Strength Training Workouts

Isometric Workout
Isometric Push Ups 1. Starting in the push up position with arms fully extended, lower yourself to about half way to the floor. 2. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds remembering to breathe. Repeat 2-3 times.

Isometric Shoulder Raises 1. Standing with feet shoulder width apart raise a dumbbell (or light weight) directly out to your side. 2. When your arm is parallel to the ground hold for 10-30 seconds or until your arm begins to drop. 3. Repeat 2-3 times and change arms. Alternatively you can work both arms at once, which can be a little better for posture.

Isometric Squats 1. Place your back against a wall and lower yourself until your upper legs are parallel to the floor. 2. Shuffle your feet until your lower legs are parallel to the wall behind you. Your knees should be bent to 90 degrees. 3. Hold your arms out in front of you and hold the position for 10-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

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©2008 Adria Mooney and James DiPadua

Isometric Calf Raises 1. Standing next to a sturdy chair (or any fixed objective) stand on just your right leg. 2. Rest your left foot on the back of your right calf and stand up on to your toes holding on to the chair for balance. 3. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Now repeat for the left leg.

Isometric Leg Extensions 1. Stand next to a bed (should be about 18 inches high). You should be facing away from the bed with the backs of your legs against the side of the bed. 2. Bend your right leg and rest it on the bed behind you. Your upper leg should be pointing straight down and your knee bent to roughly 90 degrees with your lower leg resting on the bed parallel to the floor. 3. Push your right leg into the bed as forcefully as possible and hold for 10-30 seconds. 4. Repeat 2-3 times and change legs. Remember to breathe! Isometric Hip Extensions 1. Stand next to a table or sturdy chair for support. You should be facing towards the table. 2. Raise your right leg directly behind you keeping it as straight as possible as you hold onto the table in front of your for balance. 3. You will need to bend forward slightly at the waist and also bend your standing, left leg slightly to take the strain off your left hamstrings. 4. Try to get your leg parallel to the ground. You should feel your right hamstrings, glutes and lower back contracting. 5. Hold for 10-30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times and change legs. Remember to breathe!

Isometric Hip Abductions 1. Stand to the side of a sturdy chair or table for support. Your left leg should be next to the back of the chair. 2. Holding on to the chair with your left arm only, raise your right leg directly out to the side as high as you can. 3. Hold your leg as close to parallel to the floor as you can and keep that position for 10-30 seconds. 4. Repeat 2-3 times and change legs.

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This routine can be preformed three (3) times per week with a day rest in between for proper muscle recovery. We also recommend throwing in one of the following exercises once a week to increase the challenge and keep the routine changing. Note, it's best if you do one of the "add-on" exercises at a different point in the routine, rather than at the same point (the "middle" or "end") every time. Plank Bridge 1. Start by lying face down on the ground. Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest. 2. Prop yourself up to form a bridge using your toes and forearms. 3. Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground. 4. Hold for 10-30 seconds or until you can no longer maintain a flat bridge. Repeat 2-3 times.

Bridge Variation, "Four Point Bridge" Just as with Plank Bridge except: Start in pushup position. Raise one leg and one arm straight out (must be an opposite limbs or you'll really struggle to balance) and hold for 3-5 seconds. Alternate sides for a total of 10 - 12 (5 - 6 on each side). Side Bridge 1. Start on your side and press up with your right arm. 2. Form a bridge with your arm extended and hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

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Hundred Breaths Exercise This isometric exercise is taken from Pilates and is excellent for developing static strength in the core region. 1. Lie face up on a mat with arms by your sides. Bend legs to 90 degrees. Lift your head and shoulders off mat and take 5 short, consecutive inhales, followed by 5 short, consecutive exhales. 2. At the same time, lift arms off mat and pulse them in unison with the breath — palms face up on inhale and down on exhale. 3. Repeat 10 times for a total of 100 breaths.

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Beginner 13 Minute Weight Workout (Alternate with 13 Minute Beginner Cardio Workout)
3 minutes: Warm up at a comfortable pace, walking is fine. Static Lunge 2x15, rest 40 seconds between sets This can be done with light weights or no weights at all. If you're a real beginner, focus on form rather than weight. With you arms at your side (with light weights of 3-5lbs each hand if you're confident you're ready), place one foot a natural pace in front of you. Start with your non-dominant leg (for most people this will mean left leg forward first). With your leg in front of you and your arms at your side, lower your body until your front leg is now close-to parallel with the ground (the more flexible you are, the deeper your lunge will go). After lowering your body down, reverse the direction back up (that's one rep). After completing all 15 reps on one leg, switch legs (resting no more than 10 seconds between legs).

Squat and Press 2x12, rest 15 seconds between sets Take a set of light weights (5 lbs), and place one in front of each foot (so that you can easily grab them). Squatting down—glutes out, back flat, shoulders contracted and chest "puffed forward" like a pigeon or chicken – grab each weight and proceed to stand up--focus on pushing forward with your hips while contracting your glutes. Once standing, follow the motion through by pushing the weights directly up above your head. The weights do not need to "clink" together to execute this motion correctly. The motion is directly up and down. Hold the weights above your head for a count of 3 (breathing is absolutely important, as is keeping your legs slightly bent—don't cut off oxygen or blood flow.

3 minutes: Take a walk at a slightly faster rate than your warm up. It's very important that you do not take time between your last set of squat and presses and your cool down walk. By this point, your legs should be starting to cramp up and getting a walk in will help avoid soreness. Stretch 5-8 min after your walk; this will increase flexibility.

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Total Body Strength for Seniors
1. See your doctor before you begin any exercise program, especially if you have a history of osteoporosis, heart disease or any other physical impairment. 2. Begin with a 5-10 minute warm up of light cardio (walking/marching in place, waving your arms in large arches over your head-like a jumping jack without the jumping.) 3. Perform each exercise for 12 repetitions, resting when you need to (but no longer than 60 seconds –if you feel faint, STOP, catch your breath and stretch, you're done for the day), and start with no weights or light weights until you've perfected the form as well as built up a bit more base strength. 4. Stretch after completing the workout. Do this workout 1-3 times per week on non-consecutive days (taking at least one day of rest between workouts helps your body recover and build muscle). Bench Sit & Stand Stand in front of a chair (sit down first to make sure it's behind you!) with your feet about shoulder width apart. Contract the abs and sit down on the chair. As soon as you make contact with the chair, stand back up and try to do so without rocking back or using momentum. You can place your hands on your thighs if you need to. For added intensity, hold a medicine ball or a dumbbell and don't sit all the way down – stop just before your backside touches the seat.

Ball Taps Sit in a chair and place a ball front of both feet (a mid-sized ball works best). Sit straight up and try not to rest against the back of the chair, keeping your back straight and your abs contracted. Lift up your right foot, tap the top of the ball and take it back down to the floor. Switch sides and do the same with your left foot, alternating each foot for all repetitions. For added intensity, sit on an exercise ball to challenge your balance or try the exercise while standing.

Step Ups You can do this exercise on a staircase or on a step if you have one. If you're on a staircase, stand at the bottom step and step up
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with your right foot. Bring your left foot up onto the stair next to your right and then step back down on the floor (hold onto a rail if you need to). Perform all reps by stepping up and down with the right foot. Then switch sides and start with your left foot. If you don't have a staircase or a step, you can simply do another set of ball taps. After a few of weeks getting the form down (as well as increasing your leg strength), it's time to start adding light weights (3 - 5 lbs) to the routine (you can add more weight as you get stronger).

Knee Lifts Hold onto the wall or a chair for balance if you need to. Keep the abs contracted and bring the right knee up to hip level, knee bent at 90 degrees, and lower back down. Repeat all reps on the right leg and then switch sides. Add ankle weights or hold light weights (3 - 5 lbs). You can also do this without support for a challenge.

Wall Push Up Stand a few feet away from a wall and place your hands on the wall at shoulder level, a few inches wider than your shoulders. Pull the abs in and, keeping your back straight, bend your elbows and lower your body towards the wall until elbows are at 90 degree angles. Push back and repeat. The further away from the wall you are, the harder the exercise. Make sure you don't sag in the middle--keep the abs tight and the back flat.

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Chest Squeeze with Med Ball Sit on a ball or chair, back straight and abs in. Hold a medicine ball at chest level and squeeze the ball with the palms of hands to contract the chest. While continuing to squeeze the ball, slowly push the ball out in front of you at chest level until elbows are almost straight. Continuing the pressure with your hands, bend the elbows and pull the ball back to chest.

Overhead Press Stand with legs slightly bent (don't ever lock your legs) at about shoulder width apart. With light weights (3-5 lbs), hands at your side (palm facing behind you, not at your side and not in front of you), raise the weights to your chest and then push the weights directly over your head. (Do not rotate the palms, it's unnecessary and detracts from proper form). Lower the weights back to your shoulder – that's one rep. From there, press the weights back over your head without lowering your arms back to your side. It's fine to start this exercise without any weights for the first week or two.

Bench Crunches Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent and lower legs resting on a bench or couch, so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Place your hands at the sides of your head. Contract your abs and perform a crunch by lifting your shoulders a few inches off the ground (do not sit completely up). Do at least 1 set of 10-16 repetitions.

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Intermediate Strength Training Workout Day - A
This workout is designed around 3 super sets. A super set is a pair of exercises that are performed together with no rest in between. For example, one super set is performed by doing 10-12 reps of knee raises, followed by 6-8 reps of renegade rows. Rest 45-60 seconds, then repeat 3 times for 3 sets. Increase the number of sets every 2 weeks for a challenging 6 week work out plan.

Super Set 1: 3 sets, rest 45 - 60 seconds after each set Knee Raises 10-12 reps This can be done using a dip bar or pull up bar. Get in a position off the ground so your legs are dangling straight down, suspended off the ground. Contract your abs as you raise your knees up towards your chest. Slowly return to starting position.

Renegade Rows 6-8 reps per arm Start in the pushup position, one weight in each hand. Raise one hand to your chest, maintaining good pushup form throughout the motion. This exercise is not just a lifting movement. The stability required to maintain balance is more important than the amount of weight in your hand. Execute the motion in a controlled manner, breathing throughout the movements.

Super Set 2: 3 sets, rest 30 - 45 seconds rest after each set
Romanian Deadlift 10 reps Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and holding a barbell at arm’s length, in front of your thighs. Holding your back completely flat and shoulders back, bend forward, letting all of the motion occur at the hip joint (VERY important, to avoid back injury). Keep the bar close to your thighs and legs and continue as far as you can without bending your knees much at all (this lift is also called the straight leg deadlift). To finish the left, squeeze your glutes and press the hips forward as you return to starting position.

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©2008 Adria Mooney and James DiPadua

Chinups (Assisted if needed, using machine) 10 reps Grasp a bar about shoulder width apart, palms facing out. Dangle straight down on the bar with arms fully extended before starting to pull upward. Pull upward until your chin reaches the top of the bar, then slowly return to starting position.

Super Set 3: 3 sets, rest 15 - 30 sec Close-grip lat pulldown 10 reps Attach a close-grip attachment to a pull down machine. Grasp the grips with palms facing out, and pull the bar down to your chest. Feel your core stabilize your body as your arms pull. Slowly return your arms to the starting position.

Back Extension 8-10 reps Lie face down on a roman chair, with the backs of your legs supported by the pads. You can hold your hands on the back of your head, or folded on your chest. For an additional challenge, you can hold a small weighted ball against your chest. Starting position is with your body bent forward at the waist and your head close to the ground. Use your legs and back to pull your upper body upwards, as far as you can go. Slowly lower your body back to starting position.

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Day - B Super Set 1: 3 sets, rest 45 - 60 seconds rest after each set
Supine Hip Extension w/ Leg Curl 10 reps Lie on the ground with your arms out straight pointed towards your feet, palms on the floor. Place your feet and calves on a yoga ball. Squeeze your glutes as you raise your body upwards, until your hips are straight. When your body is straight, start pressing your feet into the ball as you roll it towards you until your knees are bent and your back is almost completely off the ground. Then slowly straighten your legs and lower your body back to starting position.

One Arm Snatch 6 reps per arm Squat shoulder width apart, grasping a dumbbell with one hand on the ground, palm facing towards you. In one swift motion, stand up and lift the dumbbell over your head. Lower the dumbbell and return to starting position. Do all reps on one arm, then repeat with the other arm.

Super Set 2: 3 sets, rest 30 - 45 seconds between each set Dips (Assisted if needed) 8 reps Grasp a dip bar or dip machine and start in a lifted position (with your elbows straight). Slowly lower your body down by bending your elbows, until your triceps are parallel with the ground. The execution of the exercise is performed on the upwards movement, as you use your arms to push the weight of your body back into starting position.

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Ball Knee Tuck 8 reps Place your hands in push up position, with the fronts of your shins resting on a ball. Your body should be straight, with your abs tense and back flat. To perform the movement, contract your abs as you bend your knees so that the ball rolls towards your stomach. Keep your trunk (back and abs) straight and flat throughout the movement. When your knees are fully tucked, slowly straighten them, rolling the ball back into starting position. If your balance is not yet good enough to perform this exercise, substitute it with the reverse crunch (description below in Intermediate Workout 2).

Super Set 3: 3 sets, rest 15 - 30 seconds after each set
Dumbbell Squat and Press 8 reps Stand shoulder width apart and grasp one dumbbell in each hand, with your palms next to, and facing your face (right above your shoulders). Lower your body into squat position, as if you were going to sit in a chair, until your thighs are about parallel with the ground. In one swift motion, stand back up and press the dumbbells into the air. Your palms should be facing out and elbows straight in the ending position. Lower your arms back into starting position, then squat back down into starting postion.

Reverse Wood-chop 8 reps (4 on each side) Stand parallel to a cable machine, shoulder width apart with your legs bent. Grab a rope attachment on a cable machine, with the cable set to the lowest position. Pull the rope upwards as you straighten your legs and twist to the side (pulling it in an upwards diagonal motion as far as you can). Reverse the motion by squatting down as you lower your arms toward the starting position. Do all reps on one side, then reverse.

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©2008 Adria Mooney and James DiPadua

Intermediate Strength Training Workout 2 Day - A Super Set 1: 3 sets, rest 15 - 30 seconds after each set Dumbbell Bench Press 6 to 8 reps Pick up the dumbbells off the floor using a neutral grip (palms facing in), position the ends of the dumbbells on your thighs, and sit down on the bench. To get in position you need to rock back pushing the dumbbells back with your thighs and only slightly bending at the elbows. Now you should be in position to start the set, lying flat on the bench holding the dumbbells straight up above your chest. Slowly lower the dumbbells down as far as comfortable possible (the handles should be about level with your chest). Contract the chest and push the dumbbells straight up. Do not lock your elbows, but push until your arms are basically straight up in the air, palms facing out. Lower the your arms back to the starting position.

Squat (Dumbbell or Bar) 10-12 reps Stand shoulder width part, grasping a barbell on a rack, with palms facing out. The barbell should be resting across your shoulders. Step forward, so the barbell comes of the rack and is supported by your shoulders and grip. Squat down by performing a sitting motion, until your thighs are parallel with the ground, keeping your chest out and back flat the entire time. Use your glutes, quads, and hips to return to the standing position; do not use your back.

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Super Set 2: 3 sets, rest 15 - 30 seconds after each set
Bent-over Dumbbell Row 6-8 reps per arm Kneel over side of bench by placing your knee and supporting arm on a bench. Grasp a dumbbell from floor. Pull the dumbbell upwards towards your chest until it makes contact with ribs or until upper arm is just beyond horizontal. Return until arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward. Repeat all reps, then continue with opposite arm.

Romanian Deadlift 10 reps (see picture and description above)

Super Set 3: 2 sets, rest 30 seconds after each set Swiss-Ball Crunch 10-12 reps Lie on a ball with your back on the ball and your feet flat on the floor, so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Place your hands behind your head. Take a breath and contract your abdominal muscles, performing a crunch.

Back Extension 10 reps (See picture and description above)

Super Set 4: (perform all 5 exercises for 1 set, zero rest) Reverse Crunch 5 reps Lie on your back with your arms straight along your sides. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and left them off the ground. Once the backs of your calves are parallel to the ground, contract your abs and press your palms into the ground as you continue bring your knees towards you. Your glutes and back should lift off the ground, as your knees come towards your face. Most of the work is performed on the way down. Keep your abs contracted to control the motion downward, slowly ‘unraveling’ until your back is flat on the ground again.

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©2008 Adria Mooney and James DiPadua

Leg Thrust 10 reps Lie on your back with your arms straight along your sides and your legs bent at the hips. Keeping your legs stiff and straight, raise them up off the floor until vertical. Thrust your legs straight upward as though trying to put footprints on the ceiling. Keep your legs stiff and straight throughout the movement. Lower your legs until your lower back is back on the floor to complete the movement.

Ab Scissors 6 reps Lie flat on your back with your arms straight behind your head and your legs stiff and straight. Raise your legs and arms to about 45 degrees from the ground, keeping them stiff and straight. Lift your shoulders off the ground, then in one movement, contract the abs to perform a crunch, as your legs and arms cross each other (like scissors). Lower your back to the 45 degree position and repeat.

Bicycle Crunches 20 reps (10 each side) Lay flat on your back and place your hands on the side of your head. Bring your knees up to about a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Contract your abs throughout the exercise, but remember to breathe. Note: This is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the abdominal muscles.

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Bent-Leg/Bench Situps 12 reps Lie flat on your back with your legs bent at 90 degrees and your feet resting on a bench. Place your hands behind your head and contract your abs to perform a crunch. Use your abs to lift your shoulders off the ground, do not strain your neck forward or push on your head with your hands.

Day - B Super Set 1: 1 set, rest 120 seconds after each set Dips (use a dip machine to adjust the weight) 6 reps (at lighter weight) 1 rep (heavier weight) 6 reps (at lighter weight) 1 rep (heavier weight) 10 to 12 reps (at lighter weight) 1 rep (heavier weight) 10 to 12 reps (at lighter weight) Super Set 2: 3 sets, rest 30 - 45 seconds after each set Lunge (Traveling or Static) 15 reps per leg (see picture and description above)
Barbell Shoulder Press 6-8 reps (picture shows dumbbell shoulder press) Stand shoulder width apart and grasp a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing out, holding them level with your shoulders. Raise the dumb bells straight above your head until your arms are fully extended, but do not lock your elbows. Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

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Super Set 3: 3 sets, rest 30 seconds after each set Incline-Bench Crunch 6-8 reps Lie on an incline bench, with your feet hooked under the foot apparatus. Place your hands behind your head and perform contract your abdominal muscles to perform a crunch.

Back Extension 8 to 10 reps (see picture and description above)

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