Tag Archives: metabolic

The Mini Desk Workout

6 Jan

Got a desk job? Many do and it’s not cool. Being tied to our computers at a desk for 8 hours per day, then coming home to relax on the couch or sit at the kitchen table to help the kids with homework, leads to all sorts of nasty things like weight gain, cardiovascular disease, weak muscles, slow metabolism, blood sugar imbalance and the list goes on. Whether you get to the gym for an hour a day or not, these are easy stretches and exercises you can do at your desk (or nearby) every day during your break. Activity clears the mind, increases productivity, builds confidence, decreases stress and brightens the soul. Go forth and conquer! (And make sure it is cool with your doctor, keep good form and never do anything that hurts–joint pain and muscle fatigue are very different things.)

Exercise Program***

Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday

Perform 1-2 sets during two of your breaks. Make sure to keep the core activated during each stretch and exercise (think belly button to spine).

1. Upper Trapezius Stretch

Grab bottom of chair with right hand and tilt head towards left shoulder like you are pouring water out your ear. Slightly tuck chin and slightly turn head, looking at right knee. Gently pull down on head with left hand (Fig. 1). Hold for 10 seconds and use left hand to lift head to neutral. Switch sides.

2. Seated Figure 4 Hip Stretch

Sit tall on chair. Cross right ankle above left knee. Use hands to gently push down on thigh of right leg (never push down on the knee joint) (Fig. 2). Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides.

3. Push Up

Start in a neutral spine position with your wrists under your shoulders and elbows straight, hands on wall, desk or floor. Inhale, squeeze your shoulder blades to pull yourself towards the ground, elbows pointing back at a 45 degree angle (Fig. 3). Once your arms are level with your torso, exhale and push up to start position. Perform 10-20 reps.

4. Split Squat

Start in a split stance with right leg in front and left leg back, legs hip width apart. Inhale, bend knees to lower your body, leading with the left knee towards the ground (but don’t touch the knee to ground) (Fig. 4). Exhale, squeeze the glutes and push with the right heel to start position. Keep the spine neutral the entire time. Perform 10-20 reps, then switch to the other side. If this is too difficult, perform squats instead.

5. Bent Over Reverse Fly

Bend knees 30° and hinge forward at the hips, keeping neutral spine. Arms are extended and hands hold weights (or water bottles) with palms facing towards your body (Fig. 5). Inhale, squeeze shoulder blades and raise arms parallel to the ground (Fig. 6). Exhale, lower to start. Perform 10-20 reps.

Tuesday/Thursday (keep a pair of athletic shoes at work)

Choose 1 cardio activity below and perform it during two of your breaks. Make sure to start slow by walking for 3 minutes to warm-up the body.

1. Walk, jog or run up stairs (walk down them for recovery) 3-5 times. Take a longer rest if needed.

2. Walk, jog, run, step side-to-side or do jumping jacks in place for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and continue for 3-5 minutes. Take a longer rest if needed.

3. Briskly walk outside around your building for your entire break.

***This program is designed for healthy individuals with no medical concerns. Always speak with your doctor before performing any exercise program. If you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised in a while (but your doctor has given you the A-OK), start with one set and build your endurance and strength from there. Optimal results can only be obtained with a customized exercise and nutrition program.

For an effective and efficient workout at home, try the 30-Minute Workout, or contact me for all of your exercise, nutrition and life coaching needs. 402-819-8970.

Fig. 1 Upper Trapezius Stretch

Fig. 1 Upper Trapezius Stretch

Fig. 2 Seated Figure 4 Hip Stretch

Fig. 2 Seated Figure 4 Hip Stretch

Fig. 3 Push Up

Fig. 3 Push Up

Fig. 4 Split Squat (you can use the chair for balance if you are a new exerciser)

Fig. 4 Split Squat (you can use the chair for balance if you are a new exerciser)

Fig. 5 Start position of Bent Over Reverse Fly

Fig. 5 Start position of Bent Over Reverse Fly

Fig. 6 Mid Position of Bent Over Reverse Fly

Fig. 6 Mid Position of Bent Over Reverse Fly

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The 30-Minute Workout

30 Jul

Tight schedule? Busy juggling life or simply not ready to commit to a regular exercise program? Let’s remedy that, shall we?

Now, I’m not a fan of generic exercise programs (hence all of my words of caution you will read). It is extremely important to work with your doctor (to make sure you are cleared for exercise and do not have any orthopedic issues, etc.) and a certified trainer (like yours truly) who can properly assess and design an individualized exercise program for you that effectively reaches your goals while keeping your safety and needs top priority. With that being said, I don’t want to leave you hangin’ either. So, here is a simple program that you can do at home three days per week for 30 minutes with zero equipment to jump start your healthy habit. Hooray!

Before beginning any exercise program, always check with your doctor and stop exercise immediately if you experience any pain, dizziness, etc. There are four things you need to execute with each exercise to ensure proper technique: 1) activate abdominals (as though someone was going to poke or punch you in the stomach), 2) lift your chest, 3) breathe and 4) drink water. Let’s rock this!

EXERCISE PROGRAM***

5-Minute Warm-up: foam roll and perform any corrective stretches and exercises followed by 10 supine double leg hip bridges and 16 (8 each side) walking knee hugs.

20-Minute Resistance Training: perform three sets of 15 reps of the following exercises to fatigue with perfect form. Execute each exercise in a row, rest 30 seconds and repeat additional sets until you’ve performed each exercise three times.

1. Squat. Stand with feet hip width apart. Sit back like you are going to sit in a chair, keeping knees behind and in line with second toe (Figure 1). Squeeze the butt and push through the heels as though you are pushing the ground away from you to return to start. (Note: my arms are in a prisoner’s squat position. This is not the best position for those with shoulder issues, tight pecs, etc. Please keep hands on hips or folded at your chest. I simply posed like this because it was the best view to demonstrate proper technique in the photograph without blocking my lower body.)

2. Prone Cobra. Lie on your stomach with arms by your side. Squeeze your butt  and shoulder blades together and lift your torso off the ground, rotating palms away from your body so thumbs point to the ceiling (Figure 2). Hold this pose (yes, that butt and shoulder blades of yours stay squeezed!) for 1-3 minutes rather than doing 15 reps.

3. Lateral Lunge. Stand tall with feet together. Step out to the side and sit back into your right heel, keeping the right knee behind and in line with the right second toe. Left foot stays flat on the ground (Figure 3). Squeeze the butt and push through the heel of the right foot to return to start. Perform all reps then repeat on the left leg.

4. Push Up. Start in a neutral spine position with your wrists under your shoulders (Figure 4). Squeeze your shoulder blades to pull yourself towards the ground, elbows pointing back at a 45 degree angle. Once your arms are level with your torso, push up to start (Figure 5).

5. Plank. Start in a neutral spine position with your elbows under your shoulders and your weight back in your heels (Figure 6). Hold this for 30-60 seconds rather than performing 15 reps.

3-Minute Metabolic Training: choose an exercise that gets your heart pumping but doesn’t cause any pain such as jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc. Perform that exercise as fast as you can with good form for 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds and repeat two more times.

2-Minute Cool-down: walk around until your heart rate slows and returns to normal. Foam roll and stretch as needed.

***This program is designed for healthy individuals with no medical concerns. Always speak with your doctor before performing any exercise program. If you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised in a while (but your doctor has given you the A-OK), start with one set and build your endurance and strength from there. Optimal results can only be obtained with a customized exercise and nutrition program.

For your customized exercise and nutrition program, contact me at 402-819-8970 or at Stephanie Bell Wellness.

Squat

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 3
Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 6