I am a huge proponent of body-weight based exercise. It’s convenient because you can exercise completely on your own schedule right from home. It’s cost efficient because, well, all you really need is yourself (although I also recommend a pen & paper to jot down how many reps you do!). Most importantly though, it’s effective. Machines are fantastic tools and the atmosphere in many gyms is often inspiring, but personally, I’ve gained all my strength completely through my yoga practice (which actually uses most of these regularly!).
I hope these explanations not only help you navigate the world of at home workouts, but also inspire you to try a few and maybe even design a workout of your own!
Kneeling Side Kicks
Kneel in the middle of your mat with a long waist. Put your left hand, palm down, on the mat while extending your right leg out to the side, in line with your hip. Your right hand should be behind your head, your hip over your knee, and your shoulder over your wrist (A). On a swift inhale, swing your right leg back powerfully without shifting your hips in front of your knee or disturbing your upper-body position (B). Exhale forcibly as you kick your leg forward without shifting your hips back or changing the position of your chest and elbow (C). Kick front and back eight times, and then switch sides, using swinging back to open the front body, and using all eight opportunities of kicking front to deepen your scoop.
This routine will challenge you a little bit more and take approximately 15 minutes. You can repeat it once or twice, as needed. You will need a pair of dumbbells (4-10 lbs).
Side to Side Lunges
Get into a sumo stance and shift your body to one side then the other. Go nice and slow and…
Start kneeling with hands under shoulders, knees under hips, spine neutral. Brace abs in tight to spine and lift knees just a few inches off the mat (keep hips in line with shoulders).
"Walk" hands forward and extend legs, ending in a full plank position. Slowly reverse movement and return to a hovering kneeling position.
Step Up Push Press
Holding a medium to heavy dumbbell in each hand, step up onto step platform with right leg. Lift left knee and press both arms up to ceiling (A). Step back down to floor with left leg and lower dumbbells to shoulders. Next, step back into rear lunge with right leg (B).
Begin in plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width and legs extended. Keeping spine neutral, bend elbows and lower body towards floor (A). Press into floor, extend elbows and return to starting position. For this week, only use Down Dog (B) as a break if needed. Otherwise continue push ups for the entire minute.
March: Start of Spring
March has four calendars: a basic version for the average reader, one for beginners with frequent rest days, one for students that asks you to do more working out on the weekends, and one for dancers (or anyone else working on flexibility) that includes stretch days.
The directions are simple: find the current date on the calendar, see what workout(s) it asks for, and pick one from each section listed for that date. For example, if today it says “Arms” and “General,” I’d find an arm workout and a general workout to do today.
Feel free to substitute an HIIT workout for any cardio workout listed. This is especially helpful if you don’t have a lot of time for cardio.
If you’d like to write about your experiences during the month or see how others are doing, please use the tag “BoP: March”. By all using this tag, we can see what others are doing during the month and send others encouragement along the way. Let’s all support each other on our journeys! (If you’re not on Tumblr but still use these calendars, feel free to update us on the Back On Pointe Facebook Page or the Back On Pointe Fitocracy Group! Or, post on Instagram or Twitter!)
During the month, remember that you should take as many rest days as you need, modify any workouts that you cannot do, stay hydrated, get more low-intensity cardio, and eat well.
p.s. Any of the calendars can be modified. If you are training for a half-marathon, feel free to count that as your cardio on cardio days. If you’re sore in the arms from helping a friend move, substitute a butt workout instead. It’s all about you!