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WARMING UP TO EXERCISE

20 ideas exercising as summer draws near

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WARMING UP TO EXERCISE

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POSTED May 29, 2012 6:31 p.m.

It’s humid.

You’ve already spent the night in your own refrigerator and those old yams are starting to smell foul.

Your neighbor is outside under a constant stream of hose water and your own children are afloat somewhere, thanks to a pair of pink water wings.

That late night snack of leftover ribs is starting to protrude via your own self-grown life preserver, but after spending the night in a cool fridge it was expected that some snacking would occur.

You need to exercise, but the idea of a body-jarring jog around town sounds about as appealing as those yams.

The television works just fine, but grandma convinced you to cover your favorite couch in protective plastic and the dogs are still struggling to escape that melted death trap.

So you pick up the phone, put it on speaker to keep your sweat off the touch screen, and call Paul Singh, owner of CrossFit Central Valley in Escalon. Paul’s a nice guy and he knows more about fitness than you know about those ribs, which is saying a lot. After brief pleasantries, Paul unlocks the secrets to warm weather exercising with 20 crafty workouts that don’t require expensive machines or a gym membership. He’s like Indiana Jones in a tank top and shorts.

Luckily, the melted couch-plastic has ruined television watching and forced you to find other means of entertainment. Since you record all your own phone conversations for later reflection, it’s easy to compile Paul’s advice into a list of 20 warm weather exercises that you’ve listed below.

Jump rope - It’s a surprisingly intense workout. Jump rope for a couple hundred hops per set. Try the ‘double-under’ by quickly forcing the rope to pass twice under your feet per hop. You can high-step or cross your arms if you really feel like showing off.

Hallow rock - This variation of an abdominal exercise requires you to lay on your back with your legs locked in a straight position, your heels raised four inches off the ground and your shoulders raised four inches off the ground. You pivot on your tailbone in a rocking motion as your heels tap and your shoulders tap off the ground. A good pace is 15 to 20 rocking motions with 90 second rests in between.

Air squat - To get the full benefit of this simple workout, keep your hips even and drop at your knee cap or below with each repetition.

Mountain climbers - While in the plank position, bring your knees in alternating motions up to your chest as if you were running.

Pushups - To get a full range of motion have your chest touch the ground with each descent and keep your elbows in a full locked out position. You can also try an intense shoulder workout with handstand pushups against a wall with your fingertips about eight inches from that wall. Keep your legs locked and heels slightly against the wall as you descend.

Burpees - This functional core/cardiovascular workout has you in a weightless position on the ground before exploding to your feet with a jumping finish as both hands clap above your head with your feet six inches off the ground.

Climb - A random rope, fence, tree or wall can be a terrific workout tool. Do five to 10 squats or burpees on one side of the obstacle, then climb the obstacle. Drop to the other side and do a similar variation of squats/burpees. It’s a fun and challenging workout.

Bleachers - Some empty bleacher seats are always a good start to a respiratory and endurance workout. Go at an appropriate pace of your own fitness level.

Bear crawls - Line up for increments of 50 or 100 yards and try bear crawls forward, backwards and sideways as you shuffle across the grass on your hands and feet.

Walking lunge - Keep your upper torso in a 90-degree angle with your thighs as you extend legs and put your weight on your heel and front foot.

Pull-ups - A bar or strong tree branch can be great for some random pull-ups amidst your workout. Make sure the branch or bar is strong enough to support you.

Sprint - Work speed and agility by sprinting short distances at 100 percent of your maximum speed for about 20 seconds. Rest for 40 seconds then sprint again for 20. Try this 10 times for a good workout.

Ladders - Use sidewalk lines to conduct a series of side shuffles, sprints and high steps.

Bench jumps - From a squatting position, leap to a bench or tree stump in one explosive move. Spring off your toes for these workouts that translate easily into sporting activities.

Broad jumps - . From a squat position, leap off both feet at the same time to a distance four to five feet away, planting and squatting as you absorb each landing. Five sets of 10 broad jumps is a terrific workout.

Jump overs - To train explosive speed, agility and coordination, try jumping over a box and descending into a squat, then burpee drop on the other side. This challenging workout will test you physically.

Beach runs - Push yourself with a log or piece of driftwood hoisted above your head, or simply run through sand in one of the most difficult and grueling runs you will experience. Your feet constantly dig into the sand during this demanding workout.

Fight waves - Fight the ocean as waves roll onto the beach. Try jumping over waves, swimming against waves or diving into them in an effort to not be dragged ashore.

Dive deep - In a natural body of water or your own pool, try diving to the bottom and lifting a heavy rock into your arms before releasing and coming up for air. Ten to 20 of these are an extreme workout.

Swim - Nothing ends a workout quite like a good swim. Swimming is terrific functional joint and muscle therapy with use of all alignments, tendons and muscle tissue.

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