Since you’re into independent fitness, you’ll want to make sure you maintain proper form in each of your exercises. This plan offers some new exercise moves, plus gives you tips on how to improve your current strength training and cardio routine. Start with one new exercise, or try them all.
Choose between these floor exercises for three workouts per week and include some time to rest in between.
GYM FLOOR EXERCISE ESSENTIALS
Warm up with some gentle aerobic exercise for at least 10 minutes
What you’ll need: Adequate floor space
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hands by your sides or on your hips.
- While keeping your chest lifted and abs contracted, take a large step backward.
- At the same time, bend both the front and back knees no greater than 90 degrees. The front knee should stay in alignment with the front foot, not extending beyond the toes. Keep the toes of your back foot facing forward.
- In a controlled movement, push forward and return to the starting position.
What you’ll need: Lat Pull-Down machine
- Adjust the pad so that the tops of your thighs fit under the pads. Knees aligned with your ankles.
- Grab the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Position your body so that you’re leaning slightly back with your chest lifted, head and spine in a straight line and feet flat on the floor.
- Leading with your elbows, exhale and pull the bar towards your collarbone. At the bottom of the exercise, your elbows should be facing downward.
- Pause. In a controlled motion, return the bar to the starting potion while inhaling.
What you’ll need: Proximity to a wall
- Stand facing a wall, slightly farther than an arm’s length away. Feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lean forward and place your palms flat against the wall, at shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back straight and slowly walk your hands up the wall until your arms are above your head. Hold for 20-60 seconds.
- While keeping your back straight, slowly walk your hands back down, breathing continuously.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
What you’ll need: A chair, or proximity to a wall
- Start by standing behind a sturdy chair, or next to a wall, holding onto the chair for balance as needed.
- Lift your left foot of the ground.
- Hold your position for up to 10 seconds, then return to standing on two feet.
- Repeat 10-15 times with your left foot.
- Repeat steps 1-4 with your right foot.
Cool down with some gentle stretches for all major muscle groups.
Expert Tips for Your Routine
Count Your Reps
Choose a weight resistance level that allows you to perform 10-15 repetitions (reps) of each exercise with good form.
Start a Rotation
Try to include exercises for all your major muscle groups on non-consecutive days, 2-3 days per week.
Raise the Bar
Once you’re ready, slowly increase upper-body exercise resistance levels by 1-2lbs, and lower-body exercise levels by 2-5lbs.
Balance your strength training routine with 20-30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity aerobic exercise, 3-5 days a week.
Change It Up
Try alternating between walking, biking and lap swimming to work different muscle groups throughout the week.
Increase the Intensity
When you feel ready, try increasing the speed or adding an incline to stretch your workout even further.
Solo Trainer Takeaways
Set realistic goals and celebrate your success along the way.
Change It Up
Try a variety of exercises, and be sure to include activities you enjoy.
Remember to drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated during your workout.
Validate your exercises with your doctor, especially if you’re managing a condition or injury.
Make It Personal
Ask your SilverSneakers instructors for ideas on how to modify, progress or update your fitness plan.