Binu’s 5 favourite Body Weight Exercises
By Binu Dhindsa @zumbawithbinu
September is back and it’s crazier than the new year in terms of getting moving again. So many of us have overindulged this summer, attending weddings and backyard barbeques, eating too many pakoras and samosas, falling off our active trains, feeling sluggish and clothes are tight. So what should we do?
It’s time to bring the routine of fitness back into our lives! I always love to tell people to start small. If you think you have to get back to a one hour spinning class 5 times a week that might be hard to fit in all at once. And you will get stressed out just thinking about it. So why not start out small. You can always dream big!
So a few suggestions are to sign up for one class a week, or one long walk with a friend. Pick one thing this week you can do to get started on the fitness train.
Secondly, it’s time to fit in a home routine, something easy to do where you don’t need any equipment. Here are my most favourite bodyweight exercises. I know what you will say, “I hate pushups and burpees!” Yes we all do….we hate them because they are hard. Once you do them 3 times a week for a few weeks, they will get easier and then you won’t complain about them anymore!
1. The Pushup
Beginner: On your knees with your wrists aligned under your shoulders, your body in one straight line.
Intermediate: On your toes.
Advanced: Spiderman pushups
(One knee comes out to touch elbow while doing pushup)
2. The Wall Squat
Hold for 30 seconds.
Beginner: Squat down with your back against a wall to a 45 degree angle with your upper thighs, and hold.
Intermediate: Squat to where upper legs are parallel to ground.
Advanced: In a squat position against a wall, lift one leg for 5 seconds and switch.
3. The Side Crunch
10-12 repetitions on each side.
Set Up: Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and knees bent. Drop your knees together to one side. Then crunch up with your elbows open and hands behind your head. Switch to the other side and repeat.
4. The Plank
Hold for 30 seconds.
Beginner and Set up: With your elbows bent, rest your forearms on a bench or side of a couch. Extend your legs back so your feet are on the ground and there is a straight line from your heels to your shoulders. Hold this position.
Intermediate: Rest your forearms on the ground.
Advanced: Raise one leg at a time for 5 seconds at a time.
5. The Cardio Favourites:
Start with 30 seconds at a time and build up.
How to put these exercises together for a short workout
Start by doing 10-12 of each exercise. For the plank and cardio, start with 30 seconds. Repeat the series three times. And you are done!
Schedule this into your week, 1-3 times a week. Actually write it in your calendar to help you get it done.
You can do the whole thing in one segment or you can choose to do the bodyweight exercises for 3 days in the week and do the cardio on the off days. If doing the cardio alone, you can do jumping jacks say for 30 seconds then 30 seconds rest. Do this 5-10 times and then carry on with your day.
If all you can do is 5 minutes a day, then do it! Just do it! Go through the routine one time only if that’s what you want to start with. Gradually add the second and third sets as the weeks progress.
As your routine starts sticking, then add in the other days. You can do the above routine Monday , Wednesday , Friday and then add some other muscle groups for Tuesday and Thursday. Some further favourite exercises of mine are:
A. Tricep Dip off a chair
C. Rear Back Fly
D. Alternating Lunges.
Same principle goes here – 10-12 repetitions at a time and then move on to the next exercise. When you have completed them all, repeat if you have more time.
There you have it! You have taken care of the muscles at the front of your body, the back of your body and your heart muscle!
Act now! Five minutes a day, that’s all you need to get started.
***The information in this article is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your physician before beginning any new fitness routine.
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