As a single mom, finding time to workout can be difficult. Being a personal trainer does not always mean you will have time to complete your own workouts. It is important to remember that workouts do not have to have an expensive gym membership attached to them or require going back to an old boring workout we memorized and don’t enjoy, but rather finding ways to just move! I can relate to many of you who find yourselves trying numerous workout techniques requiring expensive equipment or not having the space to execute a workout. When working with my clients I like to show them body weight exercises that do not require equipment, because lets face it sometimes we can only get one 30 minute workout in a day. I want to give them the tools they need to get a workout in without my presence.
So in this article I will be giving you tips and tricks on how to get a quick and easy workout using body weight as our resistance and weight. Using strictly body weight targets lean muscle growth strengthens bones and joints, as well as providing all the benefits of exercise. Such as, improving heart health, increasing brain function, prevent certain health and weight diseases, improve mood and increase overall health. If you are just starting out with your fitness journey, this is a great place to start. It will help you learn the way your body moves and learn where you are fitness wise. You know your body best and can determine if you are feeling anything such as a pain, pinch, or very short of breathe. Of course we will be challenging ourselves, so being out of our comfort zone will make us feel a little over worked. You might start to feel muscles and tightness in areas you have not used before. So always remember to stay in tune with your body. Use continuous controlled breathing, correct posture, along with keeping the abdominal muscles up and in throughout your entire workout!
Begin with a 5-minute stretching warm up to increase injury prevention and help our body prepare for the movements to come. Increasing both helps to get the body warmed up and metabolism boosting. A good stretching warm up for this segment will include hip openers, toy soldiers, down-dog with a chuturanga, standing-forward and lateral lunge, and any other stretch you might deem necessary. This workout consist of 60 seconds each for 5 different “no equipment needed” exercises. You will be utilizing a circuit training style where you will perform all 5 exercises continuously through, rest for 60 seconds and begin your next round completing 5 rounds with moderate to high intensity. The exercises in this workout are high knees, mountain climbers, butt kickers, jumping jacks and squat jumps. They can all contribute to a great workout as well as used between sets to keep heart rate up.
High knees: The goal of this exercise is to get your knees so high up that your knees almost touch your chest. Keeping great posture and moving arms in a running motion throughout this exercise increases core strength, heart rate, and can contribute to overall endurance. This exercise targets our hip flexor as well as leg muscles. Doing this particular drill often, can lead to a better stride and more efficient running style.
Mountain Climbers: Not only is this used to get your heart pumping; it also includes using arm strength, a strong core, and also hip flexibility. Executing this activity correctly can target every muscle group from deltoids to hamstrings. With this exercise, like the above mentioned, we want to get those knees to our chest while stabilizing our core, keeping our shoulders aligned over wrist, and keeping our spine in a neutral position.
Butt Kickers: They are not as scary as they sound! This is a simple running in place motion while trying to get the heel of your foot to reach you Butt. While performing this exercise you will be working your gluteus maximus, hamstrings and some core muscles. Keep a steady pace and continuously breathing.
Jumping Jacks: This very common full body movement exercise that I feel is not utilized as often as it should be. It really gets the blood pumping and gets that heart rate up. A minute of jumping jacks will surely get you feeling the burn. If you do not know how to execute a proper jumping jack it is very simple to get the hang of it! We begin at a standing position starting with hands to our sides and feet together, using a quick pace throughout the exercise when we jump our feet a little wider than hip width apart our arms move laterally to up above our heads. Then jump feet back together and hands/arms come back down to our sides. Keeping a steady breath through out this exercise will feed your muscles the oxygen they desperately need at this point in the workout.
Jump Squats: This exercise will have you feeling leg muscles you have not felt before. Starting with feet a little wider than hip width apart and hands behind your head. Sit into a squat position, engage your abs, keep toes visible (knees behind toes), and remember to keep great posture (do not lean forward). As we reach the lowest point of our squat engage your core and explode jumping up, landing as soft as possible.
By repeating these 5 exercises 5 times in a circuit fashion, you will get a full 30-minute workout including a pre-workout stretch. If you have the extra time to get a post workout stretch, feel free to get in some of the pre-workout stretches including some additional spinal twist and cobra stretches, as well as hamstring and quad stretches. Post workout stretching can prevent the amount of soreness you might feel as well as help tight muscles repair quicker. We lose roughly 25oz. of water for every pound lost during exercising. So, remember to always hydrate with the correct amount of water to replenish. For example if you lose 2lbs. during your workout drink 50oz. of water. Make sure to consume a very nutritious meal after any workout so you can replenish what we lost during the workout. This step is key to a healthy immune system. Enjoy your workouts, vary the exercises and never give up. Your goal is only steps away!
About the author
While studying kinesiology, Amber Arevalos received her certification in nutrition and personal training. After spending 7 years in a sports medicine and physical therapy office, she pursued a career in nutrition while maintaining her passion for yoga and physical fitness. She adapted her skills learned through being a collegiate athlete, and uses her abilities to guide those looking to enhance their health.
Helping her clients reach there goals through nutrition and physical fitness is only part of what Amber has to offer. Having experience in assisting a wide variety of clientele, Amber has gained knowledge through her own journey as well as learning from those she works with. It’s never to late to regain your health!