Here is your second installment of a workout you can do anywhere. All you need is a little bit of room, a little bit of time and a lot of heart. As always, it's important to start with a good warm up. This workout gets progressively more challenging, and will primarily focus on your legs, shoulders and abs.
The only thing you'll need is a fairly light weight - probably something between four and eight pounds (even for the guys!) You can use the obvious - a dumbbell or possibly a medicine ball if you've got one. Other alternatives are a heavy book, a gallon (or half gallon) of milk, two soup cans held side-by-side...be creative! After all, this is a no excuses workout.
Fit Tip: A general rule of thumb is to create a workout that works your body from large muscles down to small muscles. The small "support" muscles need to be there until the end to help the big muscles get the job done!
Five Minute Warm Up
If you're in a gym, jump on a piece of cardio equipment. If you're at home, start with some easy lunges, a walk up and down the stairs a few times, or better yet...a five minute walk or jog outside. For this workout, it wouldn't be a bad idea to do a few windmills with your arms to loosen up your shoulders.
This body weight plyometric exercises works the entire body and gets your heart rate up. If this is the first time you've ever done this exercise, don't jump for the sky...start out easy and progress through the workout.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, clasp your hands behind your head and pull your shoulder blades back and down. Pulling your shoulders back will help keep you from falling forward, placing unnecessary stress over your knees, risking injury.
From this position, bend knees and come into a squat position with your thighs as close to parallel with the ground as possible. Think of sitting into a chair as your come down - keeping your hands behind your head. Just as your come down into this position, spring back up jumping off the ground. Land and go right back into it.
Cues to keep in mind:
1. Keep your abs in. Draw your belly button to your spine
2. Squeeze your bottom, especially on the way up into the jump. Your glutes are big muscles and should be doing a lot of work!
Beginners: Jump for 30 seconds
Advanced: Jump for 60 seconds
Beginners: Jump for 45 seconds
Advanced: Jump for 75 seconds
Beginners: Jump for 60 seconds
Advanced: Jump for 90 seconds
Hard Core Shoulder Sizzler
This is a great exercise that works your shoulders and your abs. You don't need a lot of weight for this exercise, but don't be afraid to upgrade a pound or two if you're not feeling it at the end of the first set.
Grab the weight that you set aside and stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointed forward. Hold the weight with both hands and raise your arms so they're at shoulder height and directly in front of you.
Draw in your abs and hold this area as tight as possible through this exercise.
Start moving the weights into a horizontal figure eight (or infinity sign, if you prefer!). It doesn't matter which side you start on. Bigger figure eights are better.
Cues to keep in mind:
1. The bigger the circles, the more you'll use your abs.
2. Keep your arms straight, or your shoulders will miss the workout.
3. Keep your hips in line with your knees and feet - don't rotate them or your abs will miss the workout.
Beginners: Figure eights for 45 seconds
Advanced: Figure eights for 60 seconds
Beginners: Figure eights for 60 seconds
Advanced: Figure eights for 75 seconds
Beginners: Figure eights for 75 seconds
Advanced: Figure eights for 90 seconds
Push Up into a Plank
I love this exercise. It's simple and engages your entire body. What's more, it's a great alternative to traditional push ups.
Start in a straight-arm plank position with your palms on the group and legs extended out. One arm at a time, drop your arm down, resting your elbow and wrist on the ground. Start with the right arm, then drop the left down. You should now be in a traditional plank position. It's time to push back up - one arm at a time. Begin by pushing up with your left, then alternate arms. Essentially, all you're doing is pushing your body up and down one arm at a time.
Cues to keep in mind:
1. Keep your glutes tight and abs in. This will help keep your spine straight.
2. If you feel any discomfort through your back, start this exercise on your knees. As you get stronger, work to a straight-leg position.
3. Remember to alternate the push up. Right, Left then Left, Right.
Beginners: Push Up into a Plank for 20 seconds
Advanced: push Up into a Plank for 40 seconds
Beginners: Push Up into a Plank for 30 seconds
Advanced: push Up into a Plank for 60 seconds
Beginners: Push Up into a Plank for 60 seconds
Advanced: push Up into a Plank for 120 seconds
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