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Sit up, stand up: a new way to tone your body with Andy from Fitness Factory

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As we move forward in our New Year's resolutions to lose weight and tone our bodies, some have turned to trainers like myself. Andy Berman from Fitness Factory in Westport, CT has graciously taken on the task to train me, and here is another exercise from his regemine. This is a whole body workout that I felt in my abs, hip flexors, biceps and back: it's called Sit up, Stand up.

What you'll need: at a gym, a ladder-like object with rounded rungs mounted to the wall and a mat; at home, use your desk or low bureau (so you can anchor your feet) and a mat. Make sure whatever object you use at home can handle your pull strength to get your body up.

How it works

  1. Push the mat all the way against the wall or the home object of your choice.
  2. Anchor your feet at the bottom and sit with your legs bent 45 degrees, back on the floor and arms above your head.
  3. In one motion, pull your shoulders up into a sit up, then grab your anchor spot and pull your body up to stand.
  4. Return to your start postion to finish the repetition.
  5. Repeat steps three and four 10 to 15 times to complete a set.
  6. Do two or three sets.

Why this works

Like the push up, this exercise tones more than just one muscle group. You engage your abs, hip flexors and quads in the sit up; you use your bicpes, triceps, shoulders and back when you pull yourself to a standing position.

Without lifting weights you being to tone your body, and you can even use this move as a warm up to weight lifting. The upward motion gets your heart rate up and keeps it there throughout the exercise.

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