Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getting in shape....

I found this article on MSN today and thought it interesting enough to share ... and maybe even try it.
Backyard Boot Camp
TEN-HUT! It's time to get in shape. But what if you don't have much time? Well, a boot camp could be the key to giving you fitness, strength and a new outlook on life. Military-style boot camps are designed to get you fit, FAST. Rather than isolating individual muscles, boot camp workouts offer more efficient calorie burning by exercising large muscle groups like legs, arms and core. 

Home boot camps can be inexpensive to set up, too - as little as $10 at a one-stop store. Use 3-, 4- or 5-pound dumbbells if you have them or substitute gallon-jugs of water, adjusting the water level to suit your weight-training needs. For prone exercises, get a mat or piece of carpet.

Boot camps are not about reps and sets; circuits are the thing. Instead of doing three sets of 10 reps, you move from one exercise to another with each station lasting one minute. You then loop back around and repeat the entire circuit again and again as time allows. LET'S GO!

Before you get started, warm up a bit. Run in place or do jumping jacks for five minutes. The goal is to get your heart rate going and your blood flowing.

First station
Do basic squats. Bend at the knees and hips, holding the 5-pound weight or gallon jug out in front of you. Keep your back as straight as possible.

Second station
Go into an alternating lunge with one foot in front of the other. You should still hold the weights, but curl your arms (biceps) as you come out of the lunge. This is a combination exercise because it requires arms, legs and core to work together.

Third station
Drop and do push-ups either on your toes or knees, depending on the strength of your shoulders and pectorals. Keep your core strong by tightening your abs, not letting your butt drop; this protects your lower back while building and toning your arms, shoulders, back and pectorals.

Fourth station
Move into plank position. Rest on your forearms, holding your body straight in the middle. Your arms should be in prayer position with your palms together. Alternatively, you can try "mountain climbers." From the plank position, move on to your hands and bring one knee at a time in toward your chest and back out.

Fifth station
Do jumping jacks or run in place to keep your heart rate up.

Sixth station
Do bicycle crunches. While on your back with your hands behind your head, lift your right leg to your left arm, then your left leg to your right arm. Alternate back and forth.

Repeat all six stations five times.

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