Your Gardening Fitness Program Week 1

Week 1: Stretch: Trunk Rotation

Gardening often requires twisting movements when reaching for tools or bagging leaves. This exercise will help to gain motion and flexibility in trunk muscles in order to perform such movements.

How To Perform Trunk Rotation:

Stand with your feet no greater than shoulder width apart. Holding a broom, rake, or dowel behind you (at shoulder or waist level), slowly turn your shoulders to the right. Hold this position between 2-5 seconds before turning to the left. Rotate within a comfortable range.

Tip: Try this stretch before and after gardening.

Exercise: Abdominal Marching And Abdominal Arm Raises In order to protect your back from injury during gardening activities, strong abdominal muscles are essential. Strong abdominals encourage proper posture, and will promote the stability needed to maintain a sustained posture for longer periods of time when working in the garden.

How To Perform Abdominal Marching:

Lie on your back on a smooth firm surface with your knees bent. Tighten your stomach muscles, drawing your belly button downward toward your spine (like you are “sucking in” to put on a tight pair of pants).

Continue to keep these muscles tight while alternately lifting and lowering your right foot, then your left foot. Perform this motion as if you were marching. Make sure you are not holding your breath.

Do 2 sets, each lasting 60 seconds. If you feel you are not contracting the full 60 seconds, stop, rest and begin again.

How To Perform Abdominal Arm Raises:

Lie on your back on a smooth surface with your knees bent. Tighten your stomach muscles, drawing your belly button downward toward your spine. Continue to keep these muscles tight while alternately lifting and lowering your right arm (elbow straight), followed by your left arm. Make sure you are not holding your breath. Do 2 sets, each lasting 60 seconds. If you feel you are not contracting the full 60 seconds, stop, rest and begin again.

Tip: You may combine abdominal marching and abdominal arm raises into one exercise when you feel that they are no longer challenging for you individually.

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