Is Fitness One Size Fits All?

With all the science, rumor, old wives tales and nonsense in and about the fitness world,  I feel as if fitness has been neglected. I have to ask, where does the individual fit in? All of the advice, all of the diets, workouts and all that- where does the individual fit in? Why is fitness all about looks? This fitness thing should be about health. It should be about wellness- being well-adjusted, physically centered and so on. Fitness should not be what it is  represented as today. It is not what fitness should be. In my opinion, fitness is not one size fits all. The fitness industry has people believing that if you’re not looking like some fitness model, you’re not healthy. That is wrong. EveryBODY (no typo there) is different. Fitness is not one size fits all. Unfortunately, people put way too much stock into looks and not enough stock into being physically, mentally and spiritually fit.

With the obesity epidemic in America today (stats later on in paragraph), shouldn’t the focus for fitness be on weight management and overall health?

STATS

  1. More than 1/3 of all Americans (38%) are obese.
  2. Non-Hispanic Blacks have the highest obesity rates (48.5%), followed by Hispanics (44.5%).
  3. The cost of obesity (as of 2008 CDC reports) is/was $148 BN USD, with the average cost of healthcare for the obese being $1429 more than those not obese.

With all the stats I have laid out, where does this fit in?

Image result for fitness model pix

In my view, the fitness industry needs a reboot. The focus should be on the individual and to focus on making fitness fun again. Too much attention is given to junk science, gadgets, extreme workouts and all sorts of things that people will not buy into. Fitness should be all about feeling good and making yourself the best you can be. So many times, we have seen obese people in the gym getting mocked by some nubile kid who is posting selfies and facebooking. This is the kind of thing that hurts the image of the fitness industry look very, very bad.

funny picard meme why would you make fun of a fat person at a gym who is trying to do something about it

For fitness to be about the individual, there must be a cessation on junk science, all the gadgets, tips, tricks and bad advice. I contend there must be more of a customer service driven point of view. To have the trust of people and to (most of all) make people healthy and to change the world. We at the Halcyon Fitness Group are committed to bringing this sort of change. People need to have fun in this world, more now than ever- why not make fitness fun and more relaxed?

In closing, there needs to be a reset for the fitness industry. Fitness as we have described… does mean a “one size fits all”. People are different and that fact needs to be recognized. Fitness should mean different things to different people. Fitness does not have to mean one size fits all.

15 Ways for Success with Your Fitness Regimen

It’s now June… how many of you have kept with your New Year’s pledge to lose weight, perhaps turn your life around? If you’ve fallen off track, that’s no big deal (over 85% of Americans break their New Year’s pledges in under 45 days). In case any of you all need a refresher, or a plan to get over the hump (or just to stay the course), here is my list of 15 ways to have success with any fitness regimen. This is by no means a comprehensive list… but hopefully it will work for you. Now, the list.
There is no shortcut to ideal health (whatever that is for you), no magic pill that lets you hit your five-a-day target and no single exercise that gives you a shredded physique in minutes. It takes time, hard work and an educated approach to get in shape and stay in shape. Following these tips will make your fitness quest (and life) a whole lot easier.

1. Prepping for Success
The better path to a sound diet is found by using your weekends wisely. Use the extra time you have on your weekends to make large batches of healthy meals that you can portion up to cover at least a couple of midweek lunches and dinners, avoiding the certain death of your fitness goals via fast food.

2. Mix Up Your Exercise

Variety is – cliché alert! – the spice of life, and many sports and activities support each other in ways you won’t realise until you try it. For example, strength training for your legs and core will make you a better runner, while those addicted to dumbbells will find Pilates works muscles they’d never even considered.

3. Calibrate Your Fitness Technology
If you invest in a fitness tracker, don’t just sit back and assume that following the preset targets will lead you to glory. Adjust the steps, active minutes and calorie targets regularly to build on your progress, or make them more realistic if you never get close and have started to ignore them. If you don’t engage with your fitness tech, you’ll quickly discard it.

4. Add In Extra Activity
This one of the oldest tricks in the book: take the stairs not the escalator, or get off the bus a stop early and walk. Any activity is better than none, and will only encourage you to do more. And if you really want to up the ante, try sprinting up the stairs (safely) each time you take them – clinical studies found that short bursts of high-intensity stair-climbing can make a significant difference to your cardiorespiratory fitness.

5. Keep Tabs On Your Visceral Fat

You can be skinny on the outside (at least your arms and legs), but fat on the inside. Visceral fat is the type that builds up around your organs and often results in a pot belly. It’s linked with heart disease, several types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Check your waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) to see if you’re at risk. Grab a piece of string and use it to measure your height, then halve it. If it doesn’t fit around your waist, get exercising – visceral fat is the first type to go when you start a health regimen.

6. Value Your Rest Days
When you start on a fitness kick, it’s tempting to exercise every day while motivation is high. This is a bad move, and one that may see your motivation flame out within weeks, because you’re always exhausted and won’t see the massive improvements you expect for your efforts. Why? You’re not giving your muscles the time and rest they need to recover and grow.

7. Up The Intensity If You’re Short On Time
Health and wellness experts still promote the 150 minutes of moderate activity a week minimum, but now offer an alternative option of 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. That’s running or singles tennis, for example, rather than cycling or walking, which count as moderate. You can also mix the two, so 60 minutes of vigorous cardio plus 30 of moderate will do the trick also. Bear in mind the guidelines also demand strength exercises on two or more days a week alongside your aerobic activity.

8. Treat Your Body Right
Nothing derails a health kick as quickly as injury, as many serious injuries will start out as small ones- you may think it’s OK to push through. Scaling back the intensity for a few days is better than having to shut it down for a few months. If you have an urgent desire to hit the gym, target a different part of the body from the one that’s bothering you.

9. The Drive for Five
Eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day should be at the cornerstone of your healthy diet plan. What’s not wise is getting in a rut and eating the same five every day, because different types of fruit and veg contain different vitamins and minerals. A good way to vary your five-a-day is to eat different colors, as the hue is a decent indication of the nutrients they contain.

10. Don’t Undervalue Your Sleep
There is tendency for people who sleep very little to brag about it, as if it’s an indication of their commitment to life. However, getting the full seven to eight hours is vital to a healthy lifestyle, as it provides the energy for your exercise and even influences dietary choices – a 2016 study found that in the day following a night of limited sleep, people ate an extra 385 calories on average. You don’t snooze, you lose.

11. Increase Your Cadence On Your Runs
If you are consistently picking up injuries when running, one change it’s definitely worth trying is to up your rate of strides per minute (your cadence). If you overstrike, thus taking fewer steps, you put extra pressure on your knee and hip joints. Try and take more steps, which means your feet will land more beneath your body, reducing the impact on your joints.

12. Give It Your All or Turn It Loose
The first time you try an exercise it’s very hard, but at least quite novel. The second time the novelty is gone, and it’s still hard, leading to the temptation to quit. Try it at least once more, as the third time is often the charm – when a sport or workout starts to become as enjoyable as it is tough.

13. Count Reps Backwards
This is a mental trick that might make resistance workouts a little easier. Counting down the reps means by the time it’s really hurting you’re at the 3,2,1 stage, which feels closer to the end than 8,9,10 or whatever target you’re going for. It won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth a try.

14. Make Full Use Of Your Street Furniture
Exercising outdoors is a great way to ensure you get your hit of vitamin D (if it’s sunny) as well as a good workout, and it doesn’t have to be all cardio. As well as the exercise machines that litter many parks, you can nearly always finds a bar or ledge for pull-ups, or a bench or wall to do dips on. Rarer treats can even include chains to use as ersatz TRX ropes.

15. Record Stats and Progress

Nothing builds motivation as efficiently as seeing signs of improvement, so make sure you keep some kind of record of your activity. It can be as simple as noting your record five-rep max or fastest 5K time, using either one of the many excellent fitness apps available or old-fashioned pen and paper.
In closing, these tips and tricks will help in your fitness goals. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is a fundamental building block in fitness and in life. Knowledge (alongside hard work and dedication) is the most essential of the basics. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!

HOW TO GAIN STRENGTH- 5 RULES

HOW TO INCREASE STRENGTH- FIVE RULES

Strength is and always has been a goal for those who are avid fitness people. In today’s era, with the ever-increasing popularity of MMA-style training and CrossFit training, there has been a metamorphosis of the definition of strength. Gone are the days of 5’9″ 320-lb “strongmen” who could outlift you and OUTEAT you. Now it’s all about functionality combined with strength training. It is a huge win for the advocates of this type of training. It’s pretty evident that it works. It’s also a slam-dunk that it’s here to stay. Why not functional training? It is a more modern approach to training and it has the science to back it up.
On the other hand, there are some who will ask, “what about strength?” I am sure there are some of you out there who are looking to increase your strength without using steriods or any other PEDs let alone any sports nutrition products. Here are a few tips on how to increase strength without PEDs or changing your regimen or lifestyle.
When you are strength training, whichever day it is, always remember to take 30-45 seconds of rest between sets. Also in the same vein, slow the speed of the reps down. Let’s say your rep speed is on a 2-3 count. To gain strength, slow that down to about a 4-5 count. I must warn you to start at the weight your are currently using, then build up. No need to hurt yourself.
Another way to increase strength is to use supersets. if you have never heard of a superset, it is as follows: Let’s say you are working chest today. You’re doing cable crossovers at 30 lbs for 3 sets, 15-18 reps. To superset the exercise, you immediately do another exercise with no break… like wide-grip pushups at a similar rep speed and rep count. This way you will work all the muscle fibers and increase strength.

Another way to increase strength is to go all out. Challenging yourself with max reps at maximum intensity. This is an old-school technique that works. It is also very risky and the chances of injury are much higher than that of the aforementioned routines.
Lastly, use the science available to you. Learn your body. Know and learn what works best for you. Learn your limits. Fitness is not one size fits all. Strength is not one size fits all. Stay learning. Learning is a foundational component of increasing strength or anything else in life. Stay hungry. Never be satisfied with anything, if that’s your goal.

In closing, remember what I have laid out here:
1) Stay hungry
2) Be fearless, always try new things
3) Learn how your body works
4) Keep your goals in front of you.
5) Put the work in.

These five rules, as well as everything else I have given you will GUARANTEE success in your quest to gain strength. Not only will it guarantee success in your fitness goals, this will enhance your life in all other areas. It will make you a better person.

Why Lifting Matters

When it comes to fitness in America today, there is a unspoken predisposed allegiance to cardio and functional training. While there’s nothing wrong with that, but resistance training has value. Maybe you’re convinced you shouldn’t lift weights because you prefer not looking like The Hulk. Maybe you figure you just wouldn’t like it, since you’re not one of those CrossFit types.

Though I don’t want to be confrontational about it… you’re wrong. Strength training not only builds muscle but can prevent disease, relieves stress and will definitely help you lose weight.

Here are 13 great reasons to include a little work with the weights into your fitness repertoire.

1. You’ll live longer.
While most forms of regular exercise can add years to your life, strength training in particular has big benefits. As we get older, the more muscle mass we have, the less likely we are to die prematurely, according to 2014 research from UCLA. “In other words, the greater your muscle mass, the lower your risk of death,” study co-author Arun Karlamangla, M.D., said in a statement. “Thus, rather than worrying about weight or body mass index, we should be trying to maximize and maintain muscle mass.” And what better way to maximize those muscles than by pumping iron?
2. For better sleep.
Regular exercisers — especially those who truly push themselves — report the best sleep, and weightlifting is no exception. In a small 2012 study in older men, researchers found that resistance training reduced the number of times the study participants woke up during the night, as compared to a control group who performed no exercise.

3. Your progress is so noticeable.
There’s nothing that feels quite as rewarding as setting a goal and crushing it. If you’re new to strength work, you’ll find that a weight you once thought was impossible to lift starts to feel easy sooner than you might imagine. Add to that, you’ll feel like a conqueror.

4. To protect your bones.
Weight-bearing exercise and particularly strength training is thought to increase bone density, reducing the risk of fractures and breaks among older adults.

5. To boost your balance.
Of course, one major cause of bone breaks as we age is falling. Some of weightlifting’s benefit in protecting against osteoporosis may be improved strength and balance, resulting in fewer falls. Indeed, research suggests that various resistance routines can reduce an older person’s rate of falling by around 30 percent.

6. It can make you happier.
Like many forms of physical activity, a little lifting can work wonders for your mental health. Strength training has been linked to reduced anxiety and depression symptoms as well as improved self-esteem, and it may even give your brainpower a boost.

7. To look better in your clothes.
Now, we don’t suggest you lift weights (or do any exercise, for that matter) solely for appearance — there are just so many other benefits! — but when it comes to slimming down, endless hours on the elliptical may not be getting you any closer to the results you desperately seek. In fact, building muscle may help you lose fat more effectively than simply doing cardio. “If you’re looking to lose fat, go with strength training,” trainer Nick Tumminello, author of Strength Training for Fat Loss told Business Insider. “Watch your diet to reveal your shape, and strength train to improve that shape.”
8. To burn more calories.
Simply having more muscle on your frame helps your body burn up extra calories — even when you’re sitting completely still.

9. You can do it in under 30 minutes.
Adding strength work to your regular exercise routine doesn’t have to eat up the tiny bit of free time you had left in the day. In fact, lifting is one area where more is not always better — around 30 to 60 minutes a week, total, is plenty, according to Runner’s Times.

10. And you don’t even have to go to the gym.
We’re using the term “lifting weights,” but the world of strength and resistance training includes a whole host of options outside of what you’d find at the gym. You can “lift weights” with cans and jars you find in your kitchen. You can “lift weights” using only your body. You can buy a pair of five-pound dumbbells and lift along with a DVD in the comfort of your own living room, where the only person checking you out in the mirror is you. In fact, if you’re new to strength training, many moves are safer if performed with just your bodyweight until you can get the hang of perfect form. Plus, many of those machines at the gym aren’t adjustable enough for the wide range of bodies that use them.

11. To run faster (really!)
Or swim longer or bike harder or get better at just about any other athletic endeavor you fancy. Why? Because you’ll be cultivating stronger, more powerful muscles to then put to good use. Also, strength training can help prevent injuries in other athletic pursuits, by helping correct muscle imbalances that in turn throw your form — even just while sitting or standing — out of whack.

12. Aids in heart health.
Despite the name, cardio isn’t the only form of exercise with cardiovascular benefits. A resistance training routine has been shown to lower blood pressure, in some cases as effectively as taking medication. The American Heart Association recommends adults aim for at least two strength training sessions a week.

13. Because then you can wear shirts like this

You can’t ban these guns - Men's Muscle T-Shirt

In closing, this is not a end-all, be-all list. This is another list, a tool to help you meet and exceed your fitness goals.

 

 

Top 5 Bicep Exercises for Size and Strength

It’s now May, and the sun is out. Pretty soon, most of us will be out at the beach trying to show off our bodies. For those of you who are “gym rats” and are concerned about breaking plateaus in your training routines…. never fear. I have my Top 5 list of the Best Exercises to increase bicep size. NOTE: This list is a primer for those who are getting into lifting and a refresher for the veterans of the gym who need a new routine to spice things up at the local gymnasium. As always, listen to your body, use your best judgment. See your doctor for injuries and advice. This article, this column and this site is not a substitute for sound health advice by a doctor (primarily your primary care provider). Use at your own risk. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!!
Now, the list:

1) Barbell Curl. This exercise often separates the men from the boys. Using proper form (more on that in a minute), this exercise will stretch the tape.
Standing straight and erect, have the barbell at the starting position, which is usually mid thigh level. Then, slowly, but surely, curl the barbell up to shoulder height. Use a weight you can safely handle to prevent injury. A good set should be between 6-8 repetitions with about a 30-45 second rest period in between. You should feel a slight, but good burn. As for form: Stand up straight. Use your arms to control the weight. Do not use your back under any circumstances. The reason is the risk of injury. Also, if you cheat that exercise, you are sabotaging your bicep development. Use your arms, not your back, legs, hips or anything else (some stand against a wall or pillar in the gym to prevent cheating).

2) Incline Dumbbell Curl. For this exercise, you need to be on an incline bench or an adjustible seat. Your form is still straight up, though seated, heels on the floor, chest slightly poked out and shoulders back. Using the same form to control the weight from the barbell curl exercise, perform the exercise. Again, use a challenging yet comfortable weight. Have at least three sets of 6-8 repetitions with a 30-45 second rest break in between sets. A truism that is said in the military holds true for these exercises: “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”. Control the weight, don’t let it control you. Feel the burn. There is a mental link that you can use: visualization. Visualize your biceps getting bigger and stronger with each set and every rep. Be strict with your form and you will see results.

3) Standing Biceps Cable Curl. This variation of the barbell curl yields great returns. If done correctly, as some have found, is the linchpin for a great biceps routine that can be a great part of your weight training regimen. Your form is still standing up straight, head centered, eyes forward, chest slightly poked out and shoulders back. Some use a variation that puts the dominant foot (if you’re right-handed, you will use your right leg/foot as the front leg and your left leg as your support/rear leg) exactly center of the cable and its attachment for a more intense block of bicep curls. The movement? Same as always. Control the weight, don’t let it control you. The ideal rep speed is a one-count on the up, one second to hold the weight at the top of the repetition, and a one-count to lower the weight for a total of three seconds. This is the basic rule of thumb for repetition speed. Continue to be cognizant of your form, to protct your back and your body from injury.

4) Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row. The Reverse-Grip Bent-Over Row is all about SIZE, POWER AND BRUTE STRENGTH. If this doesn’t put size on your biceps, nothing will. Your starting position is, bent over. Bent over, back straight, head facing up to the ceiling. You need to get full extension of the exercise to reap the rewards of it. Keep your back straight, control the weight. The top of the repetition will be least nipple level on the chest. No sudden starts and stops. Those herky-jerky movements gets people injured. Remember, slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Do not try to set powerlifting records on the first day you try them. Good form beats heavy poundages every time. Good form also beats using your insurance deductable up on needless injuries.

5) Concentration Curl. The final exercise on the list is absolutely fantastic for bicep development. Concentration curls are simply that, the movement is concentrated to a small range of movement. The procedure: You are seated, the “off-hand”, or arm you’re not using, will be the arm you place on your thigh. The arm you are using will be between your legs. Your legs are spaced exactly shoulder width apart, back straight. Your head will be facing down towards the exercise. You will want to watch/visualize the movement. Use the aforementioned speed in regards to the repetitions. Use the aforementioned rest periods for this exercise. More importantly, stretch before and after this exercise as the concentration curl is a direct attack on the bicep (moreso than the others). Remember slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

In closing, these exercises will give you that look of greatness. They will also teach you discipline and hard work. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!!!!

BATES’ TOP TEN STRENGTH/SIZE EXERCISES

NOTE: This is MY list, not a definitive list made elsewhere. This is basically what got me big. The basics… THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN.

 

Yes, this is still “The Basics Always Win”, but I am taking a different path on this one. I am going over my top ten favorite strength training exercises. These are foundational, but brutal. They got me big… and will get you big as well.
As always, use caution when strength training. Always consult your primary healthcare provider before starting any fitness regimen. Now, the list.

1) Bench Press. Called “The Grandaddy of Em All”, this exercise is king for a reason. Raw, animalistic strength is evident. It is noted that the bench press does tax the Central Nervous System a bit. Risk of injury is high, so technique and a bit of reason will come in handy.

2) Barbell Squat. Yet another brutal, yet simplistic exercise. This is another exercise that emphasizes technique, skill and a bit of courage lol. High risk of injury here as well. D
3) Bentover Row. This very simple exercise is all about blasting the upper back. Power, pure power.

4) Barbell Lunge. Used by athletes for ages to develop size in the quads, hamstrings as well as overall growth, this exercise is also dangerous for the knees (especially if you go too heavy).

5) Lying Dumbbell Flyes. This exercise is all about power, concentration and technique/form. Injury to shoulders, arms and chest is high. All-around exercise for great strength and looks.

6) Lawnmowers (Dumbbell Row). This exercise shores up the back, shoulders while scuplting the upper body as a whole. Great strength, thickness and width is a certainty.

7) Standing Dumbbell Press. All-around strength. Great for shoulders, back, neck even the chest gets a bit of work. Form, form, form. You need to use a weight that is comfortable, but challenging.

8) Dumbbell Curl. Timeless exercise. All about form, strength and patience. Yes, the politicians can’t ban the guns, but you need good form and a weight that is comfortable yet challenging.

9) Skullcrushers (Pullover Press). Animalistic power, size and savage strength is the name of the game here. Form, form, form!!!
10) Behind-neck press. Awesome for size, strength and bragging rights.

In closing, these are only ten of the many exercises that I consider great. Hopefully some of you gym rats out there can use what I have been using to get results, because that’s what it’s all about: 1) Good form 2) Passion 3) Results. These are the basics. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!

News & Notes

I am pleased to announce the start of a series of ebooks that will target my “Actualization Familiarity Mastery” motif. As you know, I always start with the basics. Motivation, bodyweight exercises. Later we will get into specifics like athletic fitness.  Any questions, complaints, observations can be sent via email at halcyoninfo6@gmail.com. Twitter: @halcyonfg16 

Thanks for reading.

Functional Exercises for the Elderly 2017

DISCLAIMER: As with any exercise regimen, always listen to your body. This list is a basic foundational resource to work with. As I always say, the basics always win. This is definently a win for anyone who wants to better themselves, whether aged or just rehabbing after injury or surgery. THE BASICS ALWAYS WIN!!
Top 22 Functional Fitness Exercises For Seniors 2017

1. Ball Squat

functional fitness exercises – ball squat

This movement will strengthen gradually your shoulders, arms, lower back, glutes, and your legs and you should do it every day to prevent a backache, and pain in those parts. Here are the steps how to do it:

Firstly, you stand the feet widely and hold a medicine ball with the hands in front of you.
Now you squat down, move the back, and keep the knees over the ankles.
You reduce the ball to the ground, maintain the head up and straighten the back.
Avoid hunching and now you can move to the beginning position.
Raise the ball over the head and repeat the exercise.
You can increase the weight instead of using the ball.

2. Stair Climbing.

functional fitness exercises – stair climbing

One of the best functional fitness exercises you should try is stair climbing. Staying active is a key to having a strong body and health and you should climb the stairs instead of using elevator too often. This simple exercise will keep your legs toned and conditioned and it will improve your arms, increase the energy to carry things to the stairs as well as boost up your cardiovascular health. Here is the instruction how to do the movement.

Now you stand at the bottom of stairs and hold the dumbbell (from 5-8 pounds) in your hands.
Next, you climb those stairs while you perform biceps curls.
You can run or walk down the stairs while you hold the weight without doing curls.
Repeat the exercise and you can add the weight of dumbbell to strengthen the arms.
3. Hip Extension

Hip extension exercise will improve your back, legs, glutes, and shoulders. If you want to learn functional fitness exercises, this is really helpful for your target.

You stand tall and hold two dumbbells in two hands.
Then you extend the left leg back and put the toe on the ground while you straighten the left leg.
Now you lean forward at your hips slightly and lift the left leg behind.
You bring the chest toward the ground and straighten out the arms to form a T at the shoulders.
Next, you squeeze the shoulders blades and keep the head with the neck in line.
Turn to the beginning position, change the side and repeat the exercise.
You can increase the weight if you feel stronger.
4. Diagonal Reach Exercise

functional fitness exercises – diagonal reach exercise

Reaching exercise is very simple to do and it works best for your muscles of legs, shoulders, and arms. The steps are:

You stand tall and hold a medicine ball with your hands, place it toward the chest.
Lift the ball diagonally over the head to the left, keep the arms straight and extend the right leg to the side while you make a diagonal line from the ball to the toes.
Return to the beginning position and repeat the exercise for the leg.
You can increase the weight if you feel stronger.
5. Lunge Exercise

functional fitness exercises – lunge exercise

The lunge is a great exercise that can improve the posture, strengthen the muscles in back, arms, and shoulders as well as tone and improve the legs and hip flexibility. Here is the direction how to do the lunge exercise.

You hold the proper weights in your hands.
Then you step the left foot forward, the right foot back.
Keeping the heels on the ground, point the feet straight.
Bend the left knee until it is over the left ankle.
Now you reduce the chest toward the thigh and bring the arms to the ground.
Make sure that you flatten the back and avoid hunching. This is the beginning position.
You keep the left leg straight and put the elbows back as you squeeze the shoulder blades together.
You keep the torso forward slightly and turn to the starting position.
Change the leg and repeat the exercise.
You can increase the weight when you feel stronger.
6. Knee Lift

functional fitness exercises – knee lift

Knee lifting will improve your core, increase the balance and strengthen your shoulders. How to do this movement? Let find this:

Firstly, you stand tall and hold a weight in your each hand.
Lift the left knee until it reaches the level of the hip.
You lift the arms and keep it straight as T form at the shoulders.
Hold it for some seconds and pull the belly toward the spine.
Now you reduce the starting position and repeat the exercise for each leg.
You can increase the dumbbells if you want.
7. Push-up Exercise

functional fitness exercises – push-up exercise

The push-up is a common exercise that can strengthen your arm, shoulder, and chest muscles. For seniors, you can do the exercise like this:

Firstly, you put the hands side than your shoulders and extend the left leg straight.
Pull the belly toward the spine and tighten the core muscles.
Now you lift the leg and reduce the chest to the floor until the elbows are at 90-degree angle.
Now you push up and repeat the exercise.
You can increase the hip angle and the knee distance from the hands.
You can perform the exercise with the legs straighten, but it is more difficult.
8. Torso Rotation

functional fitness exercises – torso rotation

To avoid injuries in lower back, you can do this exercise more often as the following instruction:

Firstly, you sit on the floor and bend the knees.
Keep the feet on the ground and hold a ball at the chest with your hands.
Now you lean the torso away from the thighs and increase the hip angle.
Next, you pull the belly button toward the spine and maintain the hip angle.
Now you rotate the torso to the left and move the left elbow toward the ground behind your body.
You turn to the center and rotate to the right side.
Turn to the beginning position and repeat the exercise.
9. Supine Bridge

functional fitness exercises – supine bridge

The supine bridge is one of the best functional fitness exercises for legs, glutes, back, shoulders, arms as well as core muscles. This exercise will open the chest and you should do it every day to get the best result.

You sit on the ground and put the hands under the shoulders.
You bend the feet and knees on the floor.
You straighten the arms and push the hips to the ceiling with the support of the legs until the torso is flat.
You lift the left arm towards the ceiling and rotate the upper body with the help of right arm. Make sure you lift the hips, as well.
Now you reduce the left warm to the beginning position and reduce the hips slightly but not touch the ground.
You repeat the exercise with the right arm.
Repeat each side for 10-15 times.
You can hold the hips and arms up for some seconds before reducing.
10. Dynamic Plank

functional fitness exercises – dynamic plank

The dynamic exercise will work for your entire body and it will be a perfect way to improve your fitness. Here are the steps:

To get started, you get on the toes and hands and face the ground.
You straighten the legs, back and head in a line and put the arms under the shoulders.
Now you pull the belly button to the spine to form a downward dog position in yoga exercise.
Now you lengthen the legs and arms and turn to the plank position.
Bend the elbows against to the sides and reduce the torso, the legs to the ground.
You keep the lower body flat on the ground and push the head and chest up with the support of the arms.
You stretch out the front of the body and reduce it.
Push the body back to the plank position and repeat the movement.
11. Knee Extension Exercises

functional fitness exercises – knee extension exercises

For the elderly and seniors, it is very important to maintain the balance and prevent falls. So knee extension is an excellent movement for elder health. Be sure that you extend fully and flex the knee while you perform the exercise. Here is the instruction how to perform exercise:

Now you sit on the chair and flatten the feet on the ground.
Next, you straighten the left knee and hold it for some seconds.
Repeat 10 times for each leg.
You should exhale when you move up and inhale when you move down.
You should move slowly and bring the toes toward the body to engage the quadriceps.
You can add some proper weight to the ankle to start.
12. Calf Exercise

functional fitness exercises – calf exercise

Calf movement is one of the most effective functional fitness exercises and it can help you maintain the balance, and improve the ability to walk. By doing this exercise, you will increase the muscles several times each day and you should give it a try like this:

Now you stand tall and use a chair to balance your body.
Then you raise the toes as high as you can and return to the beginning position.
Repeat for 10 times.
You should exhale when you move upward, inhale when you move downward.
To improve the balance, you can go of the chair and you can use the finger to hold on if it is too difficult to perform.
13. Knee Flexion Exercise

functional fitness exercises – knee flexion exercise

For strengthening the lower body, you can do knee flexion exercise at least 3 times each week. Knee flexion not only helps you keep the balance better, but it also reduces the risk of falls in seniors. Here is the instruction how to do the exercise:

You use a chair to balance your body while standing.
Now you bend the left knee backward as high as possible.
Turn to the beginning position and repeat the exercise for 10 times.
You change the leg and do it again.
While performing this movement, you should not bend the hips and try to keep stand tall as much as you might.
You should stretch the hamstring muscles for some seconds before doing exercise.
You can increase the weight to improve the workout.
14. Hip Raises

functional fitness exercises – hip raises

When you are getting older, it means that your bone might be weaker and it should be improved every day. hip raise will work well for your bone and it will reduce the risks of joint pain, stiffness. When doing exercise, you should begin slowly and here is the instruction for the exercise:

You stand tall and use a chair to balance the body.
Lift the left leg to the side as possible.
You move back to the beginning position and repeat the exercise.
You change the right leg and do it again.
Avoid bending the hips and stand straight during the exercise.
Point the toes straight and you can add some weight to improve the workout.
15. Ankle Circles

functional fitness exercises – ankle circles

To keep the stability and the balance at the elder age, ankle circles are excellent exercises for you. This exercise will make the ankles flexible and strong and it will prevent the loosing of balance in seniors. Learning how to do functional fitness exercises is a great way to improve your health and prevent some diseases.

You sit in a chair and keep the feet flat on the ground.
You extend the left knee and move the foot in a circle for 15-20 times.
Then you change into another direction for 20 times and repeat with another ankle.
You can extend the knee out if lifting the knee is difficult for you.
You can try small circles if the ankles feel cracked and painful.
16. Hip Marching

functional fitness exercises – hip marching

To strengthen the lower body and increase the endurance ability to hold objects, hip marching is a perfect exercise for you. This movement is also helpful and easy to give a try and here is the direction how to do it:

You sit in the chair and keep the feet flat on the ground.
Then you lift up the left knee as high as you can.
Now you reduce the leg and lift the knees for 10 times.
Change the leg and repeat the exercise.
You should not do this exercise more than 20 times to avoid soreness and fatigue.
You should move slowly and you can push the hands on the thighs and resist the movement upward.
17. Sit To Stand

functional fitness exercises – sit to stand

This exercise is also simple and easy to do as you just need to have a chair handy. This movement will strengthen your leg and mobility and the instruction of the exercise is:

Stand tall and place a chair behind your body.
Put the knees in front of the seat and lean forward.
Now you bend the knees and reduce the body toward the chair.
Pause a little and stand back before you try to touch the chair.
Repeat the exercise.
You should bend from your hips and put the hands on the knees to support.
You raise up the ribcage and stand up.
18. Heel Stand

functional fitness exercises – heel stand

Movements on ankle will increase the blood flow in the legs and it will improve the calf muscle. The exercise will give you a great chance to improve the balance with little support. Here is the way how to do the exercise for adults:

You stand tall and use a chair to balance the body.
Raise the heels up and lower them for 10 times.
You should inhale when downing the movement and exhale when raising up.
Avoid leaning on the chair too much time.
You should straighten the body when you lift the toes.
19. Leg Lunges

functional fitness exercises – leg lunges

Leg lunges are great functional fitness exercises and they can help you keep balance and maintain the mobility as well as independence. This is the instruction how to do the exercise:

You stand tall and put the arms on the hips or at sides.
Keep the feet and shoulder wide apart.
Step forward to keep the trunk vertically.
Now you push back to the beginning position.
Change the leg and repeat for 10 times.
You should increase the exercise gradually and avoid bending the knee deeply.
20. Leg Raise

functional fitness exercises – leg raise

Straight leg raise will improve the flexibility and balance in adults. This movement also increases the confines and functional independence in the body. Moreover, it can stabilize the lower back and pelvis as well as the quadriceps. If you want to strengthen abdominal muscles, the exercise is also a great option for you.

To get started, you lie the back on the ground and bend one knee, straighten another knee.
Point the toes upward to the ceiling and raise the straightened leg to the bent knee.
Turn back to the beginning position and change the leg.
Repeat for 10 times with each leg.
Also, you exhale when you move upward and inhale when you move downward.
You should put your palms down to have more support and avoid raising the knee higher than another one.
21. Partial Squats

functional fitness exercises – partial squats

Partial squats are great functional fitness exercises and they can increase hip flexibility. This exercise belongs to the training of lower body and it can increase the balance and improve your life quality. This movement will strengthen the quadriceps and hip flexor as well as improve your walk and balance. Here are steps how to perform the exercise:

You stand tall and use a chair to keep the body balanced.
Bend the knees as far as you can and stop it if you feel pain.
Return to the beginning position and repeat the exercise for 10 times.
You should inhale when you move downward and exhale when you move upward.
When bending the knees, you should breathe out and when you standing tall, you should breathe in.
You should straighten the body as you reduce and raise it.
You should look forward and keep the heels contact with the ground.
You can add weight on each hand to improve the workout.
22. Standing Hip

functional fitness exercises – standing hip

Standing hip exercise is one of the best lower body strengthening exercises for the elderly. This exercise will strengthen your leg and improve the balance at your age. It also tone the muscles on the buttock and help you walk or stand easier. So you should add it as a good workout for a great posture and strong legs.

This exercise will improve hip muscles and you just need to prepare a chair for the movement.
Now you stand tall and use a chair to balance the body.
You extend the leg backward and straighten the knee.
Now you move back to the beginning position.
Change the leg and repeat the exercise.
During the exercise, you should keep the rib lighted and the body erect.
Also, you try to straighten the knee and tighten the muscles and keep breathing

BEST BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES PART ONE

Best Bodyweight Exercises Part 1
DISCLAIMER
Always check with your primary care provider before engaging in any fitness regimen. This is not a “one size fits all” workout. Please use caution and listen to your body.

For those of you who are either still pondering about the best way to lose weight and get in shape (especially if you haven’t been to the gym in a spell), or are needing something different to break the monotony (and to give your joints a rest), here are some recommendations of mine for best bodyweight exercises. No gym membership, no credit card needed. All you need is some real estate (i.e. your floor) and a drive to succeed. Since this is part one of a scheduled three part series, I am going to give you 10-12 good bodyweight exercises that will get your heart rate going, you will be sweating and most of all, you’re gonna love it. So here’s the list:

 

Exercises
·          This block of bodyweight exercises are usually standalone exercise that are grouped together for an assortment of group training (which includes training on bars and/or benches). I will give you the exercise and the equivalent in case you cannot get to the bars or benches.
EXERCISE
ALTERNATE/EQUIVALENT

Dips
Military Press

Regular Push-Up
Wide/Narrow/Diamond grip Push-Up

Free Squat
Air Squat
These exercises target the big muscle groups such as the chest, legs and back. Alternately, your smaller muscles (triceps, biceps, traps, abs) will get a workout also.

 

The next block of exercises are CORE exercises. In case you don’t know, core exercises are those that tighten the midsection, giving you a great looking stomach (who really wants to look like a sumo wrestler when you don’t have to) and even shores up those all-important back muscles (especially those in the lumbar region). Also, this next block will also show you what exercises you can “superset” or use alongside with the original exercise (these superset exercises usually target another angle of the abdominal region and are done with no rest).

1)    Flutter Kick/Leg Raise: This combination will make you have some pretty rockin’ abs. Be sure to understand that this is not for the weak. Use caution as some have injured themselves due to overexertion (some to the point of hernias)

2)    V-Ups/Planks: This one is even tougher. The V-Up is all about the synchronization of the body to move as a unit in one fluid motion (like the letter V, thus the name), while the plank is more about the mind (keeping your body in a straight line for 45 seconds or more is a testament to the power of the human mind) than body.

In closing, I must say this: These are only basic bodyweight exercises. As I always say, “The basics always win” Why? If you master the basics, you have the foundation laid to do more, more effectively and efficiently because you understand the WHY behind the exercises. You understand the HOW behind the exercise and you definitely KNOW what to do to make your dreams, goals, visions a reality.  I grouped these exercises up in a easy manner. There are 12 exercises that are deceptively challenging, but will give you a good sweat if you are committed to doing it right.

KNEES.

The knees are extremely important for the body, as they support it and enable movements. Yet, when injured, they can cause difficulty ( i.e.an inability to walk, move, run, and do other everyday activities).

Here are 5 great exercises for the strengthening of the knees, and what’s more, you do not need any equipment to perform them:

 

 

  1. Wall slide

Start standing tall, with the back flat to a wall. Then, bend the knees, slide down the wall, and again return to the starting position. The arms should be raised overhead. Move them slowly, and keep the feet and legs parallel. Repeat 5-10 times.

  1. Steps -Ups

Step upward with one food on a bench, stairs, or a small table. Place the foot on it, straighten the knee, and step down.

  1. Bent-Leg Raises

While sitting on a chair, raise one leg in the air, but keep it straight thus for a minute. Next, bend the knee about halfway to the floor, hold for 30 seconds, and return to the initial position. Repeat this 4 times with both legs.

  1. Straight-leg lifts

While lying on the back with one knee straight on the floor and one bent, tighten the thigh muscles and lift the straight leg off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower the leg slowly. Do the same with the other leg.

  1. Hamstring Curls

Hold and face onto the back of a chair, raise the left foot, and bring it toward the back, remaining thus for 5 minutes. Then, lower the leg and repeat with the other leg.