Exercises To Help You Get Firm!

Here are some exercises to help keep the rest of your body firm.

Here are some exercises to help keep the rest of your body firm.

Try to do them about 3 times a week. You can choose the ones you like from this page and combine them with some weight training. General firming type exercises are very important to runners.

Toe Raises

Want some impressive looking calves? Here's how to get them.

Start out simply standing on the ground flatfooted, toes pointing straight ahead. Hold on to something to balance yourself, and begin raising up as high as you can on your toes. As with most exercises here, you will do them slowly. Lower yourself to the starting position, then repeat. High reps are best here. Try to work up to at least 25 reps. Then add sets, 2 - 3.

To make this a little tougher as you progress, do them one leg at a time. You can also turn your feet in and out in order to work different parts of your calves. A set of 25 reps with feet pointing forward, then out, then in, would give you a nice workout.

For an even tougher workout, and to really make those calves grow, place your toes on the edge of a 2x4, or on the stairs, and lower the heels as far as possible. Then raise up on your toes, again as high as you can, and repeat. Again, 25 reps is what you'll be shooting for. This will really make the calves burn.

But please, start out slowly. Don't do too many reps at one time in the beginning, or you won't be walking the next day or two.

Wall Squat...

(If this hurts your knees... discontinue!)

Stand straight with your back pressed against a wall. Feet should be about shoulder width. Lower yourself down into a sitting position, still leaning against the wall. (Be certain the front of your feet are in front of your knees... if not, move your feet forward.) Hold this position for about 30 seconds, then return to the start. Gradually build up to 3 reps.
This will add some size and muscle to your legs in a hurry!

Crunch

This is an exercise I personally hate.... but it's a good one for those troublesome abs. Lie on the floor on your back with your feet up on the couch or a chair or something. Your buttocks should be as close to the couch as possible. To ease the strain on your neck, take a towel and fold it lengthwise, then place it behind your head, grasping both ends. The back of your head should lie comfortably in the towel. Lock your elbows against your side.
Now very slowly raise your head and shoulders off the ground a few inches. Don't pull with the towel. Allow your abs to do the work. And don't lift too high off the ground... you'll get a backache. Just a few inches will do. Squeeze your stomach at the top and hold for a second or two, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. That's 1 rep. Work your way up to about 25 reps. Remember to do these slowly and squeeze at the top.
Your goal will be 2-3 sets of 25 reps.
This sounds complicated the way I described it, but it's not. Grab the towel, put it behind your head, lie down and get in position, and you'll figure out what I'm talking about. You'll hate me while you're doing these, but wait till you see the results.

Push-Ups

One of the top overall exercises you can do with no equipment. But, do them correctly for best results.
Lie face down and place your palms on the floor next to your shoulders. Keeping your back straight, push yourself up until your elbows are locked. Eyes look straight ahead. Tighten your muscles and hold for a second or two, then slowly lower yourself down until your body almost touches the floor. Repeat. Each time up and down counts as 1 repetition. Do as many as you can. Build yourself up to 3 sets of 20 to 25 repetitions.
Be sure to do this movement slowly and flex the muscles at the top of the movement. This will help build your arm muscles, back muscles, shoulders, neck; what a terrific overall exercise!
I like this one. It will tone up and build the triceps, (the back of the arms). Well defined triceps go a long way towards giving you that strong arm look.

A solid workout bench works out best; a chair works, but there's too much chance to topple over. I'll use a bench as an example; you can figure out what works best for you.

The bench is in back of you. Reach back and bend down until you can place your hands on the bench, palms facing back, hands about shoulder width apart. Place your feet in front of you; you'll be leaning on your heels with your toes pointing straight up in the air. Begin to slowly lower your body as far as you can. You'll feel the strain on your triceps. Push yourself back up to the starting position, again, very slowly. That's 1 repetition. Do 3 sets of 10 - 12 repetitions. If you're ambitious and want to really get those triceps to grow, do 3 sets of 25 reps 3 times a week, with your feet resting on a chair.

This is an outstanding exercise, and one of my favorites. Remember, the secret is slow movements. If you don't feel pumped up after this one, you are doing them wrong.

Fitness Tip

Stop beating your head against the wall! If you are serious about losing weight and getting fit, you need to combine 2 training methods; strength training and aerobics. Aerobics, such as walking, running, biking, etc., should be done a minimum of 30 minutes a session, 3 times a week. You'll build a healthy heart and circulatory system and lose weight in the process. Strength training, such as weight lifting, body resistant exercises, cables, etc., should be done at least twice a week. You'll firm up and build muscle. Here's the kicker.... Muscle burns fat. Build muscle and you'll keep burning fat while you're watching your favorite tv show. (Of course, don't gorge yourself at the same time)

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I run for my aerobic exercise. You can run, walk, dance; whatever you prefer. Just be certain to do aerobics at least 3 – 4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each workout. If you are using HIIT or something on that order, obviously you will be spending less time getting in your aerobics.

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