Guide To Family Exercise Classes

Too many hours spent hunched in front of a computer can harm your back, neck, and posture. When your arms are in front of you all the time, your chest gets tight and the back is constantly stretched. This move forces you to lift your chest and contract the muscles between your shoulder blades, which counteracts all that slumping. Strengthening your back will help you improve your posture and head off pain.

Do this move regularly, and soon you’ll be standing taller, feeling less achy, and sporting a more sculpted back. Stretch your chest first (with elbows higher than your shoulders) to increase your range of motion.

Anchor the centre of a resistance band at the top of a closed door and stand a metre or two away with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold an end of the band in each hand and raise arms in front of you at shoulder level, palms facing up.

Draw your arms toward your hips (without bending your elbows), pulling your shoulder blades down and together and lifting your chest. Keep hands aligned with forearms (don’t tilt your wrists forward or back). Slowly raise arms to start position (resist the tension of the band) and repeat. Do up to three sets of 10 to 20 slow reps.

How to boost fitness through running routines

As part of family exercise classes, hit the street for 10 minutes at a gentle pace, keeping your body loose and your elbows bent at right angles. Next, work your glutes by taking long strides – push off the balls of your feet. As you step with your right leg, drive your left elbow behind you and swing your right hand up to work arms and shoulders (reverse, the movement for your left leg). Work yourself up to a shoplifter’s pace. Do 15 to 25 strides before slowing to a normal pace.

Stop for squats. Stop, after another five-minute run, and toughen up your quadriceps. With your hands on your hips for balance, cross your right ankle over your left thigh, just above your knee. Bend your left knee a few centimetres and hold then straighten up. Do eight to 15 repetitions with each leg.

End a final five minute run at a doorstep. Rest your weight on the balls of your feet and hang your heels off the edge of the step, with your hands against the door for support. Slowly lower your heels below the step until you feel a stretch in your calves, then rise on your toes. Once you’ve done 10, stay on your toes and lift a bit higher for 10 to 20 pulsing repetitions.

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