by Charles Weller January 14, 2015
With the turn of a new year, comes the “re”turn of the daily workload, tight schedules, and limited time. However, for many the holiday season leaves a little bit of that “something extra” around the waistline.
But don’t worry, just because your schedule is packed tight, it doesn’t mean that you can’t squeeze in a few minutes per day with some quick, energizing and effective exercise to keep you feeling great. Whether in the office or at home with the kids, a few minutes of these time saving fitness essentials will help you stay on track this new year.
HOW TO DO IT: Assume the push-up position on flat floor/surface. Have enough room in front and near each foot that will enable your lower extremities to move freely while performing this exercise. From the push up position, pull one knee up toward your chest, than return it to push up position. Pull the other knee up the same way, then back down. Alternate legs, performing 15 with each side.
HOW IT HELPS: Do we need to talk about the importance of good abs? Let’s just say these muscles are for looking great! Nothing says “I’m fit” like a flat waistline or even a few lines of that elusive “6-pack”. What’s more, a strong core is always important – it helps maintain lower back health, and will help prevent injuries while you work or when you are preparing to enjoy soon-to-arrive vacation activities! So you can look great and be worry free daily.
HOW TO DO IT: Begin by lying face down on the floor, with the palms of your hands pressing against the floor, elbows bent, hands near shoulder level. Push against the floor with your palms, and your toes (modified form, bend knees to support bodyweight between hands and knees), keep the torso stiff and straight, and press your body up off of the floor, supporting the weight of the entire body between each palm and the toes (or knees). Continue to press until your elbows are fully extended. Be sure to keep your torso straight, do not “sag” in the middle.
HOW IT HELPS: Strong, shapely shoulders and chest will compliment any dress or slimming pants (sleeveless attire or bathing suit season is coming!) Chest and shoulders are also important muscles during offtime as well, and will give you that nice upright look.
HOW TO DO IT: Standing tall with feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart, step backward with 1 foot, and squat downward, bending the knee of the opposite leg, lowering your body into a lunge position. Reverse the motion by straightening your front, bent knee upwards as you swing your posterior leg forward, and up. As you straighten up, continue to carry your free leg to the front, bending your knee and lifting it up toward your chest. You will complete the movement with your free leg, knee up to your chest, standing upright on your “planted” leg, knee straight. Return your lifted foot to the ground, and switch feet. Step backward with your other foot, and repeat the motion for the other side of your body. Step back, squat down into a lunge, step up, back leg comes through, knee up, foot back down. Perform 15 of these reverse lunges to balance. TIP: For extra work, try holding a pair of weight or water bottles!
HOW IT HELPS: Fitness starts with a great set of legs. Legs are over ½ of the body. By simply targeting legs, your work is already ½ complete! We’ve all got ‘em, and they are easy enough target – plus you’ll look great walking, shopping, dancing, or just lounging!
HOW TO DO IT:This one is easy and great to do at the office or home. You can do these during any break – or even on a call (as long as you are on speaker of course!).
Sit at the very edge of a standard chair or bench (if at the gym). Place both feet on the floor in front of you. Place both hands behind your back, palms pressing into the edge of the chair or bench. straighten your elbows to lift your backside off the chair and fully extend your arms. Bend elbows and lower your bottom until it passes below the level of the chair or bench. Descend to a comfortable depth, then press your body upward again until your arms are fully extended. Try to do 15 repetitions.
HOW IT HELPS: You’ll look great in any sleeveless top. Toned and tight triceps will eliminate arm jiggle and is an instant giveaway to a strong and active body!
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