Fitness

Rapid Fat Burn with Circuit Training

What Is Circuit Training?

Circuit training is a programmed series of body conditioning exercises set on a specific course. Weight training and aerobics work well for this purpose. The time between exercises in the circuit is short; move rapidly the next exercise. After completion of the prescribed circuit, repeat it starting at the first exercise. Continue to repeat the circuit until the set amount of time is up.

Since each exercise station changes up the muscle group being worked, no rest is needed when moving between sets of exercises. The exercises are performed in rapid repetitions which raises heart rate. When the heart rate is boosted lots of calories are burned. When done with the session, calories will continue to be consumed for a few hours more.

You decide what exercises to include in the series. The course can be quite simple or complex, whatever suits your needs. A typical circuit should work each section of the body. An example circuit is described below.

#1. Run in place as quickly as possible. Pump arms while moving legs. Easier:  slow down or march in place. More difficult:  raise knees higher (to chest). Do this Warm-Up for 2 minutes only at the beginning of circuit session.

 RunInPlace

#2.  Bench Dip:  Keeping elbows close to sides, lower body almost to floor.  Then press upward until arms are straight.  Easier:  Knees bent and feet flat on the floor. More difficult:  Straighten legs; put feet on chair in front. Do 10 reps per set.

BenchDip

#3Crunch – Bent Knee:  Lay on back, knees bent, arms straight at sides. Keep head & neck in line with spine, tighten abs. Raise shoulders & upper back toward ceiling. Low / middle back & arms stay on floor. Do 15 reps per set.

CrunchBent Knee

#4.  Full Squat: Head is up; back is straight; feet are pointed slightly out. Squat until backs of thighs touch calves. (Easier: thighs parallel to floor). Keep abs tight; balance weight on heels. Adjust arm position for balance. Do 10 reps per set.

FullSquat

#5Wall Push Away:  Facing wall, place hands (fingers up) on wall about shoulder width apart. With body straight, elbows up and heels on floor, lean into wall. Hold position for 4 seconds, then push away using arms. Do 15 reps per set.

WallPush Away

#6Crunch Twist:  With legs bent, tighten abs & raise upper body and 1 leg. Twist to touch opposite elbow to raised knee. Alternate sides. Do 15 reps per set.

CrunchTwist

#7Lunge:  With feet hip width apart, step into a deep forward lunge. Front knee should be aligned with ankle; back knee pointing to the floor. Push back leg to straight keeping rear knee raised.  Hold this position for 7-10 seconds. Repeat with other leg.  Perform the lunge 10 times for each leg.

Lunge0001

#8Standing Bend:  Stand with feet together and reach overhead with palms touching. Bend body to one side as fa as possible. Repeat on other side. Do this Cool Down Stretch only at the end of circuit session.

StandingBend0001

 

 

Wellness, Whole Health

What is stretching? Why Stretch?

Stretching is physical exercise.  It helps to improve a muscle’s elasticity, tone and flexibility.  It also works to enhance balance and increase blood circulation.  By warming up the muscles and raising the heart rate (HR), stretching prepares the body for exercise with improved physical performance.

Stretching also increases production of synovial fluid that reduces friction in certain joints and helps to improve range of motion (ROM).  ROM is the ability of a particular joint to move.  [Pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with arthritis can limit the range of motion of a particular joint, reducing function and the performance of everyday activities.  Stretching Helps!!]

However, stretching can be damaging if not performed correctly.

Ideally, before an exercise routine, warm-up with about 10 to 15 minutes of light aerobic exercise (walking, biking, eliptical trainer, etc.) before stretching.  Then do about 10 minutes of dynamic stretching:  slow controlled movements through the full range of motion.  Risk of injury is reduced by performing these movement stretches.

At this point the muscles are warmed up and ready for your particular exercise routine.  After the exercise routine is completed perform static stretching to realign your muscles and to cool down, bringing your HR back to normal.

After any physical activity, there can be a build-up of lactic acid.  Stretching helps to reduce the level of lactic acid, helping to alleviate muscle pain and/or cramps.

General Stretching Guidelines

  1. Move the designated body part to a position of MILD stretch.
  2. If possible, increase the stretch to a position of mild discomfort but NOT pain.
  3. Maintain normal, relaxed breathing throughout the stretch.  DO NOT hold your breath.
  4. If you feel unbalanced while doing a standing stretch, brace yourself with one hand, using a firm support such as a counter top, wall or heavy piece of furniture.