While fitness is a year-round pursuit, it’s at the top of the list for many in January. When planning your fitness activities for 2015, the first question to ask yourself is whether you want to work out at a gym or at home…or both. If you already have a gym membership for the year, congratulate yourself. Getting there consistently is more important than getting there frequently. So if your schedule is crazy and you can only get to the gym once or twice a week—but you’re going every single week—that’s a great start. But if you don’t have a gym membership anywhere, or your schedule is such that you can only make it to the gym once a week, having some simple fitness routines you can do at home could be helpful.
If you have no equipment at home other than maybe a mat, yoga, Pilates, or straightforward calisthenics could be excellent options. But if you’re looking for new fitness toys to add some variety to your routine, one fun option is the BodyBlade. This long, thin bar weighs almost nothing, but gives more than enough resistance for a strength training workout. The BodyBlade can be used to tone the arms, legs, or abs, and works for a wide variety of exercises.
When you put light pressure into the BodyBlade, it gives you light resistance. When you put a lot of power into the BodyBlade, it gives you heavy resistance. It adapts to your strength level as you improve. This makes it a worthwhile tool for everyone from experienced exercisers to patients in rehab. And because most of the exercises can be done seated as well as standing, the BodyBlade can also be a good option for wheelchair users. The BodyBlade was invented by physical therapist Bruce Hymanson, who has been practicing since 1977. He put his many years of experience into creating a safe and effective tool that would work for both fitness and rehabilitation.
Two simple exercises you can do with the BodyBlade are the “Chest Press” and the “Jab.” For the Chest Press, hold the blade horizontally out in front of you, with the flat side toward you. Press out and allow the blade to come back. Keep repeating this movement until it gets into a rhythm, pulsing back and forth a few inches each way. You will begin to feel the chest, shoulders, and back of the arms—the same muscles involved in a dumbbell chest press or a pushup.
For the Jab, hold the blade vertically in one hand, and press away from you. Allow the blade to come back toward you a little bit, then press again, and repeat until it gets into a pattern going back and forth. You will feel both the major muscle groups of the arm and shoulder, as well as many of the important but often overlooked smaller stabilizer muscles. Be sure to repeat the exercise on the other arm! For even more ideas, check out these workout programs that use the BodyBlade.
Whether you choose to use old school equipment like dumbbells, newer inventions like the BodyBlade, or simply your own bodyweight for exercises like pushups and squats, anything you do to get moving will benefit both your body and mind. Fitness should never be boring, so find something you truly enjoy and get started!
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