In Part 1 of my article I introduced you to the need for returning to exercise activities after an enforced lay-off, and the most constructive and efficient way to do so. In this concluding part I have devised a full workout you can follow.
Two or three weeks of 3 – 4 sessions per week of a few simple, worthwhile, base strengthening moves will be all you need to re-build the confidence and send you well on the way back to great shape. The initial intention of just getting up and running again will soon give way to more inspiring objectives. That’s when it’s time to make bigger steps towards greater goals. Define your weaknesses and create strengths while reclaiming your vitality and energy. This is just the start of getting your mojo back and putting buoyancy into body and brain.
WALL ANGEL Exercise 1
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Start with the entire back pressed against a wall or vertical object. Keep the feet slightly forward and away from the base. Press arms, shoulders, elbows and wrists firmly into the wall, slowly slide them up over 5 seconds to a diamond shape above your head. Hold for 5 seconds. Take 5 seconds to lower them again. Repeat 5 x. Works upper back, rear shoulder and neck muscles.
SINGLE LEG TOUCH DOWN Exercise 2
Stand on a step or elevated surface on one leg, allow the other leg to fall free. Posture is upright, hold in the tummy! Take 2 seconds to bend the supporting leg and 2 seconds to straighten. Keep fluid and stable, fixing vision on a still object helps. 12 times on each leg, super slowly. Works glutes and quads to even strength and stabilises knee support. If it is uncomfortable on the shin raise the heel fractionally.
SQUAT WITH SPINE MOBILISER Exercise 3
Feet slightly wider apart than the width of the hips, bend generously allowing the backside to protrude and rotate with helicopter arms to look behind you. Come back to start position and repeat other side. Keep the action slow, ensure you move the spine by bending AND twisting so as to exercise its full mobility. 12 repetitions in all. Works glutes, hamstrings and conditions spine flexibility.
EASY PULL UPS Exercise 3
If you have access to a bar or climbing frame (even door frames are good), take an over hand grip and using the power from your toes, make a steady and controlled jump to pull yourself up past the bar. Lengthen the arms well between each chin up. Modify the exertion by jumping more if needs be. It may seem a tough back-into-shape exercise but it conquers so much and the pulling/climbing action is even recommended a few weeks after abdominal surgery and even c-sections! Aim for 5 to 10 reps. Works: mid section, biceps, front shoulder and upper back.
ROTATION Exercise 4
This can be done with or without the extra resistance of the band. Stand squarely forward and then take the right hand over the head, the right foot behind the left as if making a wonky curtsy. Feel the reach in the stretched side and the obliques / side muscles working on the underside. Keep the under arm pulling across and away from the reach to ensure the rotation is whole to optimise a mobile back. Repeat 8 each side. Works obliques and aids spine mobility.
BEND TO EXTEND Exercise 5
On the knees with hands behind the head with elbows squeezed backwards and the back upright, draw in the tummy, tilt forward as far as you can go without sitting on the heels or nutting the ground! Lower down slowly over 5 seconds, pause and return to upright position. Keep the elbows back all the time. Repeat 6 times. Works hamstrings and re-educates a bending action.
Requires a resistance band. Wrap the band around a post, tree or fixed point, hold both ends in the hand closest to the chosen anchor. With knees bent and body facing squarely forwards, lift out of the legs whilst slowly punching across the body with an extended arm. Return to the bend leg front on position and make sure the working arm is at 90 degrees before punching again. This ensures mid section work rather than a chest or shoulder exercise. Repeat 10 each side. Works mid section with emphasis on obliques.
NOTE: Perform this exercise circuit twice each time!
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