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Health and Fitness Tips

Smart Workouts To Start The New Year

Finding time to workout after the holiday season can be difficult at best. They are so many pressures for a man on the go, after work socials, lunches, school functions, traveling - the list goes on and on. It is important to carve out time every other day to not only maintain your body, but your mental outlook as well.

I have pulled together a few simple exercises that you can preform in almost any setting. Using an Ab Wheel is simple, convenient, and requires little room in your luggage if you are traveling.

Ab Wheel
Muscle Targeted - hip flexors, lats, triceps, secondary muscles, hamstrings, abdominals and spinal erectors.

Exercise Execution - kneel facing the Ab Wheel and grasp the wheel's handles with an overhand grip so that your body is fully extended except for your upper thighs and torso, which are angled up off the floor slightly; and your arms, which are angled downward to the same degree. Keeping your spine neutral, your arms extended and your shins and feet in place, flex your torso to roll the wheel toward you, stopping once your arms and thighs are both nearly perpendicular to the floor, at which point your torso is angled upward. Reverse the movement and repeat for reps for a total of 10 reps and three sets.

Lying One-Arm Lateral Raise
Muscle Targeted - deltoids and lat muscles.

Exercise Execution - lie on one side of a flat bench with a dumbbell in the hand of your uppermost arm. Settle your opposing shoulder on the bench toward the end, so that both shoulders are perpendicular to the bench. The lower arm is extended in a comfortable position to act as a counterbalance, and the upper leg is straight and in-line with the bench. The lower leg stretches out and to the floor to act as the main stabilizer in this seemingly ridiculous but extremely effective outer-shoulder exercise.

Balanced and ready, position the dumbbell at its starting place by extending it out in front of your body and slightly toward the floor. With the strength recruited primarily from the shoulder, raise the weight above your body, contract, and lower slowly. Hold for a second and repeat till the set is completed (6 reps). Focus, breathe, burn. Reverse the body position and continue the exercise. Complete a total of four sets on each side with 6 reps in each set.

Muscle Targeted - lats, rectus abdominis, hip flexors, biceps, obliques, and forearms.

Exercise Execution - Hang from a chinning bar with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your hands about 12 inches apart in an underhand grip. Simultaneously pull yourself up with your arms and crunch your knees up, so that you finish both the chin and the crunch at the same time. At full contraction, your nose will be at the bar and your knees will be pulled up into your chest. Reverse the movement slowly to return to the starting position. Once you've mastered the basic version, try adding resistance by holding a dumbbell between your feet. Complete 8 reps, and a total of three sets.

Before preforming any exercise, I recommend 10 minutes of stretching and about 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. This warms-up those tired muscles and burns calories.

Easy to perform exercises like these, mixed with stretching and cardiovascular will help you start the new year out right.

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed