20 Minute Workouts For Beginners

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The holidays are upon us and our “to do lists” are only going to increase.

As will our stress levels.

Nothing wrong with stress, it’s part of life. The trick of course is find ways to work out the stress so that it doesn’t cause us health problems or cause us to take things out on others. One of my favorite ways to kick stress to the curb is to lift weights. Any sort of strength training will do. Whether it be body weight squats, push ups, lunges, etc., there is something available to all of us even with our busy schedules.

Since I have a full blown gym in my garage, after my morning parent duties are completed, I make my way down to the gym and do:

  • 10 Broomstick Twists
  • 10 Broomstick Squats
  • 10 Broomstick Stiff Legged Deadlifts
  • 10 Broomstick Shoulder Stretches

This only takes a couple of minutes and it gets me in the right frame of mind to begin my workout. I have a goal board that I look at as I’m doing these warm up exercises – it’s another way to lock into the workouts and focus on my goals.

fitness-tips-for-beginners-goals

 

I always write out the workout the night before. I feel like if I write it down, my mind will prepare me for it as I sleep. Kind of like a computer downloading a program. When I wake up, my work day does not start until after the workout. If I feel like I’m in a big hurry to get through the workout, then I will set a timer for 20 minutes. The clock counts down from 20 minutes to zero and my goal is to finish the workout by the time the countdown is complete.

 

Typically what happens though, is that I’m enjoying the workout so much that I go beyond the 20 minutes and do a little bit more. Working out is enjoyable. It’s stress relief. It’s time to spend with your own thoughts. Alone.

fitness-tips-for-beginners-how-bad

This is how I generally approach my workouts during the week. On the weekends, I get my kids involved in a safe and healthy manner. This really seems to help them stay calm – especially as the holidays approach. Plus it’s fun to hang out with them in the gym. I don’t allow any complaining or whining. Everything is kept positive and fun. I like to think that this routine is setting them up for a lifetime.

To sum up:

  • Write it down
  • Set a timer
  • Make it enjoyable

Have a great day!

– Scott

 

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Quick Medicine Ball Combo Conditioning Workout

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–Quick Medicine Ball Combo Conditioning Combo Workout–

Use a pullup bar (or rings) and a medicine ball.  Place the medicine ball between the feet, holding it securely in place and then jump up to the pull up bar (or rings) and do a pull up.  The second part of the movement involves bringing the knees up (knee raise for abs) while the medicine ball is still positioned between the feet.

That’s one rep.  Have them do 6 reps, then 5 reps, then 4 reps all the way down to 1 rep.  If they drop the ball during the rep, they must start ALL OVER (or just pick up where they left off if you’re feeling nice).

Stick a partner in there with them and do a ladder down rep scheme going from 6-5-4-3-2-1.

fitness-tips-for-beginners-workout

Also shown in this video is cardio squats vs strength squats with a Kettle Bell.

Finally, I like to include bodybuilding type exercises into my bootcamps and this one is dumbbell laterals but with a small tweak.  Watch the video for a demonstration.

Have a great day!

Scott

 

 

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Should Fitness Beginners Train Twice A Day?

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Should beginners train twice a day to capitalize on their motivation?

Yes and no.

There is a fine line between adequate training and over training.

If you over train, you might see your results (and motivation) come to a grinding halt.

But if you do it right, you can boost your progress.

For a brand new fitness beginner, an example of over training would be trying to do strength training both in the morning and later on in the afternoon.

This is a recipe for disaster.  Your body just hasn’t built up the recovery ability to do this.

Strength training can be such a shock to your system that you may need 24-48 hours to rest before doing another weight lifting session.

But here’s a way to add a mild boost to your results IF you have the desire and motivation to workout/stretch twice a day.

You’re only “allowed” to do either stretching, core exercises or breathing exercises.

So for example, do these 3 stretches below in the morning, after your morning coffee but before you eat your first meal.

You won’t be burning many calories but you will be establishing a connection with your body, increasing blood flow and flexibility.

All important in your quest for improved fitness.

WallStretch

Exercise Description:
Back (wall stretch)
Classification:
Flexibility
Instructions:
Reach out and place your hands onto a wall. Now bend forward so that your shoulders are below your hands. Shift your hips backwards yet keep your hands on the wall. Hold this position to stretch your back and shoulders.

horizontal arm swing

Exercise Description:
Horizontal Arm Swing
Classification:
Flexibility
Instructions:
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and standing tall.
2. Holding your arms out to the side and straight bring them forward and cross over each other in one fluid motion.
3. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired repetitions.

Low Back Stretch

Exercise Description:
Supine Twist Stretch
Classification:
Flexibility
Instructions:
1. Lie on your back on the floor.
2. Gently rotate trunk and legs to side so that your knees are facing entirely to a side.
3. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat as prescribed.
4. Remember to keep shoulders on the ground.

For core exercises, choose only ONE of the the ab or lower back exercises found here and perform 1 – 2 sets of 10 – 20 reps.

That’s it.  No more.

You do not want to get overly sore – remember you’re a beginner to fitness (or just starting back) so slow and easy wins the race.

Finally, breathing exercises are great because you can strengthen your abdominals, increase your core strength and they can be done anywhere.

This one is called “Stomach Vacuums” and should be done on an empty stomach so that you can actually feel the exercise working.

First, exhale and force all of the air out of your lungs, squeezing it all out with your abdominals.

Now instead of inhaling, draw your stomach IN as far as possible as if you’re trying to touch your spine.

Breathe out and take 3 deep breaths.

Repeat the exercise, working up to 10 Stomach Vacuums.

You can do these vacuums anytime and anywhere.

If you feel soreness, take a day or two off until you are ready to continue.

 

 

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Fitness Beginner Abs! How To Get Them.

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Have you done your daily dozen today?

As a fitness beginner, here’s a great 4 exercise, 3 round, 6 minute “ab-aerobic” workout that you can bust out.

First, though, understand that by combining “ab” exercises with “aerobic” exercise you will get better results than doing either of them alone.

Aerobic activity will boost metabolic activity and thus, increase caloric burn.

That’s what we want – to increase our metabolism and to burn calories.

And we don’t want to spend an hour doing long boring aerobic activity.

Plus, too much aerobics can destroy lean body tissue (muscle).

So we combine aerobics with abs to make ab-aerobics.

Sample routine (beginner).

Equipment need:  none

Optional:  Jump Rope, Gym Boss Timer

Length of workout:  6 minutes + warm up/stretching

Number of exercises: 4

After you warm up and stretch for a few minutes, you are ready to begin.

You’ll do these 4 exercises back to back without rest for 30 seconds each.

That’s 2 minutes of nonstop activity or “Ab-aerobics”.

Rest for up to 30 seconds then repeat 2 more times.

That’s it, you’re done!

1st Exercise

Jump Rope

Exercise Description:
Jump Rope (basic 2 feet)
Classification:
Aerobic/Anaerobic Conditioning
Instructions:
Start with the jump rope in each hand.
Jump off the ground and start swinging the jump rope under your feet.
Continue jumping up and down as you bring the jump rope under your feet.
Continue for the prescribed number of jumps or time.

note – if you do not have a jump rope, do “invisible” jump ropes.  Jumping without the rope.

2nd Exercise

double leg raises

Exercise Description:
Double Leg Pressouts
Classification:
Core (body weight)
Instructions:
1. Start by lying on your back with your knees towards your chest and your arms flat on the ground.
2. Keeping your back flat throughout the movement kick your legs out and away until they are almost straight.
3. Bring your legs back in and repeat for the required number of repetitions.
4. If you are unable to keep your back flat on the floor throughout the movement shorten the distance that your legs extend until you get stronger.

3rd Exercise

Alternate Superman

Exercise Description:
Alternating Superman
Classification:
Low back
Instructions:
1) Lie face down on floor with arms extended overhead. You may place a rolled towel under forehead to clear face from floor.
2) Raise right arm and left leg 4-8 inches off floor.
3) Lower and raise alternate opposite arm and leg.
Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Shoulders and hips should remain squared throughout movement.

4th Exercise

Abdominal Crunch

Exercise Description:
Crunch
Classification:
Core (body weight)
Instructions:
1. Start position: Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent and hands behind head. Keep elbows back and out of sight. Head should be in a neutral position with a space between chin and chest.
2. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise shoulders off floor or bench.
3. Return to start position.
Remember to keep head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion of either may cause injury.
Resources:

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Valentines Day Fitness For Beginners

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Valentines Day is right around the corner! A lot of fitness beginners become overwhelmed with all of the chocolate and candy offerings and gain five or more pounds back.

Get leaner using some of the tips offered in this library of videos!  You’ll find healthy chocolate recipes, “romantic” workout videos, new food recipes and more.

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