Fitness at your best! A workout routine is something that should be a part of every woman’s daily schedule. Whether you are lifting weights for an hour a day, or running for just 10 minutes each morning, make sure you get the most out of your workout. Crystal Gaynor works with Identity to help readers make their fitness routine ‘Crystal Clear.’
QUESTION: I want to spend less time in the gym, so what should I do first, cardio or weights? – Laura T. 28/Woodstock, NY
The general rule is weight training before cardio so that you have the energy and concentration when lifting weights. You don’t want to compromise your form when weight training. Concentrate on upper body workouts one day and lower body the next. Lift for 20-30 minutes and finish off with 15-20 minutes of an interval cardio workout and you’ll be burning calories for hours. Plus you’ll get out of the gym and on with your life in under an hour.
QUESTION: I am 45 years old and I would like to begin a weight-training program. Would you please explain the difference between a “Set” and a “Rep” ? They seem the same to me, so what’s the big deal? – Karrie R. 45/Lansing, MI.
Life around the weight room can be a little overwhelming. First, REP stands for REPETITION, the number of times that you perform an exercise. Here’s an example using the Bicep Curl. Hold your weights in both hands, arms hanging down and palms facing outward. Next bring the weight up toward your shoulders by bending the elbow, now lower the weight back to the starting position. That completes ONE REPETITION. A SET is completed when you do the same motion for 10-12 REPETITIONS before placing your weights down on the floor. This can be written as 1×12. If you do 2 sets of the exercise it’s written as 2×12.
QUESTION: I just started exercising, and I’m really interested in Pilates. Can I get a good whole body workout from Pilates, or is it just working my core?
– Emily J. 48/S. Orange, NJ
Pilates is a mind-body workout that delivers results. Pilates will streamline the body, while improving your posture, flexibility, strength and concentration. While the core is engaged, the rest of the body is always working. It also has cardiovascular benefits because the movements are done in a systematic sequence, creating flow and improving stamina. Make sure you seek out a certified instructor with experience and you soon will enjoy all the benefits of Pilates.
I workout at a small gym, that has limited equipment. Is there an exercise that will work my inner thigh muscles without the aid of a machine?
– Carrie B. 22/Scranton, PA
There are lots of ways to target the inner thigh muscles without the use of a seated machine. Here’s a great inner thigh exercise, The Pile Squat.
Begin by standing tall with the feet slightly wider than the shoulders. Turn your feet slightly outward. While keeping the chest up, bend the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Now push through your heels to come back up to a standing position. You can hold a 10-15 pound weight in your hands in front of the body for added resistance. Work up to 15 reps for 2-3 sets. Slimmer thighs and glutes are in your future.
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