Let's say that you can't get to a gym. I know the thought sends shivers up my spine, but there are a lot of factors that could lead to not being able to go to the gym. Over the winter here in New England we were treated to feet of snow most mornings, and I was forced to "not go to the gym" and of course shoveling all that snow (I don't own a snow blower, because snow is like having God as a personal trainer) was cardio enough. We are blessed here to have another author here on The Health Whacko who covers the gaps for the people who need that push to workout at home instead of the gym.
Gym Term of the Day from The Health Whacko Gym Term Dictionary ..
A muscle contraction is static when the length of the muscle does not shorten during contraction. All muscle fibers enervated by a single motor nerve fiber from the spinal cord are called motor units, each of which may supply up to 150 or more muscle fibers. The strength of contraction increases in proportion to the number of motor units fired. Although a whole muscle cannot fully contract at once, a single fiber of it contracts fully, never partially, when stimulated by a motor nerve fiber. As the number of contracting motor units increases, the force of contraction increases proportionally. This also occurs when a muscle is tensed without movement. High intensity training over a prolonged period of time improves the ability of a neuro muscular system to recruit a greater number of motor units (volley firing), and thus creates a greater number of muscle fibers to contract.
Exercise of the Day from The Health Whacko Gym Encyclopedia of Core Exercises ..
Target Muscles: Rectus abdominis (especially the lower part), Hip flexors
1. Hang from a chin up bar, the top frame of a smith machine or anywhere else that your feet will not touch the floor.
2. Your arms should be fully extended and your lower back slightly arched.
1. Never let your legs extend behind your body.
2. Keeping your legs almost straight, exhale and raise them upwards just enough to get a flexion of your entire abdominal region. Ideally they should never come all the way to your hips, or else you lose emphasis on the mid abdominals.
3. Hold for a count of two; then slowly return your legs to the starting position.
• Do not swing your knees up or use the momentum of your legs - use the strength of your abdominals to move your hips and legs.
• For maximal results, raise your legs to approximately 20 - 30° to the horizontal.
• To make the exercise easier, bend your knees to reduce the resistance