Six Exercises To Get You Through Summer If You Can't Make It To The Gym



It's coming up to the holiday season. A time of year where most of your routines are abandoned while you try to recover from the food coma you put yourself into on Christmas day. Unfortunately, one of those routines that commonly gets shelved is exercise. Especially if your gym is close to work. With this in mind, Ashlee has put together a little program (and modelled by Daniel) to help you keep going into the New Year until you can get back to normal routine. This routine has been designed to target the whole body using only your body weight. No equipment necessary, but it can help if you want to take things up a level.

BRIDGES

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat and legs hips width apart.

  • Engage your pelvic floor, then slowly tilt your pelvis so that your lower back is flattening out into the floor.

  • Push through your heels as you raise your hips up into a bridge, keeping the knees hips width apart. Your body should be a straight line from your shoulders to your hips to your knees.

  • Hold at this position for one long inhale (approx. 5 seconds). You should be feeling this working your gluteal muscles.

  • Slowly lower back down to your starting position and relax.

  • Repeat 10-15 times.

To alter this exercise, you can:

  • Add a resistance band around your legs just above your knees and push your knees out throughout the bridge.

  • Offset your feet (intermediate) - sliding one foot further away will increase the bias on the other foot.

  • Single leg (advanced)

TOE TAPS

  • Lie on your back and bring your legs up to a table-top position with your hips and knees at a right angle.

  • Relax your upper body as you extend one leg down to the floor, whilst maintaining the table-top position with the other.

  • Bring this leg back up and repeat with the other leg.

  • Ensure you keep your core strong and back flattened to the floor throughout this exercise.

  • Repeat 10-15 times with each leg.

To alter this this exercise, you can:

  • Straightening your knee (intermediate) - the further your toe touch is away from your body, the harder this exercise will be. If you feel your lower back starting to arch as you are lowering your leg, it means that it has become too difficult.

  • Dead bug (advanced) - with your legs in the tabletop position, put your arms out straight above with your palms facing inwards. As you lower your leg to the floor, take the opposite thumb down to the floor above your head. (eg. left foot/right hand)

PUSH UPS

  • Start position is in the press up position with the arms directly under the shoulders, fingers facing forwards and the back and trunk level and straight with the toes on the floor.

  • Lower the body using the arms and shoulders until the chest just touches the floor, keep the trunk straight and arms aligned with the shoulders.

  • Press up into the start position using the arms and shoulders only, keep the backside in line with the back and shoulders and do not arch the lower back.

  • Try not to let the elbows stray too far from the side of your body. This can add increased stress to the upper trapezius and neck muscles.

  • Repeat 10-15 times.

To alter this exercise, you can:

  • Perform on knees (beginner)

  • Raise feet in relation to hands (advanced) - put your feet onto a step or a bench

SQUATS

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

  • Engage your core muscles and gently squat down, do not allow your knees to travel too far forwards and keep your weight on your heels, not your toes.

  • Tense your bottom muscles at the bottom of the squat and keep them tense as you straighten back up to the start position.

  • As you squat, bend from your hips and keep your back straight.

  • Repeat 10-15 times.

To alter this exercise, you can:

  • Put blocks under your heels - if you are struggling to squat without your heels coming off the floor, try this. It puts the ankle into slight dorsi-flexion which takes the ankle out of the equation.

  • Add weight - you can do this by holding dumbbells in your hands or a weight bag over your shoulders.

  • Sumo squat - spread your legs out wider than your hips.

ABDOMINAL CURL

  • Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, about hip width apart. Support you heat and neck with hands by cradling your head with interlaced fingers. Try to stay relaxed through the neck and shoulders.

  • Breathe in, then exhale as you lift your shoulders off the floor.

  • Keep your stomach muscles tight as you curl up off the floor. Do not allow your lumbar spine to come off the floor.

  • Return back down to the floor in a slow and controlled manner. Start your next inhale as you are lowering back down.

  • Repeat 10-15 times.

To alter this exercise, you can:

  • Tabletop your legs (advanced)

  • Spend 5-10 seconds in the curl position.

THREAD THE NEEDLE

  • Start on all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders, palms flat on the floor.

  • Take one hand off the floor and thread it through the space between your opposite arm and leg. Reach through as far as you comfortably can. Your shoulder and head will follow, moving down towards the floor. Allow your back to twist. Hold for a few seconds.

  • Pull your hand back through and rotate the opposite direction so that the same hand is now reaching up towards the ceiling and your shoulders and chest have opened. Hold for a few seconds.

  • Return hand to floor. Repeat with opposite hand.

  • Repeat 10-15 times with each arm.


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