Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Best $20 You'll Spend On Fitness

A personal trainers advice on what the neighbors in La Crescenta, La Canada and the Glendale need.
If you own a “home gym machine” or have nothing at all, a fit ball or Swiss ball is a good addition to your home. You have an option of various sizes and they only cost about $15-$25.
When inflated these multi-colored balls are about 45-65 diameter. If you want the right size just have a seat and make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your legs are at a 90% angle. You can work your legs, core and upper body and you’ll need little or no extra equipment.
To get started, walk for a few minutes to warm up. For the legs put the ball up against a wall and lean back with the ball by your lower back. Squat up and down with the legs in an L position (right angle). If your knees are a little sore don’t go all the way down or you can hold it in the down position (or ¾ way down) for a count of ten.
For the upper body you can do a variety of push ups. Lay on the ball and walk out until the ball is on your upper thighs. Push up and down and as you get more confident walk out a little further until the ball is by your shins and eventually your feet.
You can work the core (stomach), legs and upper body but doing a variety of plank exercises. Kneel down and put your forearms on the ball. Walk back or push forward until you’re on your toes. It’s like a push up position only inclined. Hold it for a count of ten and build from there. An easy version is to put yourself in the push up position (hands on the floor, shins on the ball) and hold it for 30 seconds.
To isolate the abdominals all you need to do is sit on the ball and walk yourself back until the ball is under your lower back. Put your hands behind your neck and curl you body up.The range of motion is really small, only about four to six inches.
If you have a set of dumb bells, you can sit on the ball while pressing overhead or curling the weight up and down. Most any exercise you do standing will be more challenging and thereby more effective when sitting on a ball that moves.

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