Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Full Body Makeover for Under $100: Part 1

Given the economy, not many people can afford a gym membership, expensive equipment, or a personal trainer. So here are a few workouts I use throughout the week with equipment that cost me less than $100.00 to acquire. Primarily, I use a swiss ball, a set of 6-pound free weights, an 8-pound medicine ball, and a mountless pull-up/push-up bar. In Part 1, I will focus on workouts that I do with the swiss ball and 6-pound free weights.

Swiss Ball for Your Core and Legs
- There’s a ton of exercises that can be done with a swiss ball. Here’s the best site I found: http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/strengthening/swiss_ball.php. My favorite exercises with the swiss ball target core and legs.

1. 20 hyper-extended squats: I do this every other day. I place the ball between the wall and my back as you can see in the picture below. However, rather than ending at a natural stopping point of a squat, I continue the downward motion until my bum hits the ground. This extra step makes the exercise more strenuous and helps to stretch the hip flexors. I also extend my arms out in front of me rather than keeping them resting on my hips like in this photo.

2. Superman: I do this every other day. I place the ball under my belly, and I take the form you can see in the photo below. I hold this pose for 30 seconds, and then I rest for 10 seconds. I repeat this until I begin to feel a burn in my bum and lower back. To mix it up, when I return to form from my rest, I raise my feet higher and higher, as if I am approaching a head-stand against the swiss ball. This gets your arms in on the workout a bit since it simulates a pushup.

Free Weights for Your Arms: I use 6-pound free weights to tone and elongate my arms. This equipment is not only very expensive, but it can be done anywhere at anytime. I try to use my free weights four to five times a week while I watch the news.

Here is a great video that walks you through a 6 minute routine. She does 10 reps per set, but I do 20 or 25 reps per set.

Great Deals on Equipment:
6-pound free weights around $9.00: http://www.amazon.com/TKO-Neoprene-Dumbbell-Tri-Grip-Handle/dp/B00195SJ4O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1258495951&sr=8-2
Swiss ball around $18.00: http://www.amazon.com/Mountless-Pull-Up-Push-Bar/dp/B002LBZZYM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1258496099&sr=1-1

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