Get Fit While Watching the Super Bowl

Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Metlife Stadium: Home of Super Bowl 48. Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr.

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us! Time to gather around the T.V. and root for your favorite team to win. There will be plenty of beverages, snacks, and high fives to go around. I would like to add another dimension to your yearly routine. Why not get fit while watching the game? It’s a perfect time to do some reps and work on yourself.

These exercises can be done quickly and do not take any extra equipment to perform.

1. Coach Triceps Dips

This can be perform on a sturdy chair, a bench, or a coach.

  • Sit with your back to a bench or chair
  • Place your hands on the bench so your fingers are pointing to you
  • Lift your buttocks off the ground and straighten your legs so only your heels are on the floor
  • Bend your elbows out behind you to lower your buttocks towards the floor
  • Push back up until your elbows are straight
  • Follow this video for a demonstration.
    • People with a shoulder problem should probably not do these unless they are supervised.

2. Crunches

Crunches can be done quickly and are a great workout for your abs.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears.
  •  Don’t lace your fingers together.
  • Hold your elbows out to the sides but rounded slightly in.
  • Tilt your chin slightly, leaving a few inches of space between your chin and your chest
  • Gently pull your abdominals inward.
  • Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor.
  • Hold for a moment at the top of the movement and then lower slowly back down.
  • Follow this video for a demonstration.

3. Squats

Considered the king of all exercises, squats develop a lot of lower leg muscles and your core. They are easy and quick to do but there are some key elements you will want to pay attention to. If you have not done squats before we recommend you work with someone who can show you the proper form.

  • Place feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles.
  • Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round (like a turtle’s shell) will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back.
  • Extend the arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down (like your hands are on someone’s shoulders at a 7th grade dance). Or, if it’s more comfortable, pull the elbows close to the body, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up.
  • Initiate movement by inhaling into the belly, and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backward as the knees begin to bend.
  • While the butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight.
  • Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.
  • Let the hip joint squat lower to the ground than the knees, if comfortable. Pro tip: Try squatting onto a box. Gentle tapping it with the butt will be a reminder to squat low.
  • Engage the core, and exhale while driving through the heels to return to standing. Imagine the feet are spreading the floor (the left foot to the left, right foot to the right) without actually moving the feet.
  • Follow this video to see a good demonstration.

So if you are on the edge of your seat and have a lot of energy put towards one of these exercises and help yourself become healthier.

References:

1) Beams, Rob “Coach Robb: Strength: Tricep Dips Off Chair or Bench” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqahmBbPfAA

2) Howcast featuring Racheal Buschert Vazirelli “How to Do a Squat | Boot Camp Workout” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXJrBgI2RxA

3) Livestong.com, featuring Amy McCauley “How to do Crunches” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyd_fa5zoEU

4) McDermott, Nicole “How to do the Perfect Sqaut”. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/perfect-squat-form_n_3147277.html

5) “How to do Crunches”.  http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-do-crunches.seriesId-101966.html

6) “Triceps Dips”.  http://www.teachpe.com/strengthening/dips.php

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Ergonomic desks for improved lifestyle

Are you sitting at a computer more than 6-8 hours a day for work?

I have many clients who come once a week for bodywork in order to compensate for the effects that sitting at a desk is having on their bodies.  These aren’t inactive people either.  Most of them are exercising regularly when they aren’t sitting at a computer all day. Still, their bodies are suffering from the long term effects of sitting for such long stints of time each day.

It manifests as frozen shoulders, neck pain, chronic back pain, migraines, sciatica and major hip imbalances along with mental and emotional stress. I realized that unless people change the way they work, I can only help them temporarily.

So what is a more viable solution?

The idea of a standing desk is great, but standing all day is not that great for you either. It’s a drastic change from sitting and has it’s own implications.  It’s more ideal to be able to sit and stand interchangeably.  There are many automatic desks out there that allow you to sit and/or stand at the same desk with a remote control.

I started looking for a local company that provided such a solution and found Ergo Depot in Potrero Hill.

I took a client of mine who was a great candidate for a desk like this to Ergo Depot and they were incredibly helpful.  She purchased one of the mobile desks (and one of their ergonomic chairs) and has since had significant improvements to her back and hip problems.

Check out this video and start thinking progressively about investing in changing the way you work for a more healthy lifestyle.

I will have a sample desk from Ergo Depot in my studio for you to test drive starting next week.