Was it easy for you to go for a walk?  With our nicer weather just around the corner it will make it easier to get outside with your little one(s) and be active.  If you’ve started your walking routine then great!  If you haven’t yet, stick with my guidelines from the 1st blog post before starting the following routine.

Now that you’re familiar with walking, you can start implementing some muscle conditioning exercises.  If you’re thinking, I don’t have any equipment at home to do this, don’t fret.  The best weight you can use is your own.  I am a big believer in doing body weight exercises because after all, your muscles need to hold yourself up all day.  This is also something your kids can join in as well.  Body weight exercises are not harmful to growing kids…it’s weight lifting that isn’t good for them.  Everyone should be able to lift their own body weight; especially when we get older.  It’s a great tool kit to have for days when you don’t have any equipment around.  Here are a few simple exercises you can start right now.

Push-ups

I think I just heard a bunch of your groan right now but push-ups are one of the best exercises out there.  Not only are they meant to work your chest but they include every other muscle in your body; core, legs and arms all working synergistically to keep you stabilized.

Execution:

  • Start with your feet together and hands shoulder width apart (if going from your toes is too challenging, drop to your knees)
  • Ensure you’re body is completely straight from your toes/knees right to your head (you shouldn’t look like a table top and have your bum up)
  • Inhale as you lower and bring your chest towards the ground.  Make sure not to drop the head as this will cut off your air flow.  An easy tip to keep your head up is to look just ahead of you.  If you’re using a mat, look at the edge of the mat.
  • Exhale and extend back up at a steady pace.  You have now just complete 1 rep.

pushup

Squats

These are something you can do during commercial breaks.  Working your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, you are sure to feel this the next day when you try to walk up or down the stairs.

Execution:

  • Stand in front of a couch or chair with your feet hip width apart.
  • Inhale as you lower your bum towards the couch/chair, but don’t sit down.  Make sure to stick your bum back.  This will prevent the knees from going past your toes which can put extra strain on your knee joints.
  • Exhale and push yourself back up using only your legs.  Ensure that your knees remain in line with your hips and ankles.  You do not want the knees falling in towards each other as this will also put strain on the knee joints.
  • Tip: make sure you lower from your bum and not your chest.  You do not want your chest to fall towards your thighs.  Keep it upright.

squat

Plank

Similar to push-ups except you’re holding your entire body in a static position.  This exercise works your core, legs, back, chest and arms.

Execution:

  • Start with your feet hip width apart (up on your toes) and your elbows shoulder width apart (up on your forearms).
  • Keep your entire body straight with these cues:
    • Engage your quads by pulling them up towards your hips
    • Keep your hips in alignment with the rest of your body.  Don’t allow your hips to go up into a triangular shape
    • Keep your belly button pulled in towards your spine
    • Life your ribs so they aren’t hanging towards the ground
    • Keep up tall on your forearms so you aren’t slumping down into your shoulders
    • Keep your shoulders out of your ears.
    • Keep your head in alignment with the rest of your body.  Don’t let it hang low; keep your gaze just ahead of you to ensure your airway stays open.
    • Maintain your breathing throughout the entire exercise.  Try to hold this for 30 seconds and gradually increase the time the easier it becomes.

plank

All 4’s core control

Another core exercise but primarily for the lower back.  This exercise takes balance and core control.

Execution:

  • Start with your knees, hip width apart and directly under your hips and your hands shoulder width apart and directly under your shoulders so you look like a table top.
  • Before making any movements, turn your core muscles on by pulling the belly button in and stabilizing the ribs.
  • Exhale and extend the opposite arm and leg until they are straight out in front and behind you.  Do not lift them higher than parallel to the ground.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds to ensure you have balance.
  • Inhale and lower the limbs back down to rest under your hip and shoulder.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

all 4's core control

Now that you have a basic workout, try rotating through these 2x per week.  Guaranteed to have more energy and become stronger.  Also, don’t leave your walking behind.  This is a great way to get out with other mom’s and chit chat on an adult level.  Plus, with the nicer weather coming (we’re finally out of all of that snow) there’s no excuse to stay indoors anymore.  The fresh air will not only clear your mind and make you feel refreshed for the rest of the day, but it will calm your baby and give them some nice scenery other than your 4 walls.

Have a fit day!

Alexis Gradini Advanced Diploma FLMP, CSEP-CPT, CanFitPro-FIS, CPR, First-Aid
fizzique@bell.net
http://www.fizzique.ca
Twitter: @TrainFizzique
Facebook Page: Fizzique Personal Training

Advertisements