December 26, 2011
Usually exercise isn’t the most compelling of daily tasks to complete. While someone’s chipping away over an hour from the day just to make it to a gym, get the necessary equipment, and set up, anyone could have completed three workout routines with Mark Lauren’s new book, “You Are Your Own Gym” (Ballantine, 2011).
“You can basically work out anywhere. You can have these really great workouts that are short and effective,” says Lauren, Combat Controller for United States Special Operations trainees, Military Physical Training Specialist, athlete, and author from Brandon, Fla.
Lauren used the most up-to-date principles of sports science to create his training program to cater to the needs of all men and women. And don’t think he hasn’t tested his techniques. His trainees executed every exercise in the book. “By combining strength and cardio vascular training, we are able to get better results with a lot less time.”
Here are some exercises he says work best for five major areas of everyone’s body: arms, legs, stomach, butt and back.
Staggered Hands Push Ups (Arms)This is performed just like a classic push-up except one hand is slightly forward of the normal position and the other hand is slightly back. Switch hand positions every other set. Keep an emphasis on keeping your body straight.
One-Legged Squat (Legs)Lift your left leg up and stand on your right leg, holding onto something about waist level, like a chair, lightly for balance, with your head up hand back straight. Slowly lower your body, bending at your waist and right knee, until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your shoulders are forward past your knees. Keep your left foot off the ground and in front of you. Do not let your right knee extend forward past the toes of your right foot. Using only your right leg, push yourself back up. Remember your hand is only holding onto something in order to stabilize you, not to help push your body up. And don’t quite lock your knee at the top of the movement. After you can’t do it anymore, switch to your left foot.
One-Arm Push Ups (Stomach)Lean over and place your hands on the surface in front of you as if you’re going to do a classic push-up on it, only spread your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and put your hands closer together than shoulder width. Then take one hand and place it behind your back. Spread the fingers of your working hand wide to help balance. Always keeping your shoulders parallel to the ground, come down as far as possible before pushing yourself back up. You need to keep the elbow of your working arms tucked into your ribs. Focus your weight on the outside edge of your palm, below your pinky finger. And pay special attention to keeping your shoulders squared and down away from your neck. You should remain squarely on your toes throughout the movement.
Bulgarian Split Squat (Butt)Somewhat similar to a regular lunge but for one very effective difference: Your back leg is elevated on an object like a chair or bed about two feet behind you. Work on your balance, and don’t hold onto anything. This is a great exercise, which works both legs, but be sure to push mainly off the foot that is on the ground. This is also a great way to lead up to ding One-Legged Squats.
Let Me Ins (Back)Facing the outer, side edge of an open door, grab hold of the doorknobs on either side of it with each hand. Place your feet on both sides of the door, pressing the door between them. Your heels should be directly below the doorknobs, so that you’re straddling the door. You need to be sure you have good traction with the floor, so it helps to wear shoes. Lean back. Straighten your arms. Bend your knees. Stick your butt out. Create a right angle between your straight spine and your thighs. Keeping your spine and the thighs locked at a 90-degree angle, and our feet flat on the ground, pull our check up until it touches the end of the door. Really squeeze your shoulder blades together. Let yourself back down in a controlled motion, stretching your arms and shoulder blades out as far as possible at the bottom of the movement, always maintaining a 90-degree angle between your thighs and your upper body.