It’s mid-February — are you still sticking to your resolutions? If you’re like me and have plans this year to be a workout queen, then let’s get on this journey together! As a note, I need to be clear that I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL workout queen in any sense. I’m merely an awesome designer that is trying to live a healthy lifestyle. What I’ve learned from my two years in the work force is that it is super hard to fit a workout into your schedule. I’m constantly looking for fitness classes to take before or after my work hours. I personally know how confusing workouts can be, so I’ve come up with a basic routine of gym moves that you can fit into a rejuvenating lunch break. My goal is to hit as many body parts as possible in as little time as possible, with zero equipment needed, while sweating as little as possible.
Let’s try to be the best versions of ourselves this year. WORKOUT QUEENS, UNITE!
The Bodyweight Squat
First things first, let’s do some squats! Squats are freaking awesome because they use almost every muscle group in your body. They are a compound movement, which means you’ll use more than one joint to complete it. Squats provide one of the biggest bangs for your buck in terms of time, so let’s get to it.
1. Start with your feet a bit wider than your hips with your toes pointed slightly outward (about 5 to 20 degrees).
2. Look straight in front of you and lift your arms parallel to the ground.
3. Keep your back in a neutral position, so you’re not rounding it or over accentuating the natural arch. The weight should be on the heels and balls of your feet.
4. Now that you have your perfect form, squat down and don’t let your knees go past your toes.
5. Squat until your booty is is level to your knees, and as you come back up, squeeze that booty at the top to make sure you’re maximizing your glutes to their fullest potential.
The Classic Push-up
This is a great exercise for hitting all of your chest muscles while engaging your shoulders and triceps. Push-ups are one of the best exercises invented because they require zero equipment :)
1. When down on the ground, set your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
2. Your hands should be set so that your middle fingers are pointing straight ahead of you.
3. Your feet should be set up in a way that feels most comfortable, and should feel like you are stable. Just make sure they are parallel.
4. At the top of your push-up, your arms should be straight and supporting your weight. Engage your abs so that your booty is not sticking up or falling to the floor.
5. Now that you’re set up, steadily lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle or smaller. Try to keep your elbows relatively close to your body.
6. Once your chest is close to floor, pause slightly, then push back up into the starting position. You just perfected the push-up. Congrats!
The Forearm Plank
The plank is a versatile core-strengthening exercise.
1. A basic plank looks like the starting position for a push-up, but the forearm plank requires you to bend your elbows to 90 degrees and have both forearms resting on the floor.
2. Think of your body as a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
3. Your feet should be close together with your toes touching the floor.
4. Hold for one minute. Concentrate on keeping your abs and lower back muscles tightened to prevent bending or arching.
Although it may seem like you’re not doing much, you have to constantly squeeze your abs to hold the position. You are doing WERK, girl! This single move strengthens your abs, shoulders, arms and glutes. Way to hit all the things in one move!
REPS: Hold for 1 minute
The Butt Blaster/Donkey Kicks
Let’s get those booties PLUMPIN’! For this exercise, we’re going to be strengthening your glutes using reverse leg extensions.
1. To get into position, begin with your hands and knees on the floor.
2. Lift one leg back and up, keeping your knee bent and ankle flexed, and send it up as high as you can. Engage your core muscles by pulling your stomach toward your spine.
3. Return to the starting position and continue on the other leg.
REPS: 15 on each leg
The Bicycle Crunch
This is considered to be one of the best ab exercises because it’s a great way to target the rectus abdominis and the obliques in one easy movement. Six-pack, here we come.
1. To get started, lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.
2. With your hands gently holding your head, lift your knees to about a 45-degree angle.
3. Alternate touching your elbows to the opposite knee as you twist back and forth.
REPS: 3 sets of 20
The burpee is one of the most dreaded exercises for some, BUT it is considered to be one of the most effective for burning fat. If done correctly, this exercise will train the pushing muscles of the upper body, all the muscles of the lower body and the core muscles.
1. Start by standing up straight. Bend over at the hips, pushing the hips back and reaching down to the floor with your hands.
2. Jump back with your feet landing in a plank position with bent arms (as in a push-up). Your chest can touch the floor, but you also don’t necessarily have to do a true push-up.
3. Return to plank position by pushing up with your hands.
4. Pop up using the power from your hips to bring your legs in toward your hands. Now explosively jump up!
REPS: 2 sets of 10
Look at you, you workout queen! That wasn’t so bad, was it? It just goes to show, if we make time for these simple workouts, we can really do them anywhere. This year I’m all about being the best possible version of myself that I can be. That means loving myself enough to eat well (but also allowing myself to eat anything I want in moderation) and being in tune with my body, which includes realizing that breaking a sweat at the gym makes my body HAPPY. So let’s get on this journey together and keep up the workouts.
What other exercises do you regularly do at work? Tweet us your routine @BritandCo.