Summer is around the corner and you may want to lose that winter layer or just improve your overall fitness. However, getting back into a workout routine can be tough with the kids out of school and a hectic summer schedule. We’re here to help. We’ve got a workout you can do right in your own backyard or at a nearby park. No need to panic, these 10 exercises can be done at any fitness level. Start with 15 reps each.
Warm Up with High Knees
Think of this as running in place while bringing your knees up as high as they can go. If you’re not quite ready or are unable to run in place, take it down to marching in place and really focus on bringing those knees up high with each step.
Now that you’re warmed up, let’s give those legs a little rest and do some push-ups. Begin in a plank position on your toes or knees, depending on your fitness level. Place your hands shoulder width apart and focus on keeping your elbows against your sides as you lower and raise your body.
Take a deep breath and let’s stand back up to attack those legs a bit. Jump squats are great to get your heart rate up and fire up those glutes (the muscles we’re all searching for to fill in those jeans). With your feet at shoulder width apart, lower your body as if you’re sitting in a chair until your thighs are parallel to the ground. If you can’t go that low, it’s OK. Find a level that is comfortable and works for you. From this position you will jump as high as you can while using your arms for momentum. When landing, allow your knees to gently bend and return your body to its starting position. If you are unable to jump, stand up as fast as you can and lower your body.
We are all familiar with this exercise. Lie on your back with your fingers clasped behind your head and raise your upper body slowly to a sitting position. Depending on your ability, you can adjust the position of your legs to make it a little easier or employ a helper to hold your feet down. Do not pull yourself up by your head and neck.
Stand with your feet together. Take a big step back, leaving one foot planted in front of you. Lower your body toward the ground until your front leg is at a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for a second and then stand back up. Repeat the same movement with the opposite leg. It’s OK to keep the range of motion within your physical limits.
Begin in the plank/push-up position. Bring one knee toward your chest, alternating between each leg. Start off slow and increase the tempo as you become more comfortable with the movement.
Lie on the floor then sit up so your upper body and thighs are making a “V” shape. The true exercise requires you to lift your feet slightly off the ground, fold your arms across your chest, and twist from side to side. As with every exercise, this can be modified based on your physical ability by leaving your feet on the ground, extending your legs out, and limiting the range of motion during the twist.
Push-ups with a Wide Position
This is similar to the standard push-up, but this time you’re going to place your hands a little farther from your sides. As you lower and raise your body, let your elbows bend naturally while maintaining control of your movement. If this too difficult, take the weight off your toes and bend your knees.
This might be new for some of you and it’s a great exercise to do for your arms. Find a step or bench that is secure enough to hold you. Sit down and place your hands shoulder width apart. Move yourself forward off the bench and extend your legs out in front of you. With yours arm straight, slowly lower your body until your arms are at a 90-degree angle then extend your arms again. This can be modified by bending your knees and bringing your feet closer to you.
And the Grand Finale: Burpees
Anyone that’s done burpees loves burpees. OK, that’s a slight exaggeration. I don’t know anyone who likes burpees, but it is a fantastic all-around body exercise. Begin by standing then jump straight up and land into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Walk or kick your feet back, depending on your fitness level, so that you end in a plank position. You’ll immediately bring your feet back into the squat position and stand up. Listen to your body during this exercise and make the necessary modifications.