Jordie's Pretty Picks/August
Easy Ways to Stay in Shape; Even at the end of summer!
As the summer is here and soon coming to an end, I somehow tend to not put as much importance on my daily physical activities (which is horrible!). I work so hard to be in shape for bikini season and when it finally arrives I mentally let myself go. There are so many places to go and people to see and therefore on my nights in, all I want to do is relax and catch up on my PVR (TiVO or DVR for our new American clients). I relish the time to myself, doing something mindless like watching one of the plethora of cooking contest shows on Food Network, or of course something as important as watching “Pretty Little Liars”.
I was watching one of these amazingly scintillating displays of “the world as we know it.” When I heard of The Commercial Workout I thought, “Genius!” I don’t have to leave my apartment AND I get caught up on all my television shows and keep the abs that I have worked so hard all winter and spring to get!
It is as simple as this: On each commercial break, which can be anywhere from 5-7 throughout an hour, I do 16 squats, 16 lunges, 32 crunches and 16 upper body exercises. During the show time: I stretch. I know, it’s something that is really simple but it also makes a lot of sense. It gives you a rest/stretch period, your heart rate remains elevated, and best of all—you’re completed distracted!
I definitely don’t recommend this as your only workout plan, but again, it switches things up a little bit and allows you to not feel the guilt of not hitting the gym, going for a run or popping in a workout DVD every once in a while.
As always, it is good to target different areas, so here is a list of a few variations for each of the 4 exercises!
- Basic Squat- Feet shoulder width apart
- Pile Squat- Feet wider than shoulder width a part with toes turned out
- Legs Together- Stand with your ankles and knees touching
- Jump Squats- From the bottom of your basic squat, jump straight up, coming back down slowly and controlled
- Alternating Front Lunge- Step out with your first leg, sink down slowly until your front knee is at 90 degrees, make sure that your front knee never moves further forward than your toe, push yourself back to standing and repeat with the other leg
- Alternation Reverse Lunge- Follow the steps above but do so stepping backwards instead of forwards
- Lateral Lung- Standing with legs shoulder width a part and knees slightly bent take a large step to the right side and bend at the knee until it is at a 90 degree angle. Push back up to standing and repeat on the left side
- Alternating Cross Over Lunge- Very similar to the front lung except that you will be stepping on an angle, crossing your right leg over your left on an angle, sinking down till 90 degrees, then push back to standing. This can also be done in reverse by stepping behind your opposite knee.
- Chair Dips- Place to chairs facing each other. Put your feet on one chair and your bum on the other. Slowly take your bum off the chair, using your arms; with your fingers facing your back, lower your body (a few inches below the seat of the chair or until your elbows make a 90 degree angle). Push up until your arms are 90% straight, and repeat.
- Push Ups- Feel free to do your push-ups in any form that you choose as long as you aren’t fully straightening your arms at the top of the exercise as that could place undue pressure on your joints.
- Bicep Curls- With your feet shoulder width a part and knees slightly bent and elbows tucked into your side, hold the weight palm up and slowly curl it up to your shoulder and repeat. If you don’t have free weight, use a resistance band, a soup can, jug of juice, etc.
- Hammer Curls- Follow the steps above only instead of having your palms facing up, your hands to that your thumbs are closest to the ceiling.
- Crunches- Two things to think about when you are doing crunches: 1. always have your core engaged (a great way to do this is to pull your belly button toward the ground). 2. Always lead with your chest, that way your elbows and neck remain relaxed and are not strained.
- Heel Touches- Lie on the floor with your legs on the group in a typical crunch position. Raise your upper body a couple inches of the floor extending your fingers to your toes. One side at a time, with a flat back, tap your right hand to your right heel three times, then without putting your upper body back on the floor, reach for your left heel and repeat.
- Bicycle- From the traditional crunch position bring your left knee up and your right elbow together, then switch, right knee to left elbow and repeat.
- Reverse Crunches- With your legs crossed and at a 90 degree angle, raise your hip bones off the floor by contracting your abdominal muscles, bringing your knees closer to your chest. Make sure that you do these slowly so as not to use your legs to swing your hips off the floor.
Alternate these exercises 3-4 days a week and you will be prepped and ready to go for the gorgeous fall fashion coming so soon!