I am so excited to have my first guest post here on Small Steps of Change. Kristen and I met years ago through a mutual friend. We share many of the same passions in life- our family, faith, and fitness. Not only is Kristen a fellow Beachbody coach, she is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Today she is sharing with my readers a great way to fit in a workout anywhere using just your own body weight!
I don’t know about you, but as a non-gym junkie, I can sometimes be intimidated by the vast array of machines on a gym floor. I know, I know…I’m a personal trainer and aren’t I supposed to LOVE all of them?? Well, there’s a good reason that I don’t train in a tradition gym setting. I. Don’t. Like. Machines. I have spent too much precious time looking at the instructions on the side of them trying to figure out how in the world I’m supposed to use it.
Anyone with me on this? No? Just me? Liars!! So then, what do I do? There is a lot of really great equipment that I love – Free weights, resistance bands, Bosu Ball, TRX suspension training to name a few. But my favorite is my very own body. Why? Because it’s always available. No matter where I am, I can always get a good workout in with just my body weight. And guess what? YOU CAN TOO!! (At this point, you’re either thinking “Fantastic! Bring it on, Kristen!” or “Oh crap…I really don’t have any excuse” either way, stick with me)!
I want to give you some simple body weight exercises you can do anywhere. You’re a stay at home mom? Great! You can do these in your living room, or at the park with your kiddo. You’re traveling for work? Great! You can use your hotel room! And there are always ways to make any exercise gentler or harder. So hang on! Let’s do this!
This can be as simple as “10reps, 1-3x through”, but I’m going to mix it up for you.
You are going to do 1 rep of each exercise, then 2, then 3, 4, etc until you get to 10. Then work your way back down.
Lunges (Lunge R, Lunge L = 1 rep)
- Make sure your back leg is far enough away that your back knee is not in front of your hip
- Push through the heel of your front foot. If the weight is in the ball of your foot, you’re probably putting your knee at risk
- If you’re new to lunges, do all of your reps on one side before switching to the other, and don’t go down so low
- Make sure your back, glutes, and hamstrings are engaged as well as your abs. This helps take pressure off your shoulder
- If your hips are dropping or your feel pressure in your lower back, here’s the progression from hard to easy: feet together – feet spread wide – on your knees – upper body elevated – standing at an angle doing a push up on the wall
- Have your elbows about 45 degrees from your sides, not straight out. This protects your shoulder
- Make sure you aren’t dropping your head first, or looking back at your feet
- Using a chair or bench, put your hands at the edge of the seat and scoot yourself just off.
- Keep your back as close to the edge of the chair as possible
- Knees bent is easier, legs out, or feet stacked increases the difficulty.
Burpees with no push up (my personal favorite)
- Keep your feet wider th]an your hands if this bothers your knees
- You can always step your feet back in to a plank and/or step them back in and stand up instead of jumping up.
You can make these a little more intense by changing your lunges to lunge jumps and you can add just about anything to the burpee (tuck jump instead of just straight up, plank jack before you bring your feet back in…if you’re not new to burpees, use your imagination). But I’m also pretty sure that if you’re doing the pyramid, you won’t need anything extra. Just a guess!
If you want to try this, but you’re a little intimidated, only do ½ the pyramid – either go to 5 and then back down, or go up to 10 and stop there. Another great way to get over your fear is to grab a friend and do the workout together. There’s power in pushing through with a buddy. I can almost guarantee you’ll get further than you would on your own.
So what are you waiting for? Grab some water and a towel and get going!
You can find Kristen over at her Facebook page:
or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.