(Guest blog post by: January Newland)
If you’re like me, a day can get busy fast! Things pop up, to-do lists lengthen, and before you know it you find yourself running out of time to make it to the gym or your favorite bootcamp class.
While it is important for most of us to get in that higher intensity sweat session a few times a week, what’s truly most important is that we find some way to move throughout the day, especially on those days when we miss a bigger workout.
I designed this simple, quick-session workout to be a 10 minute energizer. Meant to wake up your muscles, loosen up your joints, and get the blood flowing, it’s perfect at the start or end of a long day! Try it on your lunch break, especially if your day involves a lot of sitting or repetitive movements making circulation a key aspect of overall health and wellness. Bonus: If you’re using Shop Conscious Beauty’s Lavilin Natural Deodorant Cream, you will be able to work through this routine and return to your day still smelling fresh if a shower is not an option for you. In fact this powerful deodorant works for multiple days on me before the need to re-apply!
For this session try to find a step, bench or chair that you can use indoors our out. Click here to watch VIDEO.
1. Static Lunge
Stand with your right foot forward and your left leg behind you, slightly elevated (flat ground is also fine, and great for beginners). Bend both knees, drop down vertically, keeping your torso tall, until the back knee comes close to the ground. Extend back to up to straight legs. Perform 10-16 on each side.
Keep your abs tight for balance, and watch that your front knee stays behind your toe as you drop, or take a longer stance. Works: quads and glutes.
2. Lateral Lunge
With a very wide stance, elevate your left foot up onto a small step, directly to your left. (Again, level ground works fine for beginners.) Keep most of your weight on your right (level ground) foot, and bend the knee to sink down into a squat, arms extended in front of you. Go as low as you can, keeping the weight in your right heel. As you come back to standing, squeeze your right glute. Perform 10-16 each side.
Watch that the working leg knee stays tracked directly over and behind the toe rather than bowing to either side. Work on depth over time, as you gain flexibility in the hips. Works: glutes, quads, hip mobility.
Starting from a forward bend (bent knees if needed) walk your hands out, a few inches at a time, until you reach a plank, shoulders right over wrists. Here, for more challenge, you can add a slow push-up from the toes or knees. From plank walk the hands back in until you are in your starting forward fold. Perform 6-12 times.
Take small hand-steps so that it takes you about 6-8 steps to get out, and back. Try to relax the shoulders and neck as you work. Works: core, arms, shoulders, plus low back & hamstring flexibility.
4. Seated Bike Pedals
Sit elevated on a bench or sideways on a chair, hands beside your hips, and lean back. Pick up your legs and from bent knees, slowly extend one leg at a time to horizontal, alternating kicks. Perform 10-20 total kicks, rest 15 seconds, then repeat one more set.
Keep your core very strong, and don’t hold your breath! Advanced, try using your arms less, requiring more balance. Works: abdominals.
5. Triceps Dips
Sit on a bench or chair, fingers facing forward beside your hips. Slide your butt forward and drop your body off the edge by bending the elbows. Press back up to straight arms. Perform 10-20 dips, rest 15 seconds, and repeat the set.
Bend your knees and place your feet flat to make it easier, or kick your legs out straight to make it more difficult, so your legs will do less of the work. Watch your posture and keep your spine long throughout. Works: triceps and shoulders.
6. Wall-Sit March
Against a wall, slide down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, knees right over ankles. Press your shoulders firmly into the wall and engage your core. Pick up one leg, foot a few inches off the ground, and hold for a 1 second pause. Alternate leg marches with a hold on each.
It’s ok to have a little space between your low back and the wall; just keep your abs very tight throughout. Works: Glutes, quads, core.
January is a personal trainer, yoga instructor, and nutrition coach based in San Diego. She teaches classes at CorePower Yoga & Barry’s Bootcamp San Diego, and hosts monthly Sugar Detox nutrition programs online. Find her at www.januarywellness.com.