Saturday, July 3, 2010
Conditioning You Can Do at Home
Okay, a lot of people ask about what sort of conditioning routine they can do at home. I'm just going to give a few examples of the different things you can do for strength training on your own time with little equipment.
-Push ups. There are a lot of different kinds of push ups and they work different parts of your arms. The first is the standard push up, maintaining a tight hollow body position. The second is the wide-arm push up with your hands farther out to the sides; this one works your pecs, shoulders, and your underarm area. The third is triangle push ups, where you make your hands into the shape of a triangle (thumbs touching and pointer fingers touching); this will work the outsides of your arms. The fourth is handstand push ups which you can do against the wall. If handstand push ups are too difficult, another great exercise is putting your feet up on a couch or bed and placing your hands on the floor, creating as close to a 90 degree angle as you can between your upper body and your lower body, bending at the hips, and then lowering yourself down until your head almost touches the floor before coming back up. You can do 15 of each or so, or just figure out what amount of conditioning works best for you.
-Sit ups. You guys know all these... there's the regular sit-up, the "crunchie", the sit-ups where you raise both your torso and your legs (bending your knees), and of course the dreaded V-up. I find V-ups to be the most beneficial for muscle building. My coach used to say, "Do 30 in 30 seconds." This is a challenge at first but becomes easier, like anything else, the more you practice it. Other stomach exercises include the hollow hold as well as hollow rockers. Those are both great - you should definitely feel it the next day.
-Squats, leg swings, lunges, and calf raisers. Take these and get creative with them. If you have latex bands at your house, use them for leg swings. For the calf raisers, stand on your stairs with your heels hanging off the edge to get more out of the exercise than if you were just to do it on the flat ground. With the lunges, hold weights in each hand or jump in and out of the lunge position rather than stepping out. For squats, look to ballet - they do a lot of that fancy plie stuff. Don't just DO the squats, but hold the squat position as well. If you like wall sits, those are great for the thighs. Or you can always just stand on one leg and hold the other at a 90 degree angle for as long as you can, then switch. If you've got a practice beam to do that on, even better. I've always found leg exercises to be more difficult at home than in the gym, but there really is a lot you can do.
I hope these exercises help. I've tried to break them up into arms, abs, and legs, which are the main areas to focus on. Find a conditioning routine that works for you. Consult with your coaches, if you want, and get their recommendations on how many repetitions you should be doing on your own time. Have fun, drink water, don't over-do it, and build muscle! Ready... GO! :)