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5 tips for rainy day workouts

NASHVILLE, TN – May 3, 2013 -- Spring showers can wreak havoc on your workout routine. How can you stay fit while also staying warm and dry indoors? 

The physicians, therapists and athletic trainers of Baptist Sports Medicine suggest trading your daily run or gym routine for equipment-free moves that use body weight to strengthen muscles.      

A rainy day can be an excuse not to work out – or, it can be a reason to break out of your fitness rut and try something new. 

Are you ready to tone your muscles without leaving home? Then crank up your favorite music and try these simple moves, doing three sets of 10-15 repetitions: 

  • Squats work almost every large muscle in your body, but especially muscles in your lower body, including glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and abductor muscles. To do a squat, place feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and stand with your back straight. Then, sink your rear and hips backwards as if you are sitting down in a chair. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor and your knees should not extend past your toes. Correct form is very important to prevent injury, so consider watching a few tutorial videos online, like this example from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   
  • Like squats, lunges primarily work your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and abductor muscles, as well as your calves. Start with your upper body straight and your shoulders back. Step forward with one leg and sink down until both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Take note – your front knee should be directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far. Do a lunge with each leg to complete one repetition.   
  • Push-ups work the upper-body—your chest (pectoral) muscles, triceps and deltoids. Set your hands on the ground approximately shoulder with apart. Your feet should be behind you, so that your body makes a straight line. Start with your arms straight and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Having trouble? This video from the CDC shows two modified versions you can do to build your strength up to a traditional push-up.  
  • Tricep Dips work your triceps, as well as your chest and shoulders. For this exercise, you’ll need a chair or bench. Stand facing away from the bench, with your hands resting shoulder width apart on it. Now keep your arms straight and bend your legs. Next, slowly bend at your elbows and lower your upper body toward the floor until your arms are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back close to the bench. At the bottom of the movement, push yourself back up until you return to the starting position.     
  • Sit-ups work your abdominal muscles. There are many variations, but for a classic crunch start by lying on the floor with your knees bent, your feet on the floor, and your arms behind your head. Then, use your abdominal muscles to “crunch” upward, raising your shoulder off of the floor and then lowering them to complete one repetition. For a detailed tutorial, watch this video from the CDC.      

For an even more intense routine, add “cardio-blasts” to your workout by doing one minute of jumping jacks in between your sets. Cardio activities keep your heart rate up and strengthen your cardiovascular system. 

For more information about Baptist Sports Medicine, please visit www.baptistsportsmedicine.com

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