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Fortunately 500 Workout

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Everyone wants an awesome workout that can be done virtually anywhere -- hotel room, bedroom, office, wherever! But how does one know how to do a workout without a gym and without knowing the moves to hit every single muscle group from head to toe? Fortunately for the exercise enthusiast, the birth of a new exercise program, Fortunately 500, developed and successfully executed at my corporate wellness program at Southbay BMW. Just like Fortune 500 companies have some of the brightest minds in business, you will now possess the brightest workout in those "I can't get to the gym" moments. There is only one piece of equipment that you will need for this workout: your body!

This is how you do it: Perform five sets of each of the 10 exercises, doing 10 repetitions for each exercise for each set. In other words, do each of the 10 exercise 10 times, supersetting all exercises back to back for five sets. If you do the math, 10 exercises x 10 reps each = 100 x five sets = 500 reps total. Make sure you start out doing dynamic stretches (holding the stretch for five seconds) prior to the workout to get the muscles warmed up, and then stretch statically (holding each stretch for 30 seconds each) to restore the proper length tension relationship of muscles after the workout. So write out the workout on a piece of construction paper and then plan on having fun!

Squats

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

Squats are one of the most functional movements that you do every day, and probably don't even realize it. Many people actually lack the proper leg and glute strength where I see them plopping down onto their seat, instead of lowering down with control. Pay close attention to this next time you have to take a seat. Squats, when done correctly, can help you strengthen your entire lower body. To execute, stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder distance, with your toes facing outward. Sit the hips back so that your knees track in line with your ankles. Be sure to externally rotate (turn out) at the hips in order to keep those knees pointing in the same direction as your toes. Bring your elbows up and use them to guide you through a full range of motion as you tap them to your thighs for each repetition.

Plank to Downward Dog

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

Yoga is so popular these days, so why not incorporate it into your workout every so often? Plank position is the top of a push-up. Starting in plank, on your hands and toes, align your shoulders over your wrists, with your feet hip-distance apart. Think about squeezing every muscle in the body so that the weight doesn't fall into the wrists. Downward dog in yoga is a resting pose. So, when you do a downward dog, your weight is being pushed back into your heels by aligning your body to where both of your hands are sealed to the ground through the finger tips and the heels of the palms. Straighten out both arms as you push your shoulders down your back (keeping them away from your ears) and with control straighten out the back of your legs to connect your heels to the ground. If you are super duper tight in your hamstrings, calves and lower back, simply bend through both knees and put an emphasis on aligning the upper body as noted above.

Single-Leg Squat Touchdown

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

Here is an excellent stability exercise that challenges not only stability, but proprioception (your brain's knowledge of where it is spatially), and strength in your leg, unilaterally (one at a time). To execute, lift your left leg one foot off the ground putting all your weight into the right leg. Find your new center of gravity and pull your core in tight so that you feel balanced on a single leg. Once you feel stable, then take your left hand and squat slowly down keeping your knee tracking over that ankle so that your knee stays straight on its track. The knee should point the same way as your toes. Reach your left hand to either touch your right knee or your right toes. Sit the booty way back. A modification is to place your left leg back into a lunge position, but still "load" the right leg and use your left leg as a kickstand. A full range of motion is coming to a full stand with the left knee up to hip height (if lunging, keep the back leg on the floor and simply lift the trunk to an upright position). Each side is a separate exercise.

Push Plank

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

Want to work your whole body from head to toe in one exercise? Well here you have it. This total body move will hit your shoulders, rotator cuff, chest, back, core, arms and legs all in one move. Big bang for your buck. So, position yourself in a plank position or top of a push-up, stacking your shoulders on top of your wrists. Belly tight, thighs engaged, feet hip-distance apart. Hold for a count and then lower down to your forearms while keeping your hips squared out to the ground. Hold for a count on the bottom and then push back up to your hands. Alternate from right to left and left to right so that you can work on coordination, too.

Alternating Side Curtsy

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

Starting in a standing position, bring your left leg behind your right leg as you take a bow as if you just performed in a show. Extend your arms out to the side, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you drop your chest down to touch your right thigh. Maintain a neutral spine and make sure you consciously track the right knee in line with the right ankle and avoid twisting the knee, while stepping in this diagonal fashion with the opposite foot. Return to a standing position and then repeat on the other side. Each side is a separate exercise.

Push-ups

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

You all know how to do a standard push-up -- one of the few exercises out there that is still being used to test people's strength. Doing them correctly is key. Starting in a high plank position, place your hands wider than shoulder distance apart and be on your toes (or if you need to modify then go on your knees) You can put a rolled towel under your chest so that each time you lower, you tap the towel, which should bring your elbows to 90 degrees of flexion (bend). Keep your core engaged and your shoulders drawn down away from your ears.

Single-Leg Hip Flexion to Extension

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

Another stabilization exercise is here. Starting with your weight transferred to your left leg, lift your right knee up toward your chest and while maintaining a neutral spine (straight back), pull your abs in tight and tuck your tailbone down toward the ground. Ground through your left foot and stabilize. Then, with a bent right knee, pull your knee through the center line of your body as you move your right foot behind you bringing your hip into extension. Point your right toes down toward the ground and keep an upward energy in your chest keeping your back neutral and your weight evenly distributed between your back leg and your forward leaning posture. Repeat 10 reps on one side and then switch to the other leg.

Alternating Side Plank

Kickstand the foot OR lift the leg up into abduction on each side.

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Photo credit: Jerry Lin

Start in plank position. By now you should know what that is. This move can be tricky because you will be rotating from side to side so be sure to take your time in the transitions, keep your core engaged and watch that you keep your chest and back engaged, thereby protecting the shoulders. From basic high plank position, rotate to the right bringing your right leg under your left and you can either use your left leg as a kickstand behind or in front of your straightened out right leg. A more advanced move is to abduct (lift up your leg away from the other leg) up into the air. For whichever variation you choose, be sure to push the ground away with your bottom hand creating a rainbow shape in your side body working your right obliques. After hitting a right side plank, slowly return to a basic plank and transition to the left side repeating the above.

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