Thursday, March 31, 2011

Helping the Ladies...Get Right

Please excuse me if I stereotype, but judging from field research I have conducted, I felt it to be appropriate to focus on certain hot spots, if you will, that members of the female gender target for improvement. AGAIN, drawing from research the gluteus maximus (more informally known as “the butt”) and legs area led the field as the number one area of desired improvement followed by overall weight loss and abs.

At the beginning of my collegiate football career, my strength and conditioning coach introduced me to the concept of core strength. Broader than simply lying on the floor and doing pointless sets of 50 crunches core strength includes one’s abdominal (upper, lower, obliques) and lumbar regions. Aside from aesthetic benefits, core strength holds crucial importance for one’s posture, spine care, as well as other all power, as the core is the starting point for personal power. Weak cores make weak people, and that’s real.

FYI: For lean muscle building, add moderate to light weight and perform exercises for higher number of repetitions. Lifting heavy weights for smaller numbers of repetitions builds bulk. Ok. Now, for the exercises.


*In addition to cardio, ESTABLISHING and MAINTAINING a proper diet are the easiest ways to see significant weight loss. Remain FOCUSED and DEDICATED, and you will SEE RESULTS! Start with moderate time of activity, and increase as comfort increases, however, ALWAYS challenge yourself. THIS is how strides are made.

-Squats4 sets of 8-10 repetitions (4x8-10). Feet spread slightly wider than shoulder width, focus on pushing butt back during squatting motion remaining balanced and keeping the weight on the heels. Squat to a depth comparable to sitting in a chair. Start with the bar until form becomes solid and add weight accordingly.

-Calf Raises – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions (3x8-10). This exercise is to be supersetted with the aforementioned squats (superset – immediately performed at the conclusion of the first exercise creating a two exercise set).

-Lunges – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions each (4x8-10 ea). Stand with legs shoulder width apart, holding weights in hands and alternate lunging with both legs. Keep weight on your heels and do not allow your knee to go over your toe. When lunging step forward, stabilize, and THEN lunge, dropping your knee straight down, keeping your core tight, and pushing up and back through your heels. Start without weight until your form is good, then add weight accordingly.

-Romanian Deadlift (RDL) – 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions (3x8-10). Stand with legs shoulder width apart, holding weight in front of your legs. Slowly bend at the waist, keeping your head up, and pushing your butt back. Bend until your back is flat (you can bend your knees slightly if you need to), then return to the starting position, keeping your core tight the whole time and feeling your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back working.

Although there are variations of core exercises using gym equipment, I will focus on what can be done in the comfort of one’s home because not having a gym is NO excuse to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. ALL of the aforementioned movements (exercises) can be performed without the weight in one’s home!

-Elbow Bridge – 2 sets of 15 seconds front, left, and right. Lie on stomach, bend elbows and place forearms on the floor beneath you. Plant toes into floor and raise your body up from the floor, drawing your core to spine (keep your core tight). Hold for 15 seconds, then switch to right side, bending your elbow and holding yourself up on your right forearm. Stack the sides of your feet on top of one another, so your body is perfectly aligned while your hold. After 15 seconds, switch to left side and repeat. Once all three sides have been complete once, repeat for the second set.

-V-Ups – 2 sets of 10 reps. Lie flat on back with arms extended straight above your head. Simultaneously draw your abs and lift your arms and legs, so they meet and touch (if you can, although IT IS FINE if you cannot) before slowly returning them to the floor. Remain controlled during movements and MAKE YOUR BODY WORK!

-Russian Twist – 2 sets of 15 reps each side. Balance yourself on your butt, keeping your upper body and legs off of the floor (You should look as if you are reclined in a chair). Clasp your hands together (or hold a weight when you are ready) and alternate, twisting from side to side for 15 reps on each side for two sets.  Work to tap either your clasped hands or the weight on the ground for each rep.

-Seated crunch – 2 sets 15 reps. Balancing yourself in the same manner as in the Russian Twist, alternate extending your legs and drawing them back in, keeping your core tight. Your hands maybe remain on the floor, propping yourself up or raised in the air to increase difficulty.

REMEMBER: Workouts can be modified to generate specific results. I have provided a buffet, if you will,  of exercises with which you build your desired workout to target what you want. PLEASE feel free to leave questions, comments, BEFORE and AFTER pictures, whatever you feel to be necessary! Let’s GET RIGHT with Just GQ!

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