Time to Take it Inside: Convenient Indoor Exercises

By Michelle Kennedy

No matter where in the U.S. you live right now, it’s hot! But just because you’re sweating doesn’t mean your heart’s getting the workout it needs. So when the thermostat outside is reaching record heights, crank up the A/C and head to the living room. You can get a heart-pumping cardio workout just using your own body weight (no equipment needed…that’s right, be active for free!). Here’s what to do:

Speed Skater (2 minutes) This move is great way to get the entire body loose and ready for exercise. Stand with feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent; lean your body forward from the hips and allow your arms to hang down in front of you. Step sideways with the right foot and sweep your left leg behind it. Tap the ground then jump to your left foot, sweeping your right behind. Repeat. Keep your planted knee bent as much as possible, and use your arms to swing from side to side to maintain speed and balance.

Repeat this entire series two times:

Squats (30 Seconds) Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and bend your knees, keeping your weight in your heels. Be sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes, and imagine you’re sitting back into a chair.

Standing Lunges (1 minute) Stand with feet hip-distance apart; step forward with your right leg and bend your knee to 90° (or as close as you can without your knee extending beyond your toes). Your back should remain fairly straight with only a slight bend. Place your hands on your hips and switch.

Heel Raises (30 seconds) This move can be done on a flat surface or on a step (if one is available). Simply lift up and down on the balls of your feet. If you’re doing this on the floor, try not to allow your heels to touch the ground before extending back up.

Jumping Jacks (1 minute)

Repeat this entire series two times

Push Ups with a Twist (1 minute) Begin in a pushup position: legs extended straight behind you, hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your head in a neutral position. Lower your body down, getting your chest as close to the ground as you can. Push back up to starting position then transfer your weight to your right hand. Extend your left arm straight into the sky, rotating your body. Look up at your hand if you can. Hold then return to start and repeat. You can twist in the same direction or alternate sides, whichever is more comfortable.

Note: This is tough move, if you’re not strong enough yet, try this modified version: Get in push-up position but balance on your knees. Lower your chest to the ground. Push back up and transfer your weight to your right hand. Raise your left arm to the sky, straighten your left leg out and twist to the side. Hold, then return to start.

Swimmers (30 seconds) Lie facedown with your arms extended over your head and your legs straight. Lift your right arm and left leg together; lower to the ground and lift your left arm and right leg. Continue in a fluid pattern for entire 30 seconds. Head remains in a neutral position.

Plank (30 seconds) While still on the floor, pull your arms in so your elbows are under your shoulders and interlace your fingers. Keeping your body straight, lift up onto your toes and forearms. Keep your stomach tight and hold for 30 seconds or as long as you can without letting your back sag.

Mountain Climbers (1 minute) Get down on all fours. Straighten your right leg behind you and bring your left foot forward (as if you’re about to start a timed run). When you’re ready, jump your right foot between your hands while you extend your left
leg behind. Keep switching your feet in rapid succession. Avoid extending the back leg out too far as it will be difficult to get it back between your hands.

Speed Skater (1 minute)


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