Exercise

Exercise of the Month

January - Mountain Climbers

EXERCISE-MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

Mountain Climbers

Type of exercise:

Cardiovascular

What is a mountain climber?

Mountain climbers are a cardiovascular exercise that can be performed just about anywhere.  No equipment is needed to perform a mountain climber and they can be a higher intensity exercise or modified to be lower intensity.  Mountain climbers are a multi-muscle group/larger muscle group exercise that when performed can elevate the heart rate but also strengthen various muscle groups.

How to perform mountain climbers:

  1. Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width. Position your feet so you are in a full push-up position.  On your forefeet, position one leg forward bent under the body and extend the other leg back
  2. While keep the upper body in place, alternate leg position by pushing hips up while immediately extending the forward leg back and pulling rear leg forward under the body, landing on both feet at the same time
  3. Continue to alternate legs for repetitions or time

Workout suggestions for using the mountain climber:

  • Incorporate mountain climbers into your warm-up
  • Incorporate mountain climbers into your workout by performing a set of one exercise (for example squats) and then perform a set of mountain climbers

Caution when performing the mountain climbers:

  • If you are experiencing low back pain begin with a modified version of the mountain climber or choose another exercise
  • To modify this exercise move the feet slower or remove the hop in-between alternating feet
  • To increase the intensity of the exercise move the feet faster

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

Source 1 For more information on how to perform mountain climbers

February - The Plank

EXERCISE-PLANK-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

The Plank

What is the plank?

The plank is an isometric core strengthening exercise.

What muscles are used in the plank?

The better question would be what muscles aren’t used while performing the plank. There is a long list of core stabilizing muscles and primary movers that make the plank possible to hold and depending on your current fitness level also determines how long you can hold the position. The primary muscles involved in the plank are: erector spinae, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis. The secondary muscles include: synergists/segmental stabilizers, trapezius, rhomboids, rotator cuff, all three deltoid muscles, pectorals, serratus anterior, gluteus maximus, quadriceps and gastrocnemius.

Why do we plank?

As mentioned the plank is a core stabilization exercise and we plank simply because of the number of muscle groups that are targeted with one exercise. Also there is no equipment needed, just you and the floor.

How to perform the plank:

  1. Begin lying on your stomach on the floor or on an exercise mat w/ your elbows close to your sides and directly under shoulders, palms down, fingers facing forward. Engage your abdominal muscles as if you were placing a brace around your ribs, waist and torso. Contract your thigh muscles, straighten your legs and flex the ankles, tucking your toes.
  2. Slowly lift your torso and thighs off the floor keeping your torso and legs rigid. Do not allow any sagging in the lower back or rib cage and avoid hiking your hips into the air or bending knees
  3. Begin by holding for 30-40 seconds and repeating 2-3 times
  4. If you notice any pain in the lower back or any other area of the body stop the exercise and consult with your doctor

Plank variations include:

The plank can be performed on the forearms, with extended arms as in the top of a push-up, lifting one arm or leg at a time or lifting alternate arm and leg,i.e, right arm, left leg, side plank or a modification can be made by simply dropping to the needs.

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, or are not experienced with the exercise. Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

March - Squats

EXERCISE-SQUATS-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA-887

Squats

What is a squat?

According to Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition, the squat is the number one bodybuilding exercise not only using nearly the entire muscular system but also the cardiovascular system as well.

What muscles are used in the squat?

The primary muscle used during the squat is the Gluteus Maximus.  The secondary muscles involved in this movement are the Gluteus Medius, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, and Adductor Magnus.

Why should we squat?

Performing a squat is the single best way to develop the shape of the buttocks as well as strengthen the muscles of the entire leg.

How to perform the squat?

Whether using a barbell, dumbbells, medicine ball or body weight follow these guidelines

  1. Inhale deeply allowing the torso to stay elevated, slightly arch back, contract the abdominal core, look straight ahead.
  2. Be sure both feet are parallel to each other or slightly point toes outward, about shoulder width apart.  Bend forward from the hips and avoid rounding the back descending until thighs are just past parallel with the floor.
  3. Extend the hips and knees upright and repeat

Squat variations include:

  • The squat can be modified by using a stability ball behind the back, between you and the wall to help learn technique and build strength.
  • The range of motion can be decreased in the beginning until strength is increased.  Squatting by just using your own body weight is a great exercise you can do anywhere.
  • The squat can be performed one leg at a time for more advanced exercisers.  A jump can be added to increase the cardiovascular portion of the squat as well as intensity.

Whatever variation you choose it is recommended to seek out the help of an exercise professional before you begin an intense squatting program.

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

April - Push Ups

EXERCISE-PUSHUP-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA-887

Push Ups

What is a push up?

An easy exercise that can be performed anywhere. The push-up is an exercise that requires no equipment (unless you want to make it harder) and can be modified in a variety of ways to make it easier or harder depending on your level of fitness.

What muscles are used in push ups?

The primary muscle used during the push-up is the Pectoralis Major – sternal. The secondary muscles involved in this movement are the Pectoralis Major – clavicular, Anterior Deltoids and Tricep Brachii. There are also stabilizer muscle involvement from the Rectus Abdominis, Obliques, and Quadriceps.

Why do we do push ups?

Performing a push-up is a total body exercise that can be performed just about anywhere, with minimal space and no equipment. Upper body and lower body strength are required but more importantly the involvement of the stabilizer muscles makes this also a functional core strengthening exercise.

How to perform push ups:

  1. Lie prone on the floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder width
  2. Raise body up off the floor by extending the arms and keep the body straight
  3. Keeping the body straight, lower the body to the floor bending the arms
  4. Push body up until arms are extended and repeat
  1. Push Up variations include:

The push-up can be modified by performing on bent knees, elevating the arms to a table or even using a horizontal bar, or simply perform wall push-ups until you are strong enough to lower your body closer to the floor. To increase the intensity of the push-up and improve core strength, try elevating the feet off the floor or incorporate the use of a stability ball by placing feet on the ball and perform the push-up. There are many versions of the push-up however; whichever variation you choose it is recommended to seek out the help of an exercise professional before you begin any exercise program. For more information on how to perform a push-up or change the intensity of the push-up visit ExRx.Net

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise. Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

May - Dumbbell Lying Shoulder External Rotation

2 EXERCISE-EXTERNAL ROTATION-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

Dumbbell Lying Shoulder External Rotation

MUSCLE DIAGRAM - EXERCISE-EXTERNAL ROTATION-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA 72Why should we perform the shoulder external rotation?

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that come together at the top of the humerus and the upper arm above the elbow.   Together these muscles and tendons form a cuff that not only holds your arm in place but allows it to move in multiple directions.  So although the shoulder joint is one of the most mobile of joints it is also one of the weakest making this area a prime target for injury.  Over time too much stress such as increasing loads too soon in a resistance training program or over training can cause tears and swelling in the tendons.    These “tears” often happen to athletes such as tennis players and baseball players but also happen to weekend warriors and recreational fitness enthusiast.  Without a balanced training program that includes exercises for the external rotator muscles an injury may occur.

What muscles are used when performing the external rotation?

The primary muscle used in external rotation of the shoulder is the Infraspinatus but the Teres Minor and Posterior Deltoid are also involved.  In addition the Rhomboids, lower Trapezius and Wrist Extensors also act as stabilizers in the movement.

How to perform the side lying external rotation:

  1. Lie on your side holding the dumbbell in the hand that is on top with elbow bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Keeping the elbow bent, rotate the arm so the dumbbell moves up across your chest and toward the ceiling.
  3. Return slowly to start and repeat.

External rotation variations include:

  • Using a Cable
  • Seated Shoulder External Rotation
  • Upright Shoulder External Rotation

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, light-headedness, pain or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

June - Dead Lift

3 EXERCISE-DEAD LIFT BEND 2-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

Dead Lift

What is a dead lift?

A pulling exercise using a barbell, dumbbells or kettlebells that is used to create overall leg and lower back strength.

 

What muscles are used when performing the dead lift?

The deadlift targets your Gluteus, Hamstrings, Spinal Erectors, Abdominals, Trapezius, Upper Latissimus Dorsi and Quadriceps

 

Why should we perform the dead lift?

Performing a deadlift exercise is extremely challenging and requires a lot of physical and mental energy.  A deadlift is often viewed as a bodybuilder exercise and often over looked by your novice or recreational fitness enthusiast.   However by learning proper technique all fitness levels can benefits from this exercise.

 

How to perform the dead lift:

  1. Begin w/ feet beneath the bar and squat down and grasp the bar (dumbbells or kettlebell) w/ shoulder width or slightly wider overhand or mixed grip
  2. Lift the bar by extending hips and knees to full extension. Pull shoulders back at top of the lift if rounded
  3. Return and repeat

 

Tips to a good dead lift:

  • Keep hips low, shoulders high, arms and back straight
  • Do not round through the back as this could lead to injury
  • Keep the bar close to the body
  • If using heavy weights a mixed grip is often helpful
  • Do not begin with heavy weights, learn the movement first with a PVC pipe or lighter dumbbells
  • For more information on how to perform THE DEADLIFT visit:

Source 1

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

July - One Arm Kettle Bell Swing

2 EXERCISE-ONE ARM KETTLE BALL SWING-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

One Arm Kettle Bell Swing

What is a kettle bell swing?

A multi-joint functional exercise using a kettlebell that not only improves cardiovascular and musculoskeletal fitness but incorporates strength while improving power and explosiveness.

What muscles are used when performing a kettle bell sing?

As mentioned above the Kettlebell Swing is a multi-joint exercise.  Muscles of the hip, Gluteus, Hamstrings, Latissimus dorsi, Abdominals, shoulders, Pectorals and grip are all involved in the action.

Why Should we do a kettle bell swing?

Not only is the Kettlebell swing a multi-joint/multi-muscle group exercise but it is also a functional exercise.  Meaning the movements involved in swinging the kettlebell are movements involved in everyday life.  Squatting down, picking up, and lifting over the head are all activities done in daily life.  Mimicking life outside the gym while in the gym only results in better quality of life.  In addition performing the kettlebell swing is cardiovascular, strength, power and explosive training all in one exercise.

How to perform a kettle bell swing:

  1. Straddle the kettlebell w/ feet just slightly wider apart than shoulder width
  2. Squat down w/ bent knees and one arm extended and grasp the kettlebell w/ an overhand grip. Shoulder should be positioned over the kettlebell.
  3. Pull the kettlebell off the floor just above ankle height. Immediately dip down and swing kettlebell back under hips and then quickly swing kettlebell up by raising upper body upright and extending the legs.  Continue with swinging motion back and forth between the legs and up.
  4. To finish swing the kettlebell back down between legs slowly and place on the floor between the legs assuming a deadlift posture.

Before performing the kettle bell swing:

  • You should be able to perform a body weight squat with correct form
  • You should be able to perform a deadlift w/ correct form
  • You should be able to perform a forearm plank for approximately 1 minute
  • If you have low back problems please seek out the help of a certified personal trainer for assistance w/ this exercise.

Source 1

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

August - Pistol Squats

2 EXERCISE-PISTOL SQUATS-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

Pistol Squat

Why should we perform the pistol squat?

The pistol squat is a unilateral exercise that addresses the skills of balance, flexibility and coordination.  Performing the pistol squat allows for strengthening of smaller stabilizer muscles such as the Adductor Magnus, Gluteus Medius, Quadrates Lumborum and the External Hip Rotators.  Pistol squats are good for runners who need to improve quadriceps strength but also develop balance.  Performing the pistol squat allows for individual leg training and can indicate if imbalances in strength, flexibility and balance occur between the legs.  Pistol squats will help improve your front and back squat as well.

How to perform the pistol squat:

  1. Being with arms extended out in front. Balance on one leg w/ opposite leg extended straight forward as high as possible.
  2. Squat down as far as possible while keeping the extended leg off the floor.
  3. Keep the back straight and supporting knee pointed in same direction as support foot.
  4. Return to original position until knee and hip of supporting leg are straight.
  5. Repeat and continue on opposite leg.

Modifications of the pistol squat:

Performing the pistol squat is very difficult. Upon first try, choose a modification to prevent injury.

  • Try performing a self-assisted single leg squat
  • Self-assisted single leg squat (bar)
  • Single leg split squat

Do not try this if:

  • You have not mastered a body weight squat with proper form
  • You have poor balance
  • You have knee, hip or low back pain

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, pain or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

Source 1

September - Suspension Trainer Back Row

EXERCISE-TRX-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

TRX Back Row

What is a Suspension Trainer?

The suspension trainer was developed by a Navy Seal.  The suspension trainer uses body weight exercises to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability.  By using the suspension trainer you determine how difficult you want the exercise to be by simply modifying your body position to increase or decrease resistance.

What muscles are targeted in the suspension trainer back row?

The muscles in the arms, back and abdominal muscles are utilized when performing the suspension trainer back row.

Why should we perform the suspension trainer back row?

Performing the suspension trainer back row is important for improving upper body and core strength.  The suspension trainer back row is a functional exercise that simulates a pulling motion often used in everyday life.  The suspension trainer back row incorporates core strength and stability necessary for maintaining good posture along with a strong back.  Weakened back muscles often result in back pain by some individuals

How to perform a suspension trainer back row:

  1. Begin by holding a suspension trainer handle in each hand and face the anchor point. Stand with a staggered stance – one foot in front of the other.  Brace your abdominal/core muscles and pull your shoulder blades back and down
  2. Lean back and shift your body weight over your back leg while straightening your elbows positioned at chest height, palms face inward
  3. Exhale and slowly bend your elbows pulling your entire body towards your hands
  4. While maintaining a tight core/torso inhale and slowly lower your body back to start position

Suspension trainer back row variations:

  • A high back row can be performed by lifting the elbows to shoulder height
  • The intensity of the exercise can increase by positioning your body further away from the anchor point

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

Source 1

Source 2 For more specific information

Source 3 For more information about the suspension trainer and how to use

October - Standing Single Leg Hamstring Stretch

EXERCISE-Standing Single Leg Hamstring Stretch-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

Standing Single Leg Hamstring Stretch

Why should we perform a standing single leg hamstring stretch?

The hamstrings are made up of a group of three muscles in the back of the upper leg; the Semitendinosus, Biceps femoris and Semimembranosus.  With inactivity this muscle group becomes weak and often lacks tone.  In sports such as sprinting, soccer, and racket sports the hamstrings often tear.  Strengthening and stretching of this often tight muscle group is very important to overall health of the lower body and muscles of the core.

How to perform a standing single leg hamstring stretch:

  1. Lift the leg up and place heel on a bench or step that is placed in front of you
  2. Bring your torso forward, drawing your chest near your thigh
  3. Reach your arms out in the direction of the raised toe/foot
  4. Place hands on the shin or foot depending on intensity of stretch you may need
  5. Keep your head in alignment with your spine
  6. Settle into the stretch for approximately 30 seconds

Variations include:

  • Keeping the foot on the floor, mat or ground rather than a bench
  • Can be performed seated on a mat as well

 

Caution when stretching:

  • Try and perform some cardiovascular or dynamic movement prior to stretching
  • Never bounce with any stretch
  • Never force a stretch to the point of pain

 

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

Source 1More information on how to perform any variation of a hamstring stretch

November - Side Plank

EXERCISE-SIDE-PLANK-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA 887

Side Plank

Why perform a side plank?

The Side Plank is an isometric exercise that targets the muscle group of the right and left Obliques; however a multitude of stabilizing muscles plays a role in this very simple exercise.

How to perform the side plank:

  1. Lie on your side on a yoga mat or any mat that provides cushion and support
  2. Place your forearm on the mat under your shoulder being mindful the elbow and shoulder are in alignment
  3. Place the upper leg directly on top of the lower leg and straighten knees and hips
  4. Raise the body upward by lifting the hips off the floor, keeping the body ridged
  5. Keep your head in alignment with your spine
  6. Settle into the position and hold
  7. Repeat on the other side

Variations include:

  • Keeping the lower leg on the floor, mat or ground
  • Can be performed dynamically by lifting the hips up and then lowering for repetitions

Caution while performing the side plank

  • Keep the hips raised during the hold position
  • Keep the abdominal wall braced during the execution and hold portion of the exercise
  • Keep the head in alignment with the spine during the exercise.
  • Be sure to breathe through the movement

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

Source 1 For more information on how to perform any variation of a side plank

December - Pull Up

EXERCISE-PULL UP-CENEGENICS-ARIZONA

Pull-up

Why perform the pull-up?

The Pull-up is another great exercise that targets the Latissimus Doris muscle; however a multitude of stabilizing muscles plays a role in this very intense exercise.

How to perform a pull-up:

  1. Step up to a pull-up bar and grasp with an overhand grip
  2. Pull your body up until the chin is above the bar
  3. Lower the body until arms and shoulders are fully extended
  4. Brace through the abdominal muscles during movement
  5. Repeat

Variations include:

  • Using an assisted pull-up machine
  • Using a partner to assist
  • Intensity can be increased by adding a weight plate or performing “jumping” pull-ups
  • Bring the hands in alignment with the shoulders, palms facing toward your body and perform chip-ups

Caution while performing the pull-up:

  • Range of motion can be compromised if grip is too wide
  • Keep the abdominal wall braced during execution
  • Be sure to breathe through the movement

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, or are not experienced with the exercise.  Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

Source 1

30 Minute Exercise

Got 30 Minutes? Repeat this circuit 2 times for a total body workout before you head out to your holiday parties!

Jump rope

60 sec

8

High knees

60 sec

8

Jumping Jacks

60 sec

8

Inch Worms

60 sec

8

10 push-ups/10 dips

2 min

8

Alternate leg lunge

1 min

8

Bodyweight squat

1 min

8

Superman

1 min

8

Leaping Lunges

60 sec

8

Mountain Climbers

60 sec

8

Plank Jacks

60 sec

8

Squat Jump

60 sec

8

Plank

60 sec

8

Bicycles

60 sec

8

Bonus – Reverse crunch

60 sec

8

Most of the exercises can be found by visiting the website below:

*Do not perform any exercise if you are experiencing dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, are not experienced with the exercise, or have been told by your doctor to not exercise due to injury. Please contact your Cenegenics Doctor or exercise professional to assist you with proper execution.

Source 1

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Dr. C.B. Daniel Cenegenics AZ Elite Health and Age Management
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