Thursday, September 9, 2010

Yesterday's Cross Training Workout

This is what I did yesterday for my upper body crosstraining workout.

First, I'll describe the various exercises and then I'll give you the number of reps and weights. 

1.  Up-Downs:  Starting from a standing position, you move down into a squat, placee your hands just beyond shoulder width apart, hop your feet down to a push-up position, do a single pushup, hop your feet back up underneath you (back into a squat position), grab a weight in each hand, stand up, do a shoulder press, and repeat.  As the first exercise in the workout, this is geared towards getting each group of muscles (legs, core, arms) jump started, though fyi I have already done a warm up to get my heart rate up. 

2.  Crunch Ups:  This is simply a set where you vary the number of stomach crunches and sit-ups you do.  I generally start with the sit-ups, placing both of my feet flat on the ground with my hands on either side of my head.  Then for the crunches, I lift my legs into the air at a 90 degree angle and have my hands across my chest.  This is obviously geared towards both the upper and lower abdomen & core. 

3.  Push-ups:  We all know what these are.  I'll freely move between push-ups where my elbows go out perpindicular to my body and those where my elbows bend backwards parallel with my body.  The former works more of your pec and shoulders; the latter, your shoulders, triceps, and biceps.  This exercise also keeps your core flexed as long as you keep your back straight, as you should be. 

4.  Squat Curls:  Here, I am doing a typical squat, going down to a nearly 90 degree angle in my legs and holding that while I do a bicep curl in one arm; the other arm is generally held out for balance.  This exercise works the quadraceps and bicep, but by combining upper and lower body it also involves the core to balance.

5.  Side Turns:  I'm sure this has an official yoga or exercise term, but I haven't found it.  To get into position, lie on your side with your elbow underneath your shoulder and your upper leg directly on top of your lower.  Lift your body into a proned position where the only parts touching the floor are your forearm and your feet with your chest facing parallel to the floor.  Much like push-ups, it is important to keep your body as straight as possible.  Start with your free arm pointing towards the sky.  Then tuck that arm to your chest and turn your body so that your chest is facing the floor (I am generally able to keep my feet from turning much) and then turn your body back to the starting position.  To get the most out of this, try to pause at the three positions: arm out, arm in, body turned.  The idea is that your core is working to maintain balance throughout the exercise, so don't throw it off by moving too fast.  This exercise is geared to your core.  Your shoulders will feel it a bit too, but the main exertion should be in your core. 

6.  Shoulder Press:  Another very common exercise.  Hold a pair of dumbells  at your shoulders (your upper arm horizontal and forearm vertical) and press them to the sky, repeat.  If your back starts to bend, lower the weights and increase reps or incorporate more core work into your routine. 

7.  Bicep Curl:  Yet another common bit.  At home, I generally use a full bar instead of individual dumbells because I will tend to let my elbow fall back behind my body if I used dumbells.  I would much prefer to use a pulley system which keeps you from cheating with position, but I don't have it yet.  Same idea as above if your back begins to bend. 

Ok, now that you know WHAT it is I did, I'll show you how MUCH I did.  My goal was to keep my heart rate up and do a medium workout.

Reps and Weights:
1.  Up-Downs (12 reps with 5 lb weights)
2.  Crunch Ups (3 consecutive sets of 3 sit-ups and 15 crunches)
3.  Push-Ups (20 reps)
4.  Squat Curl (10 reps with 5 lb)
5.  Side Turn (10 reps on each side)
6.  Shoulder Press (10 reps with 10 lb)
7.  Bicep Curls (12 reps with 50 lb.)
8.  Up-Downs (20 reps with 5 lb weights)
9.  Crunch Ups (3 consecutive sets of 5 sit-ups and 10 crunches)
10.  Push-Ups (30 reps)
11.  Squat Curl (15 reps with 5 lb)
12.  Side Turn (15 reps on each side)
13.  Shoulder Press (15 reps with 10 lb)
14.  Bicep Curls (15 reps with 50 lb.)

The whole workout took me a little under an hour (~ 50 min). 

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