Thursday, June 21, 2012

Push / Pull workout?

It's time for me to start integrating weight training into my weekly schedule, preferably 3x/week.  There are a lot of different takes on how to accomplish this, so I'm interested to see what other people do?

Ideally, I think this is the way to do it:
Day 1: Chest-Triceps
Day 2: Back-Biceps
Day 3: Legs-Shoulders

I've also seen something referenced as a Push/Pull workout, to integrate a full body routine as well. I think I might use this to start to get my body back in action.  One of the Push/Pull workouts I have seen is recommended to do 10-16 reps of each exercise, and and sets each week until comfortable.  

Push Workout:
Dumbbell Squat (quads, glutes)
squatani3.jpg (18700 bytes)

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells over the shoulders or at your sides.  Bend knees and lower into a squat as far as you can (butt no lower than knees), making sure your knees do not go over your toes.  Push through the heels and butt to stand and repeat.
Reverse Lunge (quads, hamstrings, glutes)
lunge3.jpg (18250 bytes)
Stand with feet together, weights in hand.  Step back about 3 feet with the right foot and bend knees into a lunge, keeping both knees at 90 degree angles and the front knee behind the toe.  Push through the heels to lift back up, bringing foot back to start.  Repeat for number of reps and switch legs. 
Leg Extension (quads)
 Lie with the ball supporting the head and shoulders, hips lifted in a bridge position.  Extend the right leg out until the knee is straight (keep it level with the left knee), lower and repeat for all reps before switching sides.  For an easier version sit on a ball or chair.
Outer Thigh Lift
Lie sideways on the ball with the torso supported and the bottom leg bent on the floor.  Hold a light weight on the outer thigh of the top leg (optional) and lift the leg a few inches, keeping the hip, knee and ankle aligned and facing forward.  
Pushups (chest)
pushup.JPG (5851 bytes)
Get in pushup position (on knees or toes) and keep the abs in as you bend the elbows and lower towards the floor with the back flat.  Push back up and repeat.
Chest Press (chest)
chestpress3.jpg (11499 bytes)
Lie on a ball or bench with the head and neck supported.  Begin with the weights straight up over chest.  Bend the elbows and lower arms no lower than shoulders, wrists straight. Lift back to start and repeat.
Overhead Press (shoulders)
ssoverheadpress1.jpg (11641 bytes)
Sit on a ball or stand and begin by bringing the weights up next to ears, palms face out.  Contract the shoulders to push the weights straight up and slightly forward (you should see them out of the corner of your eye).  Lower back down to shoulder level and repeat.
Front Raises (shoulders)
Hold the weights in front of the thighs and lift the arms straight up to shoulder level, elbows slightly bent.  Lower and repeat.
Tricep Kickbacks (triceps
kickback1.jpg (15023 bytes)
 kickback3.jpg (15769 bytes)Stand with fit hip-width apart and tip forward from the hips, back flat and abs in until your torso is parallel to the floor (or higher if it hurts your back or your hamstrings are tight).  Begin with elbows bent and pulled up to ribcage.  Tighten the triceps and straighten the elbow, bringing weights up behind you.  Lower back down and repeat. 
One-Arm Tricep Pushups (triceps)
traveltripushup.jpg (9813 bytes)  traveltripushup2.jpg (10060 bytes)
Lie down on left side, hips and knees stacked. Wrap the left arm around torso so that left hand is resting on the right waist. Place the right hand on the floor in front of you, palm parallel to the body. Squeeze the triceps and push your body up. Lower and repeat before switching sides. 

Pull Workout:
Deadlift (Hamstrings/Back)
Deadlift Dumbbells 
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding weights in front of you.  Keeping knees slightly bent (or straight) tip from the hips with back straight, shoulders back and abs in.  Lower the torso towards the floor, keeping weight close to legs.  Squeeze through the butt and hamstrings to come back up and repeat.
Step Ups with Band
Wrap band under one side of step and hold on to the handles to create tension.  Place right foot on the step and press into the heel as you step up.  Lower down, touching left toe to the floor and repeat.
One-Leg Hip Raises (Hamstrings/Glutes)   
Place one foot on a step or ball (harder), knee bent, and raise left leg straight up.  Keeping abs tight, squeeze butt and hamstring to lift butt off the floor, pushing left leg straight up towards the ceiling.  Lower back until butt barely touches the floor.   Alternate on each leg for 2-3 sets of 16 reps.
Hip Extension on the Ball
 Lie with hips on the ball and forearms on the floor.  Bend the knees so shins are parallel to the floor and squeeze the glutes to lift the feet towards the ceiling.
DB Row (lats)
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 bilateralrow3.jpg (15015 bytes) 
Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist until torso is parallel to the floor (or higher, if it hurts your back).  Keep abs contracted to protect the back and bend arms, pulling elbow up to the rib cage while contracting the lat muscles.  Lower and repeat.  Do this one arm at a time if you find this too hard on your back.
DB Pullover (Lats/Triceps)
sspullover1.jpg (15867 bytes)

Lie face up on a step, bench or ball, holding the dumbbell straight up overhead.  Keeping your back against the bench and using control, slowly lower the weight behind your head, arms slightly bent, until you're level with the bench.  Squeeze your back to pull the weight back up to start
Reverse Fly

Sit on a ball or bench and bend forward, holding the weights under the legs with palms facing each other.  Contract the shoulder blades and lift the arms up to shoulder level, elbows slightly bent.  Lower and repeat.
Barbell Bicep Curls (Biceps)bicepbar1.jpg (20416 bytes) 
Hold weights  in hands, palms facing out, elbow slightly bent.  Keeping abs tight, bend the elbows and bring the weights towards the shoulders (don't touch the shoulders), keeping elbows from moving back and forth.  Slowly lower back down, but don't straighten the arm entirely--keep tension on the muscle throughout the movement.  If you find you're swinging the weights to get them up, lower the weight and slow down.
Concentration Curls
bicepconc1.jpg (17119 bytes)
 bicepconc2.jpg (19746 bytes)Kneel on floor or sit on a bench and grasp a dumbbell.  Place the back of the upper arm on the inner thigh and lean into the leg to raise the elbow a bit.  Raise dumbbell to front of shoulder and then lower until arm is almost fully extended. 

I think I might give this a shot for a couple weeks to get into the swing of things, and then split up the concentration by body area.  

The trick is going to be successfully integrating this in.  We have the running schedule set, and I've been good about adding in a cross training day.  (My cross training day is going to increase in July when I use an unlimited bikram yoga purchase I bought from Groupon).

My goal is to tone all of my muscle groups and increase my strength so that I am less likely to injure myself.  Also, I think that when I am pushing this much cardio, it's going to be twice as effective if I strengthen my core and muscles. And, I am hopefully going to see the results I am looking for.  Here's hoping!

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My friend Kerri shared this with me this week, and it was very fitting, and very inspirational:

Push/Pull workout courtesy of

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