Archive | September, 2012

Lose Your Chair; Your Muscles Will Thank You For It.

27 Sep

by Phillip Tomlinson

She does it sitting down.

For well over an hour.

Reading the newspaper that is.

I know, that’s not so unusual ’cause lots of people do that.  Right?

Well, not the way she does.

You see, there’s sitting down, and then there’s really sitting down.  Without a chair, as you would expect.  And I should also tell you that she’s a mere 69 years young.

Of course, all this is relevant because I’m talking about squatting.  Like when you were a kid and hardly had much use for a chair.

So, here’s the question, now that you’re all grown up:

Can you still comfortably assume a full squat, a few inches from the ground, like a sumo wrestler, and hold it for a significant period of time as if you were 69 years young?

Good for you if you can!

But here’s the flip side:

If you can’t, like so many of us, or struggle to revisit this once-comfortable position, you are at a disadvantage.

The answer?  Work toward being a kid again when you could squat and stand up at will and in the process effect physical development that enabled you to play with reckless abandon.

While you may have left recklessness behind, I’m pretty certain that playing is still in the cards.  So, to keep playing at the highest level, check out the BodinSync Prescription below for an exercise that’ll help you reduce your limitations by shoring up your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, hips, adductors, lower back, calves, abdominals and — as a bonus — your arms and shoulders.

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BODINSYNC PRESCRIPTION

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  1. Select two dumbbells that you can perform curls with.  Select weights that’ll challenge, but not cause strain.
  2. Assume a standing position — your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and pointing out to the side.
  3. Place the weights on the ground, inside your feet as in diagram 1.

    diagram 1

  4. Go into a full sumo squat with your hips below your knees, the soles of your feet entirely on the ground as you grip the weights.  See diagram 2.

    diagram 2

    NOTE: If you are unable to do a full squat, use a support such as a an aerobic step adusted to the appropriate height or a very short stool as in diagram 3. 

    diagram 3

    Your aim should be to ultimately make the support lower and lower until you are able do a full squat.  CAUTION:  Be sure not to squat on or near the edge of the support, since this could cause it to topple resulting in serious injury.

  1. Using the inside of your thighs as stops, press the outside of your elbows against them, palms facing up, and curl both dumbbells up to the top of your shoulders as in diagram 4.

    diagram 4

  2. Driving with your hips and heels, stand straight up as in diagram 5.

    diagram 5

  3. Now, turning your palms in, drive them straight up above your head into a military press as in diagram 6.

    diagram 6

  4. Lower the weights back to the top of your shoulders, palms facing in.
  5. Lower yourself back into the squatting position.
  6. Lower the weights back to the ground, palms facing in.  THAT COMPLETES ONE REPETITION.  Do 10.

TIP:

Pay special attention to the position of your hands.  When you curl to the top of your shoulders, your palms are facing up, but when you eventually lower the weights to the ground again your arms are facing in to do the negative half of a hammer curl.

To make the routine more challenging, take a 30-second rest and do every move, back-to-back, 10 times.  In other words, after the initial compound routine, do 10 curls from the squat position, 10 squats and, finally 10 military presses.

NOTE

Interested in trying out some fun and functional ways to improve your physical fitness?  You’re welcome to send your E-mail to kerolinson@gmail.com to arrange for a class at the low introductory price of $20

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