Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DIY Home Gym & Weekly Routine of Exercises for Spring

It's GO! Time.  

Spring is here; summer is knocking.  With a half an hour or so per day, you can improve your mood and your confidence come summer.  

But how?  Where to start?  There are about a zillion ways to add more movement to your day.  I find I get the most bang for my buck with weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training).  

Here is a sample week for you with weight and interval training and a few pieces of equipment to keep at home.  

Equipment Needed:

Yoga Mat, optional - This just helps mark the space where you are.  I have one for each kid who will be "working out" with me, so they have their own space to stay during this time.  

Styrofoam roller or tennis or lacrosse balls, or Yoga Tune Up Balls, optional - These are for stretching and rolling tight spots before or after you sweat.

Weights of some sort: 10-15 pound dumbbells are a good place to start.  If you've never used them before, start with 10's.  If you know what I am talking about, use 15's or 20's.

Cardio Equipment like a jump rope or treadmill/ elliptical (only if you have one) or a hill you can walk up and down or a bike you can ride. You could also swing a kettlebell or sandbag (look these things up online- they are really fun). You could also do burpees (do a push up, jump your feet in and jump to standing then jump down and jump feet back then start over with the push up).

It's GO Time! Week of Home Workouts 

Start each workout by rolling on your foam roller or balls, or stretching laying on your mat for a few minutes.  Do some jumping jacks to feel warm, then do some standing stretches.

Finish each workout with some more stretches.  Don't hop in the shower while you are still making sweat.  Sit and breathe for a few minutes.

Aim to spend about 5-8 minutes both warming up and cooling down, and 20+ with the main exercises of the day.  You can do fewer times through the exercises (aka "sets") if you have less time, and more if you have more time.  If anything hurts, stop!  If you don't understand anything, go see a pro or watch videos on YouTube before you start.

Monday: Legs

Walking lunge: make sure you step big and keep your feet facing forward, and the front knee doesn't go beyond your front toe.  Go low!  12 each way. Hold weights if you can.

Wall sit: Go down to 90 degrees. Hold weights if you can.  Work up to a minute.

Hip Bridge: Lay on your mat and squeeze your glutes up high.  Relax down.  Do 12.

Farmer's Carry: Hold a heavy object in each hand and go for a walk around (maybe 15 steps there and 15 back). Breathe.  Stand tall.  Keep your shoulders down and back and abs in.

Do these each three times.

Tuesday: Hard Cardio& Core

Hard Cardio: Stay home and do 10 sets of 10 burpees.  Or go for a run/ walk/ bike and add some intervals. Go regular from one lightpost/ tree to the next, then as fast or hard as you can to the next one.  Go light for the next 3 lightposts/ trees.  Do this six times.

Core: Hold a forearm plank and work up to a minute. Lift a leg to make it harder. Take breaks to make it easier. Then do a side plank working up to 30 seconds per side.  You can do these on your knees to make them easier or lift the top leg to make it harder. Do these two planks 3 times through.

Wednesday: Upper Body

Push Ups: Yes, knees are ok.  Feet are also ok.  Do 12.

Single-Arm Rows: Put a weight in one hand and lean over to 45 degrees.  Pull it back to your chest 12 times.  Now do the other hand. Keep a flat back and tight abs.

Biceps Curls: Hold a weight in each hand (or something lighter) and keep your elbows at your sides and just curl the top part of the arm up.  Keep those elbows in a fixed position.  Do 12.

Overhead Triceps Press: Hold one or two weights above your head and keep your upper arm in place and bed just the top part of the arm down.  Keep your elbows facing forward and tight to your head.  Do 12.

Shoulder Press: One weight or two (two is better).  Facing your hands forward, press the weights up from your shoulders to the sky then back to shoulder height.  Do 12.

Do these each two or three times (try for three).

Thursday: Easy Cardio& Core

Easy Cardio: Go for a long walk/ bike/ hike.  Bring a friend/ child/ dog.  Enjoy the sunshine.

Core: Bird/ Dog- start on all fours and reach out the opposite hand and arm, then come back to all fours.  Do the other side.  Work up to 10 on each side.  Add 25 sit-ups or V-Ups.  Do both three times through.

Friday: Full Body

Squat: Hold weights.  Go down to 90 degrees.  Do 15.

Floor Chest Press: Lay on your mat with a weight in each hand and arms at 45 degrees.  Press weight up until arms are straight.  Keep your abs tight.  Do 12.

Plank Rows (aka Renegade Rows): Do a full plank with one hand on each weight.  Lift one weight up to your hip then back to where it was.  Now do the other side.  Aim for 10 each side.

Burpees: Do 10 with our without the push-up, and feel free to add a jump at the top.

Do this three times through.

Optional: Go to Yoga one day over the weekend or one evening after the kids go to bed

I Want More!

If you find you like working out at home, there is other equipment that is great for this.  TRX makes a home band and it comes with some workout ideas.  Nike makes an app which has different workouts.  There are websites like bodyrock.tv which have free workouts and tutorials.  The Valslide and her Valbands (or other stretchy bands) are great for core work and adding resistance without taking up a lot of space at home.  The Ultimate Sandbag is another tool which comes with workout ideas and is really versatile.

Check out my post on eating your veggies!

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