On is business card, Kenneth "True" Howard includes the letters "o" and "i" under his name.
The letters represent his commitment to Anytime Fitness, his Orland Park gym and his way of living life: "Own to inspire."
Howard, a certified personal trainer, recently agreed to work with Patch and colleague Kaitlyn McGreehin to devise a list of five simple exercises you can do at home to improve your physical fitness. (The two demonstrate how to perform the exercises in the five videos pubished with this article):
1. Deadlift to overhead press.
"The deadlift to overhead press is a total body exercise," Howard said. "You engage your core as well as your upper-body and you feel stimulation in your hamstrings as well. So, you're working the posterior chain."
2. Wall sit.
"A wall sit is an isometric hold agains the wall where you want a right angle between your knees and then you want another right angle at the waist," Howard said. "So, you're just holding a stationary position, keeping your arms out in front of you. And you want to try to hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute in lenghth. You're targeting your quadriceps as well as your hamstrings and a little bit of the glutes, depending on how low you stoop in the movement."
3. Squat thrust.
"It's more of an explosive movement—similar to a burpee, except you take out the jump," Howard. "It raises your heart rate and really gets you worked up. This takes a little bit more staminia and endurance than some of the other exercises because it there is much more movement involved. You'll feel more lactic acid buildup in the quadriceps area—at least I do when I do it."
"You're taking your hand and you're touching the opposite leg," Howard said. "We start with your hands behind you and then you contract your core—you're laying flat on the ground. So, with your arms fully extended, you just want to contract your core, raise your leg and you want to touch the opposite hand to the leg. Then, go back to the full-extended position and repeat on the other side. This engages your entire core."
"A plank is another isometric hold, and it works your entire core," Howard said. "The way that it's setup—you want to rest on your forearms and you want to make sure your whole body is in alignment. So, meaning your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should all be in alignment. You want to hold that position and it really focuses on your stabilization muscles. And just trying to hold this position—it's much more difficult than it appears."
COMING SATURDAY: Log on at 6 a.m. Saturday and meet the man who turned his own life and fitness upside down before he went into business at Anytime Fitness.