Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009
The 10-minute, no-equipment workout
By MEGAN K. SCOTT - The Associated Press
It's November 10. Thanksgiving is in two weeks, followed by holiday parties, shopping and stress. Who has time for a workout?
No need to spend 30 minutes slogging away on the elliptical or making the rounds on the weight machines.
Here's a 10-minute no-equipment program that works the entire body from Peter Park, fitness expert for livestrong.com and Lance Armstrong's strength and conditioning coach.
Negative push up
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Note: Park recommends doing the workout twice a day for better posture, a stronger core and a balanced body.
1. Chair pose (This works the lower back, hamstrings): Stand with your feet 6 inches apart. Bend your knees slightly and push your hips back. Lift your arms up above your head as high as possible while looking straight ahead. Keep your weight on your heels. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
2. Glute bridge: Lie on your back with your arms at your side, palms down by your hips, knees bent at 90 degrees. Your feet should be 6 inches apart and flat on the floor. Push up through your heels to lift your hips as high as possible while squeezing the glute muscles. Hold for 15 seconds. Then lower. Repeat four times.
3. Plank (for your abs, core): Lie flat on your stomach with your toes touching the floor. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders with your forearms flat on the ground. Using your abs, lift your hips in the air until your body is parallel to the floor in a push-up position. Squeeze your glutes and brace your abdominals while holding a rigid plank position. Hold for 30 seconds. Then lower. Repeat.
4. Back extension (for the lower back): Lie flat on your stomach, your arms at your sides, with your legs extended straight behind you, heels touching and toes on the floor. Squeeze legs together. Press your elbows into your ribcage. Lift your hands off the floor. Raise your chest into the air while keeping your feet on the ground. Then lower. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions. On the last rep of each set, hold the highest position possible for an additional 15 seconds.
5. Hip flexor stretch (for the hip flexors, quads): Step into a long lunge. Lift arms straight above your head and extend them back slightly. Bend your torso back and away from the rear leg to stretch the side of the body. Hold for 30 seconds. Do the same on the other side.
6. Wall squat (legs): Press your back flat against a wall, legs shoulder width apart. Slide down until knees are bent about 90 degrees. Keep your upper back against the wall and raise your arms completely above your head. Keep your head, back and arms firmly against the wall. Hold for 45 seconds.
7. Negative push up (arms): Move into the plank position, and slowly lower body evenly to the ground, holding strong through the core. The negative push up should take 15 seconds from top to bottom, in a constant slow motion.