Saturday Strength Training:
Jog 1 mile:
Jogging properly will spare you injury. To do this, you need the proper shoes and the proper form. Buy your shoes in a store that can offer professional help with the right fit.
1. When you jog, your shoulders should be back and your arms relaxed with your hands cupped loosely. Allow your arms to swing naturally in rhythm with your elbows bent at your waist.
2. Keep your feet and knees facing forward using the heel-to-toe-technique as you jog, landing on the heel, rolling forward to the ball of the foot and then pushing off from the toes.
3. Breathe in a relaxed fashion through your mouth and nose keeping your body loose and fluid. Your style will develop the more you jog.
4. Keep your body at the same angle on a hill as you do on a flat ground. Your stride shortens as you jog uphill, so use your arm swing to increase your momentum.
5. Reduce the impact on your legs and joints by jogging on soft surfaces like grass and vary your terrain with alternate routes.
6. Walk a few hundred yards to warm up and cool down before and after you jog.
Note: Concentrate on an even stride to decrease the chance of injury.
Take care not to lean backward going down a hill.
Target muscles are Quadriceps. Also works the Calves, Glutes, and Hamstrings, Middle & Lower Back - Lats.
Ideally, you need a barbell on a squat rack, however you can use a barbell freely, or hold two dumbbells, or hold a weight plate at your chest with arms crossed.
To perform this exercise without putting pressure on the neck you must consider the placement of the bar. The incorrect placement is too high on the neck, bringing you too far forward when you squat, creating undue pressure on the neck. The bar needs to be on the top of your shoulders just below the base of the neck. There are two correct positions, the high bar and the low bar. Here, we’ll use the high bar position, just below the base of the neck.
1. Set the height of the barbell on the rack so it is the height of your upper chest.
2. Position yourself under the bar with your knees bent so the bar is resting high on the back of your shoulders, just below the base of your neck. Then, grip the bar with your hands a bit wider than your shoulders where it feels most comfortable.
3. Straighten your legs slowly pushing upwards, lifting the bar off the rack.
4. Take a step forward, standing with your legs a shoulder width apart.
5. Squat, slowly bending your knees forward and your hips back as if sitting down. Continue the move until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep your knees and feet pointing in the same direction, and be sure to keep the bar on the same spot on your neck throughout the movement, not allowing it to roll up or down.
6. Hold for a split second, then push up through your heels, straightening your knees and hips until you are standing straight without locking your knees.
7. Make any necessary adjustments to your stance and width of your grip. Keep your head forward and your back straight and repeat the exercise.
Complete 3 sets of six repetitions and work your way up to 10 reps.
Note: The low bar position, just a little bit below the high bar, is typically used by power lifters who can load more weight.
Position the bar on your shoulders without weight and get used to the placement, then load only the appropriate weight for your fitness level.
Establish a natural breathing pattern, inhaling on the way down and exhaling as you return, breathing in deeply and out completely.
Always keep your weight on your heels. If your heels come up while squatting, your knees are forced forward putting pressure on the back of the knee cap. Pick up your toes inside your shoes and keep your heels planted firmly on the ground throughout the entire exercise to protect your knees.
Target muscles are Quadriceps & Calves. Also works the Glutes and Hamstrings.
You need a leg press machine.
Use a leg press machine to increase the muscle definition and power of your legs.
1. Sit down on the machine comfortably with your back flush against the back of the seat and place your feet on the platform in front of you at shoulder width apart. You may have to release the safety pins locking down the platform. If necessary, adjust the seat angles and distance to get the proper isolation form. Too large of a seating angle can risk injury to your lower back. If your legs are too close to your body you could be adding greater resistance than the amount of the weight you are pressing.
2. You’ll have to judge whether the weight is too heavy for your fitness level. Adjust the amount of weight accordingly so you don’t blow your patella on the first movement. If there are handles, be sure to grip them during the movement. Begin with a low weight that you know is comfortable for you to handle. Test the resistance, slowly pressing your heels and toes into the plate until your legs are almost fully extended WITHOUT locking your knees and then, slowly draw your legs back to the starting position. You should feel all of the resistance in your quadriceps muscles and some pressure on your hip flexors.
3. Exhale as you press up in a slow controlled movement. Inhale as you slowly lower the platform forming a 90 degree angle with your upper and lower legs. Pause and then repeat.
4. Be sure to replace the safety pins you released when you began on the leg press machine.
Note: Tightening your abdominal muscles during and between each repetition will increase the effectiveness of your workout and work your core. It is important to keep a tight abdomen to prevent lower back injury as well.
Do NOT lock your knees or you’ll risk serious ligament damage.
Make sure the platform is securely locked when you re-rack the weight.
Begin with 3 sets of ten repetitions and work your way up to 15 reps.
Seated Machine Leg Extensions:
Target muscles are Quadriceps.
You need a leg extension machine.
Always be cautious starting out with light weight and work your way up according to your strength level.
1. Begin by posturing yourself properly on the leg extension machine. Sit on the bench and make sure there is adequate space between your knee and the bench. That space should allow you to place your first two fingers under your leg, behind your knee. Do this with your palms up to get the width of your two fingers together. If you cannot easily fit your fingers between your knee and the bench, adjust the back of the seat accordingly until you can. This is to avoid putting pressure on your knee. You also want your ankle pad to be right where your ankle and your foot meet to get a good contraction.
2. Now, with your foot properly positioned under the pad and a two finger space between your knee and the bench, you’re ready to start the exercise where you concentrate on your Quadriceps.
3. So, with your legs under the pad, your feet are pointed forward and the pad is resting on your shins just above your feet, and you are gripping the hand bars (if equipped). Squeeze the Quads and come up slowly. Bring your legs up, squeeze, exhale, and come back down slowly inhaling. Do not come down to hard allowing the weights to bottom out at the end of the move.
4. Your keeping constant tension on the Quadriceps for twelve repetitions to start. Exhale up, on exertion and inhale down on return. If you are properly positioned, the angle at your knee should not exceed 90 degrees.
Complete 3 sets of twelve repetitions and work your way up to 15 reps or more.
Lying Leg Curls:
Target muscles are Hamstrings. Also works the Glutes & Lower Back – Lats.
You need a dumbbell for the at home exercise described here. Otherwise performed on a leg curl machine.
1. Place a dumbbell end up on the floor and lay belly down on your mat with the dumbbell positioned at your feet. With your hands in front of you, your feet are going to wrap around the dumbbell. So, the dumbbell is between your feet and you are squeezing tightly enough so you don’t lose the dumbbell when your legs are raised. Use a weight that you can comfortably lift with your feet and not drop it.
2. Curl your legs up, squeezing your Hamstrings and your Glutes. Go all the way up, and then back down slowly for one repetition. After completing at least 12 reps, place the dumbbell on the floor and sit up for about a 90 second rest between sets.
Note: When using a leg curl machine, do not overload the weight so you have to swing up or jerk the weight. This can injure your lower back and/or Hamstrings. As always, Begin with a low weight and work your way up as your strength increases.
Perform 3 sets of twelve reps to complete the exercise.
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises:
Target muscles are Calves.
You need to be standing on a flat surface with a pair of dumbbells.
This exercise will build your calves with a flex and stretch motion.
1. Stretch your leg and calf muscles before starting. Walking or biking for a few minutes is a great way to thoroughly warm up your legs before this exercise.
2. Grab a pair of dumbbells light enough for eight repetitions and stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Stand with your back straight and your abs and back nice and tight. You will be placing more emphasis on your legs with your body tight and rigid, allowing you to get the best work out of your calves.
3. With your feet flat on the ground, hold the dumbbells, one in each hand, hanging down at your sides. Be sure to stand as described above and this.
4. Stand up on your tiptoes and feel the tightness and contraction in your calves. When you are completely up on your toes, you will feel maximum contraction, and when you feel this, hold for one second. If you feel tightness or cramping that does not go away, stop the exercise and stretch out more thoroughly. If cramping and tightness persists, see your doctor.
5. Slowly lower your heels back down to your starting position and repeat. Try not to bounce as you perform the move, as it will make the exercise less effective.
Perform 3 sets of 6 repetitions to complete the exercise.
Note: Persistent Calf muscle tightness should not be neglected. If proper treatment is ignored, it can lead to ankle injury, shin splints, and various other foot problems. It can also affect the knees, hips, and lower back. To find the actual cause of leg muscle spasms, you should consult with a doctor or sports injury specialist. To relieve such cramps, doctors usually recommend deep tissue message therapy.
Medicine Ball Carry 1 mile:
You will be carrying a medicine ball while jogging back and forth at a ¼ mile distance.
1. On a flat stretch of ground about 200 meters or 1/8 mile long, mark a spot in the distance and jog toward it carrying a 6kg (just over 13 lbs) medicine ball, holding it in front of you. Establish a natural side to side movement with the ball as you run.
2. Walk back to the starting point holding the ball over your head with your elbows pointing out. So, you are holding the ball in the air (not resting on your head) and your elbows are pointing out to the sides. Your arms are bent at about 45 degrees.
Perform steps 1 & 2 four times to complete this 1 mile workout.