Build a Strong Base - Page 6
Get to the gym this winter for summer success
• Leg press (Quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, gluteals)
Lean back on machine with back firmly against pad. With ankles, knees and hips aligned, slowly straighten legs. Do not lock out your knees. Press heels against the platform through full range.
• Lunge (Quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, gluteals)
Stand upright with feet together, holding dumbbells at your sides. Slowly take a large step forward with one leg, bending both knees. Your rear knee should come close to the floor. Using your extended leg, push yourself back to the starting position. Advanced lunge: keep moving forward with each step, instead of returning to your original standing position.
• Leg extension (Quadriceps muscles)
Adjust seat so knees are aligned with axis of the machine. Lean back against pad, extend legs straight out to full extension, and slowly return.
• Leg curl (Hamstring muscles)
Lie face down on bench with knee joints aligned with the axis of the machine. Adjust leg pad so that it is on lower part of calf. Hold handles securely and flex knees as far back as comfortable. Return slowly to straight-leg position.
• Calf raise (Gastrocnemus, soleus)
Using calf-raise machine, place shoulders under pad and rise up on toes, then slowly lower back so your calf muscles are stretched.
• Adduction on machine or with exercise tubing (Hip adductors)
To use exercise tubing, tie one end of three-foot length to a table leg and place left foot through loop at other end. With left side facing table, stand on right foot and draw left foot towards your body midline, with straight legs. Slowly let foot move back to starting position. Exercise can also be done on a seated Nautilus adduction machine.
• Abduction on machine or with exercise tubing (Hip abductors)
Tie one end of three-foot length of tubing on a table leg and place right foot through loop at other end. With left side facing table, stand on left foot and draw right foot away from your body midline as far as possible from your right side, with straight legs. Slowly let right foot move back to starting position at midline.
Exercise can also be done on a seated Nautilus abduction machine.
• Sideways shuffle with resistance band (Hip abductors and adductors)
Place two-inch-wide rubber mini-band around ankles. Choose light, medium or heavy band that enables you to complete this exercise. This is a "sideways shuffle" exercise. Walk sideways by extending one foot out sideways, then let other foot move in toward it. Move 20 side paces to your left then to your right.
• Forward knee flexion with mini band or exercise tubing
Tie one end of three-foot length of tubing on a table leg and place right foot through loop at other end. With back to table, stand on left foot and draw right knee forward until thigh is parallel with floor. Slowly lower right foot to starting position.
• Back extension (Low back extensors, spinal erectors)
Adjust back extension machine so you can fully flex your torso below it. With hands crossed in front of your chest, slowly straighten your back while breathing out. Straighten back to 180 degrees, then slowly lower torso while breathing out.
• Sit-ups (Abdominals and hip flexors)
When you can do 20 standard sit-ups, add five pounds weight by holding a the weight on your chest.
• Dumbbell chest press (Pectorals and deltoids)
Plant feet firmly on floor, with buttocks, shoulders and head on bench. Grip dumbbells so that your hands are above your elbows. Push arms straight up, then pull dumbbells in together. Pull shoulder blades together and hold them there, while lowering arms so that upper arms are parallel with floor.
• Cable seated lat row (Latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius)
Plant feet firmly against the foot platform, legs slightly bent and trunk 90 degrees to the bench. Grip handles, with wrists facing downwards or inwards depending on handle style. Slowly pull the handle straight back toward your stomach. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed together through this action. Slowly return to start position without bending forward.
• Standing dumbbell biceps curl (Biceps)
Stand with legs shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. With dumbbells in hand, forearms facing forward, slowly contract biceps and pull dumbbells up as far as they will go. Slowly return to starting position.
• Dumbbell shoulder press (Deltoids)
Sit on bench with bench back pulled up to support your back. Feet flat on floor and a dumbbell in each hand, out to your sides. Push dumbbells directly up over your elbows, and pull them in towards each other. Slowly lower dumbbells so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
• Triceps extension (pull-down) on machine (Triceps)
Stand facing cable machine with legs shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Grip curved (~18-inch) bar with hands sloping downwards to the sides. Slowly push bar downward to full arm extension. Slowly return to start position.
This article appeared in our January 2011 issue.
Roy Stevenson has a master’s degree in exercise physiology and coaching, and teaches exercise science at Seattle University in Washington. He has coached hundreds of serious and recreational runners and triathletes in the Seattle area.