The holidays are upon us making it more difficult to get to the gym. The good news is you don’t need a gym to stay in shape over the holidays! Here’s my list of the most effective at home exercises!
Stand in a staggered stance with one leg positioned in front of the other leg. Keep the front knee over top of the ankle or foot. Keep the back knee underneath or slightly behind your hips. Slowly lower the back knee towards the ground keeping the front knee over top the ankle/foot the entire time. Only go as low as you feel comfortable. Keep your body weight positioned over the front leg – this is your working leg. Maintain proper posture and keep your abdominals contracted. Complete 8-15 reps each leg. Intermediate: Same as above but lunge lower. Advanced – Perform the same exercise as above but start to add resistance by holding weights.
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Start by standing with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart. Set your posture by contracting your abdominals, pressing your chest out and up and your shoulders back and down. Start by slowly squatting backwards while keeping your kneecaps pointing forwards – avoid allowing your knees to collapse inwards. Try to keep your weight equally distributed on all 4 corners of your feet – avoid allowing your arches to collapse inwards. Lower to a comfortable position. You’ll notice that your upper body will come forward slightly while your buttocks travel backwards. Now slowly extend back up. When getting started, you may want to just start with mini-squats until you master the technique and then start dropping lower and lower once your muscles get stronger. Perform a set of 8-12 or 10-15 reps. As you progress, add resistance.
Beginner – Lie on your stomach. Position your hands on the floor a few inches beside your shoulder. Make sure that your elbows are directly over top or to the inside of your wrists. Keep your abdominals contracted and your back in its neutral position. Now slowly push up keeping your knees down and slowly lower down to the starting position. Perform 8-15 repetitions with a break in between each one. (Placing your hands on an incline like a bench, step or wall, or staying on your knees will provide a more gentle entry level option also). Intermediate – Perform the same exercise as above but remain on your toes. Feel free to take breaks in between in rep. As you advance, remove the breaks.
Start by lying on your belly with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Curl your toes under and lift your body off the floor. Pull your belly button toward your spine. Remember to breathe. To make the Hover a bit easier you can do it on your knees rather than your toes. If you need more of a challenge you can lift one foot. Try to build up your plank to 1-2 minutes.
Sit upright with perfect posture – chest out, shoulders back. Now slowly recline back a few inches while keeping your abdominals contracted and back in its neutral position. Hold for 2-4 counts and then return to the starting position. Continue for 60-90 seconds.
Take 30 minutes during your busy season and just head outdoors. It’s a great workout, will release your mind, manage your stress and make you feel so much better!
Yours in health & fitness,