The New Year always brings new motivation to get healthier, but consistency often proves difficult as time passes. While you might have a true desire to do things differently this year, all our responsibilities with family, work, and at times lack of sleep can make it difficult. One way to help stay on track fitness wise is to decide to get a workout in even if you are unable to make it to the gym. Make the choice that something is better than nothing. A 20-minute home workout may not be as beneficial as 60-minutes in the gym in your mind, but at least it’s one small step closer to where you want to be and not a step backwards. I personally enjoy home workouts and have incorporated them into my lifestyle even though I spend most of my time in a big gym. It doesn’t matter if I am deep into muscle building or cutting for a fitness competition I always do a home workout habitually on the weekend and have for many years. This is a time for me to get creative and push the limits with minimal equipment. Here is a full body workout you can do anywhere and it only requires two dining room table chairs. I recommend using sturdy chairs and not the folding type. Do each of these exercises back-to-back without rest in circuit fashion for one set. Do 4 sets total and 15-20 reps for each movement. Rest 60 seconds between sets.
Canyon Push Ups:
Primary Muscle Group Targeted: Pectorals
Secondary Muscles Targeted: Shoulders and Triceps
Execution Notes: Place two chairs facing each other far enough apart that you can place yourself between them. Get into push up position on the chairs with your hands. Your feet should be on the ground and your body straight from shoulders to feet. Don’t fully lock out at the top of each rep, but stop just shy of lock out. Keep your chest forward and contracted, and your shoulders back. Slower yourself slowly as far down as comfortable. At the bottom position your arms should make 90 degree angles with your hands directly below your elbows.
Lat Lift Ups:
Primary Muscle Group Targeted: Lats
Execution Notes: Place two chairs facing each other far enough apart that you can place yourself between them. Get into position by sitting between the chairs. Place a forearm on each chair and then lift your body up off the ground. While keeping your body fairly straight and your hip off the ground allow your body to dip down and concentrate on letting your lats stretch (you will feel this in the area below your arm pits and back to your scapulas). Now with your lats in mind lift your body up pushing through your forearms and push your chest forward to fully contract the lats.
Primary Muscle Group Targeted: Triceps
Secondary Muscles Targeted: Pectorals
Execution Notes: Place two chairs facing each other far enough apart that you can place yourself between them. Get into position by sitting between the chairs. Place a palm in the middle of each chair and lift yourself up so your arms are straight. Your legs should be on the ground straight out in front. Your hip should be off the ground and just hanging. Lower yourself down as far as comfortable stretching both your triceps and chest then power back up to the top by pushing through your palms.
Feet Up Crunch:
Primary Muscle Group Targeted: Abs
Execution Notes: Lay down right in front of a single chair. Place your feet up on the chair so your lower and upper legs are 90 degrees. Crunch upward by lifting your shoulder blades just off the ground and contract your abs. The range of motion on a crunch is very small. Concentrate on spending more time at the top contraction than at the bottom resting. Breath out as you crunch upward so your lungs are empty at the top of each rep for the contraction.
Shoulder L Press:
Primary Muscle Group Targeted: Shoulders
Secondary Muscles Targeted: Triceps
Execution Notes: Use a single chair and lift both feet up on the chair while your body is prone facing down. With your feet on the chair walk inward with your hands until your body makes a 90 degree L shape. Your arms should be outside shoulder width. Slowly lower your body until your head just brushes the ground. Your hands should be right below your elbows and your arms should be making a 90 degree angle.
Primary Muscle Group Targeted: Quadriceps
Secondary Muscles Targeted: Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves
Execution Notes: Step one foot up on a single chair. The elevated knee should be behind the toes at all times. While keeping your body straight, and not hinging at the hip, stand straight up on the chair flexing that working leg and glute. Then lower yourself with control rather than dropping. Then repeat with the other leg. Don’t bounce up, but use your leg muscles to lift. Alternate legs with each rep. Do 15-20 reps on each side.
Curl & Press:
Primary Muscle Groups Targeted: Biceps and Shoulders
Secondary Muscle Targeted: Pectorals
Execution Notes: Stand up straight holding a single chair by its sides. The seat should be facing away from you and you will be standing between its legs. In starting position squeeze the chair so your arms are tight then curl the chair up while keeping your elbows pinned to your sides. Once you are at the top of the curl press the chair straight outward in front of your chest until your arms are fully extended. Bring the chair back in and curl it back down to starting position.
This home workout can be repeated 2-3x times weekly for general fitness. Remember workouts can be great anywhere with a little creativity and effort.
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