Weight Loss Article - Fitness Gym Alternatives
"I don't have the time or money to go to a fitness center,
and I don't have room for a home gym. What can I do?"
Don't think for a minute that you are the only one on
a weight loss program that can't visit the local gym or bring a
series of exercise machines in-house. If you want to integrate an
exercise regimen with the program you are following, but are short
on time, money or space, we can still help you get great results.
First, you might want consider the
Bun and Thigh Rocker (Body by Jake) as it offers tremendous
results without taking up a lot of space.
Otherwise, the suggestions listed below echo those of training techniques
that helped people tone and shape their bodies without the use of
Back to the Basics
Just as successful weight loss programs take you back to the
basics of nutrition, these workout alternatives will take you back
to the basics of exercise. Understand that if you are already on
a weight training program, don't think that you have to abandon
it and replace it with these suggestions. Either method can be just
as effective, and whether or not you want to train with or without
weights is up to you. The benefit of the equipment-free method is
that the exercises can be done almost anywhere and they are perfect
for those times when you are away from home or just need a break
from the typical routine.
Walking, Jogging, Running and Bike Riding
All of these options are great for your heart and fat burning
mechanisms. Some people prefer to walk, others like to jog, a small
percentage prefer to run and almost everyone enjoys a leisurely
bike ride. Make it a point to take advantage of one of these activities
regardless of the training program you choose. Not only will this
give you a beneficial cardiovascular workout, but you will build
your tolerance to exercise and ultimately increase your energy level.
If possible, join in one of these activities with your husband,
wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, child, pet or even a close friend.
The conversation helps pass the time and you may find a partner
who is willing to join forces with you on your quest.
Don't Count the Obvious
We've see some programs take every little activity you could
possibly do in a day and consider it viable exercise. From gardening
to even shopping, these programs tell you to calculate how many
calories you have burned with your daily activities as though it
was true exercise. Rest assured, your daily caloric intake considers
moderate to heavy activity, so you needn't worry about counting
what you're burning throughout the day. This would not only become
monotonous, but it will cloud your judgment as well. Trust us, you
will know when you are "exercising".
Oh, you remember these? We aren't going to tell you they're
fun, but they do equate to an excellent training exercise. There
are dozens of ways to accomplish a pull-up and there is really no
limit to the number of forms a chinning bar can have. What you should
know is that there is only one safe way to do it. We've seen too
many people wiggle and sway their way to a full chin-up and this
is far from proper form. Because pull-ups are not a natural movement,
especially when you haven't done it since the sixth grade, we would
encourage you to thoroughly warm-up before doing this exercise.
The simplest way to perform this exercise at home is to use a doorway-chinning
bar (some people carry one with them when traveling as it fits in
a suitcase). We're going to remind you that before each session,
you should make sure it is screwed in tightly.
Stand up under the bar and grab it with your palms facing the bar.
Keep your thumbs facing each other and keep the hands at shoulders
width plus twice the forearm's length (see fig. 1).
Pull your body up until your chin touches the bar. Never try to
pull the bar towards the nape of the neck. Even though you will
often see this performed in gyms and elementary schools, it is absurd
from a biomechanical point of view. Because it moves the elbows
away from the insertion points of the Lats (Latissimus Dorsi), the
flared muscle that gives the back its V shape, it results in an
awkward and often painful routine.
When doing a pull-up, it may help a lot to flex your legs up during
the ascending part of the movement (see fig. 2). If you're unable
to do at least one pull-up, the best way to go about it is with
negative repetitions where you ascend by supporting part of your
weight on a stool (see fig. 3), then descend as slowly as possible.
This will gradually build enough strength to where you can easily
handle this exercise without assistance.
For those in a gym setting who want to try this, a few gyms now
offer machines where you stand on a small platform that relieves
as much of your weight as you wish while you are simultaneously
pulling yourself up. This or the stool method may be one of the
best means to prepare for this exercise.
One or two sets (as many repititions as possible) of this exercise
each day is more than enough.
Demonstrates proper form and technique.
Flexing the legs may help.
Using a stool to build strength.
As for the push-ups, their execution is much simpler (see fig.
4). Just take care of positioning your hands a little wider than
your shoulders width. Remember that you should inhale on your way
down and exhale when you're pushing your chest away from the ground.
Your body should stay as stiff as possible during the whole movement
and the arms should be the only moving part. Here again, if you're
unable to perform one perfect push-up, you can relieve part of your
weight by leaning your knees on the floor. Your knees will become
the pivot point for your body (see fig. 5) and this can help you
build up your strength. One or two sets (as many repititions as
possible) of this exercise is more than enough.
Perfect push-ups; keep the body stiff during movement.
Using the knees as a pivot to help build strength.
Front Lunges (one-legged squats)
This exercise is also done without using any weights, but it is
not effortless. Stiffness in the thighs and gluteal muscles (buttocks)
is practically guaranteed the day following its proper execution.
This exercise does require a pretty good balance and practice will
make perfect. If just beginning, we would recommend that you use a
lateral support, such as a chair. We are going to give a detailed
description of this exercise, nevertheless to make it easier to understand
we added the following example.
The exercise is done obviously on a single leg. The other leg is bent
and is only used for balancing. When the load-bearing leg is completely
bent, the knee of the other leg must be at the heel's level of the
anterior leg (put a thick towel under that knee to absorb any impact
with the floor).
You should ascend only with the sheer force of your anterior leg.
The toes of the posterior leg must leave the ground as soon as possible.
Keep your chest always leaned forward and stand up until the load-bearing
leg is completely extended. Finish the set with one leg before moving
to the other leg.
One note of caution should be added here: you will only do one set
of this exercise as it will already be grueling enough. As for repetitions,
continue as long as you can without obvious pain. You are only doing
one set because you there is no need for a "warm-up"...you
are already carrying the maximum load represented by your body's weight.
If at first you find it difficult to do this movement, try doing it
with the help of your arm by placing a chair next to you on the load-bearing
If you have a small set of dumbells or hand-weights, use them
to simulate the exercies demonstrated through the software and in
the manual. Rows, butterflies, curls and more can all be accomplished
with dumbells and hand-weights. See the Workout area of the software
or the manual for more information on weight-based exercises.
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