Get Fit
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INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
The evidence is more convincing than ever! People of all ages who are generally inactive
can improve their health and well being by engaging in activity at a moderate-intensity
on a regular basis. Finding activities that you enjoy is the key to getting started. Physical
activity is a vital component of a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Some of the benefits of
physical activity are outlined below.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Healthier heart
Stronger bones
Increased strength
Increased energy
Stress relief
Better sleep
Longer life
SelecthHealth’s program “Get Fit” will help you create a personal workable exercise
program, maintain an existing exercise program, or just provide you with information
about exercise. There are three options—beginner, intermediate, and advanced—
as well as programs specifically for women, the core (torso), the home, and the
workplace. If you do not currently exercise, start now and set small, realistic goals
for yourself. These could include starting out by walking ten minutes a day, and
gradually increasing the walk to 15 minutes, 20 minutes, and so on. And don’t forget
to celebrate each milestone.
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TA B L E O F CO N T E N TS
TABLE
of
CO N T E N TS
Fitness Plan Profile ....................................................................................................5
PERSONALIZED EXERCISE PROGRAM PROFILE .......................................................................5
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY READINESS QUESTIONNAIRE .............................................................5
ANSWERS AND RESULTS ......................................................................................................5
Exercise and Physical Activity .......................................................................... 6
BASICS OF EXERCISE .............................................................................................................. 6
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE .......................................................................................................... 6
TYPES OF EXERCISE ................................................................................................................ 6
AEROBIC .............................................................................................................................. 6
CORE ................................................................................................................................... 6
STRENGTH/RESISTANCE TRAINING .....................................................................................7
STRETCHING/FLEXIBILITY TRAINING ..................................................................................7
HOW MUCH? HOW OFTEN? HOW HARD? .................................................................................7
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM WORKING HARD ENOUGH? .............................................................8
TALK TEST METHOD .............................................................................................................8
PERCEIVED EXERTION .........................................................................................................8
HEART RATE .........................................................................................................................8
FITT ......................................................................................................................................... 9
EXERCISE TERMS .................................................................................................................... 10
THE MAJOR MUSCLE GROUPS ................................................................................................ 13
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TA B L E O F CO N T E N TS
Guidelines for Exercise ......................................................................................... 14
CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE ................................................................................................ 14
STRENGTH TRAINING ............................................................................................................. 14
FLEXIBILITY TRAINING .......................................................................................................... 14
EXERCISE SAFETY .................................................................................................................. 15
PROTECTION FROM THE HEAT ........................................................................................... 15
PROTECTION FROM THE COLD .......................................................................................... 15
EXERCISE WARNING SIGNS ............................................................................................... 16
WOMEN AND EXERCISE ......................................................................................................... 16
STRENGTH TRAINING AND WOMEN ................................................................................... 16
TRAINING BY THE RULES ................................................................................................... 16
PREGNANCY ....................................................................................................................... 17
UNDERSTAND YOUR BODY ............................................................................................. 17
HOW OFTEN AND HOW LONG? ...................................................................................... 17
KEYS TO EXERCISING DURING PREGNANCY ................................................................. 17
EXERCISE PROGRAM OUTLINE ...................................................................................... 17
BEST EXERCISES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN ................................................................... 18
POSTPARTUM EXERCISE ................................................................................................ 18
Traveling and Exercise .......................................................................................... 20
PLAN AHEAD ......................................................................................................................... 20
WHAT TO BRING .................................................................................................................... 20
THE KEY ................................................................................................................................. 20
EXERCISES .............................................................................................................................. 21
Programs .......................................................................................................................... 22
GENERAL FITNESS PROGRAMS .............................................................................................. 22
BEGINNER........................................................................................................................... 22
PROGRAM OUTLINE ....................................................................................................... 22
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TA B L E O F CO N T E N TS
WORKOUT A: UPPER BODY ........................................................................................... 24
WORKOUT B: LOWER BODY .......................................................................................... 24
CORE .............................................................................................................................. 25
INTERMEDIATE ................................................................................................................... 25
PROGRAM OUTLINE ....................................................................................................... 25
WORKOUT A: PUSH ........................................................................................................ 27
WORKOUT B: PULL ......................................................................................................... 28
CORE .............................................................................................................................. 28
ADVANCED .........................................................................................................................29
PROGRAM OUTLINE .......................................................................................................29
WORKOUT A: CHEST AND BACK .................................................................................... 31
WORKOUT B: LEGS AND ABDOMINALS ......................................................................... 31
WORKOUT C: SHOULDERS AND ARMS ........................................................................... 32
CORE .............................................................................................................................. 32
OTHER PROGRAMS ................................................................................................................. 33
HOME WORKOUT ................................................................................................................ 33
OFFICE WORKOUT ............................................................................................................ 34
BODY-CORE STRENGTH WORKOUT .................................................................................... 35
Resources ........................................................................................................................36
GYMS THAT OFFER DISCOUNTS TO SELECTHEALTH MEMBERS .........................................36
BODY MASS INDEX CHARTS ...............................................................................................36
EXERCISE EXPENDITURE CALCULATION AND CHART .......................................................36
EXERCISE LINKS .................................................................................................................36
NUTRITION LINKS ...............................................................................................................36
CONTACT INFORMATION:
SelectHealth Wellness
Phone: 801-442-6759
E-mail: healthmanagement@selecthealth.org
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Fitness Plan Profile
PERSONALIZED EXERCISE PROGRAM PROFILE
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY READINESS QUESTIONNAIRE
The following questionnaire can help you decide which “Get Fit” program best suits you: beginner, intermediate, or the advanced
workout program. Answer the following questions; each answer will give you a certain number of points. After answering all of the
questions, add up your points. Your score on the questionnaire will correspond with the workout program best suited for you and your
needs.
QUESTION
ONE
TWO
THREE
FOUR
FIVE
SIX
1. What is your Body Mass Index?*
40 to 54
30 to 39
25 to 29
23 to 24
21 to 22
19 to 20
2. What is your
current fitness level?
Beginner
Beginner/
Intermediate
Intermediate
Intermediate/
Advanced
Advanced
Athlete
3. How often do you
participate in a regular
exercise program (AT HOME,
OUTSIDE, OR AT A GYM)?
Never
Some Days
Monthly
Biweekly
Weekly
Daily
4. How often do you
engage in regular physical activity,
such as hiking, biking, dancing, etc.?
Never
Some Days
Monthly
Biweekly
Weekly
Daily
5. What is your activity level?
Sedentary
Very light
Light
Moderate
Active
Very Active
6. Characterize your current
muscular capacity.
Not Good
Somewhat
Good
Medium
Good
Very Good
Excellent
7. Characterize your current
cardiovascular capacity.
Not Good
Somewhat
Good
Medium
Good
Very Good
Excellent
8. Characterize your
current flexibility.
Not Good
Somewhat
Good
Medium
Good
Very Good
Excellent
9. What is your blood
pressure range?
180 to 209
/110 to 119
160 to 179
/100 to 109
140 to 159
/90 to 99
130 to 139
/85 to 89
120 to 129
/80 to 84
<120/<80
*To find Body Mass Index, visit www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.pdf
ANSWERS AND RESULTS
TOTAL SCORE
LEVEL OF “GET FIT”
9-18
Beginner
19 to 36
Intermediate
37 to 54
Advanced
Note: You should always consult your doctor before you begin any exercise program.
The Get Fit programs serve only as exercise program outlines; the point totals may or
may not indicate your true fitness level. If you have questions about where you should
begin after completing this questionnaire and reading through the material, send an
email to healthmanagement@selecthealth.org or call 801-442-6759.
The Get Fit special programs are workouts that can be done at home or at work
with little or no equipment. They are easy to do and can be performed at your own
time and pace.
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Exercise and Physical Activity
BASICS OF EXERCISE
Most people do not get enough exercise in their ordinary daily routines. All of the advances of modern technology—from electric can
openers to power steering—have made life easier, more comfortable, and much less physically demanding. Yet our bodies need activity to
promote good health and to keep off excess weight. Satisfying this need requires a definite plan and a commitment. There are two main
ways to increase the number of calories you expend.
1. Start a regular exercise program if you do not have one already.
2. Increase the amount of physical activity in your daily routine.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
• Strengthens your heart muscle, making it pump more efficiently
• Increases your blood volume and the capacity of your blood to carry oxygen
• Reduces the stickiness of platelets in your blood, thus reducing risk of blood clots and artery blockages
• Increases muscle strength and endurance and improves your muscles’ ability to use oxygen from the blood for
energy
• Maintains bone, ligament, and tendon strength and helps prevent or slow osteoporosis
• Improves your lipid profile by helping to lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL
cholesterol (good cholesterol)
• Helps lower high blood pressure
• Burns calories and builds muscle mass, helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight
• Reduces the risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases
• Reduces the risk of injury
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
• Increases confidence and self-esteem
• Reduces feelings of stress, depression, anxiety, sadness, tension, and anger
• Exercise leads to an increase in energy and to better sleeping patterns
TYPES OF EXERCISE
AEROBIC EXERCISE OR CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE
Aerobic means “with air” or “with oxygen.” Aerobic exercise uses oxygen from the blood to fuel your muscles. Regular aerobic exercise
improves your cardiovascular endurance, which is the ability of your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and associated tissues to use oxygen to
produce energy needed for activity. Aerobic activities generally use large muscle groups, are rhythmic, and can be performed continuously
over a period of time at a moderate intensity. The longer you move aerobically, the more energy you need and the more calories you use.
You’ll build a healthier body while getting rid of excess body fat. Examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, jogging, swimming,
cross-country skiing, cycling, and dancing.
CORE
The core muscles are comprised of nearly 30 muscles that support your abdomen and lower back. Some of the core muscles include the
transverse abdominis, which is the deepest of the abdominal muscles; the external obliques, which are on the side and the front of the
abdomen and wrap around your waist; the internal obliques, which lie under the external obliques and run in the opposite direction; the
rectus abdominis, which is the “six pack” part of the abdominals and are in the front of the abdomen; and the erector spinae,
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which is a collection of muscles that run along your neck to your lower back. Because you use your core every time you move, it is
important to include core training in your exercise routine.
Benefits of Having Strong Core Stability:
Improves muscle power, kinesthetic awareness, agility, and performance
Increases muscle response time
Allows one to do more with less effort
Increases flexibility
Improves ones dynamic balance and posture
Reduces injuries
STRENGTH/RESISTANCE TRAINING
Muscular strength refers to the ability of a muscle to do or perform work. Resistance training is accomplished when the muscle is
lengthened and shortened against constant or variable resistance to increase strength and tone in the muscle. The American College
of Sports Medicine (ASCM) has recommended that all individuals include strength/resistance training as part of their regular exercise
program. Regular weight resistance activities/training have been shown to improve the structure and function of ligaments, tendons, and
joints; decrease lower back pain; and increase muscular strength and endurance. Resistance/strength training can help maintain fat-free
mass and bone mineral density. Muscle resistance training paired with cardiovascular training increases the success of weight loss and
weight maintenance.
STRETCHING/FLEXIBILITY TRAINING
Flexibility is the ability of a joint to move through a range of motion. As you age, your muscles tighten and your range of motion can
become limited. This can hinder your daily activities and make you more prone to injury. Regular stretching can lengthen your muscles,
restore range of motion, promote circulation, and help prepare your muscles for exercise and physical activity. Stretching also allows
greater freedom of movement and improved posture, and it increases physical and mental relaxation. Stretching releases muscle tension
and reduces the risk of injury. The best time for flexibility training is at the end of a workout, after the muscles are warmed up and their
tightness is reduced. Never stretch a cold muscle; doing so increases the risk of injury.
HOW MUCH? HOW OFTEN? HOW HARD?
You can vary your aerobic activities, for instance, walk one day and the next day ride a bike. Doing this will reduce boredom and avoid
plateaus. Make sure to choose an activity that can be done regularly and is enjoyable for you. The important thing to remember is not
to skip too many days between workouts, as the fitness benefits will quickly be lost. However, if you do lose a few days due to illness or
injury, gradually work back into your routine. The results you see from your exercise and/or physical activity will depend on how long
you keep it up and how much effort you put into it.
HOW MUCH?
The most recent recommendations advise people of all ages to perform a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate
intensity on most days of the week. You might not be able to do this at first, but you should work up to 30 to 60 minutes. It is also okay
to break up your exercise into more frequent, shorter sessions. This makes it easier to fit your exercise into your busy day.
HOW OFTEN?
To get the benefits of exercise, you need to do it regularly. Guidelines given by the ACSM recommend, for maximum results, to exercise
aerobically most days of the week and to strength train two to three times a week. How often you exercise will depend on how hard you
are able to exercise (your exercise intensity) and for how long.
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HOW HARD?
Exercise doesn’t have to “hurt” to have benefits. As long as you are following the recommended guidelines, you will receive important
health benefits. But remember it is important to exercise at an intensity vigorous enough to increase your heart rate and breathing.
A certain degree of your intensity depends on your age and activity level (sedentary, light, moderate, or high) and is determined by
measuring your heart rate in beats per minute.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM WORKING HARD ENOUGH?
TALK TEST METHOD
The talk test method of measuring intensity is simple. A person who is active at a light intensity level should be able to sing while doing
the activity. One who is active at a moderate intensity level should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably while engaging in the
activity. If a person becomes winded or too out of breath to carry on a conversation, the activity can be considered vigorous.
PERCEIVED EXERTION
Another method for judging your exercise intensity is to rate how hard you feel you are working. This is called your perceived exertion.
Your goal is to be able to work at a level that feels “moderate” to “somewhat hard.” As your fitness level improves, you will be able to do
a higher level of work (for example, at a faster pace) while still maintaining a “moderate” or “somewhat hard” perceived exertion. Pay
attention as you become more fit: what seems “somewhat hard” at first may become “very light” later. This is your cue to pick up the
pace.
PERCEIVED EXERTION SCALE
Using the scale at right will help you know how hard you are working while exercising. An individual
just starting an exercise program would ideally want to start out with a perceived exertion of 2 to 3 and
slowly move up to 3 to 4, 5 to 6, and so on. Exercising at a perceived exertion of 5 to 6 is most ideal for
weight loss.
HEART RATE
For moderate-intensity physical activity, a person’s target heart rate should be 60 to 70 percent of his
or her maximum heart rate. This maximum rate is based on the person’s age. An estimate of a person’s
maximum age-related heart rate can be obtained by subtracting the person’s age from 220. For example,
for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 less
50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm). The 60 percent and 70 percent levels would be as follows:
• 60 percent level: 170 x 0.60 = 102 bpm
• 70 percent level: 170 x 0.70 = 119 bpm
Thus moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate
remains between 102 and 119 bpm during physical activity.
1
No effort at all; you
are completely at rest
2
Very, very light
3
Very light
4
Light
5
Moderate
6
Somewhat hard
7
Hard
8
Very hard
9
Almost maximum
effort
10
Maximum effort; you
can’t work harder
For vigorous-intensity physical activity, a person’s target heart rate should be 70 to 90 percent of his or
her maximum heart rate. To calculate this range, follow the same formula used above, except change “60 and 70 percent” to “70 and 90
percent.”
For example, for a 35-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 less 35 years = 185 beats
per minute (bpm). The 70 percent and 90 percent levels would be as follows:
• 70 percent level:185 x 0.70 = 129.5 bpm
• 90 percent level:185 x 0.90 = 166.5 bpm
Thus vigorous-intensity physical activity for a 35-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 130 and 166.5 bpm
during physical activity.
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FITT
If it’s been a few months since you first started exercising and eating better, you might notice that you are not seeing the same kind of
results as you did at the beginning. You are likely stuck in a plateau. A plateau is where your body becomes used to a certain amount or
rate of exercise and goes into “maintenance” mode.
Once the body adapts to certain stimuli, it stops changing. If you’ve stopped losing weight, the key to getting off the plateau is to vary
your program. The human body is an amazing piece of machinery, capable of adapting to just about any circumstance or stimulus. If you
want to keep getting and seeing results, you have to slowly change your workouts.
Plateaus are a common problem for most people. The acronym “FITT” includes several ways in which to combat plateaus. By varying
your program and introducing some new elements, you’ll likely find yourself back on the road to progress in no time.
F—FREQUENCY
Frequency is the number of days per week you participate in physical activity. For example, if you are exercising three to four times per
week and want to continue to see results, increase the times per week that you exercise by one to two days.
I—INTENSITY
Intensity is how hard you are working during your physical activity. Ways to boost your intensity during aerobic training include
increasing your pace or adding hills into your workout. If you are strength training, increase the intensity by lifting more weight, do more
sets or reps and use different exercises to increase muscle tension. The number one thing you need to do when you are working out is to
make sure that your form is correct and that you are lifting the weight to a count of two and lowering the weight to a count of three or
four. When you’re exercising with proper form, the exercise works the muscles properly and produces better results.
If you are not already strength training, a great way to break through the plateau is to strength train. This has been shown to be very
effective in helping people manage their weight because the added muscle helps to offset the metabolism-lowering effect of dieting and
losing weight. Muscle is much more metabolically active than fat; therefore, the more muscle you can add, the higher your metabolism
will be.
T—TYPE
Type is the mode of physical activity that you participate in. Vary your routine by changing your physical activity. For example if you
walk everyday, try swimming or biking a couple of days a week. Another alternative is to change the sequence of exercises you are already
doing to create variety and a new overload. Because the muscles are being fatigued in a different order or pattern, they must adapt to this
change in stimulus. The next step might be to replace some or all of the exercises in your routine with different exercises that work the
same muscles. For each exercise, look at the joint action(s) and muscle group(s) being used and replace them with an exercise that targets
the same muscle group(s). For example, the bench press can be replaced by pushups, dumbbell presses, or incline bench presses.
It’s also a good idea to periodically switch cardio exercises and to change the way that you use the machine. For example, if you use the
elliptical trainer, peddle backwards to work different muscle groups. You could also change the program or increase the incline.
T—TIME
Time is the duration of your physical activity or exercise session. Gradually increasing the duration of your exercise sessions can help you
overcome a plateau. The recommended guidelines for exercise are to do at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Individuals with
lower fitness levels should aim to maintain their heart rate within the target heart rate zone for a minimum of 12 to 15 minutes of the 30
minutes total time. As fitness levels increase, the heart rate should remain elevated for 45 to 60 minutes. Remember to choose activities
that you find enjoyable, such as in-line skating, step classes or even mall walking.
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EXERCISE TERMS
Physical fitness is most easily understood by examining its components.
BASAL METABOLIC RATE
The number of calories you would burn if you were completely sedentary.
BODY COMPOSITION
This is often considered a component of fitness. It refers to the makeup of the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, and organs) and
fat mass.
BREATHING
Breathing is very important during your sets. Remember to inhale as you lower the weight and exhale as you lift the weight. Do not hold
your breath.
CALORIE
A measure of energy from food. (3,500 kilocalories of food energy= one pound of body weight). An interesting fact: When we see
“calories” on a food label, it is actually measuring kilocalories.
CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE
The ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and to remove wastes over sustained periods of time.
CORE
The core muscles comprise of both the abdominal and lower back muscles which is about 29 muscles.
DURATION OF WORKOUT
Your workout should range from 30 to 90 minutes for both strength and cardiovascular training.
EXERCISE
Exercise is a physical activity that is planned or structured. It involves repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain one of
more or the components of physical fitness—aerobic fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
EXERCISE ORDER
You should almost always exercise your larger muscle groups before the smaller ones. The main reason for this is that it takes more of
your energy to train larger muscles than the smaller ones.
FLEXIBILITY
The ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion. The sit and reach test is a good measure of flexibility of the
lower back and backs of the upper legs.
HEARTRATE
The number of cardiac cycles per minute, expressed as beats per minute.
HOUSEHOLD PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Household physical activity includes, but is not limited to, activities such as sweeping floors, scrubbing, washing windows, and raking the
lawn.
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HYPEREXTEND, HYPEREXTENSION
Extension of a bodily joint beyond its normal range of motion.
INACTIVITY
Inactivity is not engaging in any regular pattern of physical activity beyond daily functioning.
KINESTHESIA, KINESTHETIC
The sense that detects bodily position, weight, or movement of the muscles, tendons, and joints.
LEAN BODY MASS
Body weight (includes brain, muscles, liver, blood) minus fat storage.
LEISURE-TIME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Leisure-time physical activity is exercise, sports, recreation, or hobbies that are not associated with activities as part of one’s regular job
duties, household, or transportation.
MAXIMUM RESISTANCE
The amount of weight that you can lift one time in any given exercise.
MEDICINE BALL
A weighted ball used in conditioning exercises.
MET
The standard metabolic equivalent, or MET, level. This unit is used to estimate the amount of oxygen used by the body during physical
activity.
MODERATE-INTENSITY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Moderate-intensity physical activity refers to or any activity that burns three and a half to seven calories per minute or to a level of effort
in which a person should experience some increase in breathing or heart rate.
MUSCULAR ENDURANCE
The ability of a muscle or a group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions or to continue applying force against a fixed object.
Pushups are often used to test endurance of arm and shoulder muscles.
MUSCULAR STRENGTH
The ability of a muscle to exert force for a brief period of time. Upper-body muscular strength, for example, can be measured by various
weight-lifting exercises.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Physical activity is any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in an expenditure of energy.
PHYSICAL FITNESS
Physical Fitness is a set of attributes a person has in regard to a person’s ability to perform physical activities that require aerobic fitness,
endurance, strength, or flexibility and is determined by a combination of regular activity and genetically inherited ability.
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REPS
The word reps is short for “repetitions.” A repetition is one complete movement of an exercise.
RESISTANCE BANDS
A band generally made of latex and rubber that varies in size and intensity and can be used in strength/resistance training.
REST BETWEEN SETS
The amount of rest you take between each set is important. Normally while you are performing the same exercise, you should rest no
more than two minutes between sets. But if you are training with extra heavy weights, then the rest time between sets may be up to five
minutes.
SETS
A collection of consecutive repetitions.
STABILITY BALL
A large inflated ball used in strengthening and conditioning exercises.
STRENGTH TRAINING/RESISTANCE TRAINING
Method of conditioning using resistance to increase muscular strength by various methods (i.e., free weights, weight machines, resistance
bands)
VIGOROUS-INTENSITY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Vigorous-intensity physical activity may be intense enough to represent a substantial challenge to an individual and refers to a level of
effort in which a person should experience a large increase in breathing or heart rate or any activity that burns more than seven calories
per minute.
WEIGHT-BEARING PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Any physical activity that imparts a load or impact (such as jumping or skipping) on the skeleton.
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THE MAJOR MUSCLE GROUPS
The Major Muscle Groups
Pectorals (chest)
Obliques (sides)
Biceps
Abdominals (stomach)
Hip Abductors
Quadriceps
Trapezius
Deltoids (shoulders)
Rhomboids
Latissimus Dorsi
Triceps
Hamstrings
Lower Back
Gluteals (buttocks)
Calves
Images Courtesy of 3DSCIENCE.COM
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Guidelines for Exercise
The following guidelines for cardiovascular exercise and strength training exercise are from the American
Council on Exercise and the ACSM.
CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE
CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING GUIDELINES
•
•
•
•
•
Exercise most days of the week.
First, warm up for five to ten minutes before aerobic activity.
Next, maintain your intensity for 30 to 60 minutes.
Lastly, gradually decrease the intensity of your workout, then stretch to cool down during the last five to ten minutes.
If weight loss is a major goal, participate in your aerobic activity at least 30 minutes a day for five days each week.
STRENGTH TRAINING / RESISTANCE TRAINING
RESISTANCE TRAINING GUIDELINES
• The program allows you to do one exercise per muscle group with three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per set. Begin
with one set and progress to three sets. When you are able to perform 12 reps of an exercise correctly, increase the
amount of resistance by five to ten percent. This assures safe progression in your workouts.
• Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between sets. This amount of time will allow the intensity of the workout to increase.
• Three sets will provide enough muscular stimulation without overtraining the muscle.
• Begin with a weight that is challenging, but not too difficult and not too easy.
• Decrease the resistance if you are unable to complete the recommended repetition range.
• If you find a movement uncomfortable to perform, substitute another exercise that works the same muscle group but
with a different movement.
• It is extremely important to train with good form and apply continuous tension to the muscle during each repetition.
• It is counterproductive to move to the next level before you are physically able.
• Your workout should include exercises to work all the major muscle groups. Neglecting certain groups can lead to
strength imbalances and postural difficulties.
• Breathe normally throughout the exercise.
• Lifting the weight to a count of two and lowering it to a count of three or four is effective.
• Never strength train the same muscle group on two consecutive days.
FLEXIBILITY TRAINING
STRETCHING/FLEXIBILITY TRAINING GUIDELINES
• Focus on the major muscle groups
• Try to hold each stretch for at least ten to 30 seconds, depending on your level of conditioning, with each stretch
being performed three to five times.
• Start each stretch slowly, exhaling as you gently stretch the muscle.
• Stretch three to seven days per week.
• Don’t bounce a stretch. Holding a stretch is more effective, and there is less risk of injury.
• Don’t stretch a cold muscle. Before stretching, take a few minutes to warm up because stretching cold muscles an cause
injury. Spend at least five to ten minutes warming up (warm up may include walking or cycling) prior to stretching.
• Don’t strain or push a muscle too far. Muscles should be slowly stretched only to the point of comfort. You should
only feel a slight pull on your muscle, and you should not feel pain. Your muscles will gradually adapt to this slight
overload, and you will see increases in your flexibility.
• Don’t hold your breath.
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EXERCISE SAFETY
The goal of any exercise program is to improve your health. Be careful when exercising in extreme temperatures or conditions.
PROTECTION FROM HEAT
Exercising on a hot day can put an extra workload on your heart. Use the following precautions to protect yourself from the heat:
• Exercise during the cooler parts of the day (morning and evening).
• Drink extra water to avoid dehydration.
• Wear a hat and sunscreen.
• Wear light, loose-fitting clothes.
PROTECTION FROM COLD
If you exercise on a cold day, your risk for symptoms of chest pain or tightness in your chest increases. This is due to cold air constricting
(beginning to block) your lungs and blood vessels. If you are exercising outdoors on a cold day, do the following:
• If temperatures are below freezing, keep your mouth covered with a scarf. This will help warm the air you breathe.
• Prevent a fall by avoiding patches of ice and snow.
• Dress in layers. Layering helps you hold onto your body heat and prevents the retention of perspiration on your
skin. The idea is to have layers that you can easily put on or take off as conditions change. Many winter fabrics are
now lightweight and so compressible that you can carry them in a small backpack, fanny pack, or pouch.
• To make the most of your layers, here are some tips:
Layer 1: Wear a thin layer of synthetic microfibers closest to your skin, such as polypropylene, which draws moisture away from your
body. Avoid cotton, which absorbs and holds moisture close to your body.
Layer 2: This is your insulation layer. Try fleece—a lightweight, quick-drying material that provides good insulation. A front zipper on
your insulating layer allows you to release excess body heat and perspiration. Fleece can be treated to be water resistant, and it may be
sufficient as your outer layer when it is not too cold.
Layer 3: This is your shell, your frontline defense against the elements. You want it to be as windproof and waterproof as possible. If
the day gets warmer, you can take off this outermost layer. In extreme cold, a windproof shell with goose down lining provides excellent
retention of body heat without weighing you down.
Hands and feet: Your hands and your feet are the farthest points from your heart, the least insulated, and highly vulnerable to the cold.
Wool or polypropylene socks are a good choice for insulation because they draw moisture from your feet. Boots that are too tight, either
because they are too small or because you are wearing too many layers of socks, can reduce circulation and make your toes even colder.
In extreme cold, use gloves or mittens that contain polypropylene to draw moisture away from your body. Polypropylene glove liners are
a relatively inexpensive accessory that may help keep your hands drier and warmer inside your gloves or mittens. In general, mittens are
warmer than gloves because they retain more heat around your fingers.
Neck and Head: Up to 40 percent of your body’s heat is lost through your head and neck. Wear something like wool or fleece that draws
perspiration away from your head. Cover your ears. Face masks that cover your nose and mouth also add protection on cold, windy days,
and they keep the air that you breathe warmer and more humid.
Goggles or wrap-around sunglasses will protect your eyes from both wind and ultraviolet radiation. Wear sunscreen, especially at high
altitudes and use lip balm that contains sunscreen.
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EXERCISE WARNING SIGNS
As you exercise, pay attention to your body. If you experience any of the following symptoms, slow down or stop exercising immediately.
• Any chest pain-including tightness or heaviness in the chest, neck, jaw, or arms. If you have chest pain, stop what you
are doing and sit or lie down. If pain persists, call 911.
• Lightheadedness or dizziness
• Nausea or vomiting
• Extreme fatigue
• Muscle pain
• Excessive or cold sweating
• Vision problems
• Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
• Irregular heartbeat
• Shortness of breath (breathlessness greater than the exercise intensity level warrants or so much that you cannot carry
on a brief conversation.)
WOMEN AND EXERCISE
STRENGTH TRAINING AND WOMEN
There are many myths and misconceptions about strength training and women. While research continues to uncover more and more
reasons why working out with weights is good for you, many women still continue to avoid resistance training because they fear
developing large muscles.
Not everyone responds to training in quite the same way. While testosterone plays a role in muscle development, the answer to why some
men and women increase in muscle size and others do not is contained within our DNA. We are predisposed to respond to exercise in
a particular way. Our genetic makeup determines what types of muscle fibers we have and where they are distributed. It also determines
our ratio of testosterone to estrogen and where we store body fat.
TRAINING BY THE RULES
When it comes to strength training, the old rule still applies: to get stronger, work with heavier weights and perform fewer repetitions
(three to five repetitions). To promote endurance, use lighter weights and complete more repetitions. Start with a weight that is
challenging, but not too difficult and not too easy. Begin with one set and progress to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions. However, it is
not necessary to do more than 15 repetitions. It is encouraging that most women will experience a 20 to 40 percent increase in muscular
strength after several months of resistance training.
Understanding your body type and how you might respond to exercise can help you set realistic goals and expectations. Avoid
comparisons to others, and remember that no two people are alike. Exercise will help you feel invigorated, lose weight, and tone your
body. It won’t happen all at once, but little by little, it will happen.
PREGNANCY
Pregnancy often gives women extra motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes and improve health habits. If you haven’t been exercising
regularly, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a prenatal exercise program. It’s important to get your doctor’s approval
because there are certain medical conditions that make it necessary for some women to refrain from exercising during pregnancy. Your
doctor can also evaluate your fitness status in relation to your pregnancy and make recommendations that are specific to your individual
circumstances. If you have already been active prior to pregnancy, it is recommended that you stay fit, but now is not the time to train
intensively for a new sport.
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For healthy women with normal, uncomplicated pregnancies, regular exercise appears to benefit both mother and baby. Exercise during
pregnancy offers many physical and emotional benefits. For example, a good exercise program may help relieve some of the common
problems associated with pregnancy, such as excessive weight gain, swelling in the hands and feet, leg cramps, varicose veins, insomnia,
fatigue, constipation, and mood swings. It can also shorten and ease recovery after the baby is born.
You can also look forward to improved posture and circulation, reduced backaches, diminished pelvic and rectal pressure, and increased
energy levels if you follow a well-designed exercise program. And you will feel better knowing you are doing something good for yourself
and for you baby.
UNDERSTAND YOUR BODY
Exercise during pregnancy should take into account the changes you are experiencing, such as new body alignment, different posture, and
reduced strength and endurance. Your body also produces a hormone in pregnancy that relaxes your ligaments and joints, so take caution
when exercising to avoid strain or over-stretching.
HOW OFTEN AND HOW LONG?
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that healthy women with normal pregnancies get 30 minutes
or more of moderate exercise on most days of the week. Walking is one of the best ways to get aerobic exercise because it requires no
special equipment or training and is great to do with a friend. Remember to spend at least five to ten minutes warming up (warm up may
include walking or cycling) prior to stretching before your workout.
KEYS TO EXERCISING DURING PREGNANCY
• Avoid exercising at high altitudes (above 6,000 feet) as there is reduced oxygen availability. You should avoid scuba
diving due to the risk of decompression sickness.
• Don’t overdo it. If you experience excessive fatigue, dizziness, or shortness of breath, then slow down.
• Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
• Avoid exercising outside in hot weather as heat exhaustion and dehydration can occur.
• As pregnancy progresses and your baby grows, reduce the intensity level of your exercises. The baby’s additional
weight makes it unnecessary to maintain pre-pregnancy intensity levels.
• During the last trimester, avoid jarring movements, such as jumping or running.
• Do Kegel exercises regularly. Kegel, or pelvic floor muscle exercises, are done to strengthen the muscles that support
the urethra, bladder, uterus, and rectum.
• Avoid activities that could result in injury to the abdomen or falls (skiing, horseback riding, soccer, contact sports).
• Monitor your heart rate while exercising and try to keep it below 140 beats per minute.
EXERCISE PROGRAM OUTLINE
• Start with a series of warm-up exercises and stretches that concentrate on hip, neck, and shoulder movement, and on
lower back flexibility.
• Walk, bike, or swim for 20 to 40 minutes (depending on your level of fitness and the trimester of your pregnancy).
• Monitor your heart rate while exercising and try to keep it below 140 beats per minute. After exercising, be sure to cool
down to reduce your heart rate and then stretch again for five to ten minutes.
• Abdominal exercises should be modified to reduce strain. Lie on your side or with a pillow under one hip rather than on
your back for floor exercises. Pregnant women in the second and third trimesters should avoid lying flat on their backs
because this position can cause the weight of the uterus to compress the mother’s major blood vessels and lower her
blood pressure.
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BEST EXERCISES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
The most comfortable exercises are ones that do not require your body to bear extra weight. Swimming and stationary cycling can be
continued throughout pregnancy. Walking and low-impact aerobics are usually well tolerated. You and your healthcare provider should
decide what is best for you and your baby.
• Swimming or water workouts: The buoyancy effect of water supports your weight, reducing feelings of clumsiness or
lack of balance. Swimming and other water workouts place muscles in a relaxed, non-weight-bearing position, providing
relief from gravity-related exercises.
• Stationary cycling: This is a great low intensity cardiovascular exercise that can be done throughout pregnancy.
• Walking: Walking is a great means of cardiovascular exercise and can be done throughout all three trimesters. Walking
is low impact and inexpensive.
• Step machine: This is a great low intensity cardiovascular workout that can be done throughout pregnancy. It’s simple,
inexpensive, and it provides moderate aerobic conditioning while putting minimal stress on your joints.
• Low-impact aerobics: Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs and helps maintain muscle tone. As long as
you choose exercises that are low impact (no high kicks and leaps; keep one foot on the ground at all times to minimize
stress on your joints), you should be able to continue your routine throughout most of your pregnancy.
• Weight training: Until recently, weight training during pregnancy was uncommon. Now many women want to continue
their established routine and need to be instructed on how to do so safely. Relatively light weights and moderate
repetitions will maintain flexibility and muscle tone while minimizing the risk of ligament and joint injury. Lifting heavy
weights should be avoided—this activity may force you to hold your breath, which can limit blood flow to the uterus.
Weight training, if done at all, should ideally involve lighter weights and more repetitions.
• Yoga: Yoga emphasizes breathing, relaxation, posture, and body awareness. Choose a program that is specifically
designed for pregnant women.
• Relaxation Techniques: Breathing exercises, meditation, and other relaxation techniques have been found to be effective
in reducing generalized anxiety disorders, panic attacks, depression, irritability, muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, and
other stress disorders. They are a great way to reduce the stress of pregnancy.
POSTPARTUM EXERCISE
After giving birth, it may take your body weeks to recover from the changes of pregnancy. It is important to check with your healthcare
provider for recommendations as to when you can resume your exercise program.
As a new mom you are also more susceptible to back strain as the pregnancy hormones have softened your ligaments and joints. Follow
these tips to help minimize and prevent these injuries. Avoid carrying your baby by supporting him or her on your hip. This will cause
your spine to twist. When changing or dressing your baby, sit on the bed next to him or her or at the changing table rather than leaning
over. When you feed your baby, remember the following:
• Support your baby and your arm on a pillow.
• Avoid sitting with rounded shoulders and leaning over the baby.
When you find that you need to reach or lift low objects, spread your feet apart with one foot in front of the other and bend your knees.
Bring the object close to you as you straighten your knees and lift. When you move an object, avoid pulling and pushing. Use your legs
to push and not your back and/or arms.
Avoid any position where you are bending at the waist with your knees straight, even if it only a slight bend. Instead, change your
position so that you are sitting, squatting, kneeling, or bending at the knees while leaning forward at the hips. When you get in or out
of bed or the car, turn your hips, pelvis, and back in the same direction while maintaining a straight back. When you get out of bed,
first roll to your side, and then use your arms to push you from the bed. For more tips, visit www.babies.sutterhealth.org/afterthebirth/
newmom/pp_ppexercise.html.
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Some exercises to help increase muscle strength:
DURING PREGNANCY
POSTPARTUM EXERCISES
Plank
Leg raises, toe in and toe out
Tailor sitting and stretching
Incline pelvic tilt with ball
Kneeling bird dogs
Abductor and adductor with resistance band
Stability ball squats with dumbbells
Chair squats
Front/side dumbbell lunges
Lateral side raises
Standing bicep curls with ball
Bent over rows with dumbbell
Tricep overhead extension on ball with dumbbells
Standing push-ups
Wall slides
Pelvic clocks
Clam shells
Kegel
Buddha stretch
Cat back
Chest stretch
WITH BABY
Leg Extensions
Leg Curl
Calf Raises
Lunges
Crunches
Squats
Hip Adductions
Hip Abductions
Trunk Twists
WITH BABY TO THE SIDE
Tricep Extensions
Bicep curls
Lateral front raises
Lateral side raises
Reverse crunches
Push-ups
Dumbbell row
Chest presses
Vertical arm lift
Plank and half plank
Side plank
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Traveling and Exercise
Whether you are traveling on vacation or for business, finding time to fit in exercise may seem difficult.
The most important thing to remember while traveling is to plan ahead and to create an environment
that is conducive to physical activity and/or exercise. Before your next trip, take a few minutes to think
and plan for physical activity and/or exercise. Most of the time while you are traveling, your options of
what to do for physical activity and/or exercise will be different than at home. Exercising and engaging in
physical activity while you are traveling will help with problems such as jet lag and sleep deprivation and
will give you more energy.
PLAN AHEAD
When planning a vacation, make a list of activities that you would like to do. Find out if your accommodations offer a fitness center or
a gym nearby, if there are safe parks around the location, and what places are available in the area that are activity friendly. Ask about the
hours of operation for the fitness facility. Most will open early enough to accommodate early schedules. When staying with friends and
family, find out about nearby facilities or any in home equipment that you may use. Asking questions will help you decide whether to
stay at that facility and what to pack.
WHAT TO BRING
Bring anything with you that you might need to exercise such as shoes, proper clothing, exercise bands, stability ball, and so on. You may
also want to bring a pedometer with you. This piece of equipment will help you measure the number of steps you take during the day.
A good number of daily steps is 10,000 to 12,000. The pedometer will be able to give you a good indication of how much or how little
activity you are getting while you are traveling.
THE KEY
The key is to look for ways to be active and increase your physical activity and/or exercise while on vacation. The following are some
ideas to increase or include physical activity into your day:
• Sightseeing; take a 20-minute brisk walk instead of a stroll and turn a day tour into a workout. Sightseers can also rent a bike or put on
a pair of inline skates for a faster-paced workout.
• The beach; take advantage of a swim or a game of beach volleyball or a run/walk on the beach. There are also other activities such as
surfing, canoeing, and hiking that you may consider.
• The hotel room; even without a fully equipped gym, the hotel can still be a good place for a workout. Space-saver circuit routines
can easily be done in the confines of a hotel room. The routine involves alternating one-minute of push ups, sit ups, lunges, and squats
with two minutes of marching in place. Going through the circuit twice in 12 minutes will help you to keep the heart pumping and
the muscles toned.
• The airplane; one of the biggest problems with vacationing is the long period of time spent traveling. Whether by plane, train, or
car, travel involves a lot of time in a seated position. Prolonged periods of time spent sitting can be demanding on muscles, particularly
the ones in the lower back, shoulders, and neck. The following exercises can help you to maintain proper posture, increase circulation,
and reduce muscle tension while traveling:
• Centering and breathing: Focus on aligning your posture, taking in full, deep breaths for a few seconds. Sit tall, ribcage
lifted, shoulders back but relaxed, pelvis aligned with the head in a natural extension of the spine. Place one hand right
below the ribcage and inhale through the nose. Take air in deeply, feeling your stomach expand beneath the ribcage.
Slowly exhale. Take ten of these deep breaths while you maintain good posture.
• Tension-reducer for the neck and upper back: Sit tall, lengthening the neck. Tilt your neck to each side and rotate to
look behind each of your shoulders. Hold each position for five to ten seconds. Squeeze your shoulders, rolling them up,
back, and down. Hold the down position for a few seconds, being sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together while
holding. Repeat several times.
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• Lower back and abdominal exercises: Slowly rock pelvis forward and back, pretending as if your waist is being
pulled forward at the belt line; allow your lower back to arch in a way that is not painful. Next reverse the tilt,
rounding the lower spine and scooping under with your tailbone. At the same time during this movement,
tighten and compress your abdominal muscles. Hold the end position of the tilt for three to five seconds.
Repeat five times.
• Exercises to build lower-body circulation: while sitting, lift your right foot. Slowly point your right foot and
then flex it several times to stretch your ankle and lower-leg muscles. Next slowly rotate your right ankle in
a clockwise direction and then slowly reverse the direction. Repeat this movement with your left foot. This
exercise will help you to relieve fluid retention and stiffness in your leg joints.
EXERCISES TO INCREASE MUSCLE STRENGTH WHILE TRAVELING WITH RESISTANCE BANDS
MEDIUM BAND
LONG BAND
SMALL BAND
Concentration curls
Chest press
Hip abduction
Triceps extensions
Chest fly
Calves
One arm row
Row
Shrugs
Bicep curls
Lat pull down
Shoulder press
Triceps extensions
Lateral front and side raises
Squats
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Programs
GENERAL FITNESS PROGRAMS
The following programs allow you to choose exercises for different muscles best suited for you. It is also
possible to switch your exercise days around to best fit your schedule. These are outlines of just a few types
of programs. It is important to remember to wait 36 to 48 hours to exercise the same muscle group. For
example if you were to exercise your chest today, wait 36 to 48 hours before you exercise that area again.
BEGINNER
When starting an exercise program, exercising every other day for at least the first eight weeks is appropriate. For those with limited
mobility or sedentary habits, one to two short daily sessions may be recommended. In addition, people who are just beginning weight
bearing exercise, such as aerobic dancing, aerobic step exercise, and jogging, should have at least one to two days rest between workouts
to prevent overuse injuries and promote adequate bone/joint stress recovery. Beginners who are in the lower cardiorespiratory fitness
classification (for example, someone who gets winded after five to ten minutes of exercise) should begin with 30 minutes of low to
moderate intensity aerobic conditioning. Very deconditioned individuals may be more suited for multiple sessions of short duration, such
as five to ten minutes.
The strength training workouts (A for upper body and B for lower body) and a description of the alternate physical activities (weeks
seven to 12) are explained in detail following the program outline. This is an example outline of one type of program.
PROGRAM OUTLINE
First 6 Weeks
Cardio: 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least one to two times per week into your workouts
Second 6 Weeks
Cardio: 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least one to two times per week into your workouts
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WEEK
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
One
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Rest
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training (workout B)
Rest
Two
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Rest
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training (workout B)
Rest
Three
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
Rest
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training (workout B)
Rest
Four
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
Rest
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training (workout B)
Rest
Five
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Rest
Cardio
Strength Training (workout B)
Rest
Six
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Rest
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training (workout B)
Rest
Seven
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Strength
Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training (workout B)
Rest
Eight
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Strength
Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Alternate Activity (See list of
Alternate Physical Activities)
Rest
Nine
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Strength
Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Alternate Activity (See list of
Alternate Physical Activities)
Rest
Ten
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Strength
Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Alternate Activity (See list of
Alternate Physical Activities)
Rest
Eleven
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio (core)
Strength
Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Alternate Activity (See list of
Alternate Physical Activities)
Rest
Twelve
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Strength
Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Alternate Activity (See list of
Alternate Physical Activities)
Rest
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Choose one exercise from each of the following muscle groups to do for your workout and include two to three core exercises.
WORKOUT A: UPPER BODY
CHEST
SHOULDERS
BICEPS
Bench press
Dumbbell shoulder press
Lever preacher curls
Pec deck
Cable side raise
Barbell curls
Dumbbell press
Cable front raise
Seated dumbbell curls
Incline dumbbell press
Lever shoulder press
Concentration curls
Incline bench press
Barbell shoulder press
Dumbbell curls
Dumbbell flys
Dumbbell side raise
Preacher curls
Barbell chest press
Bent-over dumbbell raise
Cable curls
Push-ups
Dumbbell front raise
Hammer curls
Lever chest press
Upright row
Cable upright row
ROTATOR CUFFS (optional)
BACK
Bent-over cable raise
Windmill
Barbell shrug
Lying side raise
Lying L
Seated pulley row
Pull up
(horizontal and frontal abduction)
Lying external/internal rotation
Military press
Shoulder shrugs on machine
FOREARMS (optional)
Dumbbell shrug
TRICEPS
Reverse barbell curls
Lat pulldown
Dips
Reverse dumbbell curls
Lat pulldown behind head
Triceps pulley pushdown
Hammer curls
Seated lever row
Lying barbell triceps extensions
Wrist flexion
Incline dumbbell row
Lying dumbbell triceps extensions
Dumbbell row
Seated triceps extensions
Dumbbell pullover
Seated triceps kickback
Incline barbell row
(double and single)
Close grip push-up
Lever triceps dips
Lever triceps extensions
Single triceps pushdown
WORKOUT B: LOWER BODY
QUADRICEPS
GLUTEALS/HAMSTRINGS
CALVES
Leg extensions
Squat
Calf raise paltform
Squat
Seated leg curl
Lying calf raise (leg press machine)
Squats with stability ball
Barbell deadlift
Single leg calf raise with dumbbells
Leg press
Dumbbell deadlift
Seated calf raise
Lunges with barbell
Lunges with barbell
Lunges with dumbbell
Lunges with dumbbells
Good morning
Hamstring curls
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CORE
Lever lying down crunch
Adductors
Incline sit-up
Bridge
Superman
Side bend with dumbells
Crunch with feet on stability ball
Back extensions on platform
Side crunch on stability ball
Hamstring curl
Lever back extensions on machine
V-up with stability ball
Intermediate crunch
Crunch on floor
Push-ups with stability ball
Wall crunch on stability ball
Lever seated crunch
Medicine ball twists
Back extension on stability ball
Side bend on platform
Trunk twist
Plank on stability ball
Crunch on stability ball
Prone curl
Reverse push-up
Crunches on machine
Body circles
Trunk rotation on stability ball
Jack knife sit-up
Chopping wood
Hip extensions
Twisting crunch
Side bends
Prone leg lift up
Oblique crunch
Recumbent rotary twist
Lying leg/hip raises
Seated rotary twist
Lying leg raises
Supine pullovers
Leg raises on platform
Supine rotary pullover and crunch
Biking
Reverse crunch
Supine pullover and toe reach
Gardening
Seated reverse crunch
Partner standing torso twist
Walking, Hiking
Plank
Partner standing figure eight torso
Skating (inline or ice)
V-up
Incline twisting sit-up
twist
Reverse bridge
ALTERNATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES
Skiing
Swimming
INTERMEDIATE
Individuals in the intermediate level should engage in cardiovascular exercise for 30 to 60 minutes and participate in two to three days
of strength training working the major muscle groups. The strength training workouts (A and B) are explained in detail following the
program outline. This program is an outline of one type of program.
PROGRAM OUTLINE
First 4 Weeks
Cardio: At least 60 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Two times per week, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts
Second 4 Weeks
Cardio: At least 60 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Two times per week, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts
Third 4 Weeks
Cardio: At least 60 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Two times per week, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts
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WEEK
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
One
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Two
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Three
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Four
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Rest
Cardio
Rest
Five
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Rest
Cardio
Rest
Six
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Rest
Cardio
Rest
Seven
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Eight
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Nine
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Ten
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Eleven
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
Twelve
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Rest
Cardio (core)
Rest
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Choose one exercise from each of the following muscle groups for your workout and include two to three core exercises.
WORKOUT A: PUSH
QUADRICEPS
SHOULDERS
TRICEPS
Leg extensions
Dumbbell shoulder press
Dips
Squat
Cable side raise
Triceps pulley pushdown
Squats with stability ball
Cable front raise
Lying barbell triceps extensions
Leg press
Lever shoulder press
Lying dumbbell triceps extensions
Lunges with barbell
Barbell shoulder press
Seated triceps extensions
Lunges with dumbbell
Dumbbell side raise
Seated triceps kickback
Bent-over dumbbell raise
(double and single)
CHEST
Dumbbell front raise
Close grip push-up
Bench press
Upright row
Lever triceps dips
Pec deck
Cable upright row
Lever triceps extensions
Dumbbell press
Bent-over cable raise
Single triceps pushdown
Incline dumbbell press
Lying side raise
Incline bench press
Dumbbell flys
(horizontal and frontal abduction)
Military press
Barbell chest press
Push-ups
CALVES
Lever chest press
Calf raise platform
Lying calf raise
(leg press machine)
Single leg calf raise with dumbbells
Seated calf raise
get F IT
27
WORKOUT B: PULL
HAMSTRINGS/GLUTEALS
BICEPS
Barbell deadlift
Barbell curls
Dumbbell deadlift
Concentration curls
Good morning
Dumbbell curls
Lunges with barbell
Lever preacher curls
Lunges with dumbbells
Seated dumbbell curls
Seated leg curl
Cable curls
Squat hamstring curl
Preacher curls
Hammer curls
BACK
Barbell shrug
ROTATOR CUFF (optional)
Seated lever row
Windmill
Dumbbell pullover
Lying L
Dumbbell row
Lying external/internal rotation
Dumbbell shrug
Incline barbell row
FOREARMS (optional)
Incline dumbbell row
Reverse barbell curls
Lat pulldown
Reverse dumbbell curls
Lat pulldown behind the head
Hammer curls
Seated pulley row
Wrist flexion
Pull up
Shoulder shrugs on machine
CORE
Superman
Incline twisting sit-up
Partner standing torso twist
Back extensions on platform
Lever lying down crunch
Partner standing figure eight
Lever back extensions on machine
Incline sit-up
Crunch on floor
Side bend
Reverse bridge
Lever seated crunch
Side crunch on stability ball
Adductors
Side bend on platform
V-up with stability ball
Bridge
Crunch on stability ball
Push-ups with stability ball
Crunch with feet on ball
Crunches on machine
Medicine ball twists
Hamstring curl
Jack knife sit-up
Trunk twist
Intermediate crunch
Twisting crunch
Prone curl
Wall crunch on stability ball
Oblique crunch
Body circles
Back extension on stability ball
Lying leg/hip raises
Chopping wood
Plank on ball
Lying leg raises
Side bends
Reverse push-up
Leg raises on platform
Recumbent rotary twist
Trunk rotation on ball
Reverse crunch
Seated rotary twist
Hip extensions
Seated reverse crunch
Supine pullovers
Prone leg lift up
Plank
Supine rotary pullover and crunch
V-up
Supine pullover and toe reach
torso twist
get F IT
28
ADVANCED
Those in the high fitness classification can engage in cardiovascular exercise for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week, combined
with two to three days of strength training working the major muscle groups. This program is an example outline of one type of program.
Other types may include one to two full body workouts and a core workout.
Training Guidelines
Stripping Method – This method is easy to use. For example, you are performing reps with 30-pound dumbbells and fail at the eighth of
12 repetitions. With the stripping method, immediately following your last repetition, pick up a lighter set of dumbbells and perform a
few more repetitions; repeat three to four times.
Supersets – Supersets are a combination of two exercises for the same muscle group performed in sequence without pause. They target
one muscle group and push it to the limit. Supersets can also be applied to two different muscle groups, which are usually two opposite
working ones. Example: biceps and triceps.
Negative Sets – You will need a training partner for this because you will use more weight than you can handle on your own. The idea
behind this is to lower the weight in a very slow and controlled manner, then have your training partner raise the weight for you. The
amount of reps performed should be in the range of two to five. Choose a weight that is challenging, but still light enough to use proper
form while lifting.
21’s – This technique is applied to most curling exercises. The execution of the 21’s in curling movements is a three-part exercise. First,
perform seven repetitions from the bottom point to the midpoint, then seven repetitions from the midpoint to the top, then finally seven
full repetitions.
Pre-exhaust Sets – These sets efficiently target a muscle group that you otherwise would have a hard time isolating. Performing pre-exhaust
sets will tire out muscles that would normally act as secondary muscles in a certain exercise. Immediately following the first set, another
set will follow. This set will target the same muscles aided before. This time, however, they will not have any help from the secondary
muscles and get all of the benefits. Example: doing leg extensions followed by squats.
PROGRAM OUTLINE
First 4 Weeks
Cardio: At least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Two times per week, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts
Second 4 Weeks
Cardio: At least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Three times per week, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts
Third 4 Weeks
Cardio: At least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week
Strength Training: Three times per week, exercising the major muscle groups
Core: Incorporate at least two times a week into your workouts
get F IT
29
WEEK
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
One
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Two
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Three
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Four
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Five
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout C)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Six
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Seven
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Eight
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Nine
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Ten
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout C)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Eleven
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout C)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
Twelve
Cardio & Strength
Training (workout B)
Cardio
(core)
Strength Training
(workout A)
Cardio
Strength Training
(workout C)
Cardio
(core)
Rest
get F IT
30
Choose one or two exercises from each of the following muscle groups for your workout.
WORKOUT A: CHEST AND BACK
CHEST
BACK
Pec deck
Lat pulldown
Dumbbell press
Lat pulldown behind the head
Bench press
Barbell shrug
Dumbbell flys
Dumbbell shrug
Barbell chest press
Seated lever row
Push-ups
Seated pulley row
Incline bench press
Pull-up
Incline dumbbell press
Shoulder shrugs on machine
Lever chest press
Dumbbell row
Dumbbell pullover
Incline dumbbell row
Incline barbell row
WORKOUT B: LEGS
QUADRICEPS
HAMSTRINGS/GLUTEALS
CALVES
Lunges with barbell
Good morning
Calf raise platform
Lunges with dumbbells
Seated leg curl
Single leg calf raise with
Leg press
Lunges with barbell
Leg extensions
Lunges with dumbbells
Squat
Barbell deadlift
Squat with stability ball
Dumbbell deadlift
dumbbells
Lying calf raise
(leg press machine)
Hamstring curls
Squat
get F IT
31
WORKOUT C: SHOULDERS AND ARMS
SHOULDERS
TRICEPS
BICEPS
Dumbbell shoulder press
Dips
Lever preacher curls
Cable side raise
Triceps pulley pushdown
Barbell curls
Cable front raise
Lying barbell triceps extensions
Seated dumbbell curls
Lever shoulder press
Lying dumbbell triceps extensions
Concentration curls
Barbell shoulder press
Seated triceps extensions
Dumbbell curls
Dumbbell side raise
Seated triceps kickback
Preacher curls
Bent-over dumbbell raise
(double and single)
Dumbbell front raise
Close grip push-up
Upright row
Lever triceps dips
Cable upright row
Lever triceps extensions
Bent-over cable raise
Single triceps pushdown
Cable curls
Hammer curls
Lying side raise
(horizontal and frontal abduction)
ROTATOR CUFFS
Military press
Windmill
Upright row
Lying L
Lying external/internal rotation
FOREARMS
Reverse barbell curls
Reverse dumbbell curls
Hammer curls
Wrist flexian
CORE
Superman
Incline twisting sit-up
Partner standing torso twist
Back extensions on platform
Lever lying down crunch
Partner standing figure eight torso
Lever back extensions on machine
Incline sit-up
Crunch on floor
Side bend
Reverse bridge
Lever seated crunch
Side crunch on stability ball
Adductors
Side bend on platform
V-up with stability ball
Bridge
Crunch on stability ball
Push-ups with stability ball
Crunch with feet on ball
Crunches on machine
Medicine ball twists
Hamstring curl
Jack knife sit-up
Trunk twist
Intermediate crunch
Twisting crunch
Prone curl
Wall crunch on stability ball
Oblique crunch
Body circles
Back extension on stability ball
Lying leg/hip raises
Chopping wood
Plank on ball
Lying leg raises
Side bends
Reverse push-up
Leg raises on platform
Recumbent rotary twist
Trunk rotation on ball
Reverse crunch
Seated rotary twist
Hip extensions
Seated reverse crunch
Supine pullovers
Prone leg lift up
Plank
Supine rotary pullover and crunch
V-up
Supine pullover and toe reach
twist
get F IT
32
OTHER PROGRAMS
These workouts focus on exercise programs specifically for the home, the office, and the core (abdominals, obliques, gluteals, upper and
lower back).
HOME WORKOUT
CHEST
BACK
LEGS/QUADRICEPS
Push-ups
Dumbbell or can row
Squat
Dumbbell or can shrugs
Lunge
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
(Second four weeks: Three sets
Leg extensions
TRICEPS
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
Seated triceps extensions
(Second four weeks: Three sets
SHOULDERS
Seated triceps kickback
of 15)
Dumbbell or can side raise
Close-grip push-up
of 15)
Dumbbell or can front raise
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
CALVES
Dumbbell or can shrugs
(Second four weeks: Three sets
Calf raises
of 15)
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
(Second four weeks: Three sets
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
(Second four weeks: Three sets
CORE
of 15)
of 15)
Crunch on floor
BICEPS
Twisting crunch
HAMSTRINGS/GLUTEALS
Standing dumbbell or can curls
Superman
Good morning
Seated dumbbell or can curls
Plank
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
Oblique crunch
(Second four weeks: Three sets
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
(Second four weeks: Three sets
(First four weeks: Two sets of 15)
of 15)
(Second four weeks: Three sets
of 15)
of 15)
Note: Cans of food or resistance bands may be used in place of dumbbells. See also resistance band exercises on page 20.
DAY
WEEKS 1, 3, 5, 7
WEEKS 2, 4, 6, 8
Monday
Chest, shoulders, biceps,
triceps, abdominals
Legs/thighs, calves,
gluteals, abdominals
Tuesday
Cardio
Cardio
Wednesday
Legs/thighs, calves,
gluteals, abdominals
Chest, shoulders, biceps,
triceps, abdominals
Thursday
Cardio
Cardio
Friday
Chest, shoulders, biceps,
triceps, abdominals
Legs/thighs, calves,
gluteals, abdominals
Saturday
Cardio
Cardio
Sunday
Rest
Rest
get F IT
33
CARDIO
Cardio activities may include bicycling, walking, jogging, running, elliptical trainer, swimming, hiking, etc. You should aim for 30
minutes of cardio most days of the week, and eventually work up to 30 to 60 minutes five to seven days of the week.
OFFICE WORKOUT
Quick and simple office workouts are an efficient and effective way to reduce the stress, anxiety, and depression of challenges at work
and home. Exercise stimulates blood flow throughout the body, making individuals more alert. What does this mean for employees and
employers? Time spent exercising is not wasted time. Even a ten-minute exercise session means enhanced mental functioning and greater
productivity. The number of exercises that can be performed in an office setting is endless. Office stretches and strengtheners for all major
muscle groups can be done in a matter of minutes and in the routine of daily tasks.
OFFICE EXERCISE TIPS
• Sit in a proper posture. Ensure that your knees and hips are even and parallel with the floor. Sit tall, and do not allow
your shoulders and upper body to slump forward. Ideally there should be a slight inward curve of the lower (lumbar)
spine, a slight outward curve at the midpoint of the back (thoracic), and another slight inward curve just below the head
and neck (cervical) area. This position allows the greatest ease because it requires the least amount of muscle energy.
Do not worry if this feels unnatural. It may take a bit of practice to readjust your posture.
Adjust your computer. Make sure that you are not reaching for your keyboard or straining your neck trying to look up or
down at the screen. It should be set at eye level.
• Rearrange your workstation to be more efficient. Items you frequently need should be at arms length to prevent muscle
imbalances due to repetitive stress.
• Change your “telephone” ear. If you consistently use the same “telephone” ear, switch periodically. Most people rest the
phone on their shoulder causing shoulder and neck muscles to tense. This can lead to headaches and neck and shoulder
stiffness. Ask for a telephone receiver “pillow,” which helps reduce these symptoms.
• Drink plenty of fluids. This helps keep your body hydrated and working most efficiently. Dehydration can cause you to
be tired and sluggish.
• Take many small breaks. Take a short walk outside, to the water fountain, or to the restroom. Use the stairs instead of
the elevator. This will get your circulation going and gives your brain a break from stress.
• Walk to lunch and/or walk after lunch. Choose a restaurant that is within walking distance, or take a walk after lunch.
OFFICE EXERCISES
OFFICE STRETCHES
Chair squat
Neck and shoulders
Leg lift
Back and shoulders
Push-up off your desk
Back
Stand-up out of your chair
Seated posture
Single leg calf raises
Squat
Tuck in your knees to strengthen your abdominals
get F IT
34
BODY-CORE STRENGTH WORKOUT
These exercises can be done with full or modified range of motion. For limited range of motion, only go as far as you can to do the
exercises without pain.
Most of these exercises are done with a stability ball.
• Days per week: two to three (max)
• One to three exercises per session
• Start with, one set of 5 to 15 repetitions and increase gradually to two to three sets of five to 15 repetitions.
• Go easy—you might be sore and stiff for a few days
• Focus on quality over quantity
• Perform exercises with a count of two to four seconds in both directions of the movement
Superman
Side crunch on stability ball
Intermediate crunch
Back extensions on platform
V-up with stability ball
Wall crunch
Lever back extensions on machine
Push-ups with stability ball
Back extension on stability ball
Crunch on floor
Medicine ball twists
Plank on ball
Lever seated crunch
Trunk twist
Reverse push-up
Side bend on platform
Prone curl
Trunk rotation on ball
Crunch on stability ball
Body circles
Hip extensions
Crunches on machine
Chopping wood
Prone leg lift up
Jack knife sit-up
Side bends
Twisting crunch
Recumbent rotary twist
Oblique crunch
Seated rotary twist
Lying leg/hip raises
Supine pullovers
Lying leg raises
Supine rotary pullover and crunch
Leg raises on platform
Supine pullover and toe reach
Reverse crunch
Partner standing torso twist
Seated reverse crunch
Partner standing figure eight torso
Plank
twist
V-up
Reverse bridge
Incline twisting sit-up
Adductors
Lever lying down crunch
Bridge
Incline sit-up
Crunch with feet on ball
Side bend
Hamstring curl
get F IT
35
Resources
The information contained in this booklet was obtained from the following sources.
GYMS THAT OFFER DISCOUNTS TO SELECTHEALTH MEMBERS
• www.selecthealth.org/discounts
BODY MASS INDEX CHARTS
• www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/calc-bmi.htm
• www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm
EXERCISE EXPENDITURE CALCULATION AND CHARTS
• www.nutrawize.com/nutribase/exercala.htm
• www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/pdfs/fitfacts/itemid_322.pdf
EXERCISE LINKS
• U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Nutrition and physical activity:
www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/index.htm
• National Institute of Health (NIH): www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html
• American Council on Exercise (ACE): www.acefitness.org
• American Heart Association: www.amhrt.org
• American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org
• American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM): www.acsm.org
• American Heart Association, Fitness Center: www.justmove.org
• The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: www.fitness.gov
• http://www.aafp.org/afp/980415ap/wang.html
• http://familydoctor.org/305.xml#2
• http://www.exerciseafterpregnancy.com/
• http://www.babyfit.com/myspark/b_article.asp?id=8
• www.mayoclinic.com
• www.24hourfitness.com
• www.exrx.net
• www.yogalifestyle.com/pojcyogamom.htm
• www.americanbaby.com
NUTRITION LINKS
• National Institute of Health (NIH): www.niddk.nih.gov/health/nutrit/nutrit.htm
• Diet and Nutrition Center: www.webmd.com
• Tufts Nutrition Navigator: www.navigator.tufts.edu
• Weight Watchers: www.weightwatchers.com
• eDiets.com: www.ediets.com
• American Cancer Society: www.cancer.org
• American Heart Association: www.amhrt.org
• U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines
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36
C H E ST
APPENDIX A: EXERCISE PICTURES AND DESCRIPTIONS
CHEST
Bench press
How to do it: Lie on your back on a flat bench. Grasp the bar with your hands slightly wider than
shoulder-width apart with the palms of your hands facing forward and elbows bent. Slowly lower
the bar within one inch of your chest and press it back up by straightening but not
hyperextending your arms. Repeat.
Pec deck
How to do it: Sit on a chair of a pec deck machine or the pec deck attachment of a universal
machine. Place your forearms on the pads or grasp handles with your arms at chest level and your
palms facing in, and bring the pads together by contracting your pectorals. Return to starting
position. Repeat.
Dumbbell press
How to do it: Lie on your back on a flat bench or on a stability ball. Grasp one dumbbell in each
hand, with your palms facing forward, elbows bent, and dumbbells just to the sides of your
shoulders. Your knuckles should be facing the ceiling. Press the dumbbells straight up by
straightening but not hyperextending your arms at the elbow. At the top of the movement, the
dumbbells should be over your chin. Lower to starting position. Repeat.
Incline dumbbell press
How to do it: Lie on your back on an incline bench. Grasp one dumbbell in each hand with your
palms facing forward, elbows bent, and dumbbells just to the sides of your shoulders. Your elbows
and shoulders should be in a straight line. Press the dumbbells straight up by straightening but
not hyperextending your arms at the elbow. The dumbbells should travel with palms facing
forward so that the ends of the dumbbells are together when your arms are straight. Lower to
starting position. Repeat.
Incline bench press
How to do it: Sit on an incline bench. Grasp a bar with an evenly spaced grip slightly wider than
shoulder width. Have a spotter help you unrack the bar. Keeping your elbows in line with your
shoulders, slowly lower the bar to within one inch of your chest and then press the bar back up by
straightening but not hyperextending your arms. Repeat.
get F IT
37
C H E ST/ B AC K
Dumbbell flys
How to do it: Lie on your back on a flat bench or on a stability ball. Grasp one dumbbell in each
hand. Begin the exercise by positioning your arms so that they extend overhead with your elbows
slightly bent and the dumbbells in a palms-together position, touching. Slowly and under control,
lower your upper arms until they are in line and parallel with the bench (no lower), and return
them to the starting position. Repeat.
Barbell chest press
How to do it: Lie on a bench. Grasp a bar with an evenly spaced grip slightly wider than shoulder
width. Have a spotter help you unrack the bar. Keeping your elbows in line with your shoulders,
slowly lower the bar to within one inch of your chest and press the bar back up by straightening
but not hyperextending the arms. Repeat.
Push-ups
How to do it: Lie prone on the floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Raise your
body up off the floor by extending your arms with your body straight. Lower your body to the
floor by bending your arms and then push body up until your arms are extended. Repeat.
*Optional: Instead of toes touching the ground, you can have your knees touch the ground.
Lever chest press
How to do it: Sit on the seat with your upper chest just above the grips on the lever (this is the
lever chest press machine). Grasp the handles with an overhand grip, with your elbows out to the
sides just below your shoulders. Press the lever until your arms are extended. Return weight to
starting position. Repeat.
BACK
Barbell shrug (trapezius)
How to do it: Stand while holding a bar in front of you. Your hands should be approximately
shoulder-width apart. Keeping your elbows locked, elevate your shoulders up toward your ears.
Lower back to starting position. Repeat.
Seated pulley row
How to do it: Sit facing the low pulley of a machine with either a short straight bar handle or a
close grip handle. Grasp the handle, and position your body so that your knees are slightly bent
(about 150 degrees). Row or pull the handle in toward you by straightening your body, pulling
your shoulder blades in, and, finally, flexing your elbow (in that order). Squeeze your shoulder
blades and stick your chest out in a military position. Return to the starting position. Repeat.
get F IT
38
B AC K
Pull up
How to do it: Step up and grasp the bar with a wide and overhand grip. (If using the assisted pull
up machine, step down onto assistance platform or kneel on assisted platform). Pull your body up
until your neck reaches the height of your hands. Lower your body until your arms and shoulders
are fully extended. Repeat.
Shoulder shrugs on machine
How to do it: Sit or stand holding the lever bar or handles and elevate the shoulders as high as
possible. Lower to starting position. Repeat.
Dumbbell shrug (trapezius)
How to do it: Sit on a bench or stability ball or stand while holding a pair of dumbbells, one in
each hand, at your sides. Keeping your elbows locked, elevate your shoulders up toward your ears.
Lower to starting position. Repeat.
At Home: Sit on a chair or stability ball while holding a pair of dumbbells or cans and
follow directions above.
Lat pulldown
How to do it: Grasp the bar at a universal or other pulldown machine. Sit down. Pull the bar
down to your sternum while simultaneously sticking out your chest toward the ceiling. Lean back
at about a 120-degree angle. Pull the stack down in the following sequence: pull your shoulder
blades toward your spine, flex your elbows, and depress your shoulder blades (pull your shoulder
blades down and back). Return to starting position. Repeat.
Lat pulldown behind the head
How to do it: Grasp the bar at a universal or pulldown machine. Sit down. Pull the bar down
behind your head until it touches the base of your neck by pulling your shoulder blades back,
flexing your elbows, and then depressing the shoulder blades. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Seated lever row
How to do it: Sit on the seat and position your chest against the pad. Grasp the lever handles with
an overhand grip. Pull the lever back until your elbows are behind your back and shoulders are
pulled back. Return to starting position so that your arms are extended and shoulders are
stretched forward. Repeat.
get F IT
39
B AC K /S H O U L D E R S
Incline dumbbell row
How to do it: Lie on your stomach on an incline bench or other elevated bench. Grasp a
dumbbell in each hand. Reach out toward the ground. (You should feel a stretch in your
latissimus dorsi.) Pull your shoulder blades in toward your spine, then flex your elbows as you pull
the dumbbells in toward your chest. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Dumbbell row
How to do it: Grasp a dumbbell in one hand. Stand next to a flat bench. Lean forward, and place
the opposite hand on the bench. Place your knee to the side of the resting hand on the bench to
support your back. At this point, your torso should be parallel to the ground. Lift the dumbbell
up by first pulling your shoulder blade and flexing your elbow. At the top of your movement, your
elbow should be very close to your side at hip level, and your shoulder blades should be squeezed
together. Return to starting position. Repeat.
At Home: Grasp a dumbbell or can in one hand. Stand next to a chair and follow the
directions above.
Dumbbell pullover
How to do it: Lie on your back on a flat bench with your knees bent and your feet flat on the
floor. Hold one dumbbell with both hands around the plate portion at one end. Begin with your
arms extended, your elbows slightly bent and facing out (shoulders externally rotated). Move the
dumbbell by lowering your upper arms toward your head. When the dumbbell is at the same level
as the bench and slightly behind your head, return it to the starting position. Repeat.
Incline barbell row
How to do it: Lie face forward on incline bench or platform and grasp the barbell with an
overhand grip. Pull the barbell up toward your chest. Return until your arms are extended, and
your shoulders are stretched forward. Repeat.
SHOULDERS
Dumbbell shoulder press
How to do it: Sit on a bench or on a stability ball. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at
approximately shoulder level, palms facing forward. Press them overhead. The dumbbells should
come together at the top of the movement. Return to starting position. Repeat.
get F IT
40
SHOULDERS
Cable side raise
How to do it: Stand with your right side facing a machine with a low pulley. Grasp the handle
with your left hand. Stand up straight with the handle in front of your body. Bend your left elbow
slightly. Keeping the shoulder blades pulled down and the left elbow rigid, lift your left arm out to
the side until it is at shoulder level. Lower to starting position. Repeat. Turn and work your right
shoulder with the handle in the right hand.
Cable front raise
How to do it: Stand with your back to a machine with a low handle. Grasp the handle with your
palm down. Keeping your posture correct and your elbows slightly bent, raise your arm in front of
you. Lower to starting position. Repeat.
Lever shoulder press
How to do it: Sit on a lever shoulder press machine. Grasp the handles, with palms facing
forward. Lower the bar under control to about ear level in back of your head. Press the bar up by
straightening your arms. Repeat.
Anterior shoulder press: Grasp the inside handles, with palms facing in. Lower the bar under
control to about ear level in back of your head. Press the bar up by straightening your arms.
Repeat.
Barbell shoulder press
How to do it: Sit on a bench or on a stability ball. Grasp the bar slightly wider than shoulderwidth apart, with palms facing forward. Lower the bar under control to about ear level in back of
your head. Press the bar up by straightening your arms. Lower to starting position. Repeat.
Dumbbell side raise
How to do it: Stand upright or sit on a bench or on a stability ball. Hold one dumbbell in one
hand, palms facing your sides. Lift your arm out to your side until it is at shoulder level. Switch
arms and repeat.
At home: Sit on a chair or stability ball or stand holding a can or dumbbell in one hand.
Follow directions above.
Bent-over dumbbell raise
How to do it: Stand or sit on a chair or bench or on a stability ball. Hold one dumbbell in each
hand. Bend forward at your waist. With your upper arms at approximately a 45-degree angle to
your head and your elbows slightly bent, touch the front ends of the dumbbells together. Lift your
arms out to your sides. Lower and repeat
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SHOULDERS
Dumbbell front raise
How to do it: Sit on a bench or on a stability ball or stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with
your palms down and directly in front of your thighs. With your elbows slightly bent, raise your
arms in front of your body. Lower to starting position. Repeat. You may also do this exercise by
alternating each arm.
At home: Sit on a chair or stability ball or stand holding cans or dumbbells and follow
directions above.
Upright row
How to do it: Grasp a bar or dumbbells with a palms-down grip. Place your hands about
shoulder-width apart or closer. Stand with your back straight and knees soft. Keeping the barbell
or the dumbbells very close to your body, pull the barbell or dumbbells up until they are under
your chin. At this point, your elbows should be just below the level of your ears. Lower the barbell
or dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat.
Cable upright row
How to do it: Stand facing a low pulley and attach a straight bar. Grasp the bar with a palmsdown grip. Place your hands about shoulder width apart or closer. Stand with your back straight
and knees soft. Keeping the bar very close to your body, pull the bar up until it is under your
chin. At this point, your elbows should be just below the level of your ears. Lower the straight bar
or pulley back to the starting position. Repeat.
Bent-over cable raise
How to do it: Stand with your right or left side facing a machine with a low pulley. Grasp the
handle with you opposite hand so it is in front of your body. Flex your knees and bend forward at
your waist. Bend your elbow slightly. Keeping your shoulder blades pulled down and your elbow
rigid, lift your arm out to your side until it is at shoulder level. Return to starting position.
Repeat. Turn and work your other shoulder with the handle in your opposite hand.
Lying side raise (horizontal abduction)
How to do it: Lie on your right side on a bench or on the floor, with your knees slightly bent and
your upper body resting on your right forearm. Your pelvis should be facing squarely forward.
Support your body with your right arm with your elbow bent. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand,
palm down. Your left elbow should be slightly bent. Keeping your left elbow stationary, lift your
arm until the elbow is in line with your head. Return to the starting position and repeat. Switch
positions so that you are lying on your left side. Perform the same number of repetitions with
your right arm.
Lying side raise (frontal abduction)
How to do it: Lie on your right side on a bench or on the floor, with your knees slightly bent.
Your pelvis should be facing forward. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand, palm down. Your elbow
should be slightly bent. Support your body with your right arm with your elbow bent. Begin with
your left arm on top of your left thigh. Lift your arm up until the dumbbell is over your head.
Return to the beginning position and repeat. Switch positions so that you are lying on your left
side. Perform the same number of repetitions with your right arm.
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S H O U L D E R S / R OTATO R C U F F/ B I C E P S
Military press
How to do it: Grasp barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder width. Lift the
barbell up and position the barbell in front of your neck. Press the bar up until your arms are fully
extended overhead. Lower the barbell to the front of your neck. Repeat.
ROTATOR CUFF
Windmill
How to do it: Hold a light dumbbell in each hand. Lie facedown on a bench with your head
hanging over the edge. With your upper arms at 90 degrees to your body and your elbows flexed
at 90 degrees, rotate your arms back and forth. Your neck should be straight and your head and
shoulder blades should be in line with your spinal column. Repeat.
Lying L
How to do it: Lie on your right or left side of your body on the floor. Support your head with one
hand with your elbow bent. Hold a dumbbell in your other hand and place your upper arm firmly
against your body with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. While keeping your wrist straight and
maintaining this 90-degree angle at the elbow joint, move the dumbbell toward the ceiling, and
then back until it is in line with your body. Switch to the other side of your body. Repeat.
Lying external/internal rotation
How to do it: Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Hold a
dumbbell in one hand. Your upper arm should be bent at a 90-degree angle to
your body, and your elbow should be flexed to 90 degrees. Maintaining these
two 90-degree angles, move the dumbbell as far in both directions as you can
comfortably and under full control while keeping your shoulder on the
ground. Switch to the other side of your body. Repeat.
BICEPS
Lever preacher curls
How to do it: Sit on a lever bicep curl machine. It should be adjusted so that your armpits rest on
the top part of the bench and the feet are flat on the floor with your legs at 90 degrees. Lean
forward, and grab the bar or handles. Position yourself with your hands shoulder-width apart, and
your armpits resting against the bench. The top of the bench should hit you at the collarbone
level. Curl the bar up to your chin and lower the weight to starting position, keeping your wrists
straight during the exercise. Repeat.
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BICEPS
Barbell curls
How to do it: Grasp a straight or angled bar with a shoulder-width (or slightly wider), palms-up
grip. Position yourself so that your feet are firmly planted with your knees slightly bent. Keeping
your upper arms against the sides of your body, curl the bar up by flexing at your elbow joint.
Lower to starting position. Repeat.
Seated dumbbell curls
How to do it: Sit on a bench or a stability ball. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your
upper arm against the side of your body, curl the dumbbell up by flexing at your elbow. Return to
starting position. Repeat. You may flex by alternating the dumbbells right and then left, or you
may flex them simultaneously.
At home: Sit on a chair or stability ball. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand. You may also use
cans or resistance bands instead of dumbbells. Keeping your upper arm against the side of
your body, curl the dumbbell up by flexing at your elbow. You may flex by alternating the
dumbbells right and then left, or you may flex them simultaneously.
Concentration curls
How to do it: Sit on a bench and grasp a dumbbell in one hand. Your knees should be apart, with
your feet flat on the floor. Lean forward and place the forearm and elbow of the arm grasping the
dumbbell against the thigh on the same side of the body with the palm of your hand facing you.
Curl the dumbbell up by flexing your elbow. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Dumbbell curls
How to do it: Position yourself so that your feet are firmly planted with your knees slightly bent.
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your sides. Keeping your upper arms against the
sides of your body, curl the dumbbell up by flexing at your elbow. Repeat. You may flex by
alternating the dumbbells right and then left, or you may flex them simultaneously.
At home: You may use cans or resistance bands* instead of dumbbells to do this exercise.
Position yourself so that your feet are firmly planted with your knees slightly bent. Grasp a
can in each hand, with the palms of your hands facing your sides and follow the directions above.
*See resistance band exercises
Preacher curls
How to do it: Sit on a preacher bench. It should be adjusted so that the armpits rest on the top
part of the bench and your feet are flat on the floor with your knees slightly bent at 90 degrees.
Lean forward, and grab the bar, which may be angled or straight. Position yourself with hands,
shoulder-width apart and your armpits resting against the bench. Curl the bar up to your chin
and lower the weight and repeat. Keep your wrists straight during the exercise.
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BICEPS/TRICEPS
Cable curls
How to do it: Stand facing a machine with a low pulley. Attach a straight or angled bar. Grasp the
bar with a shoulder-width (or slightly wider), palms-up grip. Position yourself so that your feet are
firmly planted, and your knees are slightly bent. Keeping your upper arms against the sides of
your body, curl the bar up by flexing at the elbow joint. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Hammer curls
How to do it: Stand or sit on a bench with back support, and grasp a dumbbell in each hand,
palms facing the body. Keeping the upper arms against your torso, curl the dumbbell by flexing at
your elbow joint. Raise the dumbbells up toward your body. Lower and repeat. Your palms should
be facing in throughout the entire exercise. You may also flex your arms separately by alternating
the dumbbells in each hand
TRICEPS
Dips
How to do it: Mount a shoulder-width parallel dip bar. Push your body up with your elbows close
to your body and your hips straight. Lower your body until your shoulders are slightly stretched
and your elbows are pointing backward. Repeat.
Triceps pulley pushdown
How to do it: Stand in front of a machine with a high pulley. Grasp the overhead bar attached to
the cable with your palms down and thumbs on top and arms shoulder-width apart. Keeping the
upper arms firmly against and slightly in front of the center of your body, push the bar down by
straightening your elbows. Allow your elbows to flex a maximum of 90 degrees. Return to starting
position. Repeat.
Lying barbell triceps extensions
How to do it: Lie face up on a flat bench or on a stability ball. Grasp a straight or curled bar in your
hands. With your hands shoulder width apart, straighten your arms so that the barbell is over your
head and your upper arms are at about the middle of your chest. Your upper arms should be at a 90degree angle to your body and to the bench. Keeping your upper arms stationary, lower the barbell
to your forehead by flexing your elbows. Straighten your arms and repeat.
Lying dumbbell triceps extensions
How to do it: Lie face up on a flat bench or on a stability ball. Grasp one dumbbell in each hand
with your palms facing in. Straighten your arms with your palms in and your elbows in the same
plane as your shoulders. Your arms should be at a 90-degree angle to your body and the bench.
Lower the dumbbells to your forehead by flexing at the elbow. Return to the start position by
straightening but not hyperextending your elbows. Repeat.
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TRICEPS
Seated triceps extensions (two hands)
How to do it: Sit on a chair, bench, or stability ball. Grasp one dumbbell with both hands at one
end of the dumbbell. Straighten your arms so the weight is over your head and your upper arms
are next to your ears. Keeping your upper arms stationary, lower the weight behind your head to
the back of your neck by flexing only at your elbow joints. Straighten your arms. Repeat.
At home: Sit on a chair or stability ball. Grasp one dumbbell or can with both hands and
follow the directions above
Seated triceps kickback (double)
How to do it: Sit on the end of a bench and bend forward at your waist. Grasp a dumbbell in
each hand, palms in. Flex your elbow to 90 degrees with your upper arms against your body. Your
upper arms should be parallel with the ground. Straighten your arms at the elbows. Pause a
moment when your arms are straight before returning them to their original 90 degree bent
position. Repeat.
At home: Sit on the end of a chair and bend forward at your waist. Grasp a dumbbell or can
in each hand and follow directions above.
Single triceps kickback
How to do it: Grasp a dumbbell in one hand. Stand next to a flat bench, lean forward, and place
your opposite hand on the bench. The upper part of your working arm should be parallel with the
ground and against your body. Begin with your elbow flexed at 90 degrees with the palm of your
hand facing your body. Straighten your working arm by extending at the elbow joint. Pause, and
then return your elbow to the flexed position. Repeat. Switch arms. Repeat.
Close grip push-up
How to do it: Begin on the floor or a mat on all fours. Keeping your hands under your shoulders,
move your hands toward each other until they touch. Then straighten your spine by straightening
your knees and tucking your toes under. Your abdominals should be contracted to keep your spine
firm and straight. Keeping your knees rigid, flex your elbows and lower the body as a single unit
until your chest is approximately two inches from the floor. Repeat.
Lever triceps dips
How to do it: Sit on a seat with your back against the pad. Grasp the handles and push the
levers down with your elbows close to your body. Return until your shoulders are slightly
stretched and repeat.
Lever triceps extensions
How to do it: Begin by sitting on a chair, facing the padded armrest. Grasp the handles and place
the back of your upper arm on the padding so that your elbow is in line with the lever’s movement
point. Push the lever down by fully extending the arm. Return to starting position. Repeat.
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TRICEPS/FOREARMS
Single triceps pushdown
How to do it: Stand facing a machine with a high pulley. Attach a small handle. Grasp the handle
with your right or left hand with a palms-down grip. Keeping your upper arm firmly against the
body, straighten your arm at the elbow. Return to the starting position (elbow bent at 90 degrees).
Switch arms and repeat.
FOREARMS
Reverse barbell curls
How to do it: Stand and hold a bar in front of you. You should have a palms-down grip with your
hands approximately shoulder-width apart. Keeping your upper arms against your body, curl the
bar up and toward your body. Return to starting position. Repeat. You may also flex your arms
separately by alternating the dumbbells in each hand.
Reverse dumbbell curls
How to do it: This exercise is identical to the barbell curl. Instead of a palms-up grip as in the
barbell curl exercise, you grasp the dumbbells with the palms of your hands down. Keep your
upper arms firmly against your body and raise the dumbbells by flexing at your elbow joint.
Return to starting position. Repeat. You may also flex your arms separately by alternating the
dumbbells in each hand.
Wrist flexion
How to do it: This exercise can be done while seated with the forearms resting on the thighs,
palms up or with the wrists hanging over the end of your knees. It can also be performed
while standing at a hyperextension bench with the forearms resting on the pad at about waist
level. Hold the dumbbell or bar with a palms-up grip. Perform the exercise by flexing your
wrists. Repeat.
Hammer curls
How to do it: Stand or sit on a bench with back support, and grasp a dumbbell in each hand,
palms facing the body. Keeping the upper arms against your torso, curl the dumbbell by flexing at
your elbow joint. Raise the dumbbells up toward your body. Lower and repeat. Your palms should
be facing in throughout the entire exercise. You may also flex your arms separately by alternating
the dumbbells in each hand
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G LU T E A L S
GLUTEALS
Squat
How to do it: Stand in front of a squat rack with the bar at the appropriate height to allow you to
unrack it without rising on your toes or bending over. Go under the bar and unrack it.
Maintaining a palms-forward grip, hold the bar behind your head and rest it on your shoulders.
Step away from the rack and stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Shift your
body weight back to your heels. This should cause a slightly forward lean, which is okay provided
your back stays flat. Bend at your knees by flexing your hips, lowering your gluteals behind your
heels. When your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are flexed at 90 degrees, push
back up to the starting position. Repeat. Don’t rest when your knees are straight. Ascend and
descend at a controlled, steady pace, up to a count of two and down to a count of three or four.
You may also use dumbbells by holding one dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight at
your sides.
At home: Follow the directions above using a backpack with added weight, such as books
for increased resistance.
Seated leg curl
How to do it:
Sit down on a sitting leg curl machine. Adjust the machine’s pads so that the ankle pad hits you at
the Achilles tendon. Pull your ankle toward the back of your thigh by flexing your knee. Return to
starting position. Repeat.
Barbell deadlift
How to do it: Grasp a barbell with an evenly spaced palms-down grip. Tighten your gluteals and
abdominals and while keeping your head up and your back flat, bend forward at the waist until
the bar is just below your knees. Return to the starting position. Repeat.
Dumbbell deadlift
How to do it: While standing, grasp two dumbbells (one in each hand). Hold the resistance in
front of your thighs, palms down. Tighten your gluteals and abdominals and while keeping your
head up, bend forward at the waist until the dumbbells are just below your knees. Return to the
starting position. Repeat.
Lunges with barbell
How to do it: Hold a barbell on the back of your neck and keep your head up and back straight.
Extend your leg back and slightly to the outside (about 30 degrees away from the center of your
body) with your foot flexed. Maintaining good posture, lower your body by flexing both knees at
about 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat.
At home: Follow the directions above using a backpack with added weight, such as books
for increased resistance.
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G LU T E A L S / H A M ST R I N G S
Lunges with dumbbells
How to do it: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body and arms beside your body.
Keep your head up and back straight. Extend your leg back and slightly to the outside (about 30
degrees away from the center of your body) with your foot flexed. Maintaining good posture,
lower your body by flexing both knees at about 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and
repeat.
At home: Follow the directions above using a backpack with added weight, such as books
for increased resistance.
Good morning
How to do it: Begin by resting a barbell across your shoulders. You may also choose to do this
exercise without weight. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your lower back stiff
throughout the movement. Slowly bend forward at the hips until your body is roughly parallel
with the floor. In a controlled manner, slowly reverse direction, contracting your gluteals as you
raise your body up along the same path, back to the starting position. Repeat. *If you have
problems with your lower back, don’t use weight, or do not do this exercise.
At home: Follow the above directions using a backpack with added weight, such as books,
instead of a barbell.
HAMSTRINGS
Seated leg curl
How to do it: Sit down on a sitting leg curl machine. Adjust the machine’s pads so that the ankle
pad hits you at the Achilles tendon. Pull your ankle toward the back of your thigh by flexing your
knee. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Hamstring curl
How to do it: Lie face down on a leg curl machine. Adjust the machine’s pads so that your knees
are just off of the edge of the bench and the ankle pad hits you at the Achilles tendon. Place your
feet under the ankle pad. Before bending your knees, tighten your gluteals and abdominals. Raise
the stack by flexing your knees. Return to starting position. Repeat.
At home: Place ankle weights on ankles for resistance. Stand upright or lie face down on a
mat or on the floor. Before bending your knees, tighten your gluteals and abdominals. Raise
one leg at a time if standing or both legs if lying down. Repeat.
Barbell deadlift
How to do it: Grasp a barbell with an evenly spaced palms-down grip. Tighten your gluteals and
abdominals while keeping your head up and your back flat, bend forward at the waist until the
bar is just below your knees. Return to the starting position. Repeat.
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H A M ST R I N G S /Q UA D R I C E P S
Dumbbell deadlift
How to do it: While standing, grasp two dumbbells (one in each hand). Hold the resistance in
front of your thighs, palms down. Tighten your gluteals and abdominals and keeping your head
up, bend forward at the waist until the dumbbells are just below your knees. Return to the
starting position. Repeat.
Lunges with barbell
How to do it: Hold a barbell on the back of your neck and keep your head up and back straight.
Extend your leg back and slightly to the outside (about 30 degrees away from the center of your
body) with your foot flexed. Maintaining good posture, lower your body by flexing both knees at
about 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat.
At home: Follow the above directions using a backpack with added weight, such as books,
for increased resistance.
Lunges with dumbbells
How to do it: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body and arms beside your
body. Keep your head up and back straight. Extend your leg back and slightly to the outside
(about 30 degrees away from the center of your body) with your foot flexed. Maintaining good
posture, lower your body by flexing both knees at about 90 degrees. Return to the starting
position and repeat.
At home: Follow the above directions using a backpack with added weight, such as books,
for increased resistance.
Good morning
How to do it: Begin by resting a barbell across your shoulders. You may also choose to do this
exercise without weight. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your lower back stiff
throughout the movement. Slowly bend forward at the hips until your body is roughly parallel
with the floor. In a controlled manner, slowly reverse direction, contracting your gluteals as you
raise your body up along the same path, back to the starting position. Repeat. *If you have
problems with your lower back, don’t use weight, or do not do this exercise.
QUADRICEPS
Leg extensions
How to do it: Sit on the leg extension station of a universal or similar machine with your knees
slightly bent and your feet behind the pads of the leg extension attachment, which should hit you
at the ankle joint. Extend your legs by straightening them at the knee joint. Return to starting
position. Repeat. While generally done two legs at a time, this exercise can also be done one leg at
a time for greater isolation and balanced development.
At home: Sit on a chair and attach ankle weights to your ankles. Extend your legs by
straightening them at the knee joint. Return to starting position. Repeat.
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Q UA D R I C E P S
Squat
How to do it: Stand in front of a squat rack with the bar at the appropriate height to allow you to
unrack it without rising on your toes or bending over. Go under the bar and unrack it.
Maintaining a palms-forward grip, hold the bar behind your head and rest it on your shoulders.
Step away from the rack and stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Shift your
body weight back to your heels. This should cause a slightly forward lean, which is okay provided
your back stays flat. Bend at your knees by flexing your hips, lowering your gluteals behind your
heels. When your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are flexed at 90 degrees, push back
up to the starting position. Repeat. Don’t rest when your knees are straight. Ascend and descend at
a controlled, steady pace, up to a count of two and down to a count of three or four. You may also
use dumbbells by holding one dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight at your sides.
At home: Follow the above directions using a backpack with added weight, such as books for
increased resistance.
Squats with stability ball
How to do it: Stand with the ball between your upper back and the wall with your feet shoulderwidth apart. Maintaining a neutral spine position, squat no lower than 90 degrees and hold for a
few seconds. Then return to a standing position. *Your knees should be kept in alignment with
your second toes.
Leg press
How to do it: Sit on the seat or lie down on the pad of a leg press machine. Before beginning,
check the height of the seat. It should be positioned so that you are able to place your feet flat on
the machine’s platform without hyperextending your knees or flexing your hips. Unrack the stack
and lower it until your legs are bent at approximately 90 degrees. Press the stack up. Do not pause
at the top. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Lunges with barbell
How to do it: Hold a barbell on the back of your neck and keep your head up and back straight.
Extend your leg back and slightly to the outside (about 30 degrees away from the center of your
body) with your foot flexed. Maintaining good posture, lower your body by flexing both knees at
about 90 degrees. Return to the starting position and repeat.
At home: Follow the above directions using a backpack with added weight, such as books
for increased resistance.
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Q UA D R I C E P S /C A LV E S
Lunges with dumbbells
How to do it: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body and arms beside your
body. Keep your head up and back straight. Extend your leg back and slightly to the outside
(about 30 degrees away from the center of your body) with your foot flexed. Maintaining good
posture, lower your body by flexing both knees at about 90 degrees. Return to the starting
position and repeat.
At home: Follow the above directions using a backpack with added weight, such as books
for increased resistance.
CALVES
Calf raise platform
How to do it: Grasp a barbell and place behind your neck or grasp one
dumbbell in each hand. Position your toes and balls of your feet on the calf
raise block or stair with your arches and heels extending off of it. Raise your
heels by extending your ankles as high as possible. Lower your heels by
bending your ankles until your calves are stretched. Repeat.
Lying calf raises (on leg press machine)
How to do it: Sit on the seat or lie down on the pad of a leg press machine. Place your toes and
balls of your feet on the lower portion of the platform with your heels and the arches extending
off and grasp the handles located on the sides of the machine and extend hips and knees. Push the
platform by extending your ankles as far as possible. Return by bending your ankles until your
calves are stretched. Repeat.
Single-leg calf raise with dumbbells
How to do it: Grasp one dumbbell in each hand. Position
your toes and balls of your feet on a calf block, platform,
or on the ground with arches and heels extending off. Lift
your other leg to the rear by bending your knee. Raise
your heels by extending your ankles as high as possible.
Lower your heels by bending your ankles until your calves
are stretched. Repeat. Continue on the opposite leg.
At home: Follow the above directions using a backpack
with added weight, such as books, for increased
resistance.
Seated calf raise
How to do it: Sit at a seated calf raise machine. Place your knees under the pad after adjusting it
so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle while you are seated. With your feet firmly on the
platform, release the stack and allow your heel to drop to its lowest range of motion. Press the
stack up by flexing at the ankle joint. Return to starting position and repeat.
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CO R E
CORE
Superman (back extensions on floor)
How to do it: Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands behind your back or straight out in front of you for added
intensity. Lift your chest off of the mat or floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Back extensions on platform
How to do it: Lie prone and place your feet on the platform with your back under the padded
lever and the front of your hips against the back of the seat. Extend your lower hips and lower
back until extended. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Lever back extensions on machine
How to do it: Sitting down with your back against the back support, place your feet on the
platform and under pads for stability. Grasp the handles for added stability and push your lower
hips and lower back backward until extended. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Crunch on floor
How to do it: Lie on your back on the floor or on a mat with your knees bent and heels close to
your body. Your heels should be together, your pelvis should be tilted up, and your lower back
should be pressed down to the floor or mat. Keeping your elbows behind your head and your chin
to the ceiling, tighten your abdominals and lift your shoulders off the ground by contracting your
abdominals. Return to the starting position. Repeat.
Lever seated crunch
How to do it: Sit in the lever seated crunch machine with your back against the back support. If
pads are available, place lower legs under pads. Place fingers around the handles and the back of
your arm against the pads to each side of you. With your hips stationary, flex your waist. Return
to starting position. Repeat.
Side bend on platform
How to do it: Position the side of your thigh on the padding. Hook the side of your feet on the
platform. If more resistance is desired, hold extra weight to chest. Raise your torso upright by
laterally flexing your waist. Lower your torso by bending your waist and repeat. Turn around and
continue on opposite side.
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CO R E
Crunch on stability ball
How to do it: Start with the top of the ball beneath the center of the back. Press the lower back
into the ball and tighten the abdominals as you curl your rib cage toward your pelvis. Return to
the starting position. Repeat.
Crunches on machine
How to do it: Sit on a crunch machine and lean against the back support. If there is a pad
available, place lower legs under the pad or on the platform for added leverage. Place fingers
around handle grips. With the hips stationary, flex waist so that the elbows travel downward.
Return to the starting position. Repeat.
Jack knife sit-up
How to do it: Sit on the floor or on a mat. Lie straight with your hands to your sides.
Simultaneously raise your knees and torso until your hips and knees are flexed. Return to the
starting position with your waist, hips, and knees extended. Repeat.
Twisting crunch
How to do it: Lie on your back on the floor or on a mat with your knees bent. Place your right
ankle on or in the vicinity of your left knee in a cross-legged fashion. Tilt your pelvis up and press
your lower back into the floor. Place both hands behind your head. Keeping your pelvis flat and
square on the ground, lift your left shoulder toward your right knee. Repeat and then switch legs
and shoulders.
Oblique crunch
How to do it: Lie on your back. Place your hands behind your head. Bring your knees together
and drop them to one side. Lift your shoulders toward your hips as if you were doing a crunch.
Repeat and then switch with knees on the other side.
Lying leg/hip raises
How to do it: Lie on your back on the floor or on a mat. Tilt your pelvis up and place your hands
under your gluteals like a wedge to tilt your pelvis up and support your lower back. Keeping
your knees straight (your knees can be soft but not actively bent), try to touch the ceiling with
your pointed toes. Concentrate on flexing your pelvis and lifting your gluteus, using your lower
abdominals. Repeat.
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Lying leg raises
How to do it: Lie on the ground or on a bench with your torso elevated. Grasp the bench or a
stationary object for support. Raise your legs by flexing your hips and knees until your thighs are
just past perpendicular to your torso. Return to the starting position until your hips and knees are
extended. Repeat.
Leg raises on platform
How to do it: Position your body on padded parallel bars with your hands on the handles, your
back on the vertical pad, and your body weight supported on your forearms. Raise your legs by
flexing your hips and knees until your thighs are just past parallel to the floor. Return until hips
and knees are extended. Repeat.
Reverse crunch
How to do it: Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees flexed 90 degrees. Place
your hands under your gluteals so that they can act as a wedge to tilt your pelvis up. Keeping your
knees flexed at 90 degrees, lift your hips off the floor. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Seated reverse crunch
How to do it: Sitting on the edge of a chair or bench, grasping the sides of the bench, start with
your legs straight out in front of you. Pull your knees in toward your chest and then slowly return
to starting position. Repeat.
Plank
How to do it: Start out in a push-up position with your arms extended and your elbows under you with your elbows
six inches apart. Try to keep your shoulder blades together with no curve. Flex your stomach region, keep your back
straight, and your hips up. To make this even more challenging, try to keep moving your elbows out two inches every
15 seconds.
V-up
How to do it: Start out lying down with your arms extended over your head. Slowly bring your
arms (fully extended still) and your legs up and together, creating a “V” with your body. Next
slowly bring your legs and arms back to the original starting position. Remember to lower your
arms and legs at the same time. Repeat
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Incline twisting sit up
How to do it: This may be done with or without weight. Hook your feet
under the foot brace of a padded incline board and lie flat bent at the hips.
Flex and twist your waist to one direction while raising your torso from the
bench by bending your hips. Return to the bench so that the back of your
shoulders come in contact with the incline board. Repeat on the opposite side,
alternating twists.
Lever lying down crunch
How to do it: Lie down on your back on a lever crunch machine with your arms on the arm pads
to the side of you and your fingers gripping the handles with your palms facing out. With your
hips stationary, flex at your waist. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Incline sit up
How to do it: This may be done with or without weight. Hook your feet under the foot brace of a
padded incline board and lie flat with hips bent. Flex the waist to raise your upper torso from the
bench. Return to the bench so that the back of your shoulders come in contact with the incline
board. Repeat.
Side bend with dumbbell
How to do it: Grasp dumbbell with your arm straight to your side. Place your other hand on
your head. Bend at your waist to the side of the dumbbell. Lower and repeat. Continue on
opposite side.
Side crunch on stability ball
How to do it: Place the stability ball under your hip, keeping both legs together or separated for
increased stability with knees and hips bent. Place hands behind your head or across your chest. Flex
your waist and raise your upper torso off of the ball, bringing your elbow toward your knee. Return
until the back of your shoulders touch the stability ball. Repeat the motion on the other side.
V-up with stability ball
How to do it: Start out lying down with your arms extended over your head.
Place the stability ball between your arms. Slowly bring your arms (fully
extended still) and your legs up and together, creating a “V” with your body.
Transfer the ball to between your legs (this takes a little coordination), and
slowly bring your legs and arms back to the original starting position. Repeat
by transferring the ball from between your legs to your hands and continue
this process.
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Push-ups with stability ball
How to do it: Start with your hands on the stability ball and your legs extended out away from
the stability ball. Keeping your body straight, lower your body toward the ball and push up to
return to starting position. Repeat.
Medicine ball twists
How to do it: Start out with the gluteals on the floor, and your knees bent in
front of you. Keep your head and hips facing forward. With the medicine ball
on one side, using your torso, twist to the other side, and put the medicine
ball on the ground. Then return to the other side. This is one repetition. You
can also break up the set by passing the ball under your legs in the middle of
the set. Pass the medicine ball quickly, hand-to-hand, under your legs and over
the top of your knees. Your feet remain on the floor at all times. Twist to the
right and return. Pass the medicine ball over and then under your legs. Repeat.
Trunk twist
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp a barbell
and place it behind your neck. Slowly twist to the right and then to the left,
keeping your hips and head facing forward. Only your torso should be
twisting. Repeat. *If you have problems with your lower back, do not do
this one.
Prone curl
How to do it: Start in a push up position with your feet or shins on the ball. Then bring your
knees and hips in at 90 degrees. Return to the starting position. Repeat.
Body circles
How to do it: Place your legs about shoulder-width apart.
Hold the stability ball above your head straight up with
both hands. Circle the ball down to just above the floor,
keeping your knees slightly bent, then bring the ball back
up overhead. Do these circles in a clockwise direction and
then a counterclockwise direction. Repeat.
Chopping wood
How to do it: Bend over and place the stability ball between your legs, below your knees. Hold
the ball in both hands. Bring the ball all the way overhead, and raise up onto your toes while you
are lifting the ball. Come back down and bring the ball to the starting position, keeping your
knees slightly bent. Repeat.
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Side bends
How to do it: Lift the stability ball with both hands over your head. Keeping your knees slightly
bent, bend your torso to the left as far as you can go, then to the right. Only your torso should
move. Your hips should be locked in place (not swaying). Repeat.
Recumbent rotary twist
How to do it: Sit upright on a mat with your legs in front of you and your
knees slightly bent, then lean back about 45 degrees. Alternately touch the
stability ball to each side as far as you can go. Repeat. *Caution, if you have
lower back problems, go slow, or don’t do this exercise.
Seated rotary twist
How to do it: Sit upright on a mat with your legs in front of you and your
knees slightly bent. Alternately touch the stability ball to each side as far
around as you can go. *Caution, if you have lower back problems, go slow or
don’t do this exercise. Repeat.
Supine pullovers
How to do it: Lie on your back on an exercise mat with your knees bent. Hold the stability ball
behind your head with both hands as far as you can reach. Then bring the ball over your stomach
without bending your elbows. Tighten your stomach muscles while you do this. Return to the
starting position and repeat.
Supine rotary pullover and crunch
How to do it: Lie on your back on a mat with your knees bent. Hold the stability ball behind
your head to one side with both hands as far as you can reach. Then bring the ball between your
legs and do a crunch at the same time without bending your elbows. Return to the starting
position and repeat.
Supine pullover and toe reach
How to do it: Lie on your back on a mat. Hold the stability ball with both hands behind your
head on the floor. Take the ball and V-up (raise your legs up straight-legged, raise the ball up
straight-armed, and touch the ball to your toes as if you were folding yourself into the letter “V.”)
After touching the ball to your toes, return to the start position. Repeat.
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Partner standing torso twist
How to do it: Have a partner stand behind you one to two feet away, back-toback. Bend your knees slightly. Using both hands, hand the ball to one side.
Your partner takes the ball on that same side and hands it to you on the other
side. You hand it back to your partner. After ten or so repetitions, stop and
change direction. Keep your elbows in. Repeat.
Partner standing figure eight torso twist
How to do it: Have a partner stand behind your back one to two feet away, back-to-back. Slightly
bend your knees. Using both hands, hand the ball to one side. Your partner takes the ball from
the opposite side and hands it to you at the other side. You hand it back to your partner. The ball
is crossing your bodies behind your backs. After 10 or so repetitions, stop and change direction.
Keep your elbows in so you don’t poke your partner. Repeat.
Reverse bridge with stability ball
How to do it: Lie with the ball under your shoulder blades and your feet flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. Flex
your knees at a 90-degree angle, tighten your stomach muscles, and maintain neutral alignment; hold for 30 seconds.
For increased intensity, lift one leg away from the floor, keeping the leg straight. Hold for a few seconds, then return
your leg to the floor and repeat using the opposite leg. Do not allow your back to sag or arch during this exercise and
keep the ball as still as possible.
*See note at the end of this section to use the stability ball as a substitute chair or bench using this pose for various exercises.
Adductors with stability ball
How to do it: Lie on the ground or exercise mat with the ball placed between your knees and your arms relaxed by
your side. Tighten your stomach muscles and, keeping your spine and feet firmly on the floor, squeeze your thighs
together. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat.
Bridge with stability ball
How to do it: Lie on the ground or exercise mat with your arms in a relaxed position by your side. Place your feet on
the ball so that it is resting just under your lower legs. Raise your pelvis form the floor by tightening the gluteal
muscles so that the body is diagonal from shoulders to feet. *Remember to maintain neutral spine alignment and do
not allow the back to arch.
Crunch with feet on stability ball
How to do it: Lie on the floor or mat with both heels resting on the ball and your hips at 90
degrees. Tighten your lower abdominal muscles and breathe steadily into your rib cage. Place your
hands on either side of your head or across your chest (do not pull on your neck) and lift your
shoulders from the floor toward your knees for a few seconds. Release and return to the starting
position. Repeat.
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Hamstring curl with stability ball
How to do it: Lie on the floor or an exercise mat with your
heels on the ball and tighten your lower abdominal
muscles. Slowly bring the ball toward your gluteals by
tightening the hamstring muscles at the back of the thigh.
Control the movement with your feet so that your hips,
knees, and ankles are in line. Hold for a few seconds and
return to the starting position. Repeat. *Remember not to
arch your spine during this exercise.
Advanced: Lie on the floor or exercise mat with your heels on the stability ball. Lift up your torso so that hips are off of the ground and
only your head and shoulder blades are on the ground. Place your hands on your head or to your sides. Slowly bring the ball toward your
gluteals by tightening the hamstring muscles at the back of the thighs. Control the movement with your feet so that your hips, knees, and
ankles are in line. Hold for a few seconds and return to start position. Repeat. *Remember not to arch your spine during this exercise.
Intermediate crunch with stability ball
How to do it: Lie on the floor or an exercise mat. Grasp the ball under your knees and lift from
the floor. Tighten the lower abdominal muscles and place your hand on either side of your head.
Slowly lift your shoulders from the floor toward your knees and remember not to pull on your
neck. Hold for a few seconds and return your upper body to the starting position. Repeat.
Wall crunch on stability ball
How to do it: Sit on the ball facing the wall. Place your feet firmly against the wall shoulder-width
apart. The ball should now be under your lower spine and pelvis. With your hands on either side
of your head or across your chest, tighten your stomach muscles, and slowly lift your shoulders
toward the wall. Return to the starting position. Repeat. If this exercise is done correctly, your
knees and hips should not move from their original position.
Back extension on stability ball
How to do it: Kneel on an exercise mat and place the ball under your abdomen and pelvis with
your feet shoulder-width apart. Holding your hands on either side of your head, slowly raise your
upper torso from the ball as far as you can without arching your back. Hold this position for two
seconds and then slowly lower your back to the starting position. Repeat. You can make this
exercise harder by bringing your feet closer together. *Remember to keep your back and neck
straight and remember not to arch your spine or bend your back.
Plank on stability ball
How to do it: Kneel on an exercise mat or on the floor with the ball in front of you. Place your forearms on the
ball and make sure your spine is straight. Tighten your lower abdominal muscles and slowly raise your torso so that
your body is straight. Keep the balls of your feet on the ground and your body flexed at your elbows. Hold this
position for about five seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat. *Remember not to allow your
spine to sag or arch throughout the exercise.
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Reverse push-up on stability ball
How to do it: Lie with the ball under your shins with your spine straight and your arms at chest
height shoulder-width apart. Keep your head looking forward, and do not allow the spine to sag
or arch. Lower your torso using only your arm muscles and hold this position for a few seconds.
Then push back up so that your body is horizontal with the ball again. Remember not to lock
your elbows. Hold this position for a few seconds and then lower again. Repeat.
Trunk rotation on stability ball
How to do it: With the ball under your shoulders, tighten the lower abdominals and gently squeeze
your knees together by tightening the thigh muscles. Hold a medicine ball or dumbbell out in front
at chest height. Rotate the upper torso to the right and hold for a few seconds. Then return to the
starting position. Repeat the motion on the left side. Your hips and head should face forward the
whole time. Also, your arms should stay fixed in front of your body throughout the exercise. For this
exercise to be effective; the movement should only come from the torso and not at the shoulders.
Hip extensions
How to do it: Kneel on the floor or on an exercise mat with the ball under your chest and tighten your lower
abdominal muscles. Slowly extend your left arm and right leg until they are in horizontal alignment with your spine.
Keep your knee and toes pointing toward the floor and in line with your hip. Hold for a few seconds and return to
the starting position. Repeat the motion using the right arm and left leg. *Remember not to allow your spine to sag or
arch during this exercise.
Prone leg lift up
How to do it: With the ball under your pelvis and your arms on the floor shoulder-width apart,
tighten your gluteal muscles to raise your feet upward. Most of your weight should be on the ball.
Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.
Repeat. *Remember not to allow your lower back to sag during this exercise.
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OFFICE
OFFICE
Chair squat
How to do it: Place your hands on your desk while standing with a chair behind you. Your feet
should be shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower your gluteals to the chair without actually touching
it. Straighten and repeat up to ten times.
Leg lift
How to do it: Try to do this exercise while eating your lunch at your desk. Sit
on a chair with your feet on the floor. Lift one foot forward, straightening
your knee. Squeeze the front of the upper thigh as you lift your leg and hold it
for a few seconds. Lower and repeat with the other leg. Complete eight
repetitions on each leg.
Push-up off of your desk
How to do it: Stand facing a desk with your feet together. Keep your back straight and your head
looking straight ahead. Lean forward and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
on the desk. Slowly lower your body toward the desk and then push away. Repeat up to ten times.
Stand-up out of your chair
How to do it: Lift your body up and down out of your chair several times.
Single leg calf raises
How to do it: Stand facing a desk, touching the top for balance. Place your right foot behind the
heel of your left foot. Raise the heel of your left foot off the floor as high as possible, pressing on
the ball of your foot. Repeat the exercise with your left foot behind the heel of your right foot.
Raise the heel of your right foot off the floor as high as possible, pressing the ball of your foot into
the floor.
Tuck in your knees to strengthen your abdominals
How to do it: Sit in a chair with your hands holding the armrests. Tighten
your stomach muscles as you pull each knee in toward your chest. Alternate
knees and then pull in both knees.
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ST R E TC H E S
STRETCHES
Neck and shoulders
How to do it: Sitting or standing, allow your arms to hang at your sides. Tilt your head sideways
to your shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Back and shoulders
How to do it: Standing or sitting, reach one arm over your head, stretching toward the ceiling. With the opposite
arm, reach toward the floor. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Back
How to do it: Standing or sitting, place your hands on your hips. Slowly twist at your waist as if
you were looking over your shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Seated Posture
How to do it: Without using the backrest of your chair, sit with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back,
with your palms facing forward. Take four deep breaths from your abdomen. Perform frequently throughout the day.
Squat
How to do it: Stand with your shoulders, hips, and knees in a vertical line. Draw your stomach in
as if you were making your waistline smaller. Slowly squat down as if you were picking something
up. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Both knees should be facing forward. Repeat five to
ten times.
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R E S I STA N C E B A N D
RESISTANCE BANDS EXERCISES
MEDIUM SIZED BAND
Concentration curls
How to do it: Sit on a chair and grasp one end of a band. Place the other end of the band under
your foot. Your knees should be apart with your feet flat on the floor. Lean forward and place the
forearm and elbow of your arm grasping the band against the thigh on the same side of your body
with the palm of your hand facing down. Curl the band up by flexing your elbow. Repeat
Triceps extensions
How to do it: Sit in a chair and grasp one end of a band in one hand and hold it above your head.
Grasp the other end of the band and hold it behind your back. Keep your elbow facing forward
and straighten the arm that is above your head. Also keep your upper arm next to your ears.
Keeping your arm stationary, with your elbow pointing forward, lower the band by flexing only at
your elbow. Return to starting position. Repeat.
One arm row
How to do it: Lean on a bench or chair with your right knee and your right hand. Grasp the band
with the palm of your right hand. With your left knee slightly bent and your right elbow slightly
bent and under your shoulder, pull your hand upward with your elbow moving close to your side
as you move the band toward your rib cage. Lower the band to the starting position. Repeat.
Switch sides. Repeat.
Shrugs
How to do it: Stand with one end of the band under your foot and the other end in your hand.
Your hand should be in line with your shoulder. Keeping your elbow locked, shrug your shoulders
up toward your ears. Return to starting position. Repeat. Switch sides.
Lat pull down
How to do it: Sitting or standing, grasp the band with one handle in each hand. Pull the band
down to your sternum while simultaneously arching your back and sticking out your chest. Lean
back at about a 120-degree angle. Leading with your elbows, pull down so that the band stretches
across your collarbone. At the end of the movement, your elbows should be pointing down with
your hands at shoulder height. Return to starting position. Repeat.
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R E S I STA N C E B A N D
LONG BAND
Chest press
How to do it: Attach the band to a stationary object and while sitting or standing, grasp the ends
of the band with the palms of your hands facing frontward. Your elbows should be aligned with
your shoulders and bent at 90 degrees. Push the band forward, away from your chest,
straightening your arms without hyperextending. Lower your arms to starting position. Repeat.
Chest fly
How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent with the band under your shoulders. Grasp
the ends of the band with the palms of your hands facing in. Your arms should be extended over
your chest with a slight bend in your elbows. Open your arms out to your sides until they are
aligned with your shoulders and then return your hands to the center, over your chest. Repeat.
Row
How to do it: Sitting or standing, attach the band to a stationary object or have someone hold the
middle of the band. Keep your chest lifted, shoulders back, and your head and neck aligned with
your spine. Grasp the handles of the band. Pull your hands back toward your rib cage with your
elbows moving back and close to your sides. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Bicep curls
How to do it: Standing on the center of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasp the
handles of the band with one in each hand. Keeping your elbows in at your waist, flex to lift your
hands to your shoulder. Lower your hand to the starting position. Repeat.
Shoulder press
How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on one end of the band. Hold one end of
the band at shoulder level with the palm of your hand facing forward. Press the band overhead.
Return to starting position. Repeat on both sides.
Triceps extensions
How to do it: Standing on one end of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart, grasp one
end of the band in one hand and hold it above your head with your elbow bent at 90 degrees and
your elbow facing forward. Straighten the arm that is above your head and keep your upper arm
next to your ear with your elbow pointing forward. Return to starting position by lowering the
band by flexing only at your elbow. Repeat on both sides.
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R E S I STA N C E B A N D
Lateral front raises
How to do it: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold the band in one hand in front
of your body with the palms of your hands facing your thighs. Step on one end of the band. Raise
your arm up and forward until your arm is level with your shoulder. Lower your arm to the
starting position. Repeat. Repeat on other side.
Lateral side raises
How to do it: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart on one end of the band, hold the
band in one hand in front of your body with the palms of your hands facing your thighs. Raise
your arm up and to the side until your arm is level with your shoulder. Lower your arm to the
starting position. Repeat. Repeat on other side.
Squats
How to do it: Standing with you feet shoulder-width apart, stand on the middle of the band.
Grasp the handles one in each hand and hold them by your ears. Your body weight is slightly back
on your heels. This should cause a slightly forward lean, but leave your back flat. Bend your knees
and push your pelvis back as if you are sitting in a chair until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Keep your head and neck up facing forward. Press your heels through to return to the standing
position. Repeat.
SMALL BAND
Hip abduction
How to do it: Stand with rubber tubing around both ankles, and if necessary, hold onto
something for support. Hold one of your legs stationary as you lift the other leg to the side.
Keeping your pelvis facing forward, use the muscles in your hips to raise your leg as high as you
can to your side without bending. Return to starting position. Repeat. Switch sides.
Calves
How to do it: Sitting in chair with your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart, extend
one leg so that your toes are pointing to the ceiling. Place the band around the bottom of your
foot and hold it with the hand on the same side. Your arm should be extended with your elbow
slightly bent. Pull your hand back to create a slight tension on the band. Contract your calf and
press your foot forward and downward as far as you can. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Switch sides and repeat.
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PREGNANCY EXERCISES
DURING PREGNANCY
Plank and half plank
How to do it: Start out in a push-up position with your arms extended and your elbows under
you six inches apart. Try to keep your shoulder blades together with no curve. Flex your stomach
region, keep your back straight, and your hips up. You may start out by doing this on your knees
(half plank), then as you build up strength, do the full plank. Optional: Instead of your toes
touching the ground, you can have your knees touching the ground.
Elevated plank
How to do it: Start out in a push-up position with your arms extended and your hands six inches apart. Try to keep
your shoulder blades together with no curve. Flex your stomach region; keep your back straight, and your hips up.
Hold for ten to 30 seconds.
Leg raises, toe in and toe out
How to do it: Begin by lying on your side with your body straight. Use your elbow to lean on and
support your upper body. With this exercise, you will be lifting your leg and flexing your foot.
With your foot naturally positioned, bring the top leg straight up about six inches away from your
lower leg. Next, lower your leg back down without resting it on your bottom leg. Repeat rapid
lifts about 20 times. Then point your flexed foot down (away from you) and repeat lifts 20 more
times. Then position your top leg with your foot flexed toward you as far as it comfortably goes.
Repeat 20 more times. Do the entire series of exercises on both legs for one to two sets.
Tailor sitting and stretching
How to do it: Put your back against a wall and put the soles of your feet together. Try to touch
your knees to the floor. Do not force or bounce in this exercise. This is a variation of the sitting or
stretching exercise above but with the use of your arms. Lift both arms over your head stretching
one arm higher than the other, then relax and repeat with the other arm. Try to do about ten to
15 repetitions for each arm and one to two sets of each.
Incline pelvic tilt with ball
How to do it: Sitting on the ball, walk your feet out until you are lying on your back with the ball
in the middle of your back. Your hands should be on your thighs, your hips off the ball, and your
feet shoulder-width apart. Using your abdominal muscles, lift your hips upward, keeping your
spine in a neutral and comfortable position. Lower your hips back to the starting position and
repeat ten to 15 times for one to two sets. Remember to keep your head, neck, and shoulders
relaxed. Concentrate on using your abdominal muscles to tilt your pelvis and don’t hyperextend
your back while raising your hips off the ball.
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PREGNANCY EXERCISES
Kneeling bird dogs
How to do it: Kneel on your hands and knees with your hands squarely under your shoulders and
your knees evenly and comfortably beneath your hips. Raise your left arm and your right leg off of
the floor, extending them evenly to the height of your shoulder and hip. Lower your arm and leg
back to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat. Do one to two sets of ten to 15 repetitions
on both sides. Remember to stay as relaxed as possible and try not to tense up. Exhale when
reaching the starting position and try to bring your navel into your core forming a straight line
with your body. Inhale before and during the lifting phase of the exercise.
Abductor and adductor with band
How to do it: Begin by sitting in a comfortable position with your upper body perpendicular to
the floor. One side of the band should be securely fastened to a heavy or solid object. This can be
done by looping the band through the inside hinge of a door and back through the handle. Place
your foot through the other handle. Keep both hands out to your side and near your hips for
balance. With this exercise, you will be using the band for resistance and working the inside and
outside of each leg. With your foot naturally positioned, start with the outside leg by putting your
foot into the handle and opening the leg away from your body to about a 45 to 60-degree angle
from your inside leg. The band will provide the resistance you need, and you may do slightly
more or less by opening your leg wider and/or by starting with more resistance on the band.
To work the inside of the leg, begin with the band under resistance by starting with your legs open
at a 45 to 60-degree angle. Work the muscle by bringing your legs together. Repeat about one to
two sets of ten to 15 times for each leg, remembering to do both the inside and outside of both legs.
Stability ball squats with dumbbells
How to do it: Place ball between lower- to mid-back and wall. Keep your spine in a neutral
position. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart, and make sure your toes are pointed forward.
Your feet should be about three feet from the wall and remember not to lock your knees. Allow
your arms to hang comfortably at your sides holding the dumbbells with your palms facing in.
Slowly bend your knees to 90 degrees. Take three seconds to go down and hold the position for
three seconds. Then take three seconds to return to the standing position, making sure that your
knees are kept to a slight bent. Repeat.
Chair squats
How to do it: Begin by standing and hold the back of a chair with your feet slightly wider than
shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed at a 45-degree angle away from your body. Keep your
head looking straight ahead and your spine in a neutral position. Squat down holding onto the
back of the chair and maintaining the straight alignment of your back. Squat to a level that is
comfortable and stop before your hips and pelvis shift forward or backward. Straighten back up
and repeat the movement ten to 15 times for one to two sets.
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PREGNANCY EXERCISES
Front/side dumbbell lunges
How to do it: Begin by standing with your feet 12 inches
apart and your legs straight but not locked. Hold a
dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in. Take
one large step forward with your right leg. Slowly lower
your body straight down, allowing your back leg to bend
and then stop when a 90-degree angle is reached with your
front leg. Push your body up, stepping back to the starting position. For the side lunge, follow the same technique but instead of stepping
forward, step out to your side at a 45-degree angle from the starting position. Alternate sides and exercises. Do one to two sets of ten to
15 repetitions.
Lateral side raises
How to do it: Hold weights in your hands with your palms facing down and your feet shoulderwidth apart with your knees slightly bent. Begin with your arms out to your sides with your
elbows straight but not locked. Lift your arms out to the side up to shoulder level. Be sure to take
approximately two to three seconds to go up and two to three seconds to go down. Keep your
elbows straight or slightly bent and squeeze your shoulder blades back and slightly down. Return
to the starting position and repeat. Do one to two sets of ten repetitions, waiting one to two
minutes between sets.
Standing bicep curls
How to do it: Start by standing squarely and comfortably. Hold the dumbbells or resistance band
handles down by your side with your palms facing forward and your wrists straight. Be sure to
have good posture with your back straight and with your shoulders back and slightly down.
Keeping your elbows in and close to your body, curl both arms up and continue raising them up
until just before the point where the dumbbell is positioned directly above the elbow. Lower the
weight to the starting position and repeat. Do one to two sets of ten to 15 repetitions.
Bent-over rows with dumbbell
How to do it: Begin by leaning forward. Let one arm hang down by your side, holding the
dumbbell, with your palm facing back. Put the other arm on the stability ball for increased
support. Lift the dumbbell so that you bring your elbow up even with your shoulder. There
should be a 90-degree bend in your elbow. During the upward lift, rotate your palm so that at the
top of the exercise, your palm is facing toward your thigh. Lower your arm, completing the
rowing motion. Do one to two sets of ten to 15 repetitions.
Tricep overhead extension on ball with dumbbells
How to do it: Begin by centering the ball comfortably in the middle of you upper back. You
should be holding the dumbbells on each side of your head with your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
Keeping your elbows stationary, straighten your arms so that gravity offers the extra resistance.
The dumbbells should be directly over your head at the top of the exercise. Slowly lower your
arms to starting position and repeat. Do one to two sets of ten to 15 repetitions.
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PREGNANCY EXERCISES
Standing push-ups
How to do it: Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder width apart and approximately armslength away from the wall. Place your palms on the wall at shoulder height. Slowly bend the
elbows, bringing your face close to the wall and keeping your heels on the ground. Straighten the
elbows to return to starting position. Do three sets of ten to 15 repetitions. Increase repetitions as
tolerated.
Wall slides
How to do it: Stand with your back to the wall and your feet about two to three inches away from the wall. Pull your
body in with your abdominals to flatten your back. While using your abdominals to maintain contact with the wall,
bring your arms out to your sides with your elbows bent so that your arms rest against the wall or on your hips. Slide
up and down the wall with your body maintaining this position. Do one to three sets of ten to 15 repetitions.
Increase repetitions as tolerated.
Pelvic clocks
How to do it: Sit on a stability ball. Imagine that your pelvis is the face of a clock. Slowly rotate
the pelvis by moving your pelvis to different positions on the clock. After a few repetitions,
reverse the direction of the rotation. This exercise can also be done lying down on your back, or
standing positions.
Clamshells
How to do it: Lie on your side with a pillow between your bent knees (pillow not shown in
photograph for clarity). Be careful not to roll backwards. Beginner: Brace with your abdominal
muscles first to stabilize the back. Leave your top foot resting on the bottom foot. Then slowly lift
your top knee to mimic a clamshell opening up. Only lift as far as you can without rolling
backwards or moving the pelvis or lower back. Do three sets of ten to 30 repetitions. You should
feel this working the muscle on the outside of the buttocks. Intermediate: Start as you would in
the beginner level. After lifting the knee with the “clamshell” action, lift the whole leg slightly. Be
careful to keep the knee at a level above the foot, and then return to the starting position.
Kegel
How to do it: This exercise is an extremely valuable exercise that is recommended for women before, during, and after pregnancy. The
Kegel exercise strengthens your pelvic-floor muscles that act as a sling for the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Kegels are also beneficial
because there is evidence that they can help prevent urinary incontinence. To do the Kegel, tighten the muscles in the walls of your
vagina, pulling upward and inward; count to three and relax. Repeat for a count of five, relax and repeat. Gradually work up to hold each
Kegel for a count of ten. Do five sets, three times per day.
Buddha stretch
How to do it: Start in the hands and knees position, and rock back as far as your belly will allow you to go (this will
tilt your pelvis slightly backwards). Also stretch to the right and left in this position.
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PREGNANCY EXERCISES
Cat back
How to do it: Start in the hands and knees position. Arch your back up like a cat to feel a stretch
in your mid- to upper-back. You may want to try flattening or sagging the upper back to feel a
stretch in the opposite direction. You can also rock back and forth on your hands and knees while
holding an arched or sagged position of your upper back to vary the intensity of the stretch in a
specific spot. Be gentle, and brace with your abdominals to avoid sagging the lower back while
doing this exercise. *If arching your upper back is uncomfortable, don’t do it, because this may
accentuate an already rounded upper back.
Chest stretch
How to do it: Stand facing a corner with your shoulders and elbows bent at 90 degrees and your forearms against the
wall on either side of the corner. Brace you abdomen to maintain a neutral spine and protect the back and then lean
into the wall until a gentle stretch is felt.
Calf stretch
How to do it: Stand facing a wall with your feet staggered. Keep your front leg bent at a 120-degree angle and keep
your rear knee straight with your foot pointed toward the wall and your heel on the ground. Lean forward into the
wall until a gentle stretch is felt in the back of your calf. Next repeat with the rear knee slightly bent (this stretch will
help to decrease calf cramps). Repeat on other side.
Inner thigh stretch
How to do it: Stand with your feet further than your shoulder-width apart using a wall for support. Bend your knee
that is closest to the wall until a gentle stretch is felt on the inside of the opposite thigh. Be very gentle with this
stretch. Repeat on other side
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P O ST PA R T U M E X E R C I S E S
POSTPARTUM EXERCISES
WITH BABY
Leg Extensions
How to do it: Sit on a chair or bench with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend
one leg by straightening it at the knee joint. Repeat and switch legs. To increase intensity, attach
ankle weights to your ankles. Extend your leg by straightening it at the knee joint. Repeat and
switch legs.
Leg Curl
How to do it: While standing, pull your ankle toward the back of your thigh by flexing your knee.
Return to starting position. Repeat and switch legs.
Calf Raises
How to do it: Holding your baby, position your toes and balls of your feet on the floor. Place your
hand on wall or object for support. Raise your heels by extending your ankles as high as possible.
Lower your heels by bending your ankles until your calves are stretched. Repeat.
Lunges
How to do it: Holding your baby, keep your head up and your back straight.
Extend your leg back and slightly to the outside (about 30 degrees away from
the center of your body) with your foot flexed. Maintaining good posture,
lower your body by flexing both knees 90 degrees. Return to the starting
position. Repeat on both legs.
Crunches
How to do it: Holding your baby, lie on your back on the floor or on a mat with your knees bent
and heels close to your body. Your heels should be together, your pelvis should be tilted up, and
your lower back should be pressed down to the floor or mat. Tighten your abdominals and lift
your shoulders off the ground by contracting your abdominals. Return to the starting position.
Repeat.
Squats
How to do it: Stand with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart. Holding your baby, shift
your weight back to your heels. Lower your body by flexing at your hips and then flexing at your
knees until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat.
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P O ST PA R T U M E X E R C I S E S
Hip Adductions
How to do it: Begin by lying on your side with your body straight. Use your
elbow to lean on and support your upper body. Then bend your top leg and
either cross your top leg over your bottom leg or put it behind your bottom
leg with your foot on the floor. With your foot naturally positioned, bring the
lower leg straight up about six inches away from the floor. Next lower it back
down without resting it on the floor. Repeat on both legs. Repeat rapid lifts
about 20 times for each leg.
Hip Abductions
How to do it: Stand or lie on your side with your body straight. If you are
laying down, use your elbow to lean on and support your upper body. With
your foot naturally positioned, bring the top leg straight up if you are lying
down and straight out about six inches away from your other leg if you are
standing up. Next, lower it back down without resting it on the bottom leg.
Repeat rapid lifts about 20 times. Then point your flexed foot down (away
from you) and repeat lifts 20 more times. Then position your top leg with
your foot flexed toward you as far as it goes comfortably. Repeat 20 more times.
Trunk Twists
How to do it: Holding your baby, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Slowly twist to the right and then to the left, keeping your hips and head
facing forward. Only your torso should be twisting. *If you have problems
with your lower back, do not do this exercise.
WITH BABY TO THE SIDE
Tricep extensions
How to do it: Grasp a dumbbell in one hand. Stand next to a flat bench, lean forward, and place
your opposite hand on the bench. The upper part of your working arm should be parallel with the
ground and against your body. Begin with your elbow flexed at 90 degrees with the palm of your
hand facing your body. Straighten your working arm by extending at the elbow joint. Pause, and
then return your elbow to the flexed position. Repeat on both arms.
Bicep curls
How to do it: Sitting on a chair or stability ball or while standing, position yourself so that your
feet are firmly planted with your knees slightly bent. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, palms
facing your sides. Keeping your upper arms against the sides of your body, curl the dumbbells
up by flexing at your elbow. You may also flex arms separately by alternating the dumbbell to
each hand. Repeat.
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P O ST PA R T U M E X E R C I S E S
Lateral front raises
How to do it: Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms down and directly in front
of your thighs. With your elbows slightly bent, raise your arms in front of your body. Repeat.
Lateral side raises
How to do it: This exercise may be done sitting or standing. Hold one dumbbell in each hand
with your palms facing your sides. Lift your arms out to your sides until they are at shoulder level.
Lower and repeat.
Reverse crunches
How to do it: Sit on a chair or bench. Grasping the edge of the bench, tighten your abdominal
muscles as you pull your legs in toward your rib cage keeping your legs at a 90-degree angle.
Return to starting position. Repeat.
Push-ups
How to do it: Lie on the floor with hands slightly wider
than shoulder width. Raise your body up off the floor by
extending your arms with your body straight. Lower your
body to the floor by bending your arms, and then push
your body up until your arms are extended. Repeat.
Optional: Instead of toes touching the ground, you can
have your knees touching the ground.
Dumbbell Row
How to do it: Grasp a dumbbell in one hand. Stand next to a flat bench. Lean forward, and place
the opposite hand on the bench. Place your knee to the side of the resting hand on the bench to
support your back. At this point, your torso should be parallel to the ground. Lift the dumbbell
up by first pulling up your shoulder blade and flexing your elbow. At the top of your movement,
your elbow should be very close to your side at hip level, and your shoulder blades should be
squeezed together. Return to starting position. Repeat.
Chest presses
How to do it: Lie on your back on a flat bench or on the ground. Grasp one dumbbell in each
hand, with your palms facing forward, elbows bent, and dumbbells just to the sides of your
shoulders. Your knuckles should be facing the ceiling. Press the dumbbells straight up by
straightening but not hyperextending your arms at the elbow. At the top of the movement, the
dumbbells should be over your chest. Return to starting position. Repeat.
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P O ST PA R T U M E X E R C I S E S
Vertical arm lift (superman)
How to do it: Lie face down on the floor. Place your hands to your sides or straight out in front of you for added
intensity. Lift your chest off of the mat or floor. Hold for five to ten seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Plank and half plank
How to do it: Start out in a push-up position with your arms extended and your elbows under
you with your elbows six inches apart. Try to keep your shoulder blades together with no curve.
Flex your stomach region keeping your back straight and your hips up. You may start out by
doing this on your knees (half plank), then as you build up strength, do the full plank. To make
this even more challenging, try to keep moving your elbows out two inches every 15 seconds.
Side plank
How to do it: Lie on your side with your feet on top of one another, against a wall, or spread apart
for more stability. Place your elbow that is closest to the floor at a 90-degree angle directly under
your shoulder. Lift your torso so that your body is straight. Remember not to let your hips drop.
Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat on other side
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ST R E TC H I N G
STRETCHING EXPLANATIONS
Lower back press up
How to do it: Lying on your stomach, press upper body upward, keeping your hips in contact with the floor. Keep
your lower back and buttocks relaxed and hold for ten to 30 seconds.
Side stretch
How to do it: Stand with feet apart with your knees soft. Place your left hand on your left hip and
with your right arm over your head. Stretch your right hand up and over to the your left side,
opening up the right side of your rib cage. Hold for ten to 30 seconds and repeat on other side.
Lower back extensors
How to do it: Lie on your back. Slowly and gently bring your bent knees up to your chest and hold for ten to 30
seconds. For more stretch, bring your head to your knee and hold for ten to 30 seconds.
Shoulders and upper back extensors
How to do it: While kneeling, slide hands forward and slide your buttocks back. Hold for ten to 30 seconds.
Shoulders—posterior deltoids and rhomboids
How to do it: Pull your arm across your chest until a stretch is felt. Hold for ten to 30 seconds
and then repeat with your other arm.
Shoulders—deltoids
How to do it: With your fingers interlaced behind your back, straighten your arms and turn your elbows in until a
stretch is felt. Hold this stretch for ten to 30 seconds.
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ST R E TC H I N G
Shoulders—external rotation
How to do it: Keep your palm of your right hand against a wall with your arm straight. Turn your body from your
fixed hand until a stretch is felt. Hold this stretch for ten to 30 seconds. Repeat other side
Chest and abdomen
How to do it: Holding onto a doorframe with your arms slightly below shoulder level, lean forward until a stretch is
felt and hold for ten to 30 seconds.
Arms—triceps
How to do it: Pull your elbow behind your head until a stretch is felt. Repeat with the other elbow and hold for ten
to 30 seconds.
Seated gluteals and hip stretch
How to do it: Sit with your left leg extended at about a 45-degree angle from your body. Bend your knee of your right
leg and place your right foot outside your left thigh. Place your right hand behind you and your left hand on your
right knee. Gently pull your bent knee toward your opposite shoulder and repeat on the opposite side. Hold this
stretch for ten to 30 seconds.
Groin stretch
How to do it: Sit with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet together. Create a space between your rib cage
and your pelvis by lifting your chest and pulling in your lower abdominals.
Groin—thigh adductors
How to do it: Sitting straight or with your back against a wall, gently push your knees to the floor until a stretch is
felt. Hold this stretch for ten to 30 seconds.
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ST R E TC H I N G
Groin—thigh adductors
How to do it: With your legs apart, slide your hands forward until a stretch is felt and hold for ten to 30 seconds.
Lower leg—soleus
How to do it: Start out with one leg in front bent at about 120 degrees. Keep your back leg slightly bent with your
heel on the floor. Lean into a wall until a stretch is felt in your calf. Hold this stretch for ten to 30 seconds and repeat
with your other leg.
Lower leg—calf
How to do it: Start out with one leg in front bent at about 120 degrees. While keeping your back leg straight, with
your heel on the floor and turned slightly outward, lean into a wall until a stretch is felt in your calf. Hold this stretch
for ten to 30 seconds and repeat with your other leg.
Quadriceps stretch
How to do it: Standing and holding one foot with the same hand, raise your leg until a stretch is felt. Hold for ten to
30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
Hamstrings
How to do it: Sitting with your legs stretched out in front of you in a v shape, bend one leg in
toward the center of your body. With your hands on your ankle or foot, lean in and pull your
torso toward your knee. Hold for ten to 30 seconds and repeat with other leg.
Wrists
How to do it: Kneel on your hands and knees and turn your hands so that the inside of your wrists are facing
outward. Hold for ten to 30 seconds.
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ST R E TC H I N G
Ankle
How to do it: Sit up straight with your arms supporting you. One leg is bent and the other is
straight out in front of you. Pull your toes in on your straight leg toward you and hold for ten to
30 seconds. Then extend your foot away from you. Hold for ten to 30 seconds and repeat with
other foot.
Side Lunge
How to do it: Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Place hands on your hip area. Lunge to
one side so that a stretch is felt in your hamstrings and inner thighs and hold this stretch for ten to 30 seconds.
Repeat on other side.
Side hamstring stretch
How to do it: Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Lean to one side reaching toward your
toes so that your body is parallel with that leg. Hold for ten to 30 seconds and repeat on other side.
Note: If you are using a stability ball to sit on instead of a chair or bench, sit on the ball with your feet shoulder width apart. If you are
using it as a bench, start out by sitting on the ball and walk forward until the ball is under your shoulder blades and your feet flat on the
floor shoulder width apart. Flex your knees at a 90-degree angle, tighten your stomach muscles, and maintain neutral alignment. Hold
this reverse bridge position while doing exercises. (See reverse bridge in core section)
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