Resistance Exercises To Boost Your Health & Fitness!

Weight-bearing or resistance exercises make use of resistance against gravity. The two basic forms of resistance exercises are those which use the body's own weight known as calisthenics and those which employ weights or resistance machines. Well-known examples of calisthenic exercises would be situps, pushups, chinups, and squats. You can read more about these amazingly powerful exercises in Dr. Al Sears' book: PACE Native Fitness , a comprehensive guide using all-natural methods of physical training to achieve maximum strength and fitness.

Below is an article by Dr. Sears which explains what calisthenics are and how these natural exercises can be used for strength training the entire body in just a few minutes a week!

Super Calisthenics

Are you thinking of joining a fancy gym or buying an expensive piece of exercise equipment? These are great fitness options if you can afford them. If you do not have the money for these endeavors, you do not need to give up the idea of exercising. Your body is the only equipment you will ever need to shape up and slim-down.

Calisthenics are exercises that use the resistance of your body weight to increase your strength and reduce your excess fat. Pushups, chin-ups, parallel dips and abdominal crunches are but a few of the many simple and easy exercises that you can do in the comfort of your home. Best of all, they are free and don’t take long to do.

Today you will learn how to transform your body through the power of calisthenics. By following my advice, you will begin to see improvements in your appearance and in your stamina. More importantly, by doing regular calisthenics, you will be doing the most effective exercise known to man.

Why Calisthenics?

The most efficient way to increase your overall strength is through resistance training. Methods for resistance training include free weights, weight machines and calisthenics. If you can get to the gym, I whole-heartedly urge you to use the resistance training machines.

Good old-fashioned calisthenics are the safest and most beneficial of the resistance training exercises. Calisthenics will increase your strength. With improved strength, you will have improved immune functions, metabolism and bone density. You will find also find greater ease in performing routine physical tasks. What’s more, you can do calisthenics at home, in the office or while you are on the road.

Exercising for long durations is a waste of time. Every time you exercise, you train your body how to use energy efficiently. Your body anticipates future energy needs and adapts by storing fat for future energy needs.

You will burn greater amounts of fat by exercising in short bursts. Repeatedly exercising in ten-minute sessions retrains your body to store energy for fast access. Your body will realize that storing energy as fat is inefficient. This is because you never exercise for long enough to make good use of the fat. In addition, compact exercise routines force your body to burn fat during the muscle recovery process.

Pump Up Your Life With Calisthenics

Calisthenics fit the definition of the perfect exercise. They utilize strength resistance. You can do them in short bursts of 10-minutes or less. They do not require expensive equipment. You can do them anywhere or anytime. Most importantly, you can exercise multiple muscle groups with just a few simple maneuvers.

Calisthenics are harder than they look. It will take several sessions to build up your stamina. Start slowly. Take plenty of time to build up your endurance. Additionally, the first step in any exercise routine is to wake-up your body with a stretching routine. Moving your body through a full range of motion will prevent injury by loosening your tendons and joints. Typically, I do some arm circles, leg- lifts, upper-body trunk rotations, some hurdle steps and some leg-lifts. Several repetitions should suffice.

Here are a few calisthenic exercises you can do to improve your body and lengthen your life:

• Sit-ups/crunches: Start with your back on the floor, knees bent, bottoms of feet against the floor. Lift shoulders off the floor by tightening abdominal muscles bringing you chest closer to your knees. Lower back to the floor with a smooth movement.

• Push-ups: Start face down on floor, palms against floor under shoulders, toes curled up against floor. Push up with arms keeping a straight line from head through toes. Lower to within a few inches of floor and repeat.

• Squats: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Squat as far as possible bringing your arms forward parallel to the floor. Return to standing position. Repeat.

• Knee bends: Start with your feet almost together and arms at your side, head straight and level. Lower your body by bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor, rising up on your toes, while simultaneously swinging your arms forward until they are parallel to the floor in front of you, fingers together and palms facing down, and back remaining perpendicular to the floor. Without stopping, reverse this motion and return to your original starting position. Repeat.

• Instep touches: Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly outwards, arms extended to your sides and parallel to the floor, head straight and level. Bend forward at your waist, turn your upper body, and bring the fingers of one hand to the instep of the opposite foot, keeping your arms and legs straight but not locked, and simultaneously raising your other arm to the ceiling. Repeat.

• Jump squats: Start with your body crouched, feet together, arms at your sides, head straight and level. From this position, quickly straighten your legs and jump upward as high as you can into the air, simultaneously extending your arms and reaching overhead. Once you have landed, quickly return to your original starting position, taking care not to lose your balance throughout the exercise.

Should you feel any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath slow down. You do not want to over exert yourself. Adding calisthenics to your days will make significant improvements to your health and level of fitness. The word calisthenics comes from the Greek words ‘kallos’ for beauty and ‘thenos’ for strength. I hope you make your body stronger and more beautiful by practicing calisthenic exercises.

Dr. Al Sears, MD

TIP: An alternate way of performing these resistance exercises is to do them SLOWLY. For example, when doing a push-up, take about 7 seconds lowering your chest to the floor and another 7 seconds raising to the starting position. In the same fashion when performing a squat or knee bend, slowly lower yourself and then raise yourself back to the starting position. If you have a chin-up bar, raise and lower yourself very slowly. If you have difficulty doing full chin-ups, an alternative method would be to jump into a full chin-up position (always grip the bar palm inward, hands shoulder width apart). Hold this position for several seconds, then SLOWLY lower your body to the starting position.

Do as many repetitions as you can and then rest for 1-2 minutes according to the PACE methodology.

This method serves two purposes: First, it reduces the repetitions of the exercise which reduces joint wear. Secondly, the increased "burn" in the muscle occurs quicker by making the muscle work harder. This increases the release of human growth hormone while at the same time raising the resting metabolism to promote a leaner and healthier body.

What About Weight Training?

The advantage to employing additional weight in your training is that it allows for greater gains in lean muscle mass. The very same principles apply to weight-training as to calisthenics. Movements are best done using intense but slow movements such as taught in The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution: The Slow Motion Exercise That Will Change Your Body in 30 Minutes a Week These short, but intense workouts can be done safely and effectively by everyone for maximum results in minimal time.

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