Spring Into a New Workout
By Nicole Flanagan
As March rolls into April and the nicer weather starts to make a more permanent appearance it is time to give your workout a make-over. Warmer weather means we get to ditch the long pants and jackets and trade them in for shorts and t-shirts. If you are not feeling quite like you are ready, don’t worry, you still have about six weeks to do a quick over-haul on your existing workout. Many times all we need to bust that plateau is a new workout! If you feel like you are still holding onto a few extra pounds from the winter try some of these exercises and amp up the cardio to get the results you need for the spring.
The idea of this workout is to use minimal equipment to get maximum, total body results. All you will need are a set of 5-12 lb dumbbells and either a stability ball or workout bench.
Sumo Squat with Tricep Extension: Stand with feet more than shoulder width apart, toes turned slightly out with a dumbbell in each hand. To get in the start position, bend elbows 90 degrees and bring them beside your ears so the weights are behind your head, palms should face each other. Maintaining arm position, lower into a wide squat, return to standing position and extend right arm toward the ceiling. Lower the dumbbell to start position. Repeat the squat, this time extending the left arm toward ceiling as you return to standing. Do 12-15reps
Single Leg Squat and Bicep Curl: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides, palms facing forward, stand with back to a stability ball with feet hip-width apart. Reach leg behind and place your shin on the stability ball. Lower yourself to the ground for a single leg squat. As you stand up, do a bicep curl. Do 8-10 reps on each leg
Side Lunge with Shoulder Raise: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms by side, stand with feet hip-width apart. Lunge to the right side with right leg, toes should be pointing toward the right. Keeping your left leg straight, raise your left arm directly out to the side with palm facing the floor. Then step back to start and lower your arm. Do 8-10 reps each direction.
Hamstring Curl on the Stability Ball: Start by lying face-up on the floor with your arms by your sides, palms flat on the floor. Place your right heel on the stability ball and left knee bent in toward the chest. Dig your right heel into the ball and bend the knee 90 degrees to lift your hips off the floor and roll the ball towards your butt. Slowly lower your body to the ground as you extend your right leg to the start position. Do 8-10 reps on each leg
Chest Fly on Stability Ball: With a dumbbell in each hand, start lying face up on a stability ball with upper back resting on the ball, knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat so your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing each other. Keeping your arms slightly bend lower your arms toward the floor until they are parallel to the floor. Then return to the starting position. Do 12-15 reps
Reverse Fly: Lie face down on the stability ball, holding a dumbbell in each hand with elbows slightly bend and palms facing in. Extend your legs behind you hip-width apart to balance on toes. Maintaining a slight bend in your elbows raise dumbbells out to the side up to shoulder level with palms facing the floor, then lower to start. Do 12-15 reps
Adding a few new exercises to your workout can help you bust that plateau that’s been hindering your progress. The success of any good strength workout is to include as much calorie blasting cardio as you can. Make sure you are getting at least 3 40-minute cardio workouts per week. A good way to add a difference to your cardio routine is to take what you do inside, outside. Walking on the trail can be more of a challenge than the treadmill and riding your bike through Old Town will be just as beneficial, but much more interesting than a spin class.