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Advanced Exercises (Group IX)

Tips on resistance training:

  • Remember to breathe.
  • Perform all movements slowly with controlled motion.
  • Stay within ranges of motion that are comfortable for your joints. If a certain movement causes discomfort, shorten the range of motion.
  • Choose a weight that feels comfortable for you, especially in the beginning. You want to be able to complete your set, while keeping proper form, with a small amount of muscle burn and fatigue. Don’t overdo it. As you progress in your exercise regimen and get stronger, you will be able to work harder and handle more weight.
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Back

Form a plank position with feet about shoulder-width apart and hands resting on your dumbbells. Keeping the back and spine neutral, lift one arm up, bending at the elbow, bringing your weight to your side. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement holding for 2 seconds, and return to your start position. Alternate and do the same for the other arm. Repeat this 12-15 times on each side. Start with a light weight, only increasing resistance if you can continue to keep perfect form.

Chest

Position yourself in a plank position with your hands and feet on the floor. Straighten your arms at the elbow and place a dumbbell or a medicine ball underneath one of your hands to attain your start position. From there, perform a push up. After returning to your start position, pass your dumbbell or ball to the opposite hand, while keeping your body as stable as possible in its plank position, and repeat the movement. Repeat 12-15 times on each side. During the entire course of the exercise, make sure that your back stays straight and that your neck stays in a neutral position. If you get tired in the middle of your set, you may want to drop to your knees to finish the set. You can hold your position at the bottom of the movement for extra difficulty.

Triceps

Position yourself in a plank position on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your hands next to each other. From there, perform a push up, bending at the elbow and keeping your elbows at your side. During the entire course of the exercise, make sure that your back stays straight and your neck stays in a neutral position. Repeat this movement 12-15 times. If you get tired in the middle of your set, you may want to drop to your knees to finish the set. You can hold your position at the bottom of the movement for extra difficulty.

Biceps

In a seated position, lean forward, keeping your back and neck in a neutral position. Grab your weights with both hands between your legs. Slowly curl your weights upward, bending at the elbows, and feeling the squeeze in your biceps at the top of the movement. Hold this position for 2 seconds, and then slowly lower the weight back to your starting position. Repeat 12-15 times. For added resistance, increase the weight of your dumbbells.

Shoulders

Standing with your feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart, slightly bent at the knees, grab your weight with one hand, and let your arm drop. This will be your start position. From there, lift the weight to your chest, bending at the elbow, and then push the weight up above your head. During this entire movement, make sure that your neck and back stay in a neutral position and that the movement is fluid, not jerky. Hold the weight at the top of the movement for two seconds, then slowly bring the weight down to your chest, and then release it back to below your hips. Repeat this movement 12-15 times, and then switch sides. For added resistance, increase the weight of your dumbbell.

Core Strength

Abdominal:  Laying face-up on a Swiss ball with feet on the floor wider than shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell or a medicine ball above your head, with straight arms. Pretending like your belly button is touching your spine, move your upper body toward the ceiling, as one unit, as far as you can. Focus on feeling the squeeze in your abdominal muscles. Hold at the top for two seconds, and then slowly release. Repeat 12-15 times. For added resistance, move the Swiss ball closer to your hips, so that your upper body has less support from the ball. You can also increase the weight that you are lifting.Rotational: Lay on the floor, slightly to one side, with your legs extended in the air slightly above the floor. Keep a slight bend in your knees and your neck in a neutral position throughout the exercise. From this position, raise your shoulder and legs off of the floor at the same time. Hold this position for 2-5 seconds, and then return to your start position. Repeat this movement 12-15 times, and then switch sides. For added resistance, you can hold a light dumbbell close to your neck.Lower Back:  Positioning yourself face down on a Swiss ball with hands and feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Supporting your torso with the ball, lift your legs upward behind you, keeping your back and neck in a neutral position. Feel the squeeze in the low back and hold this position for 2 seconds. Return to the start position. Repeat this movement 12-15 times. For more resistance, move the ball closer to your chest.

Quads

Standing tall with your back and neck in a neutral position, hold your weights in front of your body or down to your sides. Keeping your back straight and one foot on the ground, bend at your hip and knee to perform a squat, sitting back on your heels as if you were about to sit down in a chair. Your hips and knees should be at no more than a 90 degree angle and your knees should not extend in front of your toes. Keep the movement slow and controlled, pausing at the bottom for two seconds, and return to the start position. Repeat 12-15 times. Heavier weights can be used for more resistance.

Hamstrings

Lying face up on the floor with your arms at your sides and your feet rested on a Swiss ball, raise your body up into the start position, bent at the knees and slightly bent at the hips. Raise your body into a plank position, straightening your hips. Hold this position for 5 seconds, and then return to start position. Repeat 12-15 times. To add resistance, perform the same movement with one leg, keeping the opposite leg from touching the ball. Then switch legs and repeat.
 
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