Five important exercises

05.01.2016

There is no need to invest in expensive equipment, or a gym membership, to work out effectively. In this article you will get to know five effective exercises that don’t require any equipment. By doing these five exercises twice a week, in addition to doing something active during the weekend, you will lower the risk of lifestyle diseases.

The exercises

Four of the exercises are strength exercises, while the last one is an effective endurance workout. They are all fairly easy to carry out, and all come with different degrees of difficulty.

4×4 minutes intervals

Endurance is the muscles ability to perform over a certain period of time. When you work on endurance, your muscles burn energy, preferably in the form of carbohydrates and fats, using oxygen. Oxygen flow to your muscles is therefore the most important factor affecting your endurance.

The whole purpose of endurance training is to increase the size and elasticity of the heart and blood vessels. This increases the maximum oxygen uptake, and prevents lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, reduced circulation and age diabetes.

How to conduct 4×4 intervals:

– Sessions must start with a 6-minute warm up at moderate intensity.

– Each interval consists of 4 minutes at high intensity, with a 3-minute active rest between each interval. In order to get the most effect out of the training, you have to be at 85 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate at the end of the first interval, and reach the same intensity after 1 minute in the remaining intervals.

– You reached the right level when, after 2 minutes, you breathe heavily, but do not experience any discomfort or stiffness in the legs.

– During the breaks, your heart rate should drop down to 70 percent of maximum.

– After the four intervals, you should have a five-minute cool down to finish.

Squats

One of the most important body parts to work on is your legs. They get the biggest impact throughout the day and need to be strong to keep you upright throughout life. Professors Jan Hoff and Jan Helgerud at NTNU have done a lot of research on training. They have reached the conclusion that the most efficient workout for your legs are leg presses or squats with heavy resistance, along with interval training.

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Heavier alternative

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Diagonal lift and Sit-ups

The muscles of the torso stabilize the back; therefore exercises like sit-ups and diagonal lift is important. It’s difficult to make diagonal lift heavier, but you make it more challenging by dwelling time in the top position. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds. If it’s too easy to do 4×4-repetitions, you can increase to 10 repetitions in 4 sets.

Diagonal lift

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Sit-ups

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4×4 Push-ups

Push-ups strengthen your triceps and chest muscles. You activate these muscles by pushing heavy things or climb obstacles.

You can make this exercise easier by standing on your knees, or do the push-ups against a chair or wall. You can make the exercise harder by placing your feet higher than the floor.

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Easier alternative

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