5 Fast At-Home Workouts
Spring is in the air, which means bathing suit season is just around the corner. It’s easy to get caught up in the dieting craze, but it’s better to mix healthy food with fitness. So whether you’re focused on finals, or preparing for graduation, here are some quick and simple exercises you can do from the comfort of your own room! Grab a yoga mat and some weights, and then squeeze these exercises into your day. Your summer you will thank you!
1. 8-Minute Abs
I love this Windsor Pilates 8-minute-abs video. It’s like stepping into a time machine, and emerging in the spandex-clad 80’s. Whenever I hear the music, I’m transported to my freshman year when I was terrified of gaining The Freshman Fifteen. This video paired with navigating the dining hall well helped me succeed! “This will never hurt you” soothes the overly spandexed instructor. And he’s right! Check out the video for yourself and get crunching!
2. Pretzel Buns
Anyone who has tried a barre class of some kind falls in love with this move. It’s got to be the best way to tone your katookis, and a sure way to feel the burn. Here’s a video, as well as some tips to help you set up the position. Do about 3-5 minutes of this exercise every other day and you’ll have that coveted lifted seat in no time! Be sure to focus on your form and posture, and feel free to lean into your supporting arm as much as necessary when you’re just beginning!
3. Barre Arms
Sure, you can do sit-ups and tricep dips on your own, but if you don’t have someone correcting your form, there’s a good chance you’ll do them wrong. That’s why I turn to barre arm workouts with light weights. Most barre-style classes have a pretty basic arm workout, but an amazing young lady over at SarahFit decided to put together her own version called the Bachelorette Arm Slimming Routine. It doesn’t take long at all, and all you need is a set of 2.5-pound weights. You can also use soup cans, water bottles, or whatever you can find! My favorite thing about this workout is that if you get the position right, you also tone and develop your back and posture muscles, creating a taller, stronger you!
4. Dancer’s Squats
Everybody knows about lunges and squats, but if you’re looking for some squats that give you more bang for your buck, check out this video posted by dance instructor Patty Rose. She shows you the correct position for ultimate tone-age, and a few additional options, such as including weights and arm lifts. Set up the position in wide second, and do the normal squat with hands on your hips for about 30 seconds, then modify it with lifted arms and weights for another 30 seconds each. If you want intense choreography, incorporate pulses as well. Simply squat to your lowest position, keeping your back straight and your hips tucked under, and pulse (tiny, 1-inch pulses) at the bottom for 30 seconds. Another option is to add 10 deep tucks every time you change your method, your choreography will look like this:
*Normal Squat: 30 seconds, *10 tucks at the bottom, *Cardio Squat: 30 seconds, *10 tucks at the bottom, *Weighted Squat: 30 seconds, *10 tucks at the bottom, *1-Inch Pulses: 30 seconds, and *10 tucks to finish! Whew, that’s only 2 minutes and 40 seconds, and you’ll certainly feel the burn!
5. Back Dancing – Core, Buns, and Thighs
These days this exercise is called back dancing, but it was previously called “naughty bottoms” by the dancer, and the method’s pioneer, Lotte Berk. It’s a favorite exercise by many students of barre classes and Pilates studios because it’s got a touch of cardio, a safe posture, and a ton of burn. It’s easy to do, and here’s a video to help you set it up. For the choreography, you actually want to follow a similar set to the squat one. See below for details and go feel the burn!
*Full tuck: 30 seconds, *10 mini tucks at the top, *Full tuck on tip-toes: 30 seconds, *10 mini-tucks at the top, *Right-to-Left Tuck: 30 seconds, *10 tucks at the top, Full tuck: 60 seconds to finish! Only 3 minutes total!