Five Easy Toning Exercises You Can Do (Almost) Anywhere
|October 1, 2010||Posted by healthsmartmom under Exercise|
Exercise is an important part of our lives. Staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy. Weight bearing exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age.
Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to exercising. The problem is where and when to get the job done. As moms, we are about as busy as you can get, but it is still possible to squeeze in some time for exercise. Not only will your body thank you – but you will be teaching your kids an valuable lesson about the importance of exercise.
Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders. As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass. For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem. When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it from your bones. Building muscle not only increases their mass but your strength.
Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time. At home, on vacation, in an exercise room or in front of the t.v. – you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises and if you have your own office – at work! (Sorry- I just can’t advocate the bridge butt lift in the employee lounge!)
1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks. Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart. Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body. Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor. Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.
2. Squats – Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps. If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair. Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted. Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair. Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight. Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release. At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.
3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles. They can be hard for people with knee problems. A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee. Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot. From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor. Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.
4. Pushups – This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles. If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees. Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body. You can also do a modified version of push-ups against a wall.
5. Crunches – Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone. Lying on the floor in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head. Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor. Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.
These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time. The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative. Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage. So next time you are watching your favorite t.v. show – drop and do a few of these great toners~ you’ll love the results!