We have been asked by several of our clients for 3-5 exercises they can do on the days they cannot get to the gym or when they are on vacation. You asked and we heard you. Here are our recommended 5 exercises; they will hit every single muscle in your body, help you stay strong and best of all – they require no equipment. Remember to modify if you need to; be smart and take care of yourself first.
Squat – One of the best exercises is also one we do every day (sitting in a chair, sitting down in the car, etc.). Squats work all of the muscles in the lower body including the quads, glutes and hamstrings. It also provides an extra kick for the core as you need your deep abdominal and back muscles to perform this exercise correctly.
Push-Up – A tremendous upper body exercise because it works everything – your chest, back, arms and even your abs. Make sure your shoulders line up with your wrists and your arms are comfortably out to the side but not too wide. Try to get your chest and hips as close to the floor as possible without touching. If you can’t do a full push-up on your toes, start on your knees and work towards getting on your toes. Remember, core is engaged at all times.
Bridge – The bridge (also called a hip raise or extension) will strengthen your glutes and hamstrings, while also working your abdominals, back and inner thighs. For a fun variation, lift your hips with your feet flat on the floor and slowly alternate picking up each foot (marching). Once you have mastered marching you can extend one leg into the air but be sure to keep hips level as you lift and control the descent back to the floor. Shoulders are back and neck is relaxed.
Plank – One of our absolute favorite core exercises. If you are struggling to maintain the plank on your hands try the exercise on your forearms. Be sure to align your elbows and shoulders and keep your hips, up and heels directly underneath your knees. Hold 10 seconds and work up to a minute.
Bird Dog – Come into a table-top position on your palms and knees, making sure that your head and neck are in a neutral position. Have a nice flat back with no rounding in the thoracic spine. Extend your right arm out directly in front of your shoulder. With your palm facing in, slowly extend your left leg back behind you with your leg in alignment with your hips. Focus on length, keeping the head in alignment and hips even. Complete the exercise by bringing your right elbow in to touch your left knee. Return to the starting straight-arm and leg position then repeat. Can alternate or perform 8-10 on one side and then switch sides.
Enjoy and as usual, please ask us if you need any help or additional explanation.