From a kneeling position, place your forearms on the floor in front of you, shoulder width apart. Next, fully extend your legs out behind, leaving just your toes on the floor to support them. Keep your body flat and your abdominal muscles contracted, and make sure not to arch your back or stick out your butt. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly, for a count of four, bend your knees and lower your hips into a 90-degree squatting position, keeping your chest high, butt out and abs tight. You may put your arms out in front of you or hold the back of a sturdy chair for balance. Make sure your knees don't extend past your toes. Hold this position for two counts. Then slowly straighten up to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.
Lying flat on your back, place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointed to the side. Raise your legs straight up toward the ceiling, then bend the knees at a 90-degree angle. Begin moving your legs in a circular motion, as if pedaling a bicycle. After doing this for about 15 seconds, alternate bringing in your right elbow to meet your left knee, and your left elbow to meet your right knee 20 times on each side. To avoid neck strain, make sure your chin doesn't touch your chest. Repeat for three sets.
Stand with your back against a wall and feet 12 to 15 inches in front of you. Slowly slide your back down the wall until you are in a sitting position, as though seated on an imaginary chair. Make sure your knees do not extend beyond your toes. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.
LATERAL SHOULDER RAISE
Stand on the middle of a resistance band, gripping one end in each hand, palms facing in. Raise arms to your side, shoulder height, forming a T, and hold for one count. Next, to a count of four, lower your arms back to your sides. Be sure to keep elbows slightly bent throughout the exercise. Repeat 20 times. Switch to a tighter band for a more challenging resistance level after a few weeks.
Stand on the middle of a resistance band. Squeeze the handles and flex your bicep muscles. In two counts, holding the flex, bend your elbows, keeping them close to your sides and pull your hands up to your shoulders. Lower in four counts. Repeat 20 times.
Wrap your resistance band around something secure, such as a pole, beam, bedpost, banister or tree. Facing that object, grasp a handle in each hand and take a few steps back until the band is taut. Pull the bands to your stomach, keeping your elbows close to your sides and your back straight. Then slowly extend your arms back to starting position, keeping your back straight and elbows pointing down, not out. Repeat 20 times. Beginners can do this exercise while seated in a chair. (If you're using a chair, be sure to sit forward in your seat, away from the back of the chair. Chairs with arms should be wide enough to leave ample room for exercise.) Be sure to place the chair at the point where the resistance is greatest.
Doing squats and biceps curls can help tone muscles, but you'll also need to add some cardiovascular exercise to your daily routine to get the maximum benefit. The good news: Increasing your heart rate can be pretty simple. Something as elementary as jumping rope or jogging in place can help ward off cardiovascular disease, increase endurance, strengthen muscles and burn calories. Alyma Dorsey, a personal-training manager for Crunch Fitness in Los Angeles, offers the following two simple, fun ways to get your heart rate up.
When jumping rope, remember to be light on your feet and try not to lock your knees. Keep your wrists working in a winding motion. It's the wrists, not the arms, that control the rope. Mix up your routine as you jump. First jump on both feet for two minutes. Then alternate hopping on each foot for one minute. Finally, kick each foot out as you jump. Braided ropes work best if you're not jumping fast; cable-style ropes are better for speed work.
Jog in place, raising your knees high. Hold out your hand at waist level and use it as a marker. Aim to have each knee as close to your hand as possible for every step. Continue for two minutes.
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