Dynamic self-resistance exercises may sound familiar if names like Charles Atlas and Earle Liederman ring a bell. In these exercises, the individual can use as much tension as they want, increasing tension over time to provide a consistent and challenging workout. One muscle group provides resistance for another muscle group. Maximum intensity is reached when the individual can manage only three or four repetitions before exhausting the muscle.
Although the following exercises are from Wendie Pett’s Every Woman’s Guide to Personal Power (Bronze Bow Publishing, 2004), these movements are not limited to women. Start with more repetitions (10 – 12 repetitions) and light resistance and build up to fewer repetitions and more intense resistance.
Chest Strengthening Exercises
Clasp the hands at chest level so one hand is wrapped around the fisted hand. Create resistance by pushing the fist against the palm of the other hand. Switch hand positions and push in the opposite direction, moving as far as possible.
Squat with heels six inches apart and knees spread wide. Place hands on the outside of the knees and try to press the knees together with the hands.
Resistance Shoulder Exercise
Stand with right wrist over the left wrist, hands open and below waist level. Press one wrist against the other and raise the arms overhead. Lower against the resistance. Change the position of the wrists and repeat.
Arm Workout to Tone Biceps and Triceps
Grasp the right wrist with the left hand. Curl the right hand into a fist, palm up. Curl the right fist to the right shoulder, creating resistance with the left hand. Complete repetitions and switch hands.
Repeat the above exercise with the palm down.
Hold the right fist, palm up, in left hand at chest height. Extend the right arm out and down against the resistance of the left hand. Complete repetitions and switch hands.
Hold the right hand so the fingers are together and the palm faces left. Clasp the right hand in the left hand and hold the hands just under the chin. Lower the hands to chest height, creating resistance. Repeat and then change the hand positions.
Leg and Buttock Toning Exercises
While standing, bend the right leg so to lift the heel toward the buttocks. Contract and hold for a count of two. Straighten leg and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Switch legs.
Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned out. Keep back straight and bend knees into a squat. Lift heels off the ground and balance. Lower heels and stand straight. Repeat.
The key to effective dynamic self-resistance exercises is to challenge the muscles by creating resistance. When moving a body part in one direction, use the other body part involved in the exercise to produce tension. The exerciser can control the amount of tension. Isometric and Dynamic Visualized Resistance exercises also allow the individual to challenge their muscles without using free- or machine-weights.
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