Even if you’re in the worst shape possible, here are legs and buttocks workouts that will quickly begin making a difference.
If you’re really “out of shape” or in “rotten shape,” the first thing you should pay attention to is your lower body. In poorly conditioned people who remain inactive, the legs will be the first to go.
This is why people in deteriorating physical condition need canes, then walkers, while their upper body continues to function fairly well. It can’t be said enough: The legs (and hip joints) are the first to go.
Whether conducted alone or in a group setting, the exercises listed below all work the buttocks and leg muscles, providing a superb start to a fitness program. In fact, if you are seated in front of your computer, you can start with the first one right now.
Chair squats – Using a sturdy chair that doesn’t rock or swivel, sit at the edge, then stand. Repeat this action, standing straight with good posture each time. The sit-down portion is not a true sit-down; only tap the chair with your buttocks before standing back up. However, if this is too taxing, then sit more of your posterior on the chair before standing back up. As you get stronger, increase tempo and/or make as minimal contact with the chair as possible. Important note: Don’t cheat by letting your feet rise off floor as you touch the chair; keep them flat on the floor at all times!
Squats – These can be done with bodyweight only while holding onto something for balance. Squats can also be done against a stability ball between one’s back and the wall.
Walking – The biggest mistake that poorly conditioned people make is counting any walking they do on the job, around the house or while shopping, as “exercise.” Regardless of how much walking you did on the job, set aside time specifically for continuous, non-interrupted walking. Use a treadmill (don’t hold on), gym track or outdoor path. Walk comfortably, pumping the arms, but every few minutes walk as fast as possible to the point of fatigue and heavy breathing, then resume the comfortable pace for a few minutes; switch back and forth for 15-20 minutes. This is interval training (not high intensity) and is very effective for fat loss and improving fitness.
Leg press – If you have access to a gym, the horizontal leg press machine can be used by just about anybody. Starting resistance is only about 15 pounds, which is extremely light for both legs to be pushing; hence, this equipment’s compatibility with all fitness levels.
Leg extension and hamstring curls – Even the most out-of-tune body can perform these exercises. Starting resistance is 10-15 pounds.
Cardio equipment – Interval training can also be applied to any cardio equipment like the elliptical machine.
Fitness classes – Fitness classes (especially “low impact”) are an option even for the most poorly conditioned because moves can be modified to match your fitness level.
Spin Classes – These classes are great for very out of shape people because the entire class is done while seated and pedaling, and pedal tension and speed can be adjusted.
So whether you’re morbidly obese, a heavy smoker, progressing in age or a junk food junkie with no energy, there are legs and buttocks exercises to help get you started on the path to fitness. How about starting today?
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