12 Oct

Stay Fit This Fall With At-Home Exercises That Get Results!

General

Posted by: Matt Dunstone

Fitness trainer Mandy Gill puts a twist on everyday movements to build and maintain strength

You may have curtailed your outdoor exercise during the dark days of autumn, but you can still stay active indoors. The key to staying fit and strong is to switch up classic movements by challenging the body with a slight bit of shock. This will not only bring faster results, but add a new level of fun fitness to your everyday routine. With every one of these movements, learn the proper form to ensure safety first. Then you can start adding weight until the exercise is challenging for you. As you add weight, your core will get stronger and more defined.

Find more at mandygill.com.

JACKNIFE SIT-UPS

Grab a soup can or dumbbell… even a dog toy that provides a bit of weight! Lie on your back with the weight in your right hand. Bring your right hand to your left foot while keeping both limbs straight and have them meet in the midline area of your body. I like to use the cue ‘hold your pee’ to keep your core engaged. Slowly lower the right hand and left foot back to the ground while keeping both limbs straight again. If required, use a slight bend in your legs as an easier modification. Repeat with control for 10 reps, then switch weight to your left hand and meet it with the right foot for 10 reps. Remember to ‘hold your pee’! You do want abs, right?

Perform: 3 sets of 10 reps, on the left then on the right

STRAIGHT-LEG WEIGHTED SIT-UPS

Grab a soup can, dumbbell, medicine ball or weighted plate for this exercise. Lie on your back (I suggest using a yoga mat or towel). Bring the weight overhead for more of an intensified sit-up, or at your chest for a bit less resistance. With your legs straight out in front of you, or with your legs bent for an easier modification, begin by drawing your belly button towards the floor and?making sure your lower back isn’t creating a space between it and the floor. Perform a sit-up by rolling up, and then slowly lowering yourself to the ground. The sit-up and sit-down part are equally important to maintain control and proper form.

Perform: 3 sets of 10 reps

DUMBBELL SQUAT TWISTS

It’s time to spice up your everyday squat. With weights in either hand as an option, begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Balance is on your heels and engage your hamstrings (the muscles at the backs of your upper legs near your glutes). Lower into a squat, keeping your chest upright and bum no further than an inch past your knees (any further down from this and you lose all tension). Stand up from the squat and keep your glutes squeezed while bringing up your left knee towards the right elbow. You will feel a crunch in your core and the need to remain balanced—this is good! Put the left foot back to the floor, go into a squat, and bring the right knee towards the left elbow. Repeat (and smile).

Perform: 3 sets of 10 reps, alternating sides every rep

BICEP CURLS

This movement is great to do with dumbbells or a resistance band. First, hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Let your arms hang down at your sides with your palms forward. Engage your core, stand tall, and keep your knees in a very slight bend. Curl both arms upward until they’re in front of your shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down. If you’re using a resistance band, follow the same steps and simply put tension on either side of the band in a ‘pull apart’ motion.

Perform: 3 sets of 10 reps

RUNNING MAN (OR WOMAN)

A workout wouldn’t be complete without cardio! Begin standing with your right leg forward and left leg back, similar to the start of a lunge. Place your left hand slightly touching the ground while maintaining a straight back. I don’t want to see any rounded or dipped backs. While keeping your body in a strong stance, spring upwards bringing your left knee towards your chest and right foot slightly off the ground. You’ll notice balance will be key to getting that right foot off the ground. Softly land the right foot and bring the left leg back into a lunge position. If the slight hop off the floor is too challenging, simply raise the left knee into your chest and keep the right foot grounded. Repeat on the same side for 10 reps, then switch.

Perform: 3 sets of 10 reps, on the left then on the right