Written by: Kimberly Ough
You may think that in order to get into shape, you have to go to the gym. Not true! There are plenty of “body-weight” exercises you can do right at home that will help get you stronger and burn fat by using your own body weight as resistance.
Here is a little at-home circuit you can follow when the little ones are eating breakfast, napping or even if they are watching you! It is even fun to have them join in sometimes!
Squats will help to develop your glutes, legs and core. Keep your knees behind your toes at a 90 degree angle stick your butt back like you are sitting in a chair. Squat down and push back up making sure all your weight is in your heels. Not only does this help to keep your knees behind your toes but it helps engage your glutes and hamstrings.
Lunges help develop the quadriceps, hamstrings and the glute muscles. Stand upright; step forward with one foot, the toes of both feet should be facing straight ahead. Be sure your legs are aligned – your front knee should be behind your toes; lower your back knee towards the floor. Push back up to the starting position. Concentrate on squeezing your buttocks to push yourself up with all of your weight in your front heel and keep the abdominal muscles tight and the lower back in a neutral position. Throughout the exercise, maintain an upright position and avoid leaning forward. You can either alternate legs and turn this into walking lunges or stay one one leg and repeat the same thing on the other leg.
Push-ups are great exercise for your upper body (great for the arms!). They are a great exercise for the core (abdominals and back) as well as a cardiovascular exercise because they get your heart rate up. A pushup is performed in the prone position on the floor (you can go to your knees if you need to). Place your hands flat on the floor a little wider than shoulder width. Extend your legs back and elevate your body so your legs and chest don’t touch the floor. Press down with your arms while keeping the back straight and raise your body until your arms are straight. Slowly lower your body back to the starting position and repeat. Be sure to keep your abs and glutes tight throughout the exercise.
Basic Abdominal Crunch:
This will really focus on the rectus abdominis muscle which, once developed, will create that “six pack”. Lie down on the floor or mat on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest. Draw your belly button towards your spine, and make sure your lower back is flat against the floor. Slowly contract your abdominals bringing your ribs toward your hips elevating your shoulder blades 1 or 2 inches off the floor while keeping your chin about a fist width from your chest. Hold the exercise at the top of the movement for a few seconds and slowly lower back down. Be sure to keep your elbows out on either side and do not pull on your neck.
This exercise will focus on the triceps (back of the arm). Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet together. Place your hands on the seat of the chair on either side of your thigh and keep your feet flat on the floor at a 90 degree angle. Bend your arms to 90 degrees lowering yourself to the floor. Straighten your arms bringing yourself back to the starting position. To make this exercise more difficult, lengthen your legs in front of you and repeat the exercise.
Do 15 repetitions of each exercise one time through…add in one minute of jumping jacks and do another 15 repetitions of each exercise, add in 1 more min of jumping jacks and do another 15 repetitions of each exercise with 1 more min of jumping jacks. This will total 3 “sets” of each exercise while getting some cardiovascular exercise as well. These can be done anywhere, anytime…no equipment required. As they become easier, you can add resistance to make them more challenging.
“Do just a little bit more every day. Think positive and know you can do this! What you tell yourself is what you will be!”