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Kathy Smith’s Winter Workout Challenge

Try these exercises to get fit at home: no gym or overcoat needed


If winter weather is keeping you from your normal exercise routine, try these four indoor exercises designed to super-charge your workout and drop some pounds before spring. I’ve included tips for beginners and advanced moves to customize your workout.1) Cardio 180s


How to do it: 

  • Place your weight on your right foot and pivot your body 180 degrees back to the left.
  • Land on the left foot with a wide stance, with your body facing the left wall.
  • As your left foot lands, brace your core and squat down for two “pulses”: Sit back into squat position, raise back up just a few inches, quickly squat back down, and return to standing.
  • Keeping your right foot as the anchor, pivot 180 degrees forward, until your body now faces the right wall. Do two pulse-squats.
  • Do 16 reps on each side.
Beginner:
Stick with the pivoting action, focused on your form. Maintaining a tight, stabilized midsection, make sure that every time you squat down, your weight is in your heels and you’re sinking the hips down back behind you, never letting the knees jut out past the toes.
Advanced:
Turn the pivoting into propulsion: Instead of keeping the right foot anchored to the floor, explode up into the air. As you jump, use the propulsion and your abdominal strength to rotate your body a full 180 degrees. So you start facing the left wall, you do two pulse-squats, and you explode up into a jump.(MORE: Restart Your Fitness Engine – Now!)

You rotate while in the air, and you land facing the right wall. Do another two pulse-squats, and repeat in the other direction. Be sure not to lock the knees, landing softly each time. Imagine that the propulsion is being driven not by your feet, legs, or momentum, but by your core. This will help ensure that you maintain safe and proper form while getting the most out of this (and every) move.

2) Ceiling Stamp 
How to do it:
  • Lying on your back, squeeze your abdominals and lift your legs off the floor.
  • Extend your legs straight up, feet facing the ceiling.
  • With your hands on the floor for balance, use your lower abdominal strength to push your feet up 1 to 2 inches toward the ceiling (meaning your hips come 1 to 2 inches further away from the floor simultaneously). It’s a quick movement, almost a “pulse,” as if you’re stamping the ceiling with the bottom of your feet (hence the title).
  • Do 15 reps.

Beginner:

Press your palms into the floor to support you. If it’s too challenging to keep both legs off the floor, you can also try doing it one leg at a time.
Advanced:
Slowing down the movement actually provides an additional challenge. Make both the up and down portions of the movement slow and controlled.3) Lunge with Tricep Kickback


How to do it:

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step your left foot directly behind you, taking a wide stance, and bend your legs, lowering your torso down into a lunge. Be sure and maintain that core stability to prevent injury.
  • While in lunge position, keep your shoulders over your hips, back knee slightly bent, front knee in alignment with your front toes, shoulders back and down.
  • Feel your weight in your right (front) heel as you push yourself to standing.
  • As you return to standing, do a tricep kickback: Reach your arms back behind you and extend, feeling a squeeze in the tricep.
  • Do 15 reps on each side.
Beginner:
Practice the lunge and tricep kickback movements separately and without weights at first.(MORE: How Fit Are You Really?)
Advanced:
When you come to standing, use your core muscles to lift the back leg off the floor and extend it behind you, squeezing the glutes as you perform the tricep kickback.

4) Side Lunge with Bicep Curl


How to do it:
  • Stand with dumbbells in each hand in hammerhead position, with palms facing each other.
  • Step out to the right side, with a wide stance. Bend the right leg and lower your hips down as you keep the left leg straight out to the side, feeling a slight stretch in the left inner thigh.
  • Pressing off the right foot, keeping your core engaged, push yourself back up to standing.
  • As you return to standing, curl the weights up toward your shoulders, squeezing the muscles on the front of the arms for a bicep curl.
  • Do 15 reps on each side.
Beginner:
Only take a stance that’s comfortable for you. A wide side lunge can be challenging when you’re just starting out.
Advanced:
As you push yourself back to standing from the lunge and go into the bicep curl, lift the extended foot up off the floor, pulling in your lower abdominals to maintain your balance. See if you can extend the length of the balance and perform some bicep curls in the balance position.

 

Ready for more? Go to KathySmith.com for my free 14-Days of Fat-Burning Challenge which includes an exercise demonstration for each day.

 

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