Beginner’s Workout #11: featuring Erin Sabin

Posted on October 15, 2010 by


Here are five exercises that will target your core, arms and legs as well as your balance and focus.  In my home workout arsenal I have resistance tubes and bands.  My favorite are the little bands used in the Supine Leg Lifts and Ballet Arms.  They are inexpensive, easy to pack along anywhere and come in different resistance levels.  As with any workout, make sure to warm up your muscles for 5 to 10 minutes minimum prior to beginning, do a proper cool down, stretching all your muscles when you are finished, drink plenty of water and enjoy yourself!

Crunch:  begin supine (on your back) on your mat with your knees bent and feet planted hip distance apart.  Place your arms by your sides with your palms on the mat and finger tips pointing to your heels.  Tuck your shoulder blades down and back and find your spine in neutral alignment.  With the exhale of your breath, slowly curl your head neck and shoulders off the mat, extending your fingers toward your heels.  Inhale as you lower back to the mat, repeat for 15–20 repetitions moving with your breath.


Side Plank:  begin on the floor lying on your side.  Position your elbow under your shoulder with your palm flat on the mat.  Raise your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line, maintaining a straight spine.  Hold this position while you draw in core, engage your oblique muscles and lift your side body. Place your arm at your hip or extended, reaching to the sky in a straight line with your supporting arm.  Progression in this exercise would be:  1. starting with your knees bent on the mat; 2. keeping the bottom leg bent and top leg extended; and 3.  both legs extended.  It is also possible to perform this exercise with your supporting arm bent resting on your elbow and forearm.  Hold the plank position for 5-10 deep breaths, lower your hips and switch to the other side.  Repeat 4-6 repetitions. 


Supine Leg Lifts:  with a Resistance Band: begin on your back with your spine in neutral alignment and a resistance band around your ankles.  Extend your legs, activating your muscles.  With an exhale, reach through the heel of your right leg and lift your leg a few inches off the floor against the band.  Inhale and lower, repeat with your breath for 15-20 repetitions and switch legs.


Ballet Arms with a Resistance Band:  sit on your mat with a resistance band around your wrists.  Extend your arms in front of you with your shoulders dropped down and into your back pockets and your core engaged.  With the exhale of your breath, open your arms to the sides against the band.  Inhale and release your arms, repeat for 15-20 repetitions.  This can also be done standing with your feet hip distance apart and parallel.



Chair Pose:  begin standing with your feet hip distance and parallel, your shoulders down and back your spine in neutral and your core engaged.  With an exhale, bend your knees, thinking of bringing your thighs in the direction of parallel to the floor. Keep your knees projecting over your feet and your torso leaning slightly forward over your thighs.  Keep your inner thighs parallel and press down through your heels.  With your shoulders down away from your ears, extend your arms overhead engaging your muscles all the way through your fingers.  Hold your position for 15-30 seconds and press through your heels to stand.  Repeat 4-6 repetitions.