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    Resistance Exercise Program by Patti Helsten Petrella

    When trying to lose weight, you should know how resistance exercise can be altered to
    maximize fat loss. As we already mentioned, there are several fat loss tools available
    (recreational sports, aerobics, walking, dieting, etc.). But, what you may not realize is that
    resistance exercise is one of the most effective tools in the battle of the bulge.

    Let’s look at the basic application of resistance exercise and what it has to offer in terms of
    fat loss.

    As you already know, all the foods you eat provide the individual muscle cell with energy and
    building blocks. With this understanding, let’s use the comparison between muscle, and a
    sponge. The water in the bucket represents nutrients, which include fatty acids (fats) and
    blood sugar (carbohydrates).

    Let’s say that you begin washing the floor with a full sponge.  The longer you use the
    sponge, the more water you compress out of it.  This is like a muscle that contracts in a
    resistance workout.  The more it works, the more energy is depleted.
    The depleted muscle absorbs nutrients from the blood after the workout, absorbing fatty
    acids from fat store, to provide energy and rebuilding of muscle tissue.  The more you
    deplete these stores, the more fat your body must release to replenish them.

    Muscle depletion is crucial to your weight loss program.  Resistance exercise is the key to
    gaining lean muscle while losing fat.

    A weight-loss resistance program calls for high repetitions and low weights. This will give you
    the maximum muscle depletion.  You can also combine this with using higher weight for more
    muscle gains.

    We are going to show you the minimum that you should be doing on your weight loss
    program.  There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do with the band and ball.  We
    have just picked out what are the basic exercises, using the largest group of muscles.   We
    like the exercise band and ball, because they are cheap, effective and easy to store.

    As we indicated yesterday a good workout consists of:
    1.        A 5-minute warm-up doing a low level aerobic activity, such as walking.
    2.        20-30 minutes of aerobic activity performed at 60-80% of maximum heart rate, such as
    jogging or walking on a treadmill, or a combination of walking and jogging.
    3.        5 slow walking to cool-down.
    4.        25 minutes of weight training. Performing 3 sets in the 10-15 rep range of the following
    •        Squats   (legs & buttocks)
    •        Sit-ups and leg lifts with or without bands (for abdominals)
    •        Push ups floor or with ball (chest and back)
    •        Rows with exercise bands. (Back and shoulders)
    •        Back extensions with an exercise ball (lower back)
    •        5 minutes stretching

    Here are descriptions on how to perform each exercise.
    There are hundreds of exercises.  This will provide you with a minimum program for getting
    started.  Any additional work that you do is to your benefit.

    Squats: Step on the band (or this can also be don without a band) bring hands up by
    shoulders. Use two bands or one long band.
    Make sure your feet are slightly wider than shoulder width apart and toes are pointing out
    about 40 to 45 degrees.
    Your head should be straight or tilted back slightly and your eye is positioned slightly upward.
    Concentrate on dropping your hips, as if you were going to sit in a chair. Go down far enough
    so that your butt is even or almost even with your knees. If you have knee problems make
    this a modified movement.
    Keep your knees directly over your feet. Concentrate on a powerful upward movement; each
    rep should be one smooth and fluent motion.

    Sit-ups on the exercise ball
    Starting Position: Rest middle of back on the ball with arms crossed over the chest or hands
    behind the head.
    Execution of Exercise: Slowly curl your trunk, letting your shoulders and upper back lift off the
    ball. Return slowly to starting position and neutral posture.
    If your neck becomes fatigued, place one or both hands behind the head for support.
    Technique: Curl your trunk by pulling the bottom of your ribcage
    down toward your hips. Avoid pulling on the head or neck. Return to neutral posture
    between each repetition.

    Push-ups with exercise ball

    Place knees on the ball with legs straight.  Keep abdominals tight to ensure that the back
    stays straight.

    Bend and the elbows and lower yourself a few inches from the floor.  Press up and repeat.

    Seated, row with exercise band

    Sit on floor with legs extended straight in front of you.
    Place the middle of the band around the middle of your feet.
    With each hand, grasp each end of the band.
    Extend your arms for a full backstretch.
    Pull your hands toward your lower chest, bending your arms and straightening your back at
    the same time.
    Keep your back upright, and elbows pointing behind you while squeezing your shoulder
    blades back together.  
    Return to the starting position in a slow controlled manner.

    Back Extension

    Your arms are over your head, with your biceps close to your ears. Let your spine flex slightly
    so your trunk is rounded over the ball.
    Slowly extend the spine, lifting your chest slightly off the ball until the spine is straight or
    slightly extended. Return slowly to starting position.
    Technique: Lift the chest using the spinal extensors. Use control to avoid excessive
    hyperextension of the lumbar and cervical spine. The spine flexes slightly as your trunk
    rounds over the ball. This exercise promotes good strength and balance.

    Some Stretches after exercising:

    Abdominal Stretch

    Focus: Abdominals
    Begin by lying on your stomach, legs straight, hands directly below the shoulders.
    Press up, fully extending your arms and back. Hold the stretch for 15 – 30 seconds.
    To stretch the obliques, rotate to one side hold for 15 –30 seconds then switch to the other

    Calf stretch

    Stand near a wall with both feet pointing straight, place one leg in front of the other by
    bending the front leg and keeping the back leg straight. You should feel minimal strain in the
    back of the straight leg .
    Lean forward into the wall keeping the back leg straight and its heel in contact with the floor
    Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

    Consideration and Contraindications:
    •        Do not bounce

    Cross Shoulder stretch

    Focus: rear deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids

    Extend your left arm in front of you at chest level with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle.
    Place your right hand behind the left elbow to pull your left arm across your chest until you
    feel a stretch in your left shoulder (fig. 1).
    Hold for 20-30 seconds then repeat on the other side.                 

    Considerations and contraindications:
    •        Do not elevate (shrug) your shoulder

    Hip flexor lunge stretch

    Holding on to a stability ball, bench, or chair for support, squat down on your left leg bending
    from the hip with your right leg out in front of you at a 90-degree angle.
    Extend your left leg behind you with your lower left leg and top of your left foot lying on the
    Keeping your upper body straight and looking forward, lean forward over your front leg and
    arch your                 
    Shoulders back slightly until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of your left hip.
    Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
    Considerations:  Your front leg from the knee to your ankle should remain perpendicular to
    the floor.
    Keep your back straight. To increase the stretch, tilt your pelvis forward.

    Trunk Rotation Stretch

    Lie down with your back flat on the floor and your right leg extended. Bend and lift your left
    knee to rest your left foot on the floor on the other side of your extended right knee.
    Curl up and put your right elbow on the outside of your left knee and rotate your back to
    move away from the bent knee until you feel a light stretch in your lower back (fig. 1). Ensure
    that your back remains straight.