Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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Posts Tagged ‘triceps’

Modifications and Variations

Posted by terrepruitt on June 30, 2011

So you have a list of ten exercises you can do ten times in ten minutes.  You might be able to do the whole thing more than once.  If not, you will be able to if you keep at it.  Try doing the workout for ten days and see what happens.  Also, there will be days that you can do it twice and then the next day maybe not.  That is always ok.  Everyday our bodies are different.  If you do it you WILL see improvement.  When an exercise gets to easy, try it fast or with more weight, or do more reps.  The ten of ten in ten is really just to get you motivated to do more, help keep you exercising when you are really pressed for time, or add to something you are already doing.  Yes, I have said these things at LEAST twice before, but I want people to understand I do not believe this is an all-emcompassing-this-is-all-I-have-to-do-for-the-rest-of-my-life-kind-of-workout.  But the ten minute workout can work for everyone.

There are many modifications and variations that can be done with these exercises.  Some modifications I have presented already in my Without a ball, a band, and a BOSU post.  Here are some more.

(#1) Lunges – You can do walking lunges.  Instead of bringing the leg you stepped out with back to “center”, bring your other leg out in a step.  Keep going.

(#2) Bicep curls – You can do the curls at the same time you walk.  Try it.  You might be surprised at the different sensation you have.  The walking adds an entirely different element.

(#3) Squats – You can try these with weights in both hands.  If you have the band and the BOSU as with the original “gym” 🙂 design use that.  Since you are already going to stand on the band on the BOSU, use the band while you do the squats.

(#4) Triceps kick backs – Standing on the ground with weights and just doing one arm at a time.  If you can get through the workout twice then you can do ten one round and then ten the next.  If you can’t do five then switch.  Or you could always do ten and ten.  Whatever works for YOU.  Remember, this is YOUR workout.  You have your own goals to accomplish.

(#5) Hamstring curls – Do one leg at a time.

(#6) Sit-ups – Do them on the rounded side of the BOSU or the stability ball.

(#7) Triceps extensions – Use the band or heavier weights

(#8) Push up – Put your feet on the BOSU and push up from the ground.

(#9) Bent over lateral raise – Cross the band holding the left end in your right hand and the right end in your left hand.

(#10) Stability ball pass – When your legs come up with the ball grab it and before rolling back down put it past your legs on one side then the other (or alternate on each pass), then roll down.  Then when you come back up before you “give your legs the ball” put it past one side or both, then give the ball to your legs and roll down.

These modifications and variations aren’t necessarily more difficult or easier.  They could be different for each and every one of you.  The level of difficulty could be exactly the same but it is just something different to do.  Or one day it could be easy and the next maybe not.  I just know that for me, when I have more than ten minutes after doing my ten minutes I am ready to do more.

What about you?  How does doing ten minutes of exercise make you feel?

Posted in Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Without a ball, a band, and a BOSU

Posted by terrepruitt on June 28, 2011

If you are going to embark on doing the Ten Minute Workout, you can do it without a ball, a band, and/or a BOSU.  You definitely don’t need those things.  I would think if you were planning on exercising at home you would have at least one set of dumbbells.  The issue might be that your dumbbells are too light. Since I do not know your fitness level or your goals, please keep in mind that I am speaking in general and that YOU are responsible for your health and well-being.  With your goals established you need to use the proper weight.  The following information is to give you ideas on how to do things differently than originally proposed in the Ten Minute Workout, but you are responsible for doing things safely.  If you have questions on what to do to help you reach your goals let me know.  Listed are the exercises of the ten that required either a stability ball, a resistance band, and/or a BOSU.

Keep in mind it all depends on what you want the results to be.

(#3) – Squats:  You can do squats standing on the ground.  The BOSU added the extra element of having to balance.  If you don’t have a BOSU and you still want to work on balance while you do squats, you could try doing them on an inflatable pool float.  Be careful!  But you will notice that standing on something with air in it makes you have to balance more than just standing on the ground.  If you think about it that is what a BOSU is.  It is just plastic filled with air.  If you don’t have something inflatable you can stand on, you can still get a little balance work in by holding something somewhat heavy in one hand.  Or even try a bottle of water and let the water slosh around.  Do five, then switch hands.  Or you could just close your eyes.  You would be amazed at how much that throws off people’s balance.

(#4) – Triceps kickbacks: For this you don’t want the weight to be too heavy.  You should be able to complete the ten, but not necessarily too fast or easy.  And don’t have the weight be too heavy that you have to swing it to get the movement done.

(#5) – Hamstring curls:  With this you can either lay on your stomach and put a weight between your feet/ankles and pull your feet back to your butt.  Down to the ground and back to your butt.  Or you can stand and “Kick” your butt, one leg at a time.  (Yeah, the same move we used to do in Jazzercise.)

(#8) – Push ups: Use the ground instead of the BOSU.  Or something higher (STABLE coffee table, stair, whatever works and can be incorporated into your “gym”) than the ground if you prefer

(#9) – Bent over lateral raises: I actually like these better with a dumbbell.  Remember that the details about your shoulders still apply.  Hold a weight in each hand, bent over slightly and with a straight back, and open and close your arms.  This weight will probably need to be less than the one you are using for your biceps curls.  But again, it depends on YOU and your goals.  That is not a definitive statement, just a general one.

(#10) – Stability ball pass:  Well, without the ball it is really just a V Sit-up.   Lay down raise your legs while rising up with shoulders and arms to meet your legs.  You body forms a V.  Arms over your head while you lower upper body and legs to the ground.   If you don’t have a stability ball you would always try using a different ball, but that is up to you.  Either way it is a V sit-up.

Does that help?  Remember the basic form of the exercise still applies; straight back, only forearms moving, etc. or whatever applied to the original exercise.  I am not aware of what equipment you have but there is always something to do without any equipment at all.  Even without dumbbells.  Body weight exercise are great.  If you have any questions let me know.  ALSO, please feel free to SHARE what you do use or what you workout with.

Posted in Hamstrings, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Push up

Posted by terrepruitt on June 21, 2011

Would you believe me if I told we do push ups in Nia?  Ha!  We do a lot of exercises in Nia, but we do them to music.  We are dancing and flowing from one move to the next.  We allow for the individual to do them their own way.  People might not even realize they are doing a push up, just like the sit ups they are disguised.  It is not a disguise of deception, not at all.  It is that we are in the moment and it is truly a dance so one just doesn’t realize it is a push up.  Sometimes it is a military push up, but sometimes not.  Sometimes it is from the knees, or sitting down or even standing and using a wall.  But there is pushing involved and the upper body is utilized.

For this Ten Minute Workout we are using the BOSU.  The round side is on the ground.  So we are using the flat side to hold onto.  Push ups have never been my favorite exercise to do because I have never been really good at the military ones.  But I could do them, but now I am sticking to the on-the-knees version to stay off my toe.  You do with your legs what is comfortable.  Even though my execution of a push up can be improved upon I love the push up because it is a multi muscle working exercise.

In this workout we have just gone from sit up (on the ground), to overhead triceps extensions (on our knees), and now we are doing the push ups.  I think having done the triceps extensions on the ground is one way to help you make it through the 10 exercises in the 10 minutes.

With the round side of the BOSU on the ground, I grip the edges of it.  Mine has “handles” and I use them.  I stay on my knees and use my arms to push me up and allow me to come down.  Even on your knees there are different ways to do it.  You can keep your legs down, using your shins and the top of your feet for additional stability or your can lift your shins and feet off the ground.  Remember no matter how you choose to do the exercise you are not stuck doing it that way for the entire 10 or the second pass through.  So experiment.  Listen to your body and decide what works best for you at that moment.  Remember your goals and adjust your movements to help you to achieve them.

Only go as low to the BOSU as you can and still be able to push back up.  Using the BOSU requires you to use equal strength in each arm because you have to work to keep the BOSU level.

One of the key things to do to get the most out of a push up is to keep the body straight and move the entire body down and entire body up.  Even if you just go down a little, the straight body is working arms and core.  If you just let your upper body down and push it up you are missing out on the exciting portion of a push up.  It works soooo many more muscles if you engage your torso and have it move with your arms.

You see what I am saying?  (As I am typing this I imagined you getting on the floor and trying it.  I am sure you sense the difference.  Even if you don’t go down that far.)

As I share with my students in Nia class all the time, there are technical ways to do an exercise or a movement, but not everyone can do it that way — the body’s way.  It could be a matter of needing to learn it or work up to that or it could be that our body is not physically able to do it.  Whatever the reason, I believe it is important to know how to do it properly and then be aware of how we are doing it.  Then we can listen to our body.  When we try to do it the technical way our body might say, “Oh yeah, that is just not going to happen.”  Then we can adjust.  We can learn, is it not going to happen because it is painful or is it because I need to work a little bit to get to that level?  Then we can make a decision and a conscious choice.

Know how to do a push up, then decide how you are going to do it.  Don’t just let the pattern of your movement dictate how you execute an exercise, decide for yourself make a choice then do it.  As I said before, it could be that you do five with your whole torso then need to give your arms a break . . . . but that doesn’t mean you have to stop, just do the push up with your arms and not bring the whole body down and up.  Or you do three on your toes then decide that you really want to have a straight back so you switch to your knees.  Then on your next set you do all knees.  Whatever you decide, make sure it is something you are aware of and then do your push ups your way.

What do you have to add?  Share?  Comment?  Question?

Posted in Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Overhead Triceps Extension

Posted by terrepruitt on June 18, 2011

For this Ten Minute Workout, our triceps extension is going over the head with dumbbells.  I have posted in the past a way to use a weighted bar lying down.  For this exercise use the amount of weight that is appropriate for your own individual goals, so that could mean you use two dumbbells or one.  Hold the weights behind your head.  Your neck is comfortable and relaxed, it is NOT being pushed forward.   Your elbows are pointing up at the sky, which for me puts my forearms right at my ears.  Keeping your upper arms still, “push”/move the weights toward the sky.  Don’t swing the weights, just bring them up, only your elbow joints move.  Your shoulder joints don’t move, your upper arms are still.  You are also concentrating on keeping your shoulders down**.  They should not rise up to the ears or become scrunched.  They stay down.  The movement is not a swing.  Momentum is not used to complete this exercise.  Please be very, very careful of your head and neck.

Since this exercise is right after the sit ups and right before the push ups in the ten minute workout.  I do it from a kneeling position.  Since I am kneeling, I position myself up right with a straight back.  Your torso does not need to move in this exercise.  Remember, the triceps are doing the work, so no swing and no momentum and that includes your body.

**(Shoulders “down” tip) I was once told by a Pilates instructor – to assist with keeping my shoulders down – imagine putting my shoulder blades in my back pockets.  Which really just means to pull your shoulder blades down.  I used to habitually bring my shoulders up to my ears, by using the thought of my shoulder BLADES instead of actually concentrating on my shoulders I keep my shoulders down without feeling as if I am be pushed down.  To me, the body sensation is different.  I feel it improves my posture because it is bringing my shoulders down AND back no matter when I employ the method.   But, yes, I still have to remember to do it.  🙂

With all that there is to do in this exercise, this is not necessarily one that you do fast.  Sometimes fast might mean hitting yourself in the head with the weight.  (I would imagine.  I mean, of course, I’ve NEVER done that. 🙂 )   So take your time and don’t rush.  You have ten whole minutes to do ten reps of ten exercises.

Got it?  Let me know what questions you have.  Or how this works for you.

Posted in Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Weekend Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on June 11, 2011

So, it is technically Saturday.  It is 1:25 am and my company just left.  I am posting this Ten Minute Workout place holder for those of you in different time zones and early morning exercisers.  Not that early morning exercisers would be exercising THIS early, but I am sure they will be doing it before me.

Today I don’t have a Nia class to teach so I am sure I will be getting to my Ten Ten in Ten much earlier than yesterday.  So I will be checking back.  And I will also be posting about Tricpes Kick Backs on the BOSU.  Fun stuffs.  Stay tuned.

 

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Terre’s Ten Ten in Ten

Posted by terrepruitt on June 2, 2011

Here is the Ten Minute Workout with some explanation.  Questions and comments welcome.

1 – Long lunges: lunge with a long step with a dumbbell in each hand down at your side then come back up to standing.  Each “step” is one.

2 – Biceps Curls: hold a dumbbell in each hand, keep upper arms still bring dumbbell to bicep and then down.

3 – Squats:  lower down as if you are going to sit in a chair then stand up while standing on the flat side of the BOSU.

4 – Triceps kickbacks: each hand holding one end of the resistance band, arms are pulled back with elbows back (past your ribs), pull the band back straightening the arm (only forearms move) while standing on the band on the flat side of the BOSU in a slightly bent over position. Keep a straight back.

5 – Hamstring curls:  lie down legs on the stability ball (the ball is about half way up the calf) and pull the ball back rolling it towards your butt and then roll it back out while in bridge position.

6 – Sit ups: knees up feet on floor lift shoulders off the floor, then lift more, somewhat more of a crunch.

7 – Triceps Extensions:  weights in hands behind your head (hands are close together or even holding both weights), elbows pointed to the sky, lift weights to the sky only moving at the elbow straightening your arms.

8 – Push ups: using the BOSU (round side on ground).

9 – Bent over lateral raises with band: each hand holding one end of the band, open arms out to side while standing on the band on the flat side of the BOSU in a slightly bent over position. Keep a straight back.

10 – Stability ball pass: lie down hold ball between your feet/ankles raise your legs holding the ball while rising up with shoulders and arms to meet your legs (as in a V sit-up) grab the ball bringing it over your head to the floor.  Lift up back up lifting legs and give the ball back to our legs. (Count “one” at each ball touch down)

As with ANY exercise or exercise program, be careful and be sure you are able to safely do the exercise you engage in.  If you need doctor’s clearance, be sure to get it.

Do ten repetitions of these ten exercises in ten minutes. Repeat if time allows.

What questions do you have?  Let me know.

Posted in Hamstrings, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ten Minute Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on May 31, 2011

There are a lot of 10 minute workouts.  Ten minutes is really not a long time, it probably won’t get you to any lofty fitness goals, but that is where specificity comes in.  If your goal is to run a marathon or bench press 200 pounds then 10 minutes of working out won’t get you there.  You need to train specifically for specific goals.  Ten minute workouts are good for other things.  If you are really pressed for time and just need a quick fix.  If you are new to exercising.  If you are doing another form of working out and just want to add a little something more.  If you are recovering from an injury.  If you are just learning a new exercise.  If you have ADD.  🙂  There are a lot of good reasons and ways to incorporate a ten minute workout into your day.

There are also different ways you can do a workout for ten minutes.  Again, how you do it depends on why you are doing it.  If you are pressed for time sometimes just getting through it is what you need to do.  That ten minutes will just help you feel like you did something good for yourself even if the rest of the day is jammed packed with a lot of other stuff.  If you are just starting an exercise program it could be that getting through ten minutes is all you can do . . . it depends on the workout.  If you have a great program that you do, say cardio, like Nia, but you want to add in a little training with weights or additional stretching a 10 minute workout could be perfect.  And if you are recovering from an injury it could be that 10 minutes is all that you can do safely.  When learning a new exercise it could be that 10 minutes is all that your brain can take at a time.  Again, it all depends on why you are doing it AND what you are doing.

Before I hurt my foot, I had come up with a little 10 minute workout I felt was a good way to get a quick workout all over.   I designed it to be done with the workout tools and toys I have.  I only did it a few times before I hurt my foot.  Since I really was having to concentrate on teaching my classes, I pretty much stopped doing everything else.  So now I am feeling that a ten minute workout would be great for me because of a few of the reasons I stated above.

The list/workout is what you see pictured here.  It is nothing revolutionary it is just 10 exercises that you do 10 times each in 10 minutes.  In my next regularly scheduled post (Thursday) I will explain the list.   In subsequent regularly scheduled posts (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays) I will give more detailed explanations of the exercises, modifications, and various things that come up related to this 10 minute workout.  And everyday, I will post when I have done it.  I will actually be doing some of the exercises in a modified fashion because of my foot.  I have to modify my activity based on my teaching schedule and daily activity.

Anytime you want you to can do this list.  Post in the comment that you did it too.  Ask questions and I will either answer them in the comments or in a separate post.  I think this is a great way for me to share some exercises with you. I hope you will join me in this 10 minute workout.  Really 10 minutes isn’t that long.  Ten exercises done 10 times each in 10 minutes.  Ten Ten in Ten.  You can do it.  And you can let me know when you’ve done it.  Ok?  What do you say?  Are you in?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out, Ten Minute Workout (Posts) | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Triceps Extension

Posted by terrepruitt on March 1, 2011

I told my Nia Sister Jill that I wanted to post some exercises one can do with a weighted bar.  Her comment on my one of my last posts helped encourage me.  A couple of ways to use the weight bar is triceps extensions.  You can stand or sit down, grasp the bar in an over hand grip, then carefully raise it over your head until your elbows are pointed towards the ceiling and the bar is behind your head, push the bar up.  Concentrate on keeping your elbows pointing up at the ceiling.  Don’t rock, sway, or use momentum to get the bar up and back down (behind your head).   Be sure that the movement is smooth and controlled.  Your core is tight.  Abs contracted to assist in protecting your lower back.  The movement is just from your elbows and you are moving your forearms.  Your head does not move, the bar does not touch your head or your shoulders/neck.

This same thing can be translated into a lying down exercise.  Elbows pointed up, forearms move.  The triceps do the work do not let momentum move the weighted bar.  In this position your core is still tight.  Abs are contracted even while lying down.  Also be careful not to let the bar hit you in the head.

You hands can be about shoulder width apart or close together.  I like to adjust the width depending on how I am feeling.  Another way to do this, depending upon the weight of your bar, you can rest one end of the bar on the ground.  While this allows for the ground to assist you with the weight, I find that it requires me to have my wrist bent at an odd angle.  Be very aware of your wrist if you are allowing one end of the bar to rest on the ground.  You want to make certain that you are not injuring the rest.  So experiment to find a comfortable position that does not put too much stress on it.

These are the same exercises that you might have done with dumbbells.  Using the weight bar is just a different way of doing them.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »