Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Lying-Down Exercises

Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Lying-Down Exercises

Article excerpt

Editor's note: if too much walking gives you corns on your toes, and proper shoes don't help, you can still get into the fitness mode. These exercises, chosen to spare your feet, are taken from Dr. Bud Getchell's new book, The Fitness Book, published by Benchmark Press, Inc. Nothing is kinder to the feet than losing some weight while shaping up. f there is a must" in every muscular strength and endurance program, it is an exercise to strengthen the abdominals, which are difficult to use in many everyday activities. However, these muscles help support the back and various parts of the upper body. They also play a prominent role in maintaining posture and holding in stomachs. Many experts now believe these muscles are the key foundation for all activity and must be kept in good shape at all times. Biomechanics research has shown that in most activities, force must pass through the center of the body. An athlete or fitness participant who has a weak midsection will be unable to apply the required forces necessary for good performance. For years, the bent-knee sit-up was used extensively. Now researchers suggest variations of the sit-up that are more effective for working and strengthening the abdominals. The following exercises represent ways to strengthen your abdominals and trunk muscles. In all sit-up types of exercises, it is important that you lift your shoulders before you lift your lower back off the floor. The preceding leg-stretching exercises serve to loosen, stretch, shape, and strengthen a major muscle group. Although these exercises were developed for stretching before and after a conditioning workout, try to use them whenever you get the opportunity. Stretching is a form of relaxation -it can help you avoid tight muscles any time, and it may even refresh you. Try to avoid bobbing or forcing your body into unaccustomed positions. If you haven't been exercising regularly, it will take time before you can stretch some of those tight muscles completely.

Low-Back Stretcher Purpose: To stretch and loosen the lower back and hip

flexor muscles. Starting Lie on your back with knees straight. Position: Movement: Pull one knee to your chest. Grasp the leg

just below the knee and pull the knee toward

your chest. Hold for five seconds. Then curl

your shoulders and head toward the knee. Hold

for five or more seconds. Return to starting

position and repeat exercise with other leg.

Alternate.

Side Leg Raises Purpose: To strengthen and stretch the lateral hip

muscles. Starting Lie on your right side, in extended position, Position: with your head resting on your right forearm

and hand. Movement: Raise your left leg upward from the floor

(keeping the knee extended and toes pointed

away) to a position well above the horizontal,

then return to starting position. Keep your

pelvis perpendicular to the floor. After completing

the repetitions for one side, repeat the

exercise on the other side.

Leg-Overs Purpose: To loosen and stretch the rotator muscles of

the lower back and the pelvic region. Starting Lie on your back with your legs extended, and Position: your arms extended at shoulder level palms up). Movement: Keep the knee extended as you raise your leg

to a vertical position (point your toes). The

opposite leg should remain on the floor in

extended position; keep the back of that leg on

the floor. While keeping your shoulders, arms,

and back on the floor, reach with the vertically

extended leg across your body to the extended

opposite hand. Stretch to touch your toe to the

floor in the area of the extended hand, then

return your leg first to the vertical position and

then to the floor. …

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