Some days you head out of work at 5:30 p.m. on the dot to hit the gym before you head home. Other days a conference call runs late, your boss dumps a last-minute project on your desk, the kids need to be picked up — and your workout becomes a plan of the past.
And then there are the days that we just don't have the energy, motivation, or let's be honest, time to shower afterwards, and we use these as excuses to remove exercise from our calendar. I hate to break it to you: None of these predicaments are an excuse.
For those days when you don't have the time, I've put together a simple routine you can perform absolutely anywhere (from your living room to your office) that will work every body part without leaving you a sweaty mess. Keep it in your back pocket for the next time you need to squeeze some quick toning into your hectic schedule.
Dynamic Goddess Pose
Stand up with your feet slightly wider than your hips and toes turned out. Bring the arms up over your head. Then bend your knees bend so that your thighs are parallel to the ground, and your bend your arms into a goal post position. To really work the core and upper back, pull the naval in towards your spine and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This pose not only works the legs, glutes and inner thighs, but also works the upper back, core and arms. Stand back up, and repeat this slowly 10 times.
Pilates Half Roll Down
Seated on the ground or on a mat, bend your knees. (For a more advanced exercise, straighten your legs.) Then, reach your arms out in front of you with the shoulders relaxed. Pull the naval in towards the spine and slowly roll down onto your lower back. Hold here, or reach the arms up overhead for more of a workout, and then bring the arms back to center and slowly roll back up to the starting position. Repeat this ab exercise 10 times.
Side to Side Core Twist
From the seated position, roll back into the Pilates half roll down above. This is your starting position. Touch the hands together at your chest, and then twist to the right without moving your knees or legs, come back to center and then twist to the left. Repeat this 10 times to each side.
Lying Down Leg Diamond Pulse
Lying on your stomach, place your forehead on top of your hands. Pull your naval in towards your spine, and then bend your knees. Press your heels together, and then try to lift the upper thighs off the ground by squeezing your glutes. Pulse this up 20 times while pulling your belly button away from the floor.
Lying on your stomach, place your hands flat on the ground along your chest. Pull the shoulder blades away from your ears and engage the abs. Slowly press the nose forward and up as if you’re pushing a marble forward with your nose, and then press up into a mini cobra pose. Lift the hands one inch off the ground and squeeze the shoulder places together, then lower back down. Repeat 10 times.
Seated Meditation with Pulsing Abs
Finally, sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. Rest your hands on your knees and as you breathe out pull your belly button in towards the back of the room (crunching your abs). Keep pulsing your naval in and out to work your core, repeating 30 times.
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