This Creative 6-Move Home Workout Session Is Focused on Form
Keeping up a consistent fitness routine when you’re stuck at home is not easy. You might have work to worry about—then other responsibilities, like taking care of your your family, cooking dinner, and keeping yourself and your home clean take precedence to exercise. If and when you get to your workout, you’re lucky if you can muster up a few half-hearted pushups and situps before calling it a day.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you can focus on mindful, deliberate movement and working with good form, we have routines to keep you moving. Even if you don’t have a whole home gym full of equipment, you can still overcome your home exercise obstacles for some good training.
Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is also homebound—so he created this six-move, 15-minute routine that works your whole body using your own weight and equipment you have around your home. “I want you to get creative, because there are some points where we’re going to pick up weights, and they don’t have to be ‘weights’ the way you think of them,” he says. “Feel free to think outside the box a little bit.” That means appropriating things like water jugs, backpacks full of books, and more to serve as a load.
Most of all, it’s important that you use the proper form when you take on this at-home workout. We’ve used clips from our Form Check series to help guide you through the movements, so you can make the most of your opportunity to train.
2 sets of 30 seconds
Keep Your Hips and Shoulders Square – Eb says: Anyone can extend opposite arm and opposite leg. But can you do it without losing hips and shoulders square? That’s the true challenge of the bird dog, and when you make it your focus, you’ll go slower, but get a much better warmup, much better glute fire, and much better rotator cuff and mid-back engagement (and, truth be told, that’s what you’re here for.)
2 sets of 30 seconds
Abs Tight – Eb says: Don’t give too much focus to the shoulder action here, even if we are getting our shoulders oiled up on the move itself. This only works if you keep your abs contracted the entire time. If you don’t, you’ll find your spine shifting all over the place instead of rotator cuff muscles and shoulder muscles driving all the motion. Your abs essentially fulfill their role as anti-extenders when you do halos correctly.
4 sets of 12 to 15 reps
Plank Perfect – Eb says: Start with the perfect plank, and own that perfect plank throughout. That means glutes tight and abs squeezed, so that you’re moving the maximum amount of load on every rep. Take your time on tempo, too. No need to rush these reps.
4 sets of 20 steps forward and back
Use Anything – Eb says: There’s a good chance you’ll be stepping in a small enclosed space and you won’t be actually physically traveling very far. And that’s the perfect situation for you to push extra-hard to lift something heavy! Whether that’s backpacks filled with books or five-gallon water jugs, you want to push to own a heavy load on this — especially in this situation.
4 sets of 12 reps
Start From the Bottom – Eb says: Find your perfect split squat foot positioning by starting at the bottom of a split squat position. Rise up from that. No, you won’t be able to stand all the way. That’s OK and normal.
4 sets of 30 seconds
Don’t Rush – Eb says: Take your time working across these Russian twist reps. The world says you should do this heavy and fast, but first off, you probably don’t have a weight that’s heavy enough for this without being too heavy. And second? When it’s too heavy, you wind up rushing. This is the perfect setting to take your time on every rep, really working and the rotational functions of your core and turning your whole thoracic, from shoulder to shoulder, with each rotation.
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