Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Exercising Backwards

If you don't have a lot of time to work out, or just aren't very motivated to do it, there's a way to squeeze in a full body workout in 10 minutes once or twice per week. It's actually just as effective as running 30 minutes a day and more effective than regular daily workouts to help you lose weight and get toned. It's called Eccentric Exercising. Most exercise, like lifting weights, is concentric exercise. This means that the work out focuses on contracting or shortening the muscles. Eccentric exercises focus on lengthening the muscle. So for example, rather than working on lifting the weight, you're working on lowering it down after you lift it. The idea is that lengthening the muscle requires more force which requires more effort for your body. More effort means that you're working every layer of muscle tissue, not just the superficial layers. In turn you build and repair more muscle more quickly and boost your metabolism by having denser muscle mass. Here are a few simple exercises to get started, based on the compiled research of Jonathan Bailor.

Negative Pull-Ups
Start by raising yourself on a chin-up bar so that your chin is level with the bar. You can use a chair to get up there if needed. Slowly lower yourself from the bar for a full 10 seconds. Repeat until you've done this 6 times.

Negative Push-Ups
Start in a fully extended push-up position or "plank" pose. Bend your elbows slowly for ten full counts until your nose touches the ground. You may start on your knees if you can't hold yourself up that long. Perform exercise 6 times.

Negative Squats
Stand next to a bar, railing, or anything firmly anchored that is about waist-height.  Place a chair behind you. Hold on to the rail and lean back until your arms are fully extended. Put your weight on one leg and slowly lower yourself 10 seconds until your butt touches the chair. Perform 6 times for each leg. Be sure that your knees don't extend past your toes. Use your other leg to support you if you cannot lower for a full 10 counts.

These exercises are short but very difficult, and you will feel sore for several days after completing them. If you feel sore, you're doing it right! Enjoy the time you save, and until next time, keep it clean!

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