Find Your Indoor Workout Sweet Spot

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In the summer, I’m always outside — cycling, running and hiking — but as the weather gets a little colder and the nights a little darker, I find I spend a lot less time outdoors.

Although I still get outdoors to run (because I have the right gear!), during the fall and winter months I like to start taking more indoor classes, using my indoor rock climbing membership at The Source rock climbing gym more and ramp up my weight training.

Here are a few of my favorite resistance training exercises:

Upper Body: Assisted Chin-ups

(You can use a Gravitron so you don’t need to pull your full body weight).  As you pull with your arms, your body will lift upward. Stop once your chin has cleared the bar. Slowly return to the starting position. Attempt to achieve full range of motion without locking out on your elbows. Try to focus on pulling with the muscles in your back rather than your arms. Perform a set of eight to 12 reps. To perform this exercise at home, you can purchase a chin-up bar at most department stores or fitness equipment retailers for a very low cost. Since a regular chin-up bar doesn’t offer the assistance most people need, we suggest you either use a small bench or just use your legs to jump up to the bar and then control the release on the way down.

Lower Body — Step Ups

Position yourself in front of a bench holding a set of hand weights (height dependent on the current strength of your legs) with one foot on the bench so that your kneecap faces forward and your weight is distributed on all four corners of your foot. Avoid having the bench so high that when you step down, your hips don’t drop below your knee. Now slowly step up, extending the supporting knee into a fully upright, balanced position. Now slowly lower yourself down to the starting position. Perform eight to 12 reps on each leg with a weight that challenges you by the end of the set.

Core — Table Top

Lie on your stomach. Position your elbows under your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and then slowly lift your body onto your toes and your elbows. Keep your back straight and shoulder blades pulled together. Remember to breathe. Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat 10 to 15 times. Feel free to start on your knees and elbows, and as you get stronger, slowly progress to your toes.

For more details (especially on the exactly how to perform a pull up…read the latest article I wrote for the Colulmbian “Changing Your Workout Focus For Fall, Winter.”

Yours in Health, Fitness & Business,
Sherri McMillan


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