Investigate free forms of exercise before investing in equipment

STAYING FIT

October 02, 1990|By Judi Sheppard Missett | Judi Sheppard Missett,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Before investing money in weight machines and exercise cycles that may end up as clothes racks, try working out with what you have.

Forms of free exercise such as curl-ups, push-ups and leg lifts work to strengthen and tone specific muscles, using gravity and the weight of your body as the resistance force. The following exercise focuses on the gluteus maximus (derriere) and the hamstring muscles, which lie along the back of the thigh.

*Drop to the all-fours position. Extend your right leg behind you so it is level with your spine. Don't arch your back or let it "sway."

*Keep your leg at the same level while you bend the knee to about a 45-degree angle. Repeat the movements 15 times for each leg, then repeat as desired.

* Ms. Missett is founder and chief executive officer of Jazzercise, an international aerobic-dance instruction company.

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