Who Needs a Gym?: Working Out at Home on Wintry Days

It’s Friday! And even better news for those of us in East Texas, it’s sunny and on its way to 70 degrees! I am not cut out for cold weather, nor for the bottomless supply of lotion I’m constantly applying to my moisture-starved hands and heels. By the way, Eucerin Aquaphor ointment works wonders!

I’ve decided it’s time to pull a Zach Morris and say “Time Out” to talking about proper, even godly, eating and nutrition. Time to work up an appetite for those healthy, natural God-made foods by moving away from your computer and stepping toward the closest gym! The good news is, the closest gym is in your midst…

On cold, drizzly winter days there’s little motivation to pile on loads of layers atop a tastefully skimpy gym outfit, hop in your freezing car, de-bundle yourself in a drafty locker room, then spend the first fifteen to twenty minutes of your workout trying desperately to elevate your core temperature and increase blood circulation. I think most of us would rather drink Swiss Miss and watch Kim and Kourtney take New York (and when I say “most,” I repentantly mean myself and a few friends of mine!).

Anyway, the workout I’m about to give you is an excellent total body circuit routine that doesn’t require any equipment other than a wall, a chair, and your smiling effervescent self. 😉

Do the exercises below for forty-five seconds each in the order listed, moving from one exercise to the next without resting. Complete the circuit three times before moving on to the next and only rest if you need to.

Note: With any exercise routine, it’s important to warm up for at least five minutes so your muscles are warmed and your heart rate reaches a workable rate for beginning exercise. Do a few minutes of jumping jacks, jogging or biking around the block, or running in place.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Oh, yeah. The best part is you can turn on your TV and quality programming whilst you work!

 Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di

Circuit 1

1.)    Body squat

  1. Position your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Hold your hands out in front of you at shoulder height for balance.
  3. Slowly bend your knees and lower yourself as far as you can without lifting your heels off the floor.
  4. Pause briefly at the bottom before pushing your weight back up to starting position.

2.)    Tricep dips

  1. Sit in a stable chair. 
  2. Place hands on the chair slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  3. Walk your feet out in front of you so that your lower back is grazing the edge of the chair. Knees remain at a ninety degree angle. 
  4. Lower your body by bending at the elbow. Elbows should not point away from your body as you lower.
  5. Push heels into the floor as you straighten your arms.

3.)    Crunches

  1. Find a comfortable (not your bed!) surface and lie down on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest.
  2. Pull your navel in towards your spine and press your lower back into the floor.
  3. Slowly squeeze your abs as you bring your shoulder blades 1-2 inches off the floor.
  4. Exhale as you come up, keeping your neck straight and chin up.
  5. Slowly lower back down, but maintain a contraction.

4.)    Modified push-ups

  1. Get on hands and knees. Spread your hands so that they are slightly wider than the width of your shoulders.
  2. Make sure your arms are perpendicular to the floor; move shoulders to adjust.
  3. Bend your arms as your body slowly lowers to the floor. Make sure your entire body is straight by keeping your navel pulled in towards your spine.
  4. Concentrate on your chest muscles as your push your body back up to starting position.

5.)    Star jumps

  1. With feet close together, bend your knees to a ninety degree angle.
  2. Bend at the waist so that your torso rests on your thighs. Arms are relaxed over your legs so that hands rest above your feet.
  3. Explode up, taking your hands and feet up and out to create the shape of a star. Focus on squeezing your upper back muscles.
  4. Keep your abs pulled in as you land, and focus on landing softly before exploding up again.

Circuit 2

1.)    Knee-to-elbow

  1. Assume a regular push-up position on the floor with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Contracting your abs, lift your right leg off the floor, bend right knee, and bring knee toward your right elbow as you engage the right side of your oblique muscles. Maintain a flat back throughout the movement.
  3. Slowly return to starting position with right toes on the floor.

2.)    Burpees

  1. Get in a squat position with feet close together and hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. With hands on the floor, kick your feet back so that you are in a push-up position.
  3. Immediately return your feet to the squat position.
  4. Jump up as high as you can from the squat position.
  5. Repeat as fluidly as possible.

3.)    Superman

  1. Lie face down on a soft surface with arms extended overhead. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
  2. Keeping your arms and legs straight (not locked) and torso stationary, lift your arms and legs towards the ceiling as if to form a “U” with your body.
  3. Hold arms and legs a few inches off the floor for 2 to 5 seconds and gently lower.

4.)    Close-arm wall push-ups

  1. Face a wall, standing an arm’s length away. Feet are slightly apart, legs straight with weight in your toes.
  2. Place your hands on the wall with index fingers and thumbs forming a triangle. Keep arms in line with your shoulders.
  3. Bend elbows about 90 degrees and lower body toward the wall without touching it.
  4. Straighten arms and return to the starting position.

Note: To make this more difficult, move your feet further away from the wall.

Circuit 3

1.)    Stationary lunges

  1. Stand with your feet as wide as you comfortably can with right foot in front of your left, left heel lifted, all toes pointing forward.
  2. Slowly bend your right knee and lower your left knee until it nearly touches the floor. Keep your right knee in line with your right ankle, and do not let your knee move beyond the line of your toes. Your leg should form a 90 degree angle.
  3. Move straight back up to standing.
  4. Return right foot to the center, bring left foot in front, right foot to the back, and repeat.
  5. Continue to alternate right and left for the duration of the 45 second set.

 

2.)    Bicycle crunches

  1. Lie face up on the floor and lace your fingers behind your head. Keep elbows back.
  2. Bring knees in toward your chest and lift shoulder blades off the ground without pulling on your neck.
  3. Straighten the left leg out while simultaneously twisting upper body to the right, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee.
  4. Switch sides, bringing right elbow towards the left knee.

3.)    Double punch

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees bent, torso almost parallel to the floor.
  2. “Pin” elbows to your sides, hands close to your chest.
  3. Extend left arm forward with a closed fist (palm down) as you extend right arm backward with a closed fist (palm up). Squeeze the muscles of your triceps and shoulder blades.
  4. Bring arms back to the center and switch sides.

4.)    Bridge     

  1. Lie on your back with feet hip-distance apart and knees bent. Arms rest at your sides.
  2. Contract your abs and pull your hips up by tightening your glutes until your body forms a diagonal from knees to chest.
  3. Drop your hips slowly back to the ground, keeping your abs pulled in.

   Note: Cooling down is just as important as warming up. It assists in the body’s recovery and brings you back to a pre-workout state. It helps your breathing and heart rate return to normal and also prevents dizziness. Gentle aerobic activity like walking for five minutes is an effective cool-down period.  

Stretch Descriptions:

1.)    Hip/glute

  1. Cross your left foot over right knee.
  2. Grasp hands behind right thigh and gently pull thigh towards you, keeping the body relaxed.
  3. Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.

2.)    Inner thigh

  1. Sit on the floor with feet pressed together.
  2. Keep abs pulled in as you lean forward.
  3. Keep leaning until you feel a nice stretch in your inner thighs.

3.)    Hamstring

  1. Lie on the floor with your knees bent.
  2. Straighten one leg up towards the ceiling and slowly pull it towards you, clasping your hands behind the thigh, calf, or ankle – whichever is most comfy.
  3. Keep knee slightly bent. Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.

4.)    Chest and shoulders

  1. Standing, interlock fingers behind your back, arms straight.
  2. Keeping hands together, lift them as high as you comfortably can.
  3. Hold for at least fifteen seconds.

5.)    Upper back

  1. Clasp your hands together in front of your chest, arms straight.
  2. Round your back towards the floor, pressing your arms away from your body to feel a stretch in your upper back.
  3. Hold for at least fifteen seconds.

6.)    Triceps

  1. Standing, bend your right elbow behind your head and use your left hand to gently pull the right elbow in further until you feel a stretch in the back of your arm (tricep).
  2. Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.

7.)    Spine twist

  1. Lie on the floor and place your right foot on left knee.
  2. Using your left hand, gently pull your right knee towards the floor, twisting your spine, keeping hips and shoulders on the floor, left arm straight out.
  3. Hold for at least fifteen seconds before switching sides.
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