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Easy Ab and Upper Body Workout

Updated on April 15, 2013
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Introduction

We all dream of having a great body and being in great shape, but who has the time? The majority of workouts that produce amazing results all take at least 30 minutes. I'd love to have an amazing body, but if you're like me we just don't have the time to get there or maintain it. So I set out to find a routine that I can fit into my busy schedule and still get decent results. I've found a way to get a decent amount of tone in my upper body, and decent abs without spending big bucks on gym equipment and memberships.

I've been using these two products to do a quick ab and upper body workout that takes less than 15 minutes. I can't promise you'll look like Taylor Lautner, but I've definitely found that with the right routine, persistence, and patience, it definitely makes a difference.

The equipment I use for this routine is affordable, easy to store, and incredibly simple to use. To get a great set of abs, and toned upper body, just follow the workout guidelines below.

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Piece One: The Perfect Pushup

This product is incredibly simple, and totally amazing. Push-ups have been around for a long time. Why? Because anyone can do them, no additional equipment is required, and they can be done anywhere (although you may look a little funny doing push-ups in the grocery store), and if done properly and often enough, they produce great results.

That's the issue with push-ups though. They take a long time to see any results. That's why I purchased the Perfect Pushup. It speeds this process by including several muscle groups that are not used with basic push-ups.

The product itself is a handle attached to a rotating disc. You have one of these in each hand while doing a push-up. The disc rotates as you go through it, using more muscles and feeling more natural than a regular push-up. An instructional poster is also included that covers different methods you can use to target different muscle groups and how you should advance yourself to improve your performance and upper body.

I'll admit, it is a little awkward at first, being able to rotate your fist while doing a push-up, but you definitely notice the effects right away. Now let's talk about this product's brother-in-law, the perfect situp.

Piece Two: The Perfect Situp

Let's face it, sit-ups are brutal. You need to find a comfortable spot to do them, such as an exercise mat or your bed, and you never really know how far up you should be sitting. This particular product solves both of those problems and bring something new to the table, increased resistance.

Sit-ups on their own are alright but as mentioned above can be painful. The perfect situp is essentially a pad that you lay on, with a head rest that you can grab comfortably, and "holsters" to place your feet. It has special "blades" that connect all the pieces and add resistance to your workout.

Now when you lay flat, and place your head on the head rest, grab the handles and then sit up, you'll hear a clicking sound that let's you know you've gone up far enough and can return back down. This definitely takes the guess work out of the equation.

The product also comes with an instructional poster that shows various exercises you can do to target different muscle groups and gives ideas on how to advance yourself as you get better.

I'll admit, once again, that it is a little awkward at first, and actually much harder than a regular sit-up with the increased resistance, not just gravity pulling you down. I have definitely noticed better abs since I started.

Piece Three: The Perfect Workout

Okay so this isn't actually a piece of equipment, but this is definitely important if you want to improve the tone of your upper body and get good-looking abs. Now keep in mind that you may prioritize differently than me. I focus more on my abs. Also, as you get better, you will need to increase either the amount of repetitions you do, or the number of sets you do. Remember that doing this will increase the length of time your workout takes. If you don't want to increase the amount of time too much, I suggest increasing repetitions.

A set is comprised of a number of repetitions of a particular exercise. For example, two sets of 10 push-ups means you do 10 push-ups, take a short break and then do 10 more.

With the equipment mentioned above, I like to do the following:

  1. Turn on some music
  2. Do a quick stretch
  3. Do two sets of 10 push-ups
  4. Do two sets of 3 different sit-up exercises with 10 repetitions each

I have found personally that I improve much more if I take my time and do each repetition slowly instead of trying to rush through them. It is also important to try and keep moving for the duration of your workout, even if it is just leg lifts or jumping jacks. This will keep your heart rate up and turn this into a bit of a cardio workout as well.

It is also important when doing the push-ups to keep your back and legs as straight as you can, imagine yourself as a log with no bends or breaks. You can only bend your arms to lower yourself and straighten them to raise yourself. Keeping this form for the duration of your set will ensure that you get the maximum benefit from the exercise.

While doing sit-ups, make sure you are using your abs to pull yourself up. Try to imagine that someone on the directly across from you is using a rope attached to the back of the headrest to pull it up and lower it back down slowly. If imagination doesn't strike you while you are exercising, just use these tips:

  1. Try to keep your head firmly against the headrest through the entire repetition as lifting it can take away from the effectiveness of the exercise.
  2. Make sure you have a firm grip on the headrest with both hands

Follow these instructions and this shouldn't be a problem.

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Final thoughts

Remember to try and inhale through your nose because the air is heated more as it passes to your lungs and is more useful to your muscles. Exhale through your mouth because this allows you to expel the carbon dioxide quicker so you can take in more oxygen sooner. Proper breathing makes for a more effective and safer workout.

Try not to push yourself too hard, if you do you'll pay for it later. I recommend working out two to three times a week.

As you improve you may find that the Perfect Situp just isn't challenging you any more. I have included links to the upgraded "blades" that increase the resistance and will restore the challenge.

If you're out of ideas for workouts using the Perfect Pushup, I've included a link below to a bunch of video tutorials for different methods using the product to engage different muscle groups.

Just remember, good things take time. This isn't going to happen overnight. Just keep at it and you'll see the difference in time. I find that the workouts are more entertaining while listening to my favorite music. If you are having trouble getting in the mood for a workout, try turning on some tunes to get yourself started.

Stay healthy and, as always, stay excellent!

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    • Anselome profile image
      Author

      Steve Anselmo 4 years ago from Thunder Bay

      Thank you very much! I had purchased the equipment years ago, but I could never find the time to dedicate to a workout and I didn't want to pay for a gym membership (Some of them are so expensive!). I work at an office during the day and I noticed a gradual decline in my athleticism so I decided to do something about it.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the tips. Makes me feel good to hear a veteran say I've got it right!

      Stay Excellent!

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Some great tips on here brother in terms of working out. I am always up for a refresher even though I work out 4 days a week doing the Dorian Yates approach. I'm going to be voting up and sharing!