Whether I’m at home or traveling with little equipment, I like to have some exercises on hand that will:
- Work my whole body
- Get my heart rate up fast
- Mix up my routine
Without these exercises, I end up getting stuck on one body part, not excited to work out, or simply bored of it. Our bodies are incredible moving machines! To celebrate this, here are some of my favorite ways to challenge my body and feel great in it.
Roll back to jump: I haven’t found an actual name for this exercise, so we’ll go with this. This is first on my list because I remember the first time I tried it…and couldn’t stand up. After more practice, I was able to build the strength to stand up and jump! I love that you can add challenge to it as well, for example heightening your jump, adding a spin, or speeding up.
Burpees: One of the most famous body-weight exercises would not be left off my list! Burpees immediately spike my heart rate, proving they are worth it. Burpees can be modified in several ways. When I wasn’t ready to jump my feet in, I would step them one at a time. Before I could do a push-up, I did what I could on my knees.
Plank side to side jumps: This exercise works obliques, abs, shoulders, quads, and more. If you haven’t seen this move before and you’re trying it out, remember to keep your core tight as you jump your feet to the side of your hands. Jump back to plank before hopping to the other side. Modifications can be made by jumping only one leg forward and working up to both.
Plank push-up to side plank: I’m always surprised at how difficult this exercise becomes after just a few reps. There is a lot of balance in here, moving from side plank and back quickly but safely.
Superman to Banana rolls: This is a killer! Working back and front and side…magical! My goal is to keep my hands off the mat as I turn from one to the other. I typically hold each pose for a count of 5 before switching. Keep core super tight and don’t strain your neck by lifting your head up to prevent injury.
Eagle crunches: My lovely modern dance/yoga/barre instructor showed me these ones and I’ll never forget the first time I tried them. The pain! Yikes, my abs were on fire. Of course they make my list for their ability to light up my core and make me sweat within a few reps (on one side! then it’s on the other side…). To clarify: wrap right arm UNDER left, right leg OVER left, then switch.
Try these out together, or mix a few into your workout. Let me know which is your new favorite flavor!
Photo: Steven Lilley