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Intermediate Exercises (Group VI)

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

Stand tall with your weights in both hands. Slightly bend at the knees. Keeping your back straight and shoulder blades together, bend at the hips about 45 degrees. Keeping your elbows glued to your sides, extend your arms and lift weights behind you. Hold the position for two seconds and then slowly release. Repeat this 12-15 times.

Chest

Position yourself on your hands and feet on the floor, hands positioned a little wider than shoulder-width. Your entire body should remain straight, with your arms holding you up off of the floor. Slowly perform a push-up, by bending at the elbows, until they reach a 90 degree angle. Hold for a couple of seconds, and then push yourself back up to the start position. 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 a modified pushup to finish your repetitions (see Level V). Repeat this 12-15 times.

Triceps

Lay face-up on a bench that supports your back and neck, or on the floor. Hold your weights with both hands directly overhead, with your elbows straight. Slowly bend your elbows, bringing your weights closer to your face. 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

Sitting on a bench or chair, take one of your weights in your hand, letting your arm hang to the floor. Support your back by placing your opposite elbow on your knee. Curl the weight up toward your face, bending at the elbow, using your leg for support. Hold the position for two seconds, and then slowly release. Repeat 12-15 times, and then switch arms.

Shoulders

Standing tall, grab your weights with both hands, letting your arms hang at your sides. Raise your arms directly out to your sides, until your arm reaches about a 90 degree angle from your body. 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 the floor, with legs straight up and knees locked, gently hold the back of your head with both hands, bending at the elbow. Pretending like your belly button is touching your spine, move your elbows toward your toes 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, slightly lower your legs in front of you, making sure that you can hold a neutral spine position.Rotational: Laying face-up on the floor, with knees bent, and feet on the floor, 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 toward your left knee, while extending your right leg out straight simultaneously. Hold at the top for two seconds, and then switch to the other side. Repeat 12-15 times for both sides, alternating.

Lower Back:
Laying face-down on a comfortable stable surface, lay your arms down at a 45 degree angle from your body and legs out straight. Raise your upper body, keeping your arms at a 45 degree angle, at the same or slightly higher level as your upper body, and hold the position for 5 seconds. Make sure to keep your neck and back in a neutral position. Lower and repeat 10 times.

Quads

While standing and supporting yourself at the kitchen counter, extend your leg out straight in front of you with your knee locked. Place an object with weight to it on top of your ankle, like a piece of heavy chain or a pair of boots tied together at the laces. While keeping your back straight, raise your leg, so that it is 90 degrees from your body. Form ten small circles clockwise with your toe, and then ten circles counterclockwise. Then switch to the opposite leg.

Hamstrings

Position yourself on your hands and feet on the floor, hands positioned about shoulder-width apart. Keeping a neutral spine and neck, extend one leg straight out behind you, knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Using this position as your start position, lift your foot straight up toward the ceiling, as far as you can go. Feel the squeeze in your glutes and hamstrings. Hold this position for two seconds, and then return to the start position. Repeat 12-15 times, then switch legs.
 
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