Returning to Exercise – Where to Begin?
Do you want to return to exercise but unsure where to begin? Here are 6 all over body exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Remember those days when you could go to the gym whenever you liked, take an exercise class at 6pm without having to worry about rushing home, go for a run on a Sunday morning without any time pressure…having children certainly changes life in many ways but they don’t have to be the barrier to getting back in shape again either.
Sure, life just got busier, messier and lovelier and as the mother of a 2 and 4 year old I completely understand time is of the essence so here are my top 6 all over body exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home to help get that body back in tip top shape. Oh…and pelvic floors are a MUST!
Before you start please make sure you have been given the all clear by your doctor and always make sure the body is nicely warmed before carrying out the following exercises…simple jogging on the spot, circling the arms, running up and down the stairs will get the blood pumping and muscles warm.
Great for the derriere. Stand tall with feet hip width apart, shoulders back and down without over arching the lower back, slowly start to bend the knees as if you are about to sit down on a chair, push the bodyweight backwards so you are pressing down through your heels, you should be able to wiggle your toes and see them without your knees travelling forward, then stand back up to tall again, squeezing your butt as you stand up. Progression: add in a jump as you rise up.
Toned arms for summer. On your knees, hands on the floor out wide just under the shoulders, bend the elbows to right angles and bring the nose just slightly forward of the finger tips, with palms flat push hard into the floor and back to straight arms. Progression: When you feel strong enough, progress from taking the knees off the floor and pressing through the toes.
Bringing shape to the legs and butt. With hands on hips, take a long stride forward with one foot making sure you strike heel toe and bend both knees down at right angles without the front knee travelling forward of the toes or the torso bending forward, push back off and back to standing. Alternate legs. Progression: Hold hand weights to add in extra resistance.
A slightly odd name, I know, but very effective. From standing, bend the knees and plant the hands on the floor so the back arm just touches the knee, with the abs tense, step the legs out behind in turn to straight and then step back in and stand up tall. Progression: Instead of stepping back, jump both feet back at the same time. This is a great exercise to add to the mix and it increases the heart rate.
From Russia with love. Start sitting on the floor, straight back with the knees bent and heels dug into the floor, hold the stomach in and slowly start to recline halfway curving the back as you do, then twist from the torso side to side looking to the right then left making sure the breath is flowing and try to get the elbow as far round as possible. If there is any strain on the lower back then don’t go so far back. Progression: Take the feet off the floor
A word whispered quietly but an exercise for the whole body. Face the floor, come down on to your knees and forearms so that the body is in a nice straight line including the neck and hold the plank position. Tense the stomach, legs and butt and without hunching keep the shoulder blades down. Brace this position for 30 second. The body will start to shake slightly and then carefully release.
Perform 20 of each exercise 3 times. We call this ‘3 sets’.
These are all purely bodyweight exercises but if you have a pair of hand weights then by all means add them to the mix. Performing the exercises in a front of a mirror would be very beneficial as you will be able to check in with posture and alignment. Make sure you stretch at the end. See how you get on with these and in a few weeks time I’ll set you some more.
If you have any queries about any of these exercises then drop me a line and I’ll be more than happy to help.