Weathering the exercise storm indoors
For strata dwellers who want to be active, fit and healthy, getting out and about to exercise is great in the warmer months but is not such an enticing prospect in the depths of winter when it’s wet, cold and miserable outside.
Luckily there’s plenty of ways you can keep up your exercise regime in a confined space without needing to install a home gym. Here’s a few popular ones:
All you need is an area of floor to accommodate the length and width of your body and you’re away.
For best results: arms shoulder length apart, body in a straight alignment from head to toe, buttocks lower than your shoulders, feet together and head up with eyes facing forward. A single repetition should involve lowering yourself slowly until your chin is touching or close to touching the floor, then raise to full extent of your arms.
Repeat the reps in a slow, deliberate fashion remembering that fewer reps done well is far more beneficial than a large number done poorly. You can advance the exercise by lifting an alternate arm and leg at the top of each rep and introducing hand claps between each rep.
Great workout for shoulders, chest, arms and your cardiovascular system.
Planks are like push ups without the movement. Extend your body in the same straight alignment, descending from head to toe, but propped up with your forearms as the contact points to the floor with hands clasped. Then hold the position for a target time or until you can’t cope with the burn for any longer!
Vary the exercise by planking on your side, propped up by one forearm with other arm raised in the air, then swap sides. Great for your core strength and developing mental fortitude.
There’s loads of options to give your abs a full workout using even less space. Sit ups and their myriad variations – crunchies, bicycle crunchies, flutter kicks, leg raises, twists, mountain climbers etc, will achieve and retain those washboard abs in the comfort of your own home.
Check out the Self site for an excellent core workout that can be done at home.
Cardio on the spot
Lack of space is no impediment to getting a decent cardio workout. Running on the spot is a great way to get a sweat up, especially when you vary the exercise with bursts of high knee raises – where you drive your knees up to waist level and butt kicks where you flick your heel up to give yourself a (gentle) kick in the derriere.
All you need is a wall. Put your back up against it and slide down until your hips, knees and ankles are all at right angles to the floor. Then hold for as long as you can bear it and rest for 10 seconds. Try doing sets of three to five squats for best results for your glutes, quads and thighs.
Lunges are a simple way to work a lot of muscles – glutes, abs, quads, calves, hamstrings and hip flexors.
Stand up straight, hands on hips, then lunge forward on one lead leg with both knees bent at 90 degrees. If your right knee is forward place most of your load through this foot, keeping it firm and flat against the floor at all times. The knee of your trailing left leg should be a couple of inches off the ground.
Push yourself back up to the standing position and repeat the exercise alternating your lead leg. Three sets of 10 reps should do the trick. Advance the exercise by using a chair to elevate your trailing leg and with walking lunges and lunge back kicks if you have the room.