Ask Chuck: Do you have 6 minutes a day to work out?

May 1, 2014 at 12:01 a.m.

By Charles Colson

Charles, just the thought of the word workout tires me out. Do you have any quick fix for us to accomplish this and still stay in shape?

Thank you for asking. As a matter of fact, I recently came across a perfect article in To Your Health magazine that puts this in a simple mode.

The editorial staff suggested a perfect six-minute workout. The article made it quite simple for all of us. It said with these eight steps, you should never complain from the great results.

Perform the following exercises consecutively for 30 seconds a piece, resting only to transition from one exercise to the next, 15 seconds max. This is the only equipment you will need: your body, a chair, box or other elevated surface and a wall or flat vertical surface.

The goal is to complete as many repetitions of each exercise within 30 seconds. Focus on doing each exercise the right way as quickly as you can. This way, you will avoid putting your neck, shoulders and back at risk.

The following is from the To Your Health website:

Push-ups: Do as many as you can with good form within 30 seconds. Good form means your elbows are approximately shoulder-width and your head, buttocks, feet are essentially aligned. As you descend into each repetition, your elbows should bend back toward your feet rather than out perpendicular to your body. Keep your abs tight throughout.

Plank: Once 30 seconds have expired, transition from push-up position to plank position, which means changing your point of contact with the floor from hands to forearms. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle at shoulder height and rest on your forearms for 30 seconds, holding your abs tight. Again, avoid flexing your lower back to risk injury.

Wall squats: Transition from plank position to a wall squat, which is as simple as standing with your back against a wall and lowering yourself down until your knees are bent to a 70-degree angle or so with your body. Hold for 30 seconds. Avoid slumping your shoulders. Tighten your abs.

Triceps dips: Grab a chair and perform triceps dips for 30 seconds. Position yourself so you're facing away from the chair, and support yourself with your hands, fingers facing forward. With arms extended completely, lower yourself by bending your elbows to a 90-degree angle and then raise yourself back up so your arms are extended again. The key is to keep your elbows in a fixed position so you work the triceps, the back of your upper arms.

Step-ups: Take that same chair and transition into step-ups/step-downs. It's as easy as it sounds. Stand in front of the chair and step one foot up, then the second foot up, then the first foot down, then the second foot down; repeat for 30 seconds as quickly as you can. Keep your back straight and concentrate on the movement to avoid falling. Balance is more important than speed here.

Bicycles: It's time to ride a bicycle without a bike. Lie on the floor, knees bent toward your chest and hands behind your neck for support. Elevate your shoulders slightly off the floor and move your legs through a pedaling motion for 30 seconds, feeling the burn in both the upper and lower abdominals. Avoid pulling on your neck with your hands; just keep them there for support.

Side planks, right side: Finish your six-minute workout by assuming the plank position again, but instead of facing the floor, your starting position is on your side, supported by one elbow, with your elbow and side of your leg and foot supporting the other leg and foot. Rather than hold the position for 30 seconds, as in the original plank, lower your body slowly and deliberately; thus, bending your side toward the floor and raising back up again. This not only works your abs as you hold the pose but also specifically engages the obliques, which refers to love handles.

Side planks, left side: After you've finished as many reps as you can in 30 seconds on your right side, switch sides and using the opposite elbow for support, repeat the process. Keep this up for 30 seconds then rest for another 15 seconds.

So, are we still best friends? I'll make a deal with you: Let's play healthy. You start this daily workout, and I'll start with you.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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