Once we step into business, we tend to lead very busy lifestyles. But I’ve also been an athlete ever since I was a kid (and this still defines me more than being a businesswoman). I think there are no excuses for skipping a workout. A workout can be anything that gets your blood pumping a little faster than usual, or muscles do a little more heavy duty work than usual. All for at least 10 minutes at a time. Which is not much, right?
So, set yourself rules around it:
Make time for it
I like to schedule my workouts for the week in advance. I write them down in my calendar and set the exact time of the workout and the type of the workout that I’m going to do.
Have a couple of moves always ready – let’s say favorite legs, booty, and arms exercises and if nothing else, do a couple of repetitions of those.
Have some simple equipment always nearby. For example, sliders are an easy addition and they take up very little space; you could even use a small towel or plain paper instead of them. Another piece of equipment that is easy to store but can add some resistance to your workout routine is a booty band. And use whatever you have at hand like water bottles, books instead of weights or even your child. Just make sure you don’t hurt yourself or the child if you choose to lift him instead of the weights.
Warm up before and cool down with some stretching afterward.
And you have a simple routine that will energize both your body and the mind.
Here are my top three warm-up, leg, booty, thighs, arm, ab and cool down exercises.
Walking or jogging in place for a minute
Jump rope (it can be also done without the actual rope). Do a series of simple jumps forward – on one leg and then the other. Jump on left leg only, then on both, then right leg only, then again on both and so on. You can skip. You can cross your arms so you have a loop made with the rope while you jump through. You can jump twice per loop or jump only once every second loop. And most of those exercises you could also repeat backwards. All those exercises are also good for coordination.
Windmill. When you stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart, bring your arms out to the side and keep your shoulders down and relaxed. Bring your hand to the opposite leg with an exhale and with an inhale bring your arm back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. This is a twisting motion, which makes your muscles limber and releases toxins out of it.
Burpees with a possible push up in between.
Skaters side to side.
Curtsy lunge with some weights either by your side or bringing them up in front.
Ballet squat when you have your feet a little wider then hip distance apart, toes turned out a little and you squat back, press all the weight into your heels, making sure your knees don’t go over your toes.
Start from a tabletop position, extend one arm out in front and the opposite leg back, then bring your elbow to the knee.
From high plank position, pulse one leg up for 10 and repeat on the other.
Lay on your side and bring your leg up and down. For a more difficult option, have your elbow down (make sure you’re pressing into the ground with the whole forearm), bring your hips up and extend the upper leg straight into the air.
Squat with a leg abduction. Do 10 reps and then 10 pulses, when you only abduct the leg into the air from a squat position.
Lay on your back, bring your legs up 90 degrees, then crunch up – arms to the side, open legs and crunch through.
Biceps curls with weight into a press.
Triceps extensions behind your head (for a full body exercise, sit down and bring your legs off the ground in a 45-degree angle).
Stand in mountain pose with weights in hand, lean forward with straight back, your neck should be an extension of your spine, bring arms up to the side for a fly. This not only sculpts your shoulders but your back as well, creating a nice V-shape of your muscles that in turn also improve your posture.
Rock the boat. I like to use a weight with it and extend my feet in a 45-degree angle up in the air.
Lay down with your knees bent, bring your shoulders off the ground, extend your arms towards your ankles and try to alternately touch the heels.
Plank or any variation of it for however long you feel comfortable. The one I like the most is a forearm plank and then I alternately tap one knee down to the ground and then the other.
Start from a downward facing dog, bring one leg up to the sky and step it through to your hands, bring the arm on the same side that you have your leg in front, up to the sky and open the chest for a nice twist. Repeat on the other side.
Start again from a downward facing dog, bring one arm up to the sky and then place it next to the opposite wrist and if you can and it feels good to do so, extend your arms forward and bring your chest down for a pigeon pose. Repeat on the other side.
Sit with extended legs. Cross one leg over the other so your foot is placed next to the opposite knee. Bring the opposite elbow to hook it around the knee, look back and relax with every next exhale. Repeat on the other side. Twists are a great way for your body to release toxins, your joins to stay hydrated and limber.
As you’ve probably noticed, most of those exercises are working multiple muscle groups. So, you’re not just toning a particular muscle, but rather your whole body.
And if you still don’t have time to do the full sequence of exercises, do a warm-up and some stretching. Or dance a little. Your body will appreciate any of it. Also, always remember to wear comfortable work out leggings and top when practicing.