When I look at Jennifer Aniston I always think “Wow I should really start doing yoga”… And then I put on my running shorts and either hit the elliptical machine, jump on the bike, or head off on a run. It has become ingrained in my brain that in order to get a workout I MUST do a traditional-sweat inducing- short of breath-cardio workout. For some reason I feel more accomplished when I finish my mandatory 40 minutes because I have the mileage to prove it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have tried and tried different kinds of yoga. I’ve done your traditional beginners class, a fusion class of pilates and yoga, straight pilates, and hot yoga. Good God it was hot. Bikram Yoga as they call it was actually the one I liked (hated) the most. While I was way out of my comfort zone with the bending, holding weird positions, and focusing on slow breathing, it was absolutely true that I felt purged/cleansed post sweaty yoga. It literally feels like anything that isn’t supposed to be in your body melts away. I will say however that all that great melt away your stress yoga, makes it very difficult to hold those bendy awkward positions. I was slip slidin’ all over the place!
I do tons of different classes though. I try and switch it up for sanity and my body’s sake but the honest thing is I don’t do enough strength training. Whether that be through yoga, kickboxing, lifting classes or on my own I have not held up my end of the bargain. I’m going to start tooling around though to find easy 15-20 minute workouts that I can add to my daily gym visits.
Here are a few that I’ve found that sound like smart and easy additions… Women’s Health Magazine and Shape are my sources and I thank them for putting together easy routines that don’t make me go run for the cardio machines! I’ll post a Shape magazine work out tomorrow. I’m going to commit to doing these little routines at least 3 times a week! Anyone want to try this with me?? You can do them at home!
WH 20-minute workout series no gear needed here
Works upper body, core, and lower body
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keeping your arms straight, bring them forward and up until your upper arms are in line with your ears (A). Return to standing, then lift your right knee to hip height as you sweep your arms down across your body until the back of your left hand is outside your right knee (B). Return to standing and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.
Keep your chest open and your shoulders rolled down and back.
ROCK ’N ROLL
Get in plank position with your forearms flat on the floor and your palms down (A). Keeping your hands in place and using your feet as the pivot point, twist your body to the left as far as possible without losing your balance (B). Repeat to the right (C). That’s one rep. Do three sets of 8
to 10 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.
Works chest, core, and hips
Get in plank position with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart (A). Lower your chest as close to the floor as you can. Holding that position, lift your right knee to the outside of your right elbow (B). Return to plank position, then push back up to start; repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.
Brace your abs to help maintain your balance on one leg.
Works triceps, chest, and core
Get in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart (A). Lower your chest toward the floor while keeping your upper arms parallel to your sides and your elbows pointing straight back (B). Push back up to start. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets. To make it easier, lower your knees to the ground. There’s no shame in girl pushups!
LUNGE REACH AND TWIST
Works arms, core, back, and legs
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Lunge forward with your left leg so your right knee is nearly touching the floor and your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Bending forward, try to touch the floor on either side of your left foot (A). Push off your left foot; using that momentum, shift your weight to your right foot and swing your left leg behind you. As you sink backward into a lunge, rotate your torso 45 degrees to the right (B). Return to standing. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 and repeat on the other side. That’s one set. Do three, rest- ing for 30 seconds between sets.
GRAND PLIÉ JUMP
Builds lower-body strength and power
Stand with your legs wide apart, toes turned out and arms at your sides. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and you’re low enough to touch it with your fingertips (A). Immediately jump up as high as you can, keeping your legs wide and extending your arms straight overhead (B). That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to
15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.
When squatting, don’t let your knees extend past your toes.
FLAMINGO REACH AND PRESS
Works core and lower body
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Bend your left knee, lifting your foot behind you. Squat down and raise your right arm out to the side to shoulder height, then reach your left hand down across your body, touching the floor outside your right toes (A). Stand up as you lift your left hand toward the ceiling, lower your right arm to your side, and raise your left thigh to hip level in front of you (B). Lower your left leg and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 for a set. Do three sets, resting for 30 seconds between sets.