New Year, new you: Week one
Over the next eight weeks, Sherri McMillan, owner of Northwest Personal Training, is going to provide a fitness program each Monday to help Columbian readers achieve their health and fitness goals and compliment whatever else readers may or may not be doing.
This workout can be done anywhere. You will need hand weights, an exercise tube and a bench (all of which can be purchased inexpensively at your local department or sports store). Each week will include cardiovascular and muscle conditioning segments, a stretch and a nutrition and lifestyle tip. Visit <a href="http://www.columbian.com/livewell">Live Well </a> each Monday for the full
Place one foot on a short bench or step.
Begin by slowly stepping up onto the bench. Concentrate on pushing from the leg that’s on the step, standing tall, and keeping abdominals contracted throughout the entire exercise. Control the lowering portion so that only your toes lightly touch the floor. Repeat on both sides for 8-20 reps.
Wrap an exercise tube around a pole at about shoulder height. You can also perform this exercise in the weight room on a pulley using a heavier resistance or try one arm at a time.
Holding handles, perform rows to strengthen your back. Keep your shoulders square to the pole and pull your elbow back as far as you comfortably can. Squeeze your shoulder blades into the middle of your back. Perform 8-20 repetitions. You can also try one arm at a time.
Lay on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Put your hands on your abdominals and pull them in and up so your stomach becomes as flat as you can get it. Keep your stomach in this position throughout the entire exercise.
Slowly lift one foot a few inches off the floor. Your back should not move at all during the exercise. To intensify the movement, straighten your legs. Perform 5-10 reps each leg.
Lateral agility drill - Position 2 cones or props a few feet apart.
Now quickly step laterally to the outside of one cone and back to the outside of the other touching down toward the floor on each end. Try to go as fast as you possibly can. Continue for 30-60 seconds.
Hamstring stretch - Lay on your back with your hips close to the wall and your legs positioned straight up against the wall. To make the stretch less intense, move your hips a few inches away from the wall. To make the stretch more intense, keep your hips positioned right up against the wall and wrap a towel around your feet and lightly pull your legs a few inches away from the wall. Hold this stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
Sherri McMillan, owner of Northwest Personal Training.