Keeping up with my fitness routine is especially challenging in winter because, honestly, I'd rather be curled up in bed when it's 20 degrees outside than trudging to a spin class. The thought of leaving my house for anything but work and social obligations seems unattractive in comparison to cozying up on the couch with a cup of tea and Netflix. Sadly,winter is also a time when my diet goes down the drain, thanks to holiday feasting, and a more or less constant desire for comfort food(see: get rid of winter bloating.)
This year, I've decided that I'm not even going to fight it. So what my $15 a month is going to waste? I was going to be ready for my lack of inspiration to hit the gym this year and create my own at-home workout for when I don't want to leave my house. Check out this quick full-body workout that you don't need to leave your home for- no equipment needed, no excuses. Note: just before doing the workout, do a little tidying up- cleaning is a great form of low-intensity cardio.
I used to dread ab work because I didn't know what I was doing, but lucky for me, I took a private class with a pilates instructor who really clarified how to work your abs effectively. I do this ab circuit three times intermingled with my leg, butt, and arm exercises (keep reading for more) to create my full workout and allow each muscle group to rest in between circuits.
My first ab exercise is a twist on classic crunches. Changing up the shape of my crunches helps 100 crunches feel like 20. The key here is variety. Do 25 classic crunches.
Bring your knees up making your calves parallel to the ground. In this position do another set of 25 crunches. Remember to engage your core!
Straighten your legs straight up toward the ceiling and do another set of 25 crunches reaching for your toes and pulling your lower abdominal muscles in.
Open your legs into a straddle and do another set of 25 crunches reaching between your legs pulling your abdominal muscles in.
When you're done, lay on your belly and do a cobra stretch to stretch your muscles. Stretching between working out is vital to keep the muscle you're building lean and flexible.
My at-home arm workout helps you get a little ab workout in too! First, do a classic plank position- hold this for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, lift your right leg into an arabesque maintaining the proper plank alignment. Hold this for 30 seconds then gently lower your leg repeating the same thing on your left side.
After both arabesques, push down into your heels and move yourself into a downward dog position stretching your arms and your back for about 10 seconds. Next, drop your knees till they are just a few inches from the ground, bending your arms. Hover there for two seconds then return to downward dog. Repeat this 20 times and on the last one, enjoy one last stretch in downward dog. Rest in child's pose afterward!
This arm workout is great endurance training and will build lean arm muscle thanks to the combination of body resistance and stretching. Repeat this twice more throughout your workout.
Pick your favorite song that's about 3.5 minutes in length. This song needs to make you feel like you want to drop it low because, well, that's what we'll be doing here. For the verses of the song, do continuous classic squats to the beat of the music.
When the pre-hook hits, pulse in a small range of motion while you hold the squat position.
When the chorus hits, switch to lunges alternating right and left. Repeat this throughout the entire song!
After the song is over be sure to stretch your legs out by bending over and touching your toes. Breathe into your stretch to deepen it. Repeat this twice more throughout your workout.
I thought butt workouts were insane until my dance teacher Jenna taught me this amazing circuit. I never felt the burn quite like I do with this one. Get on your hands and knees and keep your back relaxed, but straight. Swing your right left out behind you in an arabesque and back tucking it into your chest 15 times.
After this, swing your leg from the arabesque to being bent at your side (like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. I know.) 15 times.
For your next set of 15 bring your leg from the floor to the bent position at your side. Then hold your leg in the bent position to your side for 15 seconds.
Repeat all of this on your left side. Afterwards, do a butterfly stretch to stretch out your buttox muscles and hip flexors. Repeat this twice more throughout your workout.