5 Day Workout Plan. For some, the craziness of the holidays has already started and others are just starting to ramp up their celebrations. Regardless, this is the time of year when no one has any extra time and we start bemoaning all the fabulous food in front of us and the toll it takes on our waistlines. Here is a workout plan that you can easily do at home to keep you feeling fit and energized for the whole month of December.
5 DAY WORKOUT PLAN
MONDAY: Legs & Abs
Plie (aka wide and narrow stance squat). Essentially, this is a turned out version of a squat, but it’s all about the technique. It can be done in a ballet first position with your heels together and your toes turned out, or in second position standing with your feet turned out, planted slightly wider than hip distance apart. Staying tall and keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, bend your knees ensuring that they point over your toes. Bend as far as you can without your heels leaving the ground and then straighten. As you straighten, think about squeezing those inner thighs together. Repeat 10 times in each position.
Single leg stretch. Lying on your back, start with your head and shoulders curled up off the floor and your legs bent and 90 degrees off the floor. Inhale, then as you exhale straighten your right leg. Your right arm will touch your left knee and your left arm will reach toward your left ankle. Inhale and repeat on the other side. Don’t stress too much if the arm sequence is confusing. I like to teach this exercise with both hands lifted toward the ceiling. Modifications: Do this while holding a ball. If you find this hurting your neck, just place your upper body on the floor. The workout will be just as good, you are simply working slightly different abdominal muscles. Repeat with each leg 10x.
Rond de Jamb (aka leg circles). Standing tall in a ballet first position, tie a lightweight physio band around your ankles (note it will be loose to start). Reach your right leg forward until there is tension on the band and slowly circle it to the back. Try to keep your leg turned out the whole time. Passing through first position each time, do 10 circles on each leg.
Explosive lunges. Starting in a lunge position, push off your front or back foot and come into a balance, then hold it for 10 seconds and return to the start. Do 15 reps on each leg. If you need more of a challenge, try standing on an uneven surface with the working leg.
Cross jab. I’m always jealous when I see boxer’s arms and this move will help you get those amazingly toned muscles. Start by holding your free weights palms facing in, arms bent and standing slightly wider than hip width apart. Keeping your right arm in line with your shoulder, reach it across your body and then return to your start position. Do 20 reps on each arm. If you don’t have weights at home then simply stand on the center of a physio band and hold an end in each hand.
Push ups. I probably sound like a broken record when talking about push ups, but really they are such a fabulous exercise for toning the whole body quickly and effectively. Remember to go slow and breathe and when you absolutely can’t do another one, drop your knees to the floor and continue. Do as many as you can.
Overhead press. Standing in the middle of the band with one end in each hand, take a breath and exhale to press your arms overhead toward the ceiling. Just make sure that you are lengthening your shoulders down your back and keeping your body still. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
Toe dips. Reach your hands up to the ceiling. One at a time, lift your legs up to a table top position (legs are at a 90 degree angle to the floor, knees together). Without letting your back arch, you will create an arc with your right leg and slowly count to 5 as you dip your toes toward the floor. Then just as slowly bring your leg back to the start position and repeat with the other leg. Do each leg 10x. Part 2. Now you are going to dip both legs at the same time. Tips. The key is to create an arc with your legs and not just bend your knees. Don’t let your legs straighten either. Your legs are moving from the hips. To increase the difficulty, lie lengthwise on a foam roller.
Crunches with a twist. Starting with your feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart and toes pointing forward, place your hands behind your head in a classic crunch position. Inhale and on the exhale curl your torso up off the roller. Simple yes, but there are a few things you should be thinking about. Tips. Watch that your glutes are relaxed so don’t tense your lower body. This will be a small curl so imagine that there is a pencil right under your chest and feel like you are curling over it. Repeat 10x. Part 2. Keeping your elbows pointing out to the sides, curl your body off the roller. Inhale when you get to the top and add 10 small pulses. Repeat 10x. Part 3. Without letting the roller move or letting your knees wobble from side to side, add a small twist as you curl up. Repeat 20x alternating sides.
Teaser. Start by lying flat on your back with your arms straight and by your ears, but not touching the floor. Inhale. As you exhale, start curling your upper body and legs simultaneously off the floor until you are in a V position. Take a breath and then slowly roll back down to your start position. Tips: Keep your toes pointed and inner thighs glued together, as this will help your balance as well as work additional leg muscles. At the top of your V, ensure that you are not arching your back, and instead try keeping it slightly rounded. Modifications: If you are a beginner, start the exercise with your feet already in the air and bent if necessary, or place them on a ball. If you find this easy then try doing the exercise with a ball between your legs. When you reach the top of your V, try lowering and lifting your legs a few inches 10x. Or hold a ball in your hands as you add a rotation at the top of the V.
Side lying V. Starting on your side, take a breath as you lift your legs and upper body off the floor, then continue lifting and start rotating your body into a V position. Inhale at the top and slowly lower back to your start position. Repeat 10x on each side.
Come back next week for the rest of the workout!
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