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Advanced Exercises (Group VII)

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.
DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE EXERCISE GUIDE

Back

Laying face down on a Swiss ball, with legs extended, and feet about shoulder-width apart, place your hands behind your head. From this start position, lift your torso off of the ball, extending your back and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 2 seconds. Repeat this 12-15 times. To work different areas of the back, you can place your arms in different positions (i.e., straight at a 90 degree angle). To add resistance, you can use light hand weights or extend your arms above your head.

Chest

Position yourself on your hands and feet on the floor, hands positioned a little wider than shoulder-width. Drop down to your elbows. Your entire body should remain straight, with your arms holding you up off of the floor. Hold this “plank” position for 30 seconds to a minute. During this entire time, make sure that your back stays straight. If you get tired in the middle of your set, you may want to drop to your knees to finish the set. Repeat this 12-15 times. To make the exercise more difficult, perform it on a Swiss ball.

Triceps

Stand tall and lift your hands directly over your head, arms straight, holding your weights, palms facing in. Keeping your upper arms stabilized, let your lower arms drop, bending at your elbows. Make sure to keep your back neutral and your shoulder blades together. Make sure to keep your upper arms from moving, and keep your weights shoulder-width apart. Press the weights back up to starting position. Repeat this 12-15 times.

Biceps

Standing tall, hold your weights in your hands with palms facing up. Keeping your back straight and shoulder blades together, curl the weight up, bending at the elbow, feeling the squeeze at the top. Hold the position for two seconds, and then slowly release. Repeat 12-15 times.

Shoulders

Sitting on a Swiss ball, grab your weights with both hands, holding your arms out to your side, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Raise your arms straight up, maintaining the weights at shoulder-width apart with elbows maintaining a slight bend. Make sure your back stays straight, and your shoulder blades together during the entire movement. Hold this position for two seconds, and then slowly release. Repeat 12-15 times.

Core Strength

Abdominal:  Laying face-up on a Swiss ball with feet on the floor wider than shoulder-width apart, gently hold the back of your head with both hands, bending at the elbows. 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 ball closer to your hips, so that your upper body has less support from the ball.Rotational:  Laying face-up on a Swiss ball with feet on the floor wider than shoulder-width apart, gently hold the back of your head with both hands, bending at the elbow. Pretending like your belly button is touching your spine, raise your right elbow up and towards the left. Hold at the top for two seconds, and then switch to the other side. Repeat 12-15 times for both sides, alternating. For added resistance, move the ball closer to your hips, so that your upper body has less support from the ball.Lower Back:  Positioning yourself on the floor on your hands and knees, lift your left leg out behind you and your right arm straight in front of you. From this position, raise your leg and arm simultaneously, holding the position at the top of the movement for 5 seconds. You can add light weight for extra resistance by using an ankle weight or a small hand weight. Make sure to keep your neck and back in a neutral position. Lower and repeat 10 times, then switch sides and repeat.

Quads

Lean against a wall, placing a Swiss ball for support at your mid back. Keeping your back straight, bend at the hips and knees to form a squat position, using the ball as support for your back. Your hips and knees should be at no more than a 90 degree angle. Hold the position for at least five seconds, and return to the start position. Repeat 12-15 times. To add resistance, hold dumbbells while performing the movement. You can also hold the position for 30-60 seconds for a more difficult exercise.

Hamstrings

Lying face up on the floor, with your lower legs rested on a Swiss ball, straighten your legs and position your arms out to your side. Lift your hips off of the floor to form a plank. Hold the position for 5 seconds and return to the 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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