While Coffee Brews – Workout Exercises # 7 and #8

 

Last December I did a series illustrating my morning workout regimen.  I have added some exercises that I do somewhat regularly since then and wanted to update the series to include them.

 

The While Coffee Brews Workout - Exercises 7 & 8

 

Butt Lift and Kicks

The big craze the past few years has been planking. I never planked until I did this exercise. It’s simple enough. You lay on your back,  lift your butt of the ground and hold the pose.  You really have to work to push your butt up in the air so you body is in a straight line, you can really feel it in your hip flexor and quadricep muscles.  It was boring to me to just stay in that pose so I started kicking up high with one leg while maintaining the straight body line.  It’s harder than planking if you ask me. I did 20 kicks on each leg.

Flutter Kicks

While I am down on the ground it’s easy to move to the next exercise.  I simply lower my butt back to the ground and lift my legs so they are off the ground by a foot or so. This can also be a held plank position of course but once again I like action instead of just holding a pose so I scissor my legs as wide as I can. I mean REALLY wide, then bring them together and cross them, and then back wide again. This is great for strengthening your lower back since your legs are off the ground. It’s fantastic for your glutes and your hips, opening them up and stretching all the small muscles that go deep into your groin.

Because I am so unlimber and stretching is critical for me, I sometimes will lower my legs and use my ottoman and my coffee table to hold my legs wide open. It hurts but it also really helps me avoid really tight hip and groin muscles when I run long distances.

It usually takes about 15 minutes to do 3 circuits of the exercises.  Just enough time to let the coffee brew.

The rest of the series is linked here:  The ‘While Coffee Brews’ Workout Series. Scroll down once on that page to go from newest to oldest in the series.

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Drawing and exercise plan by Marty Coleman

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The ‘While Coffee Brews’ Workout – Exercise #6

 

Lunges

 

While coffee brews workout exercise #6

 

In Place, Forward and Backward

I use lunges as part of my running group’s active warm up before every run.  It’s a great way to get your large leg and butt muscles warmed up and ready to go.  These are so easy to do wherever you are, in work clothes, pajamas, or naked, and it takes no time at all to get a good bun and thigh burn in, there no excuse to not do them a few times a day.

When I am doing these in my morning workout I do them standing in place, not walking forward. I go forward and back in the same movement, for about 20-40 reps.  Then I switch legs and do the other one forward and back as well.

Lunges help build your glutes (your butt) as well as your major thigh muscles, front and back.

Guidelines:

  • Keep your back straight and your head level.
  • Push your butt forward a bit when you go forward.
  • Don’t let your front knee go past your toes.
  • Use dumbbells if you have them. Hold them down by your side.  Don’t use heavy ones at first.
  • Balance aptitude as one of it’s primary goals.  Focus on that at first over heavy dumbbell weights.

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Exercise #6 – Lunges

Exercise #5 – Jumping and Laying Down Jacks

Exercise #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches

Exercise #2 – Push Ups

Exercise #1 – Glute Kickbacks

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Drawing and guidelines by Marty Coleman, whose butt is in pretty good shape due to these.

 

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The ‘While Coffee Brews’ Workout – Exercise #5

 

I drank a whole pot of coffee drawing #5 in the exercise series.

 

while the coffee brews workout #5

 

Knowing vs Doing

Another simple exercise that we all know is Jumping Jacks. But knowing it and doing it are two different things. Knowing anything is of little value if you don’t put it into practice.

Jump Start

Practicing jumping jacks is a great way to get joints loose, blood flowing and heart rate up just a bit. Sort of cardio jump start.  Make sure you keep your arms fully extended and bring them all the way to the top. Stretch those arms up.  Doing jumping jacks half-hearted is not worth doing so do them right or skip it.  Unlike the exercises I have shown so far, women probably want to have at least a sports bra on for this one.  Some men might as well.

Stretch Start

Number 2 is illustrating something that really helps me, Mr. Unlimber.  It’s not Jumping Jacks, it’s Laying Down Jacks. Spread your legs as far as they will go (maybe use some barrier, like a table leg, to keep your legs open, that is what I have to do) while you also spread your arms out and up at about a 45 degree angle. Make sure the backs of your hands are touching the ground and your arms are as flat as they can be. It may not seem like much to do, but hold it for 30-60 seconds and you will really start to feel the stretch in your pectorals and your inner groin muscles.

This is a great stretch to help runners keep from getting to tight and wound up in those areas.  We often think about our legs getting tight in a run but long distance runners have a lot of problems with shoulders, chests, and arms starting to hurt and cramp as well.  It’s important to keep the upper torso limber as well as the leg muscles.

 

Exercise #6 – Lunges

Exercise #5 – Jumping and Laying Down Jacks

Exercise #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches

Exercise #2 – Push Ups

Exercise #1 – Glute Kickbacks

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Drawing and instruction by Marty Coleman

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The ‘While The Coffee Brews’ Workout – Exercises #3 and #4

 

My Morning Routine

I have gotten into the habit of having rice cakes for first breakfast.  I toast 2 of them, then put on a bit of jelly and peanut or almond butter.  They are crunchier when you toast them but you have to watch out, some of them have a glaze on them that will start to smoke in the toaster oven.  I then take them into my office and eat them while I start my day.  Speaking of office, we recently had a slew of visitors to our humble abode for Thanksgiving weekend.  My office was used as a bedroom so I thought I would try out moving my napkin drawing studio into the dining room so I could draw early in the morning while our guests were still asleep.  It worked out pretty well so I think I might keep it like that for a while.

Exercises #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches

coffee workout 3 and 4

 

Exercise #4  – Oblique Crunches

In the sequence, #4 actually comes twice, once on the left side once on the right, so I do one side first, then do #3, then do the other side of #4.

In the original photo I saw on how to do oblique crunches the guy was laying on the large flat side of his glute, a 1/4 of the way towards being on his back, and raising his torso up to get the crunch as in version #1. The legs stayed on the ground. But when I started doing them I laid directly on my side and found my legs came off the ground as did my torso.  I like the #2 version better because it seemed to work the lower oblique region as much as the high region.  But I notice that #1 tends to work the lower side back more than #2 so I do both on and off.

One of the coolest things about doing these is where the lower arm (on the floor) ends up going.  It is folded in front of you with your hand actually on your obliques. What that means is you can feel the muscles working, contracting and releasing, as you do the exercise. Over the months I have started to feel all the definition throughout the oblique and ab areas. It’s very cool.

Exercise #3 – Abdominal Crunches

These are pretty straightforward.  They are the beginning of a sit up, but you don’t go above about 25 – 30 degrees from the floor, then you go back down. That is enough to get the abs working.  The drawing is a bit off actually because you really shouldn’t be bending your head forward at the angle I have it. Keep it as straight as you can.  

Do 10 to start and repeat each time you come around to it in your circuit.  

Finish up by doing the oblique crunches on the other side and you are done.

To Repeat or Not Repeat

As usual, you can do these two ways, one is a set amount done in a circuit with the other exercise. Most of the time a circuit of 3-4 is good.  Or you can do each exercise to the fail point, with no repeats.  It’s sort of like the two different versions of Solitaire you can play, once around drawing every card and you are done, win or not, or every 3 cards until you can’t do anything more or you win.

Either way, you’ll get a good work out.

Benefits

Obviously your abdominal muscle and the oblique abdominals are the main beneficiary. Did you know that the ab muscles are actually just one big sheet muscle?  The ‘six packs’ aren’t different muscles, they are parts of same muscle that just happen to build up. Each of us has a different landscape when it comes to our one big ab muscles.   The oblique are separate however.

By the way the pink bumps on her tummy are not her intestines popping out don’t worry, they are her six pack of abs (of which you can only see 3)

Speaking of…If you are hoping to have that six-pack by just doing exercises, it’s not going to happen. Well, it can happen, but it will be under a layer of fat and you won’t be able to see it.  To see your abs you really will have to change eating habits so you not only lose fat but build your muscle as well.

That’s It

And that’s it. These 4 exercises should take you about 10-15 minutes, max.  That’s about the length of time a pot of coffee takes to brew.  It’s not sophisticated or complicated or hard to figure out. It’s easy and it’s doable today, right now. Start somewhere, and repeat. That’s the key. You can do it.

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Exercise #6 – Lunges

Exercise #5 – Jumping and Laying Down Jacks

Exercise #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches

Exercise #2 – Push Ups

Exercise #1 – Glute Kickbacks

The ‘While Coffee Brews’ Workout – Exercise #2

 

My Morning Routine

When I first started doing this morning routine it was just stretching and warming up for the day.  I still stretch and warm up before I do the exercises because I am an old and creaky guy. You should limber up too, even if you aren’t old and creaky.   The run groups I coach always start with an active warm up time to get the blood flowing, the heart beat up just a bit and the joints and muscles lubricated and ready to work.  It’s alway a time to just be quiet and meditate for a few moments before you start exercising.

Exercise #2 – Push Ups

coffeeworkout2_sm

Version #1

This is the version you need to do.  Even if you can do only one pushup this way, you need to do it this way. It’s where you want to get to so why not work at it from the very beginning. If you can’t do 5 pushups this way, do at least one, then do the other 4 in the version #2 method.  A full push up goes all the way until your nose touches the ground.

Version #2

Forget the sexist crap about this being the version for women. It isn’t. It’s the version for those who aren’t yet strong enough to do version #1. That’s it. It has nothing to do with whether you have a penis or vagina. Nothing.  Here is the truth, male or female – if you can’t do one pushup in the version #1 method, then start with version #2.  If you can do 5 of version #2 then next time you do the exercise start with #1 and try to do one of that.  Keep trying #1 each and every time you do pushups.  Do not settle for version #2, it’s only for those who can’t do #1 and everyone can do #1 if they work at it.

To Repeat or Not Repeat

Once again you can do these as part of a circuit of exercises that you repeat 3 or more times, or you can do them once to the fail point. Both have their benefits and you should try both types of regimens during the week.

Benefits

Obviously the arms and chest are the prime beneficiary of pushups. In the arms it’s the entire shoulder and the triceps (back of the arms) that get the bulk of the workout. The pectorals of the chest are being built as well.

Remember, to lose weight you have to burn calories. To burn calories you have to have metabolically active tissue, and that’s muscle, not fat.  If you build muscle you get a better metabolism and that means better calorie burning.

When To Start

Duh, now. Don’t wait until you have the right workout clothes or the right mat or the right headband. Do it first, then get all those things as you have time.

 

Exercise #6 – Lunges

Exercise #5 – Jumping and Laying Down Jacks

Exercise #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches

Exercise #2 – Push Ups

Exercise #1 – Glute Kickbacks

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Drawing and workout description by Marty Coleman

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The ‘While Coffee Brews’ Workout – Exercise #1

 

My Morning Routine

I typically get up around 5:30am and have about an hour to myself before Linda calls me in to cuddle before she gets out of bed.  My usual routine was to let the dogs out, make coffee and go into my office/studio immediately. In April I decided to add some early morning stretching and calisthenics into that routine.  Instead of going directly into my studio while the coffee brewed I went into the living room and stretched.  I am not a limber guy by any means and stretching is something I really need to do for my running.  While I was doing the stretching I started to add some light calisthenics. I timed the exercises to about the same time it took the coffee to brew.  Over the course of the months I have worked out a very brief workout routine that is easy to do with no need for equipment or extra space. If you have a space on the floor as big as your body, you have room.

Exercise #1 – Glute Kickbacks

 

exercise routine

 

Version #1

Version #1 starts with your leg bent with the knee on the ground. You kick the leg back to be slightly above horizontal and return it. You aren’t kicking hard, just putting it out there until it’s straight. And yes, I know the drawing makes it look like the person is farting. She might be, farting is allowed!

Version #2

In version #2 you put your leg straight out back and have your big toe touching the ground. You then lift your leg up past horizontal and return it to the ground (or close, you don’t need to touch the ground and break your toe!) I usually do this version, I just like it better. And yes, the drawing sort of looks like she is peeing. That is not allowed, it will ruin the carpet.

To Repeat or Not  Repeat

You can do the reps two ways. One way is to pick a number, 10 to start is good, and do them, one leg at a time (as opposed to alternating legs like you are riding a bike). You will do those, go on to the next exercises and then return to these after you have done the circuit.  When I do it this way I do the circuit 3 times.

The other way is non-repeating.  This way is one time only. You don’t pick a number, you just do it until you can’t do them. You do it to ‘fail’.  I do this way when I have less time to do the entire workout. You aren’t going to come back to these at the end of your circuit of exercises. You will be done after one circuit.

Benefits

The benefits of this exercise are in your glutes (that’s your butt just in case you weren’t sure) and your hamstrings (the muscles on the back of your thighs).

When to Start

DO NOT wait until January 1st. That is an arbitrary date, it means nothing. If you start this (or any) exercise regimen now, and start in on making some simple diet changes, you can lose 5 lbs by the start of 2014.  Why wait?  I will talk more about all of this as this series continues. In the meanwhile, today is the day.

If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments, I would love to hear them.

 

Exercise #6 – Lunges

Exercise #5 – Jumping and Laying Down Jacks

Exercise #3 and #4 – Abdominal Crunches and Oblique Crunches

Exercise #2 – Push Ups

Exercise #1 – Glute Kickbacks

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Drawing and exercise plan by Marty Coleman, © 2013  – All Rights Reserved

 

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