Is your gym or pilates studio still closed? Are you sitting so much you feel like you’ve aged 10 years since March? Pilates instructor, Brittany Bendall is making it easy to move with strength training and stretching that defies excuses. So if you feel like you don’t have the time or the equipment, check out these tips. Hint: You can even work them in while cleaning the house or throwing in a load of laundry.
Create a Space
Having a dedicated space in your home is key to ensuring your workouts actually happen and are effective. It doesn’t have to be a home gym, simply having a small bin with some basic equipment and a water bottle and a mat in the living room is perfect so you are ready to go. Or if you have more space, try adding in some amenities like a candle or a plant to set the mood. Have all your essentials easily on hand, including whatever devices you need and a charger if you need that!
Get Some Music
Music is a huge motivating factor in any workout. It can make or break your workout session. Having some motivating music on hand can help you push harder, finish out that last repetition or just generally forget how hard you are working. My favorite studio classes always have great music. I recommend making one or two playlists to have on hand for your workouts so you don’t spend all your dedicated exercise time trying to find the right songs. Here is one of my favorite playlists I put together for my classes.
Gather Your Equipment
You don’t need to have a lot of fancy equipment to get a great workout at home. A mat and a set of weights is usually enough and a lot of workouts can be done with just your own body weight. You can also use a lot of things you already own in your own home. (See below)
Schedule Your Workout
When you are home all the time, sometimes the day can just get away from you. It’s easy to say you are going to workout and before you know it, it is bedtime. Schedule your workout like you would an appointment. Carve out a time of day where you have no distractions and you won’t have to multitask or reschedule.
Finally, just get moving. Have a few favorite moves or an online site you enjoy ready to go and make every minute count!
Copy These Moves!
Towel Bicep Curls
Holding onto a dish or hand towel with the palms facing up, lift the arms up to shoulder height. Soften the knees and pull the abs in. Bend the elbows curling the towel and hands towards the forehead. Extend the arms back out straight. Repeat 16 times. On the last rep, hold the arms bent and pulse the arms up 16 times in small one inch movements.
Stand facing your swiffer or broom with both hands on the prop. Start in a ballet first position, which is heels together and toes apart as if you had a pizza slice between your feet. Rise up onto your toes and walk your heels together so they are touching still maintaining that ballet first position. Bend the knees lowering the body down about halfway and creating a diamond shape with your legs. Straighten the legs back up, squeezing the inner thighs together and the glutes. Continue bending and straightening the legs 8-16 times. On the last rep, hold the knees bent and pulse the legs in small one inch movements without straightening the knees 16 times.
Start holding your broom or swiffer with both hands facing the prop. Take a big step back and hinge forward at the hips so that your chest is pointing down to the floor and you have a flat back. Soften your knees and extend the right leg behind you in parallel with the knee pointing down to the floor. This is the start position. From here, lift the right leg up to hip height, squeezing the glutes at the top of the move, then lower the leg back down, tapping the foot on the floor. Continue lifting and lowering the leg for 8-16 repetitions. On the last rep, hold the leg at the top and pulse the leg up in small one inch movements 16 times. Switch legs and repeat.
Gliding Mountain Climbers
Start on all fours and place a paper plate under one foot. Place hands underneath the shoulders and then lift the knees up to a plank position with the legs straight. The foot on the paper plate is the working leg. Bend the working leg in towards the chest pulling the abs in towards the spine and away from the floor, extend the leg straight again. Repeat 8-10 times. Then switch the plate to the opposite leg and repeat. To modify, do this move with one knee down on the floor and draw the other leg in and out then switch sides and repeat. This move can also be done drawing the knee to the outside elbow and across to the opposite elbow to work the internal and external obliques as well.
Grab a laundry detergent container and start in a parallel position with the toes pointing forward and the heels directly behind the toes, feet a little wider than hip width apart. Bend the knees and squat down lowering the container towards the floor holding onto it with both hands on the handle. Straighten the legs and come up, lifting the container up to chest height. Continue squatting and swinging the container down towards the floor then up to chest height just like you would in a kettlebell swing. Repeat 10-12 times.
Barre and Pilates Expert
Creator of Bump at the Barre® prenatal barre program, HIIT the Barre® a method combining high intensity interval training with barre toning and BBF Studio, a barre method combining cardio, toning and flexibility. Brittany has taught fitness classes around the world and online. She has achieved certifications in pre- and post-natal pilates, Balanced Body Pilates and Balanced Body Barre. She also is a certified pre- and post-natal exercise specialist and a certified nutrition and wellness consultant. She is a wife and mother to two boys. She loves traveling, cooking and drinking wine.