Summer came and went in the blink of an eye. And if you’re like us, you may have indulged a tad more than you wanted to during summer’s various exciting events. Well, we’re all human, and life happens. So, if you’re looking for a quick and not-too-strenuous routine to fall back into fitness, then look no further!
Plank, Push-up, Twist
I love doing the tougher exercises first. So, combining multiple moves into one long, fluid motion not only helps burn more calories because you use more muscles, but it also helps you get your workout done faster! Using light weights (or none if you’re just starting out), start in plank position, go into a push-up, then back to plank. Finally, taking the weight in one hand, rotate it up to the sky then right back down into plank. Be sure to even it out on both sides and do at least 3-6 reps on each side. You’ll definitely feel this in your triceps and back the next day!
Beast Stance to Kick Through
It can look quite simple, but this move has some hidden benefits you might not know about until the next day or so. Start in a crouching beast/bear stance, with your knees hovering an inch above the ground. Be sure your back is flat and your shoulders are above your wrists. Keeping your right hand and left foot on the ground, slowly kick through your right foot, and either reach your left hand to your right foot, or place your hand on your knee. Reverse the move to go back to the beast/bear stance and repeat on the other side. You can also speed this up to make it more challenging, but don’t forget to keep your form. This is a full body workout; arms, core, glutes and thighs, oh my!
6-Way Deltoid Raise
Ladies, do NOT be afraid to lift some weights. There’s this stigma that lifting weights will cause us to bulk up. That may be so… with months and years of trying, but if you start light and slowly increase weight over time, you’ll maintain a toned and sleek physique. Deltoids are a beautiful muscle on both men and women, and I find that this 6-way move is a great way to hit all the angles. This shouldn’t be a strenuous exercise, but if you feel it’s too easy after 10-12 reps, then bump up your weights for the next set!
Mule to Front Kick
Another great stabilization move that can be tricky the first few times you do it—but that’s when you know it’s working! Targeting the glutes and core (and likely some calves depending on how much you wobble) this is one of my favorites because I feel like a badass. You tell me after doing a bunch of kicks that you don’t feel like it too! Starting in standing position, slightly rotate your core to look behind you while you kick flatfooted, as though you’re kicking a door shut. Then, pull the knee back towards your center and continue the kick through to the front without hyper-extending your knee. Do these slowly and precisely about 10 times, then swap legs and say hi-ya!
Pure and simple, this move will get you sweating pretty quickly, especially depending on your speed. While it’s not about the speed, it’s a great way to add more of a challenge to the move once you’ve got your form down. Starting in a wide stance with feet turned out slightly, go into a sumo squat, and on your way up, pull up one leg so your knee and elbow meet, then place your foot back where it was. Alternate sides and do at least 10 reps on each side, or 1-minute intervals. Again, you can speed this up to add more difficulty to get that heart rate up!
This one shows every, single, little move, so it should be pretty easy to understand. What you might not realize until you do it is that it’s amazing for the abs, as long as you focus on the core the whole time. Slowing rolling from the standing position, put your hands on the floor and start walking your hands out until you’re at a plank position and then slowly tip-toe your feet to your hands. Plank position is a great ab workout in itself, but this adds another whole layer to it!
Everyone loves some core work on the floor, but don’t let the mat fool you. This one BURNS! Your future self will thank you for doing these now before the holiday goodies attack your waistline. Starting in corpse pose on the mat, lift your legs and arms off the floor a few inches. Move your upper body and one leg into a V-shape with the other leg bent, then both legs up, and then alternate so the other leg is bent. Next, stretch back to where your legs and arms are a few inches off the ground and then back into the enjoyable corpse pose. Do as many as you can until your abs want to fall off. But realistically, this can be done for 45-60 seconds before you move on to any other moves.
While not all my workouts look like this, when I’ve been off my “typical game” and enjoying the fun and sun of summertime, this is just what I need to get motivated and back into the swing of a workout routine. I find that doing enjoyable moves—yes, workouts CAN be enjoyable—will encourage me to increase the intensity and challenge myself even further. I hope these moves motivate you to fall back into fitness and keep you motivated to take it even further!
-Kelsey Jacoby, Health & Fitness Coach