Exercise for the Muscles

A simple 20 minute non-aerobic exercise routine to be done 3 times a week to strengthen and tone your muscles. The idea here is to get started and to set a target for yourself for improvement week by week, by raising repetitions to a level of discomfort, and doing so again when that level becomes comfortable.

If you are starting from scratch, your muscles will ache a little the following day – but the good thing is, the next time you exercise, your muscles will ache less and in a few weeks should not ache at all, as you reach your threshold. Intersperse this routine by doing a joint stretching and flexibility routine the next day.

Also, why not try a silica food supplement, which is great for the muscles, joints and bones.  Highly recommended.

 

NB These exercises are designed for the general maintenance of the muscular physiology. If you are under the supervision of your doctor or health care adviser, please consult with them, prior to undertaking this routine.

 

Relaxation exercise

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent and arms down by your sides and relax with deep lower abdominal breathing, tuck the chin in and straighten the spine as much as possible - just close your eyes and deeply relax, maintaining the deep breathing rhythm. A good guide would be to inhale for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. It is during the controlled exhalation that you achieve deep relaxation.

3 min

 

Extending the Psoas muscle

The Psoas muscle is a reflex muscle - 16 inches long - and extends from the lower lumbar to the top of the femur - it directly links the ribcage and trunk to the legs. Whilst still lying on your back, with you head resting on the floor, with your legs out straight, raise your left leg and with both hands clasped around your left knee, slowly pull the knee towards your chest for 30 secs.  Repeat with the right leg.

10 reps each leg

 

Abdominals 1

Still lying on your back, lift both legs so that they are at right angles to your body. Staying in that position, with legs remaining straight, try and touch your toes as many times as you can.  Breathe in, hold your breath, touch your toes, lie back and breathe out. Repeat 20 times

 

Leg Raising

Sit on the floor in an upright position, with your legs straight out in front of you - leaning back slightly and resting on your hands. Keeping the leg straight pull the toe of the left leg towards you until the foot is facing upwards, tense the knee and thighs and then raise the leg off the floor and hold for 10 secs.  Repeat with the right leg.

20 times each leg

 

Pelvic lift

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent and arms down by your sides, tighten the pelvic floor muscle first and then raise your pelvis off the floor as high as you can and hold for 10 seconds - revert to lying position and relax the pelvic floor muscles  - repeat up to 20 times - great for the buttocks and abdominals.

 

Abdominals 2

Place your toes under a sofa or bed and lie down, with your knees bent. Place your hands on your tummy and lift your back up to an angle of 30 degrees only and back to the floor, without touching it, until you have to.   Try 10-20 at first and each day increase the repetition to a level of discomfort and then stop. Breath in on the way back and out on the way up.  Increase intensity when you are able to, by placing your hands behind your head and complete the same exercise.

 

Abdominals 3 

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent. Now raise the legs into a vertical position and begin the cycling action - after 10 repetitions, drop the legs by 10 degrees and continue cycling. After a further 10 reps drop the legs by another 10º and keep cycling, until you are doing so horizontally - with your feet just off the floor.

100 cycling reps

 

Press ups

Roll over onto your stomach, place your hands flat on the carpet, directly under your shoulders and from your knees, not your feet, do as many press-up as you can up to 20. Increase repetitions each day.  When you can do 30-40 from your knees, progress to doing press-ups from your feet - you will probably halve your repetitions but keep adding a few each day.  The limit is your comfort threshold.  Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up.  You can vary the effect on the muscles of the upper arm, by moving your hands into a different positions - try it.

 

Squats 1

Standing up, place feet a foot apart and bend your knees slowly until your thighs are parallel with the floor - do not go right down to your ankles. Try 10-20 at first and each day increase the repetition by 5. Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up. You may wish to hold on to a windowsill or the back of a sofa for balance in order to get going.

 

Squats 2

Standing up, place feet a foot apart and take a long step forward and bend your knees until your front thigh is parallel with the floor and your rear thigh is stretching your hip flexor. Hold for 10 seconds. Step back to your original position and repeat with the other leg.  This is quite demanding, so do 10 on each leg and progress from there.  Excellent balance exercise.

 

Hip Flexor Rotation

Standing in an upright position with one hand on a ledge or windowsill. Raise the outside leg until the thigh is horizontal to the ground - stretch the lower leg out in front until it too is horizontal, as in a kicking action – hold for 10 seconds - keeping the thigh in this position, drop the lower leg until it is at 90º to the thigh - repeat up to 10 times and then change legs by turning around and placing the other hand on a ledge or window sill for support.  Whilst in the same upright position - point the knee outwards and away from the body and rotate the hip flexor forwards and backwards

20 reps on each leg.

 

Relaxation exercise

Lie down on your back on a carpet with your knees bent and arms down by your sides and relax with deep lower abdominal breathing, tuck the chin in and straighten the spine as much as possible - just close your eyes and deeply relax, maintaining the deep breathing rhythm.  A good guide would be to inhale for 5 seconds, hold your breath for 5 seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. It is during the controlled exhalation that you achieve deep relaxation.

 

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Stretching for joint flexibility

O2 & Muscles