Monday, February 22, 2016

#MotivatedMonday #SelfieSaturday and New Videos Finally

Just me and my newly remodelled home gym ...
Yes it's been a while since I have made any new videos for the #SelfieSaturday but I have been really busy organizing, and you'd be surprised how long it actually takes me to edit the stupid things. I'm doing great for the record and on this Saturday when I took this picture I was finally below 174 and staying there. I was 172 when I weighed in but as my weight bounces it is more important where I stay under and I have been under 174 for 4 days. Not bad, and My Fitness Pal told me I am half way to my goal weight, so we'll see. Have a great week!

Well let's take a look at my BowFlex Home Gym Workout this week for Abdominals & Legs ...

Seated (Resisted) Abdominal Crunch
Spinal Flexion
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the abdominal area including the upper and lower front abs (rectus abdominus) and the side abs (obliques).
Pulley position: Wide or narrow.
Starting position:
• While seated in the 45 degree position, spread the cuffs from the handles and put the arms through, positioning each cuff around the front of the respective shoulder.
• Your lower back can start out flat or in a normal arch, knees and hips are bent and your feet are flat on the floor.
Motion:
• Tighten your abs and curl only your torso, slowly moving your ribs toward your hips. Move as far as you can without moving the hips or neck. THE LOWER BACK SHOULD NOT LOSE CONTACT WITH THE BENCH when fully crunched.
• Slowly reverse the motion returning to the starting position, without relaxing.
Key points:
• Allow exhalation up and inhalation down, don’t exaggerate it.
• Do not lift your head/chin. Your head should follow the rib motion, not lead, allowing you to maintain normal neck posture.
• Tighten your abdominals throughout the entire exercise range of motion. Do not let your abs relax until the set is over.
• MOVING SLOWLY to eliminate momentum is critical.
• This exercise will NOT spot-reduce fat!


Seated (Resisted) Oblique Crunch
Spinal Flexion with Rotation
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the side abs (obliques) as well as the upper and lower front abs (rectus abdominus)
Pulley position: Wide or narrow
Starting position:
• While seated in the 45 degree position, bring the left handle to the left shoulder, and then reaching across the chest, grasp and hold with the right hand as pictured.
• Alternative Handle Position: Spread the left cuff from the handle and put the left arm through, positioning the cuff around the front of the shoulder (a one-sided version of the handle position described in the Seated Resisted Abdominal Crunch).
• Your lower back can start out flat or in a normal arch, knees and hips are bent and your feet are flat on the floor.
Motion:
• Tighten your abs and move in a diagonal direction, slowly moving your right ribs toward your left hip. Move as far as you can without moving the hips or neck. THE LOWER BACK SHOULD NOT LOSE CONTACT WITH THE BENCH when fully crunched.
• Slowly reverse the motion returning to the starting position, without relaxing.
• After you’ve completed sufficient reps of this exercise, repeat it on the other side of your body.
Key points:
• Allow exhalation up and inhalation down, don’t exaggerate it.
• Do not lift your head/chin. Your head should follow the rib motion, not lead, allowing you to maintain normal neck posture.
• Tighten your abdominals throughout the entire exercise range of motion. Do not let your abs relax until the set is over.
• MOVING SLOWLY to eliminate momentum is critical.
• This exercise will NOT spot-reduce fat!


Trunk Rotation
Muscles worked: This exercise involves most of the trunk and deep spinal muscles. It does not “spot reduce” or eliminate “love handles.” It should be noted that rotation is more limited in the spine than most people realize and should be performed with minimal resistance, and always in proper erect alignment. Pulley position: Narrow.
Starting position:
• Sitting sideways on the bench with one side facing the Power Rods®, grasp the handle closest to you with both hands.
• Raise both arms up to chest level, centered in front of the sternum (breast bone).
• Keep both elbows slightly straight.
• Lift your chest, pinch your shoulder blades together, tighten your abs and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
Motion:
• Tighten your entire abdominal area and slowly rotate your rib cage/arms away from the cables (30-40 degrees), as if your were rotating with a rod through the middle of your spine.
• Rotate past midline as far as can be performed slowly and comfortably.
• Slowly return to the starting position.
Key points:
• This is an important exercise, yet it can become high risk if done incorrectly. Keep your chest lifted and always maintain your spine in good alignment with a very slight arch in your lower back.
• Keep your hands centered in front of the middle of your chest (sternum) and your shoulder blades “pinched” together. Insure that all of your motion occurs in the torso.
• Remember, more range of motion is not necessarily better, especially in this exercise. Move only as far as your muscles will take you. Try to eliminate uncontrolled momentum.
• Caution — Do not use heavy resistance for this exercise. Pick a weight that allows you to perform at least 12-15 reps.
• This exercise will NOT spot-reduce fat!


The Squat
Knee Extension, Hip Extension, Ankle Plantarflexion
Muscles worked: Although the squat is often considered a total body exercise, the glutes, adductors, hamstrings and quads are primary movers and the spinal erectors are key to stabilization.
Pulley position: Low pulley.
Starting position:
• Remove the back support and place the seat in free sliding position.
• Use the bar harness to adjust strap length allowing tension at the appropriate depth. This will require experimentation. Increase depth slowly according to your ability, knee conditions, etc. Most orthopedists recommend that healthy knees not go any lower than a 90 degree angle (between the thigh and calf) when using extra resistance. Many people go lower for their goals, but this dramatically increases the risk to the knee cartilage and increases the probability of degenerative/arthritic changes.
• Sit on the seat facing the Power Rods® and position the bar on the traps (across the shoulders, not on the neck). Maintain a grip on each side of the bar.
• Flatten your back, keep your chest up and position your feet in line with the cable/pulley.
• Place your feet wider than hip width and point your toes outward slightly. Direct the thighs to the same outward angle as the feet.
Motion:
• While keeping your back straight, tighten your abdominals and move to a standing position.
• Keep the pressure through the middle of the arches/feet, not through the toes or heels.
• Using control, slowly squat down by sticking the hips out as the knees start to bend. Keep the chest up and back flat as the hips continue to move backward.
• Lower to approximately 90 degrees at the knees (unless otherwise determined).
• Do not return to the seat until the end of the last repetition.
Key points:
• Keep knees pointed the same direction as the toes.
• Keep the head/neck in line with the trunk.
• Pay close attention to all alignment and stabilization issues on every part of each and every repetition!
• Never attempt to exercise with more resistance than you are physically able to handle. And be sure to properly place the bar in a secure location on your shoulders.


Leg Press
Hip Extension and Knee Extension
Muscles worked: This exercise develops overall lower body pushing strength, primarily emphasizing your knee extensors on the front of your thighs (quadriceps), your hip extensors muscles on your rear (gluteus maximus), as well as on your inner thighs (adductor muscle groups).
Pulley position: Narrow.
Starting position:
• Remove the bench and unlock the rowing seat.
• Sit on the seat facing the Power Rods® with the leg press belt attached and adjusted. Support your feet on the upright pulley frame or foot rests as shown. The belt should be placed around the pelvis, NOT the low back/spine.
• Lift your chest, tighten your abs and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
• Slowly straighten your legs, but do not lock your knees.
• You may rest your hands around the sides of the belt, on the sides of the seat, or you may fold your arms across your chest, whichever is more comfortable.
Motion:
• Bend your knees and hips slowly allowing yourself to slide toward the Power Rods®.
• Limit your slide to a position that allows you to still maintain good spinal posture, with your chest lifted, abs tight and a slight arch in your lower back.
• Slowly return to the starting position.
Key points:
• Generate the force for the leg press by mentally directing your pushing/pressing effort through the lower leg and squarely into the frame of the machine. In other words, push in the direction the calf bone is pointing throughout the motion, rather than just pushing your body backward. This will decrease the shearing forces at the knee.
• Keep your knees pointed in the same direction as your feet. DO NOT let the knees travel inward/closer during the motion.
• Keep your spine in good posture.
• Straighten but do not “lock out” your knees. Keep your quads tightened throughout the entire motion.
• Do not use momentum. MOVE SLOWLY! Do not “launch” yourself when you straighten your knees.


Deadlift
Muscles worked: This exercise is very similar to the squat and is also considered a total body exercise. It involves the glutes, adductors, hamstrings and quads – which are primary movers – and the spinal erectors and trapezius, – which are key to stabilization.
Pulley position: Low pulley
Starting position:
• Remove the back support and straddle the rail.
• Use the bar harness to adjust strap length allowing tension at the appropriate depth. This will require experimentation. Increase depth slowly according to your ability, knee conditions, etc. Most orthopedists recommend that healthy knees not go any lower than a 90 degree angle (between the thigh and calf) when using extra resistance. Many people go lower for their goals, but this dramatically increases the risk to the knee cartilage and increases the probability of degenerative/arthritic changes. To go lower than the harness allows, connect the cable snap hook directly to the D-ring of the bar.
• Position your feet in line with the cable/pulley.
• Place your feet shoulder width or wider and point your toes outward slightly. Direct the thighs to the same outward angle as the feet.
Motion:
• Using control, slowly squat down by sticking the hips out as the knees start to bend. Keep the chest up and back flat as the hips continue to move backward.
• Lower to approximately 90 degrees at the knees (unless otherwise determined).
• Grasp the bar with an overhand grip and slowly stand erect maintaining the alignment as indicated.
• Keep the pressure through the middle of the arches/feet, not through the toes or heels.
• Slowly lower to the predetermined range, maintaining tension from the cable.
Key points:
• Keep knees pointed the same direction as the toes.
• Keep the head/neck in line with the trunk.
• Pay close attention to all alignment and stabilization issues on every part of each and every repetition!
• Never attempt to exercise with more resistance than you are physically able to handle.


Stiff-Leg Deadlift
Hip extension
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes and develops the hamstrings and glutes, while requiring the spinal erectors to stabilize.
Pulley position: Low pulley
Starting position:
• Remove the bench and stand on the platform facing the Power Rods®.
• Grasp the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder width.
• The bar harness may have to be adjusted to insure that there is enough movement in the cable to complete the range of motion.
• Do not lock your knees. Position them either nearly straight or very slightly bent.
• Lift your chest, tighten your abdominals and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
Motion:
• Maintaining your knee position, slowly bend forward at the hips by moving your butt backwards. It is critical that you keep the “chest out/up” and do not allow it to “cave in,” an indicator that your back is rounding.
• Stop as your hamstrings begin to get taut and before your back begins to round.
• Concentrate on tensing the hamstrings to pull you back up to the starting position.
Key points:
• Your torso should move from vertical angling forward — toward horizontal —-without rounding, slouching or otherwise losing “flat” postural alignment.
• Keep knees slightly bent.
• Move only as far as you can go correctly!
• Never attempt to exercise with more resistance than you are physically able to handle.


Leg Extension
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the muscles on the front of the upper thigh (quadriceps muscle group) which are responsible for straightening your leg against resistance. This powerful muscle group helps provide stability for the knee joint and is essential for producing power in running, jumping and lifting activities.
Pulley position: Leg extension/ Leg curl attachment.
Starting position:
• Sit on the seat facing away from the Power Rods® with your knees near the pivot point and the lower roller pads on the front of your shins/ ankle (see picture).
• Position your thighs at hip width pointing your knee caps straight to the front.
• Grasp the sides of the seat.
• Sit up straight with your chest lifted, abs tight and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
Motion:
• Tighten your quads and straighten your legs by moving your feet forward and then upward until your legs are completely straight and your kneecaps are pointing up toward the ceiling (not turned outward).
• Then slowly return to the starting position keeping tension in your quads during the entire movement.
Key points:
• Use slow controlled motion. Do not “kick” into extension.
• Do not let your knees rotate outward during the exercise. Keep your kneecaps pointing up and straight forward.


Leg Curl
Muscles worked: This exercise emphasizes the hamstring muscle group (biceps femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus) on the back of the thigh as well as the calf muscle (gastrocnemius).
Pulley position: Leg extension/Leg curl attachment.
Starting position:
• With the back support of the bench attached to the seat of the leg unit, lie face down with your lower thigh on the pad, the knees near the pivot point and ankles under the upper roller pads .
• Point your knees and feet straight down and tighten your inner thigh muscles (as if squeezing your knees together) to stabilize.
• Place your hands on the floor or grasp the rail or bench for stability.
• Place your forehead on the bench or look to the side, but do not look up, hyper-extending your neck.
• Tighten your abs to prevent spinal motion and very slightly lift your knees (approximately 1 inch), placing the pressure on your thighs.
Motion:
• Slowly bend your knees, upward and then toward your hips without moving your spine and without your hips lifting from the bench.
• Keeping the hamstrings tight, slowly allow your legs to straighten and return near the starting position. Do not fully extend your legs.
Key points:
• Make sure you straighten your legs under control, do not allow your knees to hyperextend.
• Keep your chest lifted, abs tight and maintain a very slight arch in your lower back.
• Try to relax your calf and foot muscles.