Have the shorter days and colder weather brought your workouts to an abrupt halt? Looking for an indoor workout you can do in the comfort of your own home before the kids wake up or after dinner? We've got you covered. Erin Stephens, a personal trainer and Director of In Motion Fitness with locations in Cornelius, Mooresville and at the River Run Country Club in Davidson, designed this workout with fall and winter in mind.
The PlanHow It Works: Two or three times a week, work your way through this circuit. Do at least 30 minutes of cardio at least three other days a week.
What you'll need: Stability ball A resistance band Twos sets of dumbbells (choose between 5-pound, 8-pound, and 10-pound weights)Jump ropeAn exercise or yoga mat
Tip: Great places to purchase equipment for a reasonable price, says Stephens, are Marshall's, Ross, and TJ Maxx.
Things to remember: Breathe! A lot of people hold their breath while working out. Don't! Inhale during the easy part of the exercise and exhale during the more difficult part.
Use a weight that allows you to complete the set but gets difficult towards the end of each rotation. As you progress, use heavier weight or do exercises for a longer amount of time or for a few more repetitions.
Never stretch while your muscles are cold. Warm up!
1. Warm Up For five minutes, warm up with your choice of movement. This could include jumping rope, marching in place, jumping jacks, and/or walking or running up and down stairs.
2. Stability Ball Wall Squats Place the stability ball between a wall and your lower back. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and then slowly lower into a squat with thighs parallel to the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Make sure your knees do not go past your toes as you squat. Push off your heels when you return to starting position. Return to start. Complete 15 repetitions.
3. Push-up Get in push-up position with your wrists slightly wider than your shoulders, abs tight, and head in line with your spine. If needed, lower your knees to the ground. Bend elbows, lowering your chest towards the ground. Straighten arms. Complete 15 repetitions.
4. Band Rows Anchor the middle of your resistance band around a sturdy object at about chest height. Grasp the handles with each of your hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bent, your arms parallel to each other and extended in front of you. Now, pull the bands towards you, skimming past your body and bending at the elbow. Concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together. Return to start. Complete 20 repetitions.
5. Split Squat Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Step backward with left leg, bending both knees 90 degrees as you lower down. Lightly tap your back knee to the ground. Rise back up, pushing off your heel. Complete 15 repetitions. Step left leg back to starting position. Switch sides and complete 15 split squats with your right leg to complete one set.
6. Interval For one minute, complete any of these interval options: jumping rope, running up and down stairs, jumping jacks, Burpees, or Mountain Climbers.
Burpees: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat and put your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Hop your feet back so that you look like you are in push-up position. Now, hop your feet forward again, towards your hands. Then jump up, feet off the ground, while raising your hands overhead.
Mountain Climbers: Get in a peaked push-up position (your glutes are in the air but hands and feet are on the ground). Now, jump a bent knee towards your chest. Then, jump the forward leg back while jumping the other knee towards your chest. You can use a slow pace as you get used to the exercise and develop speed as you progress. Once finished with your first set, repeat moves 2-6 twice more for a total of three circuits.
7. Dumbbell Curls Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with your palms facing forward. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your elbows to bring the weights towards your armpits. Lower. Complete 15 repetitions.
8. Dumbbell Russian Twist Get in a sit-up position with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Now, bring yourself to a 45-degree angle, between your knees and the floor. Hold a dumbbell with both hands out in front of your bellybutton. Now twist at the trunk to the left, keeping arms and hands in front of the center of the chest, and then rotate all the way to the right. Continue to twist left and right for 45 seconds.
9. Dumbbell Kickback Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with your palms facing your body and your elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at your hips about thirty degrees. Now, keeping your upper arms still, extend your arms, reaching up, behind you. Return to starting position. Complete 15 repetitions.
10. Drop Lunge Stand feet together, hip-width apart, and drop one leg back at 90 degrees in a backwards lunge. Return to your starting position, and then drop your right leg back in a lunge for one repetition. Complete 15 repetitions.
11. Interval See Step 6.
Once finished, repeat moves 7-11 twice more for a total of three circuits.
12. Side Plank With your mat under you, lie on your side with your body in a line (your ankles, hips, and shoulder joints should all be in a straight line) and your legs stacked on top of each other. The forearm on the ground should be bent under you and perpendicular to your body. Lift your hips and legs off the ground so that you are supported by your forearm and the knife-edge of your lower foot. Hold for 30 seconds. Lower, then repeat this exercise on the other side to complete one set. You can also do this exercise by bending the knee closest to the floor and leaving it there for support as you lift your upper body, hip, and outer leg.
13. Front Plank With your mat under you, get into push-up position (knees up, toes flexed on the floor) and then drop your forearms to the ground so you are supporting yourself with them instead of your hands. Your elbows should be right under your shoulders, and your body should be in a straight line. Contract your abs tightly. Hold this position for 30 seconds. You can also do this exercise on your knees and build up to being able to do it with your knees off the ground.
Once finished, repeat moves 12-13 twice more for a total of three circuits.