Kneel ||1-2 sets of 10 repetitions per set ||30-60 seconds |
|Medicine Slams ||2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions per set ||30-60 seconds |
| Note: Total workout time should be approximately 30-45 minutes. Be intense! Be consistent! Change your workout routine every 8-10 weeks. You can complete the entire program three to four times per week, or pick a few each day to create a daily 20-minute workout. |
Jeffrey Tucker, DC, is a rehabilitation specialist who integrates chiropractic, exercise and nutrition into his practice in West Los Angeles. He is also a speaker for Performance Health/Thera-Band (www.thera-band.com).