A guest post from fitness blogger Ashley:
Today was one of those days where I had an internal conversation about why I didn’t want to go workout. “I’m so tired…I worked a full morning…my kitty is being lazy, I can be too…the gym is probably going to be really hot…I will get hungry and run out of energy mid workout…” What did I do? I got myself up before I even attempted to nap and decided that I’d probably feel a lot better once I was finished and worked hard. My intuition was right.
There are always excuses that can be made when it comes to exercising and eating right. There are going to be birthdays, holidays, hot days, cold days, sick days, sad days and tired days. These will all tempt you to eat too many snacks and too much dessert or make you just want to stay in bed. Take it from me, it’s hard to be self motivated all the time on top of motivating others all day being a trainer. I make the choice though to exercise even on the hard days and let go of excuses and the obstacles that get in my way.
The reason I’m babbling on and on is because I have come up with a no excuse workout for you. You can do it anytime, anywhere with zero equipment besides the thing you carry with you all the time…your body weight.
Sidenote: There is nothing I make my clients do that I haven’t done before. So I proceeded to have my photographer (thanks mom for all your help) take my photos and then got to work. It didn’t take a lot of time, it got my heart rate up and I was sweating by the end. Excuses are harder to make when you know your workout will be efficient and make you tired and sweaty…you just have to buckle down and do it.
Some of these exercises I’ve talked about before so parts will just be a review. So here’s the break down:
Squats: Start with your feet shoulder width apart with both feet facing forward. Weight should be evenly distributed through toes to heels. To perform the exercise, pretend you have a chair behind you…sit your butt back first as you start to bend your knees. The weight should shift into your heels and you should be able to lift up your toes at the bottom of the exercise. The reason for this is to make sure your knees are protected. The rule of thumb is your knees should never cross the plane of your toes. Try to get your quads and hamstrings parallel with the ground before you come back up to your starting position.
Push Ups: I did the push up on my toes but you can always modify and start on your knees until you get a little stronger. Start with your hands about shoulder width apart, back flat and think about pulling your belly button to your spine to contract your abdominal muscles. You want to make sure that you are lowering your body towards the ground as a unit. Your back should never arch as it puts a lot of strain on the wrong muscle groups. As you lower your body, allow your elbows to bend to a 90 degree angle. Then just push yourself back up to your starting position.
Split Jumps: The split jump is a little more complicated than the basic lunge because you will be adding a little bit of plyometrics to your movement. (If your body does not allow, just stay on the ground and do a basic lunge) Start with your feet together and take an oversized step forward. In this position you are going to keep good posture and instead of leaning into your front leg to perform the lunge, you are going to drop your back knee towards the ground. This will ensure you are continuing to stand up tall and it will also protect those knee joints. The same rule applies for lunges as they do squats…no knees should cross the plane of the toes. Once you are down in your lunge position, you are going to come up and jump into the next lunge switching your feet so the opposite leg is in front. You will continue this lunge and jump motion for the duration of your set.
Oblique Crunches: You are going to start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. This is going to be a unilateral movement because we will work on one side of the body and then switch to the other. Choose a side and drop your bent knees to one side of your body. The motion is going to be the same as your basic crunch, you will just be working those obliques. Remember to lift at your shoulders, not your neck and keep a space between your chin and your chest. Switch sides once you’re done.
Burpees: Don’t let anyone convince you that burpees are terrible. They are a wonderful exercise that will work your whole body and get your heart rate up…doesn’t get much better than that. You will start in a standing position with hands overhead. Jump up off the ground and then bend your knees so that you can put your hands on the ground in the same position as your push up. You are then going to two foot jump your feet back or walk one foot at a time back into your starting push up position. Your back should be flat and hands should be stacked directly below your shoulders. Jump or walk your feet back to your bent knee position and stand up to start the exercise over again with a small jump with hands overhead…see, how fun does that sound?
Plank Up Downs: Start in same position you started in for your push up. Pick an arm and drop it down to your elbow followed by the other arm doing the same. You will then be on both elbows in a plank. With the same arm that you started with, push back up to a straight arm plank position followed by the other arm. Switch the arm that you start with for each repetition.
Frog Jumps: These are one of my favorite animal exercises…start in a wide stance squat with your toes slightly turned to the side. Squat down driving your knees towards your toes and once you’re in the squatting position put your hands down on the ground but make sure you keep your chest up and shoulders back. Jump up and then back down back into your squat.
Those all sound like fun right? So just do 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions each exercise…if you need to take a break at any time, do so just try to complete this as quickly as possible while keeping good form. Like I said before, there is nothing wrong with modifying any of these exercises. You know your body and capabilities better than anyone so listen to your body and do what feels right. If you can’t keep good form at any time, take a little break and jump back into it when you can. Push yourself and break a sweat.
Have a good week everyone and remember there are always going to be a millions things to do and a million reasons to not workout. Buckle down, put your gym clothes and shoes on and just get there and do it. Sometimes it’s the getting there that’s the hardest part…once you’re there, keep your goals in mind and work hard. If you don’t belong to a gym all you need is a little space, time and energy and you can get back to your to-do list in no time. Don’t allow your excuses to get in the way anymore.