As the year winds down, the social functions wind up and you have a list a mile long of parties and charity functions to attend, entertain family and friends and whatever else the merry day may bring. During this end of year madness, our routine run or Zumba class often falls to the very bottom of the list. Who has a half hour to set aside for a workout. Forget about the hour-long pilates session or that 90-minute yoga class Please.
Why not just ride out this the year, allow yourself to indulge, and start fresh in the new year? After all, isn’t that why New Years resolutions were created? I know how that conversation goes. I’ve had it with myself countless times. But not this year.
This year I decided to ignore the excuses my mind so easily comes up with; instead I’ve been challenging my body to mini- bootcamp-like workouts whenever and wherever possible. I have created an express-routine for each part of the body. No workout equipment required!
Abs: Power Planks
Lie face down with your forearms and palms on the floor or a mat. Raise up to your toes and hold your body in a firm plank, making sure that your bum doesn’t lift higher or lower than the rest of your body. Hold for 60 seconds. Rest for 30. Repeat 3 times.
Triceps, Chest, and Shoulders: Dips
Sit on a kitchen chair and place your hands at your sides, holding on to the front edge of the chair. Lift up on your hands and bring your hips forward off the chair. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and lower your hips. Push back up and repeat.
Outer Thighs: Side Leg Lifts
Lie on your side with one hand under your head and one hand in front of you for balance. Lift your top leg up and down as high and as slowly as possible. Repeat 50 times (or until you burn out), then flip on your other side and do the same number. Keep flipping from side to side for five minutes.
Inner Thighs: Ballet Plies
Stand sideways or perpendicular to the kitchen counter or hold onto the back of a chair. With your feet in first position (heels together toes pointed out to the corners) dip low and raise back up to standing. Continue for five minutes, taking short breaks when necessary. Make sure to keep your back straight and your hips tucked underneath you.
Legs and Bum: Lunges
Stand in a split stance with one leg 2-3 feet in front of the other. Keep your torso straight and lift up on your back toe. Bend your knees and lower until your back knee is a few inches from the floor (the back knee should point towards the floor and the front thigh should be parallel to the floor). Lift back up slowly to maintain balance. Repeat 30 times before switching sides. Continue until fatigued.
Shoulders and Back: Military or Modified Pushups
Place your hands and toes on the floor, placing your hands below your shoulders. Be sure to keep your arms and back straight. Lower yourself to the floor until your elbows reach 90 degrees. Exhale and raise back up. Repeat. To modify, place your knees on the floor, keep your back straight and lower your elbows to 90 degrees. As you build strength you can work your way up to the military pushup.
All of these routines should take five minutes and can be done while you’re on the phone or waiting for the stove timer to go off. If you manage to fit them all in at some point throughout the day, you have done a respectable half-hour workout. If you manage to fit them all in twice, well then you deserve a second helping of whatever you wish, my friend. Sweat a little, indulge a little. It’s that time of year.