Hip circles A
Hip circles B
Hip circles warm up the large muscles in the front and back of your midsection and buttocks.
1. Begin with your hands on your hips and your feet together.
2. Bend one leg up in front of the body at the hip (photo A) and rotate it up to the side (photo B), then lower it.
3. Reverse the movement by bending the leg up at the hip to the side and rotating it forward before lowering it. Repeat 10 times, then perform on the opposite leg.
This lunge not only warms up your hips and buttocks but also stretches your hip flexor muscles.
1. Stand with your feet together.
2. Hug one of your knees to your chest (photo A) and then release your leg.
3. Lunge onto that knee while trying to keep your knee above your ankle and not in front of it (photo B).
4. Bring your back leg forward until you are standing again. Repeat 10 times, then perform with the opposite leg.
The inchworm is harder than it looks. The inchworm warms up your legs while giving a good stretch to the hamstrings and calf muscles that run down the backs of your legs.
1. Begin in a push-up position (photo A).
2. Slowly walk your legs toward your hands (photo B). Heels may be off the floor.
3. Continue walking forward until the pull in the back of your legs is uncomfortable.
4. At this point, slowly walk your arms forward with your feet still, until you are back in the push-up position (photo C). Repeat five to 10 times.
How do we know when we are exercising enough and not too much? Fitness After 40 explains in detail how to do this by tracking your heart rate; the short version is that you should be working hard but be able to carry on a conversation while exercising.
The workout plan says to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each time. If you can't do that, start with 10 to 15 minutes per session, and build up to 30 minutes over the following few weeks. It's OK if you need to slow down or even stop to rest initially. If you're comfortable with 30 minutes, you can build up over the length of the plan and go beyond that, too.
Check out the rest of our 10-Week Workout, designed by Dr. Wright, including our sections on flexibility, load-carrying, and equilibrium exercises.
Excerpted from FITNESS AFTER 40: How to Stay Strong at Any Age
by Vonda Wright, M.D., with Ruth Winter, M.S.
© 2009 Vonda Wright and Ruth Winter
Published by AMACOM Books