This blog post is dedicated to all of the people out there who keep gym membership cards on their key chain … and haven’t stepped foot inside of a gym since January 2nd.
No. Please don’t go. Not yet. I have revelatory news for you.
You can cancel your membership. And you can get in shape.
I know. Mind blown.
Here’s the deal. As a single working mom of a special needs kid, I completely understand how difficult it is to get to a gym. Even without the whole mom slash job excuse, it’s still difficult to get there. I mean, clearly. So many vitally important things come to mind. Like grocery shopping … and laundry … plus the sock drawer absolutely needs organizing … and someone needs to view the plethora of IG tuxedo-wearing-teacup-pig-pictures. (Priorities, people.)
So, fine. If you know that the gym isn’t a place you’ll necessarily find yourself in the near future, I can tell you right now that your living room absolutely is. And, if you have a living room (I hope you do), a pair of sneakers, and your self, you’ve got enough equipment to get a workout in.
Here is a sample workout (taken right from my own personal workout journal! I bet you feel super special now!) Perform each exercise once through, giving yourself a solid 60 second break in between exercises. Repeat the entire circuit 3-4 times. If you’re feeling like a badass, you can go for a round 5. (You know you want to.)
- Plank Hold — You don’t even have to MOVE for this one! Talk about the lazy man’s exercise! Place your elbows on the floor, feet behind you, with hips down and knees straight. The most common mistakes are either lifting your butt too high in the air, or sinking your midsection down too low. You want to channel your inner plank. Visual a board. BE the board. And then hold the s*$t out of that board … for about 30 seconds. If you get to 30 seconds and it’s a cakewalk, go for another 10. And if you’re just a show-off, do this for 1 minute. Extra credit points if you get a family member to sit on your back.
- Wall Sit — Okay. Seriously. At some point I will make you move. But, for now, you’re keeping completely still. This requires a wall. (I’m hoping that your living room includes walls.) Find enough space against which to prop your soon-to-be sculpted butt. Sink down into a seated position. Pretend there is a chair under your butt. (There isn’t. Your quadriceps will soon remind you of this bitter truth.) Keep the weight in your heels. Make sure your knees don’t cross over your toes. Knees and hips should both be bent at about ninety degrees. Avoid leaning forward at the waist. Your hands should rest comfortably by your sides. Or if you need to bring your hands in front of you together in prayer, this too is acceptable. Again, hold this position for about 30 seconds. Build up to 1 minute as you get stronger. Extra credit points are given to the person who asks a family member to sit on his lap during this isometric party.
- Jump Squats — Now I’m making you move. Anyway, you’re warmed up. There’s no way the last several minutes haven’t generated at least a little sweat. Regardless, this one is kind of fun. You’re jumping! Who doesn’t like to jump? Bring your feet wide (a little wider than shoulder width, with toes facing forward.) Squat down, keeping the weight in your heels. Imagine how your body would feel if you were getting ready to sit in a chair behind you … Only you’ve just discovered that the chair is a leeeetle further back than you’d expected, so now you’re sticking your butt out and down to retrieve said chair. Do that. Once you’ve squatted down (taking care to keep your shoulders back) swing your arms up and jump explosively into the air. YOU are an explosion of awesome. (You’re welcome.) As soon as your feet touch the ground, return to squat position. Repeat this 10-15 times. Do it 20 times if you like to show off.
- Push-Ups — I know. I’ve lost my damn mind now. No, seriously. You should do some push-ups. And if a military push-up (hands under shoulders, knees off the ground, feet behind you, nose to the floor) seems like an impossible feat … It won’t be forever. Try a modified push-up (knees on the ground, butt tucked just like you had it when you were planking, one ankle crossed over the other) OR a wall push-up (hands on your fabulous wall, a little wider than shoulder width, heels off the ground. The further your feet are from the wall, the more challenging the push-up.) Try for 12-15 reps. If you can do more … well, I’m sure my answer to that.
And that’s it! (I know. It seems too good to be true.) But I guarantee, if you’re starting from scratch … or starting again after having scratched the gym off your list months ago … this is a really simple way to get moving again.
And then you can go back to your busy life. Or looking at IG teacup pigs. Or whatever floats your boat.