Working out not only keeps me healthy, but sane. However, with my demanding job, I barely have time to sleep, let alone go to the gym. Luckily, I still have time to practice pole fitness once a week, but I wanted to find other exercises that would fit my hectic schedule.
Here are some of my go-to exercises you can do at home – or anywhere:
This might sound crazy, but squats are one my favorite exercises. What I like about this exercise is that, while it seems simple, it is a great way to tone your butt. I try to do my squats either in the morning before work or while watching tv or listening to music.
Be sure to stand with your feet shoulder width apart. As you squat down, imagine that you are going to sit in a chair. Keep your weight in your heels, and do not let your knees pass your toes. Begin with 15-20 reps per set and gradually increase. You can add dumbbells or hand weights for more of a challenge.
This is another exercise that you can do almost anywhere (at home, on set, you name it). Place your hands shoulder-width apart on a chair, stool, couch or another stable surface. Slide your butt off and extend your legs out in front of you. Straighten your arms while keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Bend your elbows to lower your body to the floor, and be sure to keep your back close to your stable surface. Once you reach the bottom, press down to straighten your elbows and return to your starting position. Try for 3 sets with 15-20 reps in each one.
Looking for an exercise that will target your whole body? Push-ups help build strength while toning your chest, shoulders, arms and glutes.
To do a traditional push-up, start in the plank position with your palms down and shoulder-width apart. Bend your elbows to lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the ground. Pause and then return to the starting position. Remember to keep your abs braced from start to finish. Aim for 3 sets of 10 or as many as you can do for 3 sets. If traditional push-ups are a challenge, rest your knees on a mat to do your push-up. You can also try an Incline Push-Up, Stacked-Feet Push-Up or a Push-Up with your feet on a stability ball.
Plié Squat and Calf Raise
Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure your toes are pointing outward. With your arms out in front of you, lower down in a squatting position. Use your glutes to return to the starting position. Go as low as you can without letting your knees move past your toes. Keep your back straight and tuck in your tailbone while engaging your glutes. Lift your heels up (without raising your hips), hold for a few seconds and then press your heels down again. You can also lift one heel at a time and add pulsing to make it a little more challenging.
During my elementary years, jump rope was one of the few games I played with friends during recess. I never realized how great of a workout it was until I became an adult. Besides improving your cardiovascular health, jumping rope can also improve coordination, burn calories, improve bone density and increase muscle tone. I try to jump rope a few times a week for about 15-20 minutes.
Lie on your back and place your hands on either side of your head. Make a bicycling motion with your legs, twisting back and forth with your elbows touching the opposite knee. Make sure you are not putting pressure on your head or straining your neck during the exercise.
What are your go-to exercises when you can’t make it to the gym?
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing this or any exercise program. Bella Forza Fitness and Jackie Penn cannot be held responsible for any injury or illness that may result from attempting these exercises unsupervised.