There are so many reasons not to go to the gym:
“I don’t feel like driving”
“It’s ugly weather”
“It’s 11PM. I just want to do something quickly”
“I’m sick of the gym”
“I just want to supplement my cardio”
I bet you could add more than a few excuses, right? But not going to the gym is no excuse to not work out!
When I just don’t feel like making that drive and going through the whole production of gyming-it (cause let’s face it, it’s an event), I fall back on some great moves from my dancer days. Combined with a few old faithfuls (have you heard?? The classics are coming back!), and throwing in a couple of moves I’ve picked up along the way, I came up with a great little sequence that I knocked out today!
(repeat as desired)
I wanted something that would hit all the big muscle groups and that would just generally tighten me up for the day. And the jumping jacks got my heart rate up!
I dubbed it “the tiny space workout” because I have a very, very tiny space in which to execute a workout: it’s approximately 4′ X 6′. You can LITERALLY do this workout ANYWHERE.
Defining the moves
The quintessential classic.I have great faith that you remember how to do jumping jacks, so my only addition here is: don’t be floppy. Control your movements and don’t lock your knees.
Another classic. Be sure you watch your form. It’s pretty easy to default and push your chest to the floor and keep your tushy skyward. There is absolutely nothing about doing a push-up wrong that will work in your favor! And there’s no shame in starting out on your knees. They still pack an arm/chest/shoulder/back punch!
I’ve been using these so long I can hardly remember a time I didn’t do them! This is a fabulous quad move. Key reminders: pull in your core, keep your legs straight, follow all the way through the sweeping motion, and most importantly- CONTROL THE MOVEMENT. This isn’t about swinging your leg up and down. Sweep your leg as high as you can (I tend to range from waist high to shoulder high, depending on the day), keeping full control on the way up, and on the way back down.
Back Tendu Lifts
(photo courtesy of Xtend Barre on Pinterest)
I do these as pulses. Sweep the leg back (maintaining posture), engage the glutes, and pulse. If your tushy isn’t engaged, check your form- it’s going to make all the difference between “feel the burn” and “meh.”
Such a deceptive little movement!! If you’re not familiar with this move- the intensity of the movement is directly correlated with how high or low your legs are. The least intense is with your legs at a 90 degree angle to your body. Lift your shoulders off the ground- don’t strain your neck! And gently pulse your arms up and down about 2-3 inches. Pulse for a count of 50 (or 100, if you want to take on the entire “hundred”.)
Nice and simple. You’ll feel a slightly different variation depending on whether you do it in first position or second position. I do both, based entirely on my mood.
After completing this routine, my whole body definitely felt tighter, and my heart rate was up! It turned out to be a perfect little workout on an ugly weather day when I didn’t feel like leaving the house.
QOTD: Do you have a go-to gym replacement workout? What are your favorite moves?