Summer is coming fast, and most of us would like to look somewhat sexy while baring minimal clothing. Luckily for me I am able to utilize my brother, Daniel Mollo, to help me whip my body into shape. (Unfortunately he lives in San Jose, so I only get one-on-one training a couple of times a year.) He has an MA in Kinesiology, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Personal Trainer, did consulting work for the NASA Ames research center, and he works as an independent trainer and at a physical therapy clinic. During a recent trip back to San Jose I asked him to show me some exercises that could be done at home that would yield results that could be both seen and felt, (look great and gain strength.) The following exercises are ones I am sure you have done before, and you will maybe exclaim, "No shit! I know how to do those exercises! I have done them before and they are boring!" Well, I suggest revisiting them, because you will soon read they are highly beneficial and are some of the most underrated and effective exercises you can do:
These four simple exercises require no equipment and can easily be done at home. They are effective and also do not require a lot of time to complete.
Push-up: Not only does the push-up strengthen the chest and arms, it also strengthens your back and core muscles as well. Position your hands directly under your shoulders and place the feet next to each other. Elbows should be angled slightly to the side. Keeping the torso straight with the legs, push your body off the ground and then lower the body back down to the point that your nose almost touches the ground. If you can not lift the body off the ground or your lower back arches as you lift up, you can modify this move by placing your knees on the ground. Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions, building up to 5 sets of 15. Rest at least one minute between each set.
Plank: The plank is one of the best core exercises you can do to strengthen your abdominals. You utilize every muscle in the abdomen to keep your body upright throughout the movement. A strong midsection translates to a strong and pain-free back. To start, lay down and position your forearms and elbows on the ground. Lift the hips off of the ground while keeping your torso and legs in a straight line. If you can't hold this position for more that fifteen seconds without your lower back arching or your hips sinking down, modify the exercise by putting your knees on the ground. Start with 3 sets of 30 second holds, building up to 3 sets of 60 seconds. Rest 45 seconds between each set. Once you are able to perform all three sets in 60 seconds comfortably, make the exercise more challenging by lifting one leg off the ground or putting your arms on an unstable surface like a BOSU ball.
Stationary Lunge: The stationary lunge is not only a great way to strengthen your glutes, hips, and thighs, it also is a great way to work each leg individually. This promotes core stability and balance. To start, position your feet about 3 feet apart. Bending down and back at the hip, lower the body towards the ground until the back knee almost touches to floor, then bring yourself back up again. Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each leg, building up to 5 sets of 12. Rest one minute between each set. Make sure that your knee does not come past your toe when you lunge down. This ensures that you are utilizing your hips and glutes.
Bridge: The bridge helps to promote glute and hip strength as well as core strength. To start, lay down on your back with your knees up and your feet on the ground. Tighten your glutes and then lift the hips off the ground, hold for 3 seconds, and then lower back down. Start with 3 sets of 15 repetitions. To make this exercise more challenging, only use one leg to lift off the ground. If your hamstrings start to cramp, try bringing your feet closer to your glutes.
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