So in my last Carolyn Workout post, I gave you an idea of what I like to do when I don’t feel like going to the gym or taking a group exercise class. To recap, the basic idea is like Body Pump where you work on one muscle group for the length of a song and then you’re done with that body part/muscle group.
Here’s the order I like to follow (the Body Pump order):
- Warm Up
- Squats (Legs 1)
- Lunges (Legs 2)
- Cool down
And last time I gave you some ideas of how I warm up, and work the quads, chest, and back. I forgot to mention that I usually switch things up mid-song depending on how tired and how much burn I’m getting. They key is to keep working that group throughout the whole song without stopping. That’s why I give myself more than one exercise, so when I start getting fatigued, I can change it up to a different move, but still be working the same thing.
So let’s move on to triceps, biceps, and lunges (back and sides of the legs).
For the triceps, there are lots of moves. This muscle group always confuses me because there are more muscles in it than the biceps (3 v 2), but my triceps are WAY weaker than my biceps. I’ve had instructors tell me that I should try to lift the same or more for my triceps than for my biceps, but sometimes that’s a little tough.
Tricep moves– If you have a step stool or a low-to-the ground table that can support our weight, or a chair, whatever, you can do tricep dips. You sit on the floor in front of the chair/step, back facing the step, and put your hands right behind your hips onto the step. Feet can be close to your body or further away. The closer your feet are, the easier. Lift yourself up and then bend at the elbows (NOT THE HIPS) and lift and repeat. Work those triceps!
You can even do them on the beach.
Then there’s the tricep extension. For this I stand straight up, and I prefer a staggered stance, but it up to you how you want to do it. I take my weight, lift it above my head and then bend the elbows backward to move the weight toward your back. Then move it back up to straight arms.
She has a straight-leg stance. I prefer staggered. Whatever floats your boat.
Then there’s the dreaded tricep pushup.I hate these, but its because they’re hard and they work. It’s just like a normal pushup (which you can do on your toes or knees, for now I’m all knees), except you shape your hands in a triangle underneath your chest instead out at your sides. Proceed with pushups are normal.
Look! A man picture!
Now on to biceps. You can always resort to the regular old bicep curl with dumbbells. But a trick I learned from Body Pump and Body Sculpt classes is to not lower the weights all the way down. So you start at the bottom like the picture shows. Go all the way to the top, like the picture. But instead of going back down again, lower your arms to 90 degrees so they’re parallel to the floor, and then back to the top. That way you’re muscles are constantly working and you’re never releasing the contraction. The key is making sure your elbows don’t move backwards, because that means you’re using momentum not the biceps.
The next one is the bicep row. Feet together, bend slightly at the waist. You take your weights and drop them down straight like your arms would fall normally. Then push that forward a little so there’s some work going on. Pull back like you’re using a rowing machine, but make sure you’re pulling your arms to your chest and not your waist. If you’re a female, you’re pulling it right to your bra-line. If you’re a man, pull it to where you imagine that is. There are lots of ways to alternate the bicep curl. One is to focus specifically on the muscle by targeting it. A good way to do that is to stabilize the back of the arm, so you’re not using momentum or your triceps to pull the weight. A lot of people use their knees for that.Now on to the crowd favorite, lunches… I mean lunges. A basic lunge, when performed correctly can be a killer muscle toner. A basic lunge when performed incorrectly can be a killer. Period. Here’s how form should look on a lunge.
Notice when she steps out both her legs are at 90 degree angles. The weight in her back foot is on the toes, and the weight in her front foot is in the heel. THIS IS KEY. Putting the weight in the heel on the front foot targets your hamstrings (back of the leg) and butt.Over extending the knee so it goes past the toes when you look down is asking for a knee injury.After the basic lunge, I use the step stool that I used for the tricep dips to do different variations of the lunge. I put the step under my front or back foot and perform the lunge as I would normally. It kills you in places that a normal lunge just can’t. Example:
You can also hold weights while lunging. I usually just hold them at my sides, though.
So that’s tris, bis, and lunges. Next time I’ll show you guys what I do for the shoulders, abs, and cool down.
And I know this is corny, but I’m adding a disclaimer because this is what i do for myself. I’ve been working out (in the gym) for a couple years now, and have had multiple instructors who have helped me with form and basic moves. I completely suggest you go see a professional to help you master the basics before attempting any workout. They actually go through training about the human body, ways to improve it, and how to avoid injuring it. Trust me, you should trust them. One little thing out of whack can really hurt you. And remember…
Disclaimer: This is my personal workout that I use for myself. I’m not a personal trainer or a medical expert. It is not meant to serve as a recommendation for anyone. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen. I suggest you try group exercise or a personal trainer before you try to work out at home so you can get instruction on proper form to avoid injury.