Progressing from walking to jogging

Progressing from walking to jogging

This is for people who may have failed at making the transition from walking to jogging previously. If jogging has always been difficult for you, it’s not necessarily that it must be that way. You may be simply out of shape.

When you are out of shape, you can hear your breathing even at a painfully slow pace. The problem isn’t in your lungs, it’s in your leg muscles. They can’t supply enough energy for jogging with oxygen. As a result, your heart rate rises, you can hear your breathing and the exertion becomes uncomfortable.

A lot of women have husbands that tell them they should hear their breathing, and jogging should be uncomfortable. Usually, that’s the way they learned to run, therefore, that’s the way you should learn to run. If you are normal, however, you are not into pain. Painful exercise is burdensome exercise. And your husband’s advice notwithstanding, you are not going to continue doing it if you are not enjoying it.

Your first goal should be to create a regimen you’ll want to continue. That means being able to enjoy the activity, or at least be satisfied with it. Mostly that means going slowly enough so that the activity feels comfortable. This may be difficult to accept at first, but if jogging is uncomfortable for you, maybe you should stick with walking. A brisk walk is great exercise, even if it isn’t painful.

The good news is that your capacity for walking can grow quickly. Even novice walkers can prepare for a marathon in a few months. As you get in shape, you’ll be able to walk at a faster pace for a longer time. When you can walk for an hour or two without feeling greatly fatigued, or without needing a nap because you feel weary or exhausted afterwards, you know you are in shape to take the next step towards being able to jog.

Most novice joggers try to jog at a running pace. This is a major mistake because slow jogging is already a level above walking. If you try to fast-jog or run, you take your effort up two levels, which is usually more than your body can handle initially.

How to transition from Walking to Jogging

You need to control your pace so you can make the initial transition from walking to jogging. Find yourself a partner who is at your level of ability. The two of you will trade off walking and jogging until you learn how to do it without hearing your breathing. Here’s how:

Whenever you are jogging, jog at your partner’s walking pace. Make sure that your partner walks while you jog. A walk is the same walking pace you have been using to get in shape. Not a sprint-walk, but a recovery walk. Here recovery means that your heart rate and breathing return to your usual walking rate. Meanwhile, if you are jogging, pay attention to your breathing. If you can carry on a conversation without hearing more than a “huff” between sentences, you are jogging at the right beginner level.

When you jog so fast that your partner can hear your breathing, your body is producing energy without oxygen. This sort of jogging is inefficient and uncomfortable. When you are out of shape for jogging, you don’t have to jog fast before you can hear your breathing. This problem of having a small capacity is made worse when you jog fast early in the workout, before you have had a chance to warm up.

Therefore, if you want to make your jogging easier, you should go very slowly for the first ten minutes. It will seem like you are holding yourself way back but keep this in mind: even at your slowest jogging pace you will have doubled your resting heart rate, which is a significant increase in your metabolic rate.

If you want to make your jogging easier, you should also consider losing weight. It takes a lot of effort to carry extra weight around. So, you don’t have to become more aerobically fit to make your jogging easier. Just lose weight and you’ll make it easier.

Nutritional Tips to help lose weight and therefore make jogging easier

Obesity is one of the major health problems in our culture. Obese people are at great risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Most obese people simply eat too much. But many also eat incorrectly. If you are tired of being over-fat you should consider, a major restructuring of your daily meal regimen.

You must commit yourself to eating three moderate meals a day starting with a nutritious breakfast, a low-fat lunch and dinner, and no in-between-meal snacking (except for a nutritious snack between lunch and dinner). The trick is to never allow yourself to become hungry or starved because you missed a meal. And always leave a meal feeling satisfied, not full or stuffed.

If you are not obese, you probably don’t have to make radical changes in your eating pattern. Just be on the look-out for ways to substitute foods you are presently eating for foods that will give you better energy and less fat. For instance, if you are eating large amounts of ice cream, meat, cheese, peanut butter, fast foods, restaurant cooking, fried or fatty foods, sweets, booze, coffee and soda pop, then you’ve got plenty to begin substituting.

The question is what will you put in the place of the foods you want to cut back on? Breakfast is a good place to think creatively. What can you have in place of the typical breakfast of coffee and eggs, or milk and dried cereal? Think of it this way: You owe it to yourself to have one orange per day. That’s 365 per year! Oranges have Vitamin C. If you don’t get enough of it, your teeth fall out. There are lots of vitamin C sources, but an orange will give you your daily requirement in one tasty package.

Try squeezing an orange into a bowl. Then chop a banana and half of a ripe pear into the bowl with papaya, and a garnish of granola, nuts and raisins. Notice how your body craves fruit for breakfast. It’s different from eating sweets. Your body wants fruit; it doesn’t want sweets. Fruit takes a while to digest, so it provides good energy through the morning. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good breakfast will raise your blood sugar level and keep it up naturally, without coffee, through most of the morning. If your energy begins to flag, have another banana.

Avoid the syndrome of eating little or nothing in the morning, feeling starved at noon, rapidly eating a large and fatty lunch, and feeling lethargic in the afternoon. The quick-fix coke or donut creates a surge of energy, but it runs out quickly leaving you feeling tired because your body has over-compensated to even out your blood sugar level. If you don’t have a nutritious afternoon snack, by evening, you are starved again. If you overeat in the evening–or any time when your energy demands are low–excess calories will be turned to fat. Remember, your body interprets the time between large, infrequent meals as a period of “starvation.” As a hedge against starvation, it slows down your metabolism and turns a greater proportion of your food to fat.

Being thin means eating before you are hungry or starved and stopping before you are full or stuffed. This middle area is “being satisfied.” If you can discipline yourself to feel satisfied after meals, you will lose weight if you need to, or maintain an ideal weight if you are there already.

Your body responds best to small and regularly spaced meals that give you just enough calories for the next few hours. The human body evolved on such “grazing” diets. So, if you want to be healthy and slender, eat as the prehistoric people did.

The benefits and joy of walking

The benefits and joy of walking

Most people have heard about the “runner’s high” but few have experienced it. That’s because it only occurs under two conditions. To get high on running you must push hard, which forces your body to secrete Adrenalin and the other hormones that cause the high. This is the first condition.

Even avid runners get high on running only occasionally, normally on longer runs or when they do a race. The rest of the time during normal training, they are fortunate to simply enjoy a run. This is because they are usually somewhat tired from heavy training, and with their energy low they can’t push themselves without increasing their risk of injury, illness and exhaustion. One of the main befits of being fit from running is having abundant energy.

The main difference between walking and running in the degree or level of output effort. As a rule you walk at a lower level of exertion than you would as a runner. And since your heart rate doesn’t get as high, you don’t feel as high. You’re like the runner who’s too tired to push hard, except that walking itself limits your level of exertion because you don’t get airborne like you would in running. Thus, you can’t expect to feel exhilarated—even by a brisk walk—but you can aim to enjoy it. Enjoyment isn’t the same as the proverbial runner’s high, but even enjoyment can be elusive, because you can’t force enjoyment when your energy is low.

Remember, your energy is the key to feeling high on exercise. So you need to pay close attention to your energy during a walk. Do you have no energy, little energy, some energy, ample energy, or abundant energy? Notice how the level of your energy changes during a workout. It usually starts off low and increases as you warm up. Meanwhile, the less energy you have the slower you must go in order to enjoy the activity. Notice when your energy is low that mild exertion (very slow and soothing) enables you to be satisfied with the effort, and as you warm up your energy increases and you can go a little faster. You may even begin to enjoy the workout, because you were wise enough to coordinate your pace with the way you felt.

The most important part of maintaining a fitness regimen is harmony. Your pace and the duration of the workout must be in harmony with your energy. If you feel burdened or oppressed by the effort of a workout, you aren’t in harmony with it. If you are tired, go short and slow and you’ll feel satisfied, which is harmonious. If you feel energetic you can walk briskly until you start to feel fatigued. If you stop at that point you will have enjoyed the workout which is also harmonious. But be ready to cut back on your walk the next day to give yourself a chance to recover from the harder effort. In other words, it’s harmonious to wait until you feel energetic again before you push yourself.

Let your attitude tell you when you’ve gone far enough for the day. In my system, we measure our attitude about the effort of a workout on the following scale: oppressed, burdened, satisfied, enjoyed, exhilarated. Remember, the potential is always there to be burdened or oppressed by a workout, depending again on your energy and your effort.

Therefore, if you feel little energy, go slow enough to be satisfied by the workout. In this way, you’ll increase the likelihood that you’ll stay with your walking regimen, rather than give it up because it seems so burdensome. If you aim to be satisfied, you may surprise yourself by occasionally enjoying a workout.

Breaking through to fitness

Breaking through to fitness

Let’s face it. Most of us know we should exercise. But we often get overwhelmed by the many reasons not to exercise. The challenge is to deal with our reasoning. If we could change the way we think about exercise, maybe we would do it.

This is much easier said than done because our mental habits are difficult to break. Your mindset could be ‘time, pain, sweat, too much hassle” if someone says you exercise.

So, what’s it going to take to change these associations? You literally must break through to a new way of thinking about exercise, which depends on seeing it from a new perspective.

What’s the biggest problem when it comes to exercising regularly? Most people say it’s time. Or the lack of it. “We’re over-committed at work and in our personal lives. So how can we possibly take the time to exercise daily?  It’s a matter of priorities. There are so many people depending on us that we can’t possibly take care of ourselves, even though we know we should.” Herein lies the primary fallacy in our thinking about time and commitment.

It’s the reasoning that puts our boss and family before our personal needs. (And by the way, it’s easy to rationalize this set of priorities when you don’t like to exercise in the first place.) Think about this for a minute: how long and how effectively can you continue to serve your boss and family if you don’t exercise? If you don’t eat well, sleep enough, and maintain your physical strength? This is the crux of the matter. You simply owe it to others who depend on you to be fit for life.

Even if it seems that lots of coffee, fast food and long hours are working for you, an honest assessment tells another story. You are stressed out, over-weight and losing your ability to maintain the pace. It’s tough to admit, but you aren’t the young and energetic specimen you once were. Maybe you can hang in there for a few more years, or maybe a few after that. But sooner or later you’ll have to deal with the results of your sedentary lifestyle—the way you choose to live while you put other people ahead of your basic fitness needs.

You absolutely must take care of yourself now, or sooner or later someone else will be taking care of you. And it won’t be pretty, especially if you have heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s or any of the diseases associated with sedentary living. You may wish for a quick end to life so as not to burden other people, and these days many in their fifties and early sixties are getting their wish. Cynics say that the amount of time we gain by exercising is off-set by the time we lose by exercising. That may be true, but it overlooks the quality of life issue.

Human beings were meant to exercise. From the evolutionary perspective, we’ve been hunters and gatherers much longer than we’ve been office workers. Movement is natural, even enjoyable. Otherwise the human ability to walk great distances would have been deselected long ago. Now-a-days we must contrive ways to exercise. Then, moving around to gather fire wood, nuts and berries was simply part of living.

I spend most of my day in front of a computer. It feels great to take a jog in the early evening, to take a shower afterwards, and to eat a nutritious meal. I wouldn’t trade that forty minutes of exercise for anything. Afterwards I feel relaxed, refreshed and ready for the rest of the evening.

I also feel that I’m living in harmony with my natural physical being. We absolutely cannot neglect our physical being. We must strive for physical and spiritual balance. Others are depending on us.

Mentally Managing Pain and Fatigue while running

Mentally Managing Pain and Fatigue while running

I have tried to be more conscious about what I’m focusing on since my last tough run when I slammed into the wall around mile 18. I researched the ‘hitting the wall’ syndrome and found the study of 1996 London Marathon runners and the conclusions the authors came to regarding mental race strategies. I was struck with their observation that elite runners tend to spend a great deal more time focusing on how they feel (internal disassociation) than non-elite runners. In other words, they focus more on what they’re doing and less on distracting themselves.

As my Saturday runs became longer, I tried to pass the time by distracting myself. It wasn’t that I was particularly bored, I just didn’t know how or what to think for 2 1/2 hours. I could cheat and get by on my shorter weekday runs because I knew I wasn’t in any danger of crashing, so I found myself struggling once I was out on the road for longer periods of time.

For the last few weeks I’ve made a conscious effort to make my shorter runs more effective. Consequently, my longer runs have benefited accordingly. Here are six mental strategies regarding the management of pain and fatigue.

6 Mental Strategies to manage Pain and Fatigue


Focus on small, manageable goals. One mile at a time, running to the next light post, one more lap, whatever it may be. It will take mental training to be able to truly focus on running one mile, and then doing 10, 15, 20, 26 times, or whatever your distance is, but if you can break your run into small segments and focus on achieving these small goals, the larger goal won’t seem as daunting.Focus on your form, pace and breathing. This is 100% internal association and it’s what I’ve been focusing on the most over the past few weeks. Whenever I catch my thoughts wandering, whenever I start up a hill or whenever I start to feel a little fatigued, even on a short Monday afternoon run, I block everything out and think of three things.

Is my form efficient? This most often involves me dropping my hands, which creep higher and higher as I get tired (making for tense shoulder muscles, which wastes energy).

Is my leg turnover smooth and light. If my heels are scraping the ground, I need to pick them up and run light. Third, is my breathing in sync with my body movement. Breathe in on the left foot. Breathe out on the left foot. It’s a rhythm I’ve been in since day one last summer. It’s natural now, but when I get tired, I almost always find that my breathing is not in sync with my leg turnover. Arms, legs, breathing. Let your body run like a well-tuned, efficient machine. Not a clunker.

Visualization. Call this internal disassociation if you’d like. Our bodies respond physiologically to images. Visualize yourself finishing your race or approaching your family and friends along the course. Visualize your muscles relaxing. Put yourself back in an exciting or happy moment. Some of these images will produce a smile, some may produce a tear, some may give you goose bumps. By learning to focus on these images, you will be prepared to do so when fatigue sets in and you need a bit of physiological stimulation to reset your body and mind,

Change your beliefs regarding pain and fatigue. Do you view these feelings as feelings of failure? Or do you view them as an opportunity to experience a breakthrough in your personal level of achievement? You’re only feeling pain and fatigue because you have pushed yourself closer to your perceived limit of ability. How great will it be to push through these feelings and come out on the other side, now with limitless possibilities as to your potential? Shift your mindset from the negative to the positive and the sudden pain and fatigue are no longer enemies, but friends. Friends running with you on your way to achieving your goals.

You’re not alone. Particularly in a race, look around. Chances are you’re not the only one feeling these things. But you will be one of the few who knows how to handle them — and that will set you apart. Take confidence in this.

External disassociation. Certainly, there is a time and place for it. Sing a song, create a rhyme, hi-five the aide station volunteers, tell your life story to the runner next to you (only with their approval of course). For some runners, this is what gets them over, through or around the wall.

I encourage you to find what works best for you. It’s going to be different for everyone, but hopefully I’ve given you some options to work from.



To Run Long was published for the first time in 2010. In January 2019 we took over the site and are in the process of revamping To Run Long into a community focused running resource for all runners.    

I love running. Running is my happy place. These are the reasons I have got involved in this project. 

My name is Ian Ward.I started running about 15 years ago as an overweight 38-year-old male. My natural large frame and height also counted against me (as it still does). I am not a natural athlete by any stretch of imagination, so really what I am trying to say is that most people should be able to jog or run.

I am fiercely competitive by nature, so the fact that I am at best a middle of the field runner in theory should have stopped me in my tracks (pun intended). The excruciating pain of ‘hitting the wall’ in my first half-marathon and subsequent marathons and ultra-marathons should have been the time to call it quits. Only a runner can say why we keep going.

I have run many marathons and ultra-marathons, but without a doubt the highlight of my running has been earning my Comrades green number in 2017. Comrades is a 90 km ultra-marathon in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa and is widely acknowledged as one of the toughest road races in the world. A green number is earned for competing the race 10 times (or winning it 3 times).


Receiving my Comrades Green Number from the legend Louis Massyn

I am an all or nothing type of guy, which has made life an interesting ride. My crazy running journey is not everyone’s cup of tea. The fact that you are reading this blog means that jogging or running (a very interesting debate) is of interest to you.     

There are countless benefits for running and not a lot of downside.  

We welcome everyone to contribute towards this blog which I truly hope will become a useful resource for runners and joggers of all levels with aspirations to run long.  

What is your story? Please share it with our community.

Weight Training for Runners

Weight Training for Runners

When it comes to performing your best at any sport, it takes a lot of hard work and involves a variety of training regimens. Recently an athlete mentioned in an interview, that there are some things you just cannot do without when it comes to an exercise routine. The one thing he mentioned that is absolutely necessary, is weight-lifting.

Ask any athlete and they will tell you that they include a comprehensive weight lifting routine in their exercise regimens. The reason being, an athletes endurance and prolonged existence within a sport, is directly related to their physical strength. A great example of this is Michael Jordan, who when he played for the Chicago Bulls, had his very own private strength trainer. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he remained on top of his game until he announced his retirement in 1999.

 When it comes to the ordinary person who goes to the gym every day, or every so often, the same rules apply. We have to maintain our strength in order to have good posture, feel and look good. Strengthening exercises can also help us to perform demanding activities, from the beginning into old age. When we see some elderly people today, many of them are bent over, have weak muscle tone and have difficulty in performing basic movements and tasks. Getting in and out of a chair becomes a mission in itself. If we don’t look after and apply ourselves now, we might struggle with the same problems later in life.

There is one rule when it comes to weight lifting, if you don’t use it, you lose it. If you are physically inactive, as you grow older and after the age of 30, you could lose 3% up to 5% muscle mass every 10 years. This ultimately causes you to have less mobility and of course strength.

You will naturally lose muscle mass as you get older, but to improve this, we can all thankfully use our strength and weight lifting to build it up. Thus, maintaining and improving our health. Those who are elderly and have lost their strength can also improve their health by doing simple strengthening exercises.

There is really no excuse, as the exercises are easy and very simple to perform. They don’t take long to do and cost next to nothing. The one requirement necessary for success comes from you, commitment. Envision yourself as strong and healthy, then make sure to put in the effort to make it happen.

Some might enjoy the atmosphere of a gym where they can their weight lifting and exercises, but this is not necessary. The only equipment needed would be a bench and some weights and you could then easily do this at home. Every sporting goods store should have different weights available. Talk to the sales people and tell them what you are planning to do, they can then recommend what you need. You could also test out the various weights on display and pick the one you are most comfortable with.

The guideline here is, you need a weight you know you will be able to lift for 10 repetitions, with a bit of a burn near the end.

If you are a beginner, it is best to get yourself a set of weights. Women would need to get themselves a set of 1kg, 2kg, 3kg, 4kg, 5kg and 6kg weights. Men can start from 2kg and go up to 10kg. The more serious weight lifter can invest in a bench press and heavier weights.

Those who wish to work on their legs can easily get their hands on some weights that strap onto the ankles. Start out with 2kg ankle weights, one for each leg, and if you feel you can handle more, just strap two ankle weights to each leg.

The cost of gym memberships is quite high, if you purchase these few items, you will be saving yourself a lot of money. The equipment is also something you can use for a lifetime, you won’t have to keep paying for it.

The following weight lifting routine can be done once every second or third day. The whole routine will take you less than 30 minutes. These exercises can easily be done before or after you run, bike or walk. To maintain a basic level, you only need to complete one set of 10 repetitions.

Remember, as with any exercise routine, stick to your level, any exercise can cause stress to your body if you are not used to it. Start slowly and develop your strength and endurance. The effect of overdoing it is really not worth it, which can include:

  • Painful muscles
  • You may feel tired or even lethargic
  • Overdoing it stresses the body and could make you more susceptible to colds

The best way to avoid this is to begin your workout routine with only 6 repetitions. You can then gradually increase to 7 repetitions and so on until you reach 10 repetitions. If you find 10 repetitions too easy, you can think of adding a few more kilograms. This specific routine won’t make you bulky but is aimed at toning and making you stronger.

Weight Lifting Exercise Routine for Runners

Before you begin your exercise routine, there are a few things you should take note of. Weight lifting can be potentially harmful if you don’t know how to properly perform each exercise. The best thing to do, is to ask somebody who is knowledgeable and has experience with weight lifting, let them help you with a weight lifting exercise routine before you go it alone.

  • The following routine provides a weight, starting position, exercise motion/action and required focus.
  • The exercise involves lifting repetitions, you begin at a starting position and will go back to the starting position.
  • There are three types of weights:
  • Dumbbell: a weighted object that you can easily hold, usually one in each hand.
  • Barbell: a bar that is usually 5 feet long that has weights which can be added or removed on each end. The bar is held with both hands.
  • Ankle or wrist weights: a weighted item that can be strapped to the ankle or wrist using Velcro.
  • To begin the routine with the correct weight varies with each exercise. The main point to remember is to start out with a weight that is right for you. It must be comfortable enough to lift the weight when doing the repetitions. You should feel a slight burn or effort with the last few repetitions. You should not go for a heavyweight, which requires you to strain to lift it up.

If you really want to build bulky muscles and look like Hercules, then picking a heavyweight and straining after few repetitions, is the way to go. The routine here, however, is great for toning and strengthening muscles, without the strain. The exercises below will offer you a way to look and feel good and are easy to do.

You will notice that some of the exercises have different weights, some weighing more than others. This all depends on the type of muscle being targeted. If it’s your first time, try to test out the weights before doing the exercises. Complete about two repetitions of each exercise, which can help you feel the difference before you begin earnestly. You will then know if the weight is too heavy or light for you. Each of the exercises shows what weight is needed, for instance, light, moderate and heavy.

A lightweight is recommended for smaller muscle groups, which is about 1kg to 3 kg for an adult. The correct weight can also depend on things like age, sex and if you already have experience with weight lifting. As mentioned before, if you want to do weight lifting from home, visit a sporting shop that sells weight lifting equipment. The salespeople should be well informed and able to help you choose the correct equipment.

Are you just starting out or just coming back into weight lifting? The best way to start would be, to begin with, 6 repetitions and don’t follow up with repeats. After this take two or even three days off, then perform the exercises with 7 repetitions. Rest and then follow up with 8 repetitions and continue like this until you reach 10 repetitions for each exercise.

Thinking you can just jump into a routine, is a mistake and can cause muscle pain, especially the day after. Although, it is natural, to fell a bit of muscle soreness after beginning an exercise routine. You should look out for a sharp pain or ache when using a muscle, this means you may have injured the muscle. You should then stop doing the exercises and recover before starting over again. This time, use a lighter weight to prevent injury.

Eventually, you will become stronger and can then add more weight, but before this happens you will have to work your way up. Generally, after about several months, you have built enough strength to add in more challenging exercises and heavier weights. Although, you really don’t have to change anything, if you don’t want to. This routine is great to continue with and has less of a risk of injury and exhaustion.

In order to perform some of the exercises, you will need to have some type of narrow and stable table. You can get yourself a proper bench or you can make use of a table at home. The table has to be long enough to fit your body and also low enough so that your feet touch the ground when you are lying on your back.

Breathing is important for all types of exercises, so it is important to do the following. Breath in as you lift the weight up and breath out when you go back to the start position. Try to keep a steady rhythm as you do the exercises. Wherever the weight is, it is okay to take a few breaths before continuing. Obviously, it is not a good idea to hold your breath at any time, when doing the exercises. Remember to breath!

Arm raises – lightweights

Start Position: Hold a lightweight or dumbbell in each hand. Place the weights in front on the thighs, palms backwards.

Action: Lift up the dumbbell until it’s at eye-level

Focus: Make sure your palms are down and your arms are straight

Curls – moderate weights

Start Position: Hold moderate weights in both hands next to your thighs. Palms must be facing forward.

Action: With a ‘curling’ move, lift the dumbbells to the shoulders.

Focus: The elbows should remain at your side.

Bent over Flies – Lightweights

Start Position: Hold light weights at your side with your feet shoulder width apart. Palms must be facing inward. While keeping your back straight, bend over at about a 45-degree angle. Your arms should be hanging down.

Action: Lift the weights away from the body to the side, this will squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Focus: Bend elbows slightly and keep arms straight.

Flies – light to moderate weights
Start Position: Hold a moderate weight in each hand and lie on your back. Keep arms straight above the chest.

Action: Take weights to the side and lower your arms, move arms out to the side and finally raise arms and bring back to starting position.

Focus: Bend elbows slightly

Chest Expansion – one heavyweight

Start Position: Lie on your back with arms straight, hold heavyweight with both hands above the chest.

Action: Let the weight drop to shoulder level behind the head. Lift up and back to starting position.

Focus: Keeps arms straight but you can bend them slightly.

Lateral Pull – one heavyweight

Start Position: Kneeling on the bench, hold heavyweight in the left hand. The right knee must be on the bench, place right hand on knee. The left hand must hang down.

Action: Squeeze left shoulder blade and the relax

Focus: Keep the weight close to the left side

Military Move – moderate weight – Barbell

Start Position: Sitting on a bench hold moderate weight Barbell with both hands and at chest level.

Action: Lift up the barbell until it is above your head and arms are straight. Move back to the starting position.

Focus: Try and keep your chin level and back straight.

Chin Lift – lightweight – Barbell

Start Position: Hold lightweight I barbell with both hands at the point of your thighs. Ensure feet at shoulder width apart. Palms must be facing back, with arms straight and hands less than 3 cm apart.

Action: Lift barbell up towards the chin.

Focus: Ensure elbows are bent and above the bar.

Squat – moderate weight – Barbell

Start Position: Hold Barbell at thigh level with feet shoulder-width apart. Hands should be by your inner thighs.

Action: Take the Barbell down until it’s almost touching the floor, move back up to starting position.

Focus: While maintaining a straight back, bend slightly at the waist. The movement is the same as sitting down onto a chair.

Bench Press – moderate weights

Start Position: Holding a moderate dumbbell in each hand, lie down on your back. Keep arms straight and above the chest.

Action: Bring the weights down to chest level, then move up again to start position.

Focus: Arms should be vertical, and elbows held wide.

Triceps Kick Back

Start Position: Hold lightweight in each hand, from the waist lean over about 45-degrees. Lift weight up to stomach, elbows will be sticking out behind.

Action: Move weights by straightening out your arm from the elbow.

Focus: Elbows must remain stationary.

Shoulder Shrugs – heavyweight – Barbell

Start Position: Hold Barbell at thigh level with both hands, back straight and feet shoulder width apart.

Action: Shrug shoulders or pull shoulders up towards your ears, which will lift the barbell.

Focus: Arms must hang down straight at all times.

Crunches – ankle weights for balance

Start Position: Lay on the floor on your back, knees bent, with feet on the floor. Place hands with the palms facing down onto the floor, hands must be just under and next to the butt area.

Action: Lift your head and shoulders slowly

Focus: Perform with slow deliberate movements. No jerking.

Outer Leg Raises – moderate weights on the ankle

Start Position: Strap a weight to your right ankle and lie on your left side on the floor.

Action: Lift right foot up in a wide movement. Repeat action on lying on right side with the weight strapped to your left ankle.

Focus: Make sure hips remain perpendicular to the floor and the foot must remain horizontal.

Inner Leg raises – moderate weight on the ankle

Start Position: Strap moderate weight to left ankle and lie on your left side on the floor. Left leg is straight, while the right leg is crossed over on top, bent at the knee.

Action: Lift the left leg straight up as far as you can go. Repeat action on the right side with weight on your right ankle.

Focus: Hips must be perpendicular to the floor, left foot horizontal.

Hip Extension – moderate weight on the ankle

Start Position: Bend down onto the floor, with knees and hands on the ground – ‘on all fours’. Stretch out one leg behind you, this leg should have the weight strapped on.

Action: Extend the leg and lift as far as you can go. Repeat on the other leg.

Focus: The hips must remain parallel to the floor, while the leg extended must remain straight.

Heel Raises – weight is optional

Start Position: Stand on a step or bench on your toes, with the heel off the edge. Make sure to balance yourself. Do one leg at a time, the other leg can be placed behind the ‘working’ leg.

Action: Raise your body up as high as you can go. For the first workout do 10 repetitions, follow with 15-25 repetitions. Change legs and repeat.

Focus: When you start, make sure your heel is down and stretching those muscles.