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As Pennsylvania gets ready for the ‘Yellow Phase” of the coronavirus lockdown, some of us will still work from home or simply remain under some sort of isolation
for safety reasons, here are seven simple & easy exercises to keep the blood flowing and your body a little happier:
Step 1: Remember to warm up and stretch
It is important to warm up before you stretch because stretching “cold” muscles can lead to injury. Warming up helps raise the temperature of your body and your muscles. Warming up also increases your heart rate and allows more blood flow and oxygen to your muscles, it prepares your body to burn more energy.
A five to ten-minute warm-up is sufficient. You can warm up doing the same exercise routine at a slower pace. Stretching is essential as it prepares your body for exercise. The correct manner of stretching can reduce injuries and give you better flexibility, range of motion, posture, and coordination.
Step 2: Skater Squats
Targets: Glutes and Legs
Stand with feet together and arms at sides, hands in fists. Jump to the left as you extend left arm behind you and bring right fist toward the chin, landing on left foot with right leg raised behind you. Immediately squat and repeat in the opposite direction. It is similar to a lunge; however, the back foot does not touch the ground.
Step 3: Cross Jack
Targets: Legs and Shoulders
Stand straight with your feet wide and arms extended at shoulder height out to sides, palms facing the ground. Jump and cross right arm over left at shoulder height in front of you as you cross right foot over left. Jump back to starting position and repeat, crossing opposite arm and foot. Repeat three times, and reverse the position of your legs and arms.
Step 4: Wall sit
Targets: Thigh and glute muscles
Rest your back, neck, and head against a wall, with feet about a foot and a half away, then bend your knees, slide your body toward the ground until your thighs are parallel to it, and hold for 15 seconds to 1 minute.
Set 5: Half-bridges
Targets: Glutes, hips, abs, and back
Lie on your back (no pillow), knees bent and feet flat on the bed or floor. Tighten your stomach muscles, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips. Ensure that you create a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for 15 seconds – 30 seconds Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat 3 times.
Step 6: Plank
Lie face down on the floor, then push up your body so just your toes and forearms are on the ground. Hold for 15 seconds – 30 seconds Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat 3 times.
Step 7: Jump Lunge
Targets: Glutes and legs
Lunge forward with left leg, elbows bent and hands in fists, right hand in front of the chest and left hand at the hip. Jump as you switch legs and arms, landing in a lunge with the right foot in front. Switch legs with every jump.
Some important tips to remember;
If you prefer to strength train during this time make sure that you do exercise that pushes your muscles outside of their comfort zone, this will ensure that they rebuild stronger. Always try to do more than the last time, lift one kg heavier or do one more rep.
When building muscle, the number of sets and reps is key
1-5 reps – build dense muscle and strength.
6-12 range – build equivalent amounts of muscular power, strength, and size.
12+range – build muscular endurance and size and assists with cardiovascular health.
Circuit workout for beginners
– 25 Bodyweight squats
– 15 Push-ups
– 15 Walking lunges
– 15 Dumbbell rows
– 20 Second Plank
– 35 Jumping jacks
This routine is suitable to do 2 – 3 times a week, however avoid doing it on consecutive days. Muscles are built on rest days, which means that you should not train the same muscle groups two days in row.
Remember that training goes hand in hand with a healthy balanced diet.
Choose to eat natural and whole foods.
Avoid fizzy drinks, candy, and junk food.
Reduce your sugar intake and liquid calories.
Increase your vegetable intake.
Protein helps with rebuilding muscles (meat, chicken and fish, there are many vegan protein options as well).