Monthly Archives: February 2009

The Spring Slim Down: Upper Body

If you are that girl that always blames the “fat arm” for detagging a picture on facebook, these exercises are for you. They are easy to do at home or at the gym and are very convenient.

1. Push ups- Standard (as many as you can) or the knee version (which you can make harder by elevating yourself on a stair or Bosu ball (half stability ball with flat bottom) if you’re at the gym.

2. Laundry lifts- Take your laundry basket and lift it by the handles up to your chin with your elbows out. Do this 10-15 times. You can easily change the weight by adding or taking out some clothes! You can use a container of laundry detergent and lift it behind your head, elbows bent and straighten it up over your head.

3. Tricep dips- Place your hands shoulder width apart behind you on a secured bench, stable chair, or coffee table. Using your arms to support your weight lower yourself like you’re sitting in a chair with your legs bent and feet placed about hip width apart on the floor. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to engage your triceps. Slowly bend at your elbows and lower your body down towards the floor until your arms are at about a 90 degree angle. Slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench and keep your head straight. Make it harder by straightening your legs out in front of you. Make it even harder by lifting one leg out keeping it at knee length with your other bent knee.

4. Stair push-up- Get into push up position at the base of a staircase. (If it is a gross stair in your dorm or its outside you can cover the first stair and the floor with a towel) Lift yourself up onto the first step with your right hand, follow with your left hand. Do one elevated pushup then bring your right hand back down to the base of the stairs then your left hand. (This exercise is really fun to do on the side of a pool and move up and down along the side of the pool- just an idea for spring break or summer!)

**I strongly encourage you to buy a pair of 5lb weights. You can easily do bicep curls, row, butterfly, overhead raise, etc. You can do these exercises just watching T.V, in the morning before class, or squeeze into your busy schedule whenever!

The Spring Slim Down: Lower Body

The lower body tends to be a woman’s most insecure part of her body. Although I encourage full body workouts, I tend to pay more attention to my butt and thighs because my lower body is where I feel most self conscious. It’s not easy making that bikini bottom look good so let’s do our best from here on out and firm that tush!


1. Elevated lunges- (Step required) Extend your right leg behind you and rest you toe on top of the step. Sit into a deep lunge until left thigh is parallel to the floor. Rise up to starting position and repeat 12-15 times for beginners and 20-25 times for advanced. Repeat on left side. Do each side 2-3 times alternating. (Hold a pair of dumbbells if you have any- I strongly recommend buying a pair of 5 lbs)


 

 

2. Couch potato - Stand facing the arm of your couch, bed or chair. Place your hands on the furniture and bend down so it is supporting your weight. Lift your right leg up so it is parallel to the ground and pulse your leg in the air for 35 seconds. Without putting your leg down, bring your heel back to your butt and kick your leg out 35 times. Still keeping your leg up bring your knee into your chest and kick back 35 times, then you can finally put your leg down and start with the other leg. (If this is easy for you do 2-3 reps or go longer for each kick. Strap on a pair of ankle weight for an even better result- I even more strongly encourage buying a pair of 3-5lb ankle weights)

 

3. Butt burner - Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and butt off the ground. Dip your hips down hovering over the ground and slowly back up again. If you have a weight place that on your pelvic bone to make this exercise harder. For an even harder exercise lift one leg straight up and dip your hips. Do this 10-15 times then lower your leg back into the beginning position. Without lowering your hips, do the same with the other leg.

 

4. Squats- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and place your hands behind your head keeping your chest out and your elbows back. Sit back like your sitting in a chair and bend your knees to lower your body as far as possible without losing the natural arch of your spine. Squeeze your butt and push yourself back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your chin up and back straight.

 

5. Leg lifts - Start on your hands and knees. Lift one leg up to the ceiling bending your knee at a 90 degree angle. Keep your foot flat so the bottom of your shoe is facing the ceiling. Bring your knee back down without touching the mat and repeat this move 40-45 times and then switch legs. Starting in the same position lift your leg to the side with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle. (This should awkwardly look like a dog peeing)