You’ve looked at yourself in the mirror and decided that no, you’re not fat. There just seems to be a bit of a belly and some flabby arms that won’t go away. You know that you need to do some resistance training for your belly and arms but how can you ever fit it in? You do it at home!
First, what I am about to tell you will only work on flabby arms and a pokey belly when used with a total approach to getting in shape. That means proper diet, cardio and resistance training as a system.
Lets talk about the flabby arms first. The easiest thing you can do to tighten up flabby arms and a droopy chest is the press up. I know you may have difficulty with them but that’s because they are hard, but they also work VERY well. We will call the press up a pushup from now on just because that is the term that most people use. The pushup has many variations and I am sure that one of the ones I give you will be well within your ability to do until you get to the full military pushup variation and beyond.
You want to keep your core tight. What you do not want to happen is that when you push up, you look like you are peeling yourself off the floor. I call this worming. A lot of people do it when they get tired. First you will see them raise their heads, then their chest and finally their hips leave the floor. What should happen is that you contract your core so that everything from the base contact point (feet or knees) is lifted off at the same moment.
The first and easiest version of the pushup is the wall pushup. This is simply standing face into a wall and doing your pushups by pushing against the wall until you are standing straight. You lower and push over and over. If you can do 15 to 20 reps of these two to three times then it is time to go onto the second version.
The second version on the scale of difficulty in pushups is the box pushup. Instead of pushing against the wall, you will push against something that is 1-2 feet off the floor. You should probably do these with your base being your knees instead of your feet like in the full military pushup. The couch will work and so will the coffee table. Make sure you position yourself so that when you touch the couch (or whatever) in the bottom position your lower chest is the contact point. Aim for the nipples if you want an exact spot. After you can do 3 sets of 15 on this version, you are ready for the next step in your pushup evolution!
The third version on the scale of difficulty in pushups is when the pushup is done on the knees. Everything about this version is the same as the regular full pushup except that your knees do not leave the ground. This cuts out the extra weight from the knees to the toes making the pushup a little easier than the full version. Again, when you get 3 sets of 15 repetitions, you are ready to move on.
The fourth version in your journey to a full pushup is the knee pushup with a full pushup negative. Now we are getting somewhere! The trick with this version is to do your pushup as in the above version and lower yourself in the regular full pushup version. The reason you do this is because you are always stronger in the negative or lowering portion of the movement than in the positive or raising portion. So we do the heavy full pushup negative and the easier knee pushups to raise your self up. When you feel comfortable with the movement, try this to tighten up the flabby arms.
Three rounds of:
Pushups x max repetitions combined with
Dips off a chair x max repetitions
Now What About That Belly?
You’ll hear a lot of experts jumping on the bandwagon saying the crunch isn’t the most effective ab exercise. It’s not if you are a gymnast or you have been training for years. If you can’t do a couple of sets without your abs burning though, it’s a great place to start without killing yourself!
Place your hands behind (support, but don’t pull) your head. I like to support my head by using the fingertips to cup the ears. It’s a light support but it keeps you from cranking your neck forward. From here, curl your upper torso forward. As you do this you want to keep your lower back in mind and push it into the floor. Three sets of crunches for 20 reps a set is a nice place for a beginner to start. You can rest anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute depending on how hard of an effort that was for you.
If that’s not a problem then superset each set of crunches with the next exercise called planks. Superset is just a fancy personal trainer term for no rest. This means then that the first set of crunches is immediately followed by a brief 30 second rest to let the burn fizzle a bit.
NOW STAND ON ONE FOOT AND PAT YOUR HEAD. Just Joking!
If you watch your diet and do your cardio along with your full body workout, you will see that six pack come out. The last step is to add in the plank. This is basically a pushup position but you don’t rest on your hands, you rest on your forearms and just hold it for 30-60 seconds. Don’t let your lower back sag! Keep a slightly inverted c posture like your trying to pull your hips toward your chin.
Now to combine these two belly busters into an abdominal workout you can do at home and get a little sweat on.
3 Supersets With No Rest:
Planks for a 30-60 second hold
So there you go. If used with proper diet, cardio and full body training this will tighten up flabby arms, a saggy chest and a pokey belly in the comforts of your own home.