REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
I had a request for a stretching workout, without cardio. I’ve put together this isometric workout in hopes it will satisfy the request. Isometric exercises are static-exercises, meaning you don’t move. You hold a position, and you build strength through the resistance. This workout uses your own body weight. These are great for building long, lean, muscles, avoiding and working around injuries, and a great way to build a strong core.
I’ve actually got pictures to demonstrate these exercises for you. Normally, the only other person home to help with pictures is my 4 year-old. He’s actually taken a few which I’ve been able to use, but we do get more non-useable shots than useable. Still fun to try. Well, it’s spring break, and my extremely fit 9 year-old is home (he’s an amazing gymnast), so I had him model the poses while I took pictures for you.
Ok, so here’s your workout. You can adapt it to your fitness level by adjusting the time you hold and the number of times you repeat the sequence. I recommend holding anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds and completing 1-3 rounds of the sequence.
For your plank, you want to maintain a tight body, up on your hands (you can go to your forearms if you need to). Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Don’t arch your back, and don’t stick your booty in the air.
Side planks are basically a plank on your side. They require more balance because you are holding your body up with just one hand or forearm, and one foot. The side plank can also be done on your hand with your arm straight. I had Ben model it on his forearm because that’s how I do my side planks.
Ben’s form is great in this picture. Notice how his upper body comes up off the ground. You don’t simply crunch your shoulders up. You want your upper body and lower body to form a “V.” Also, you want to keep your legs straight. Do the best you can. This one is tough if you’ve never done it before.
This exercise, in which you pretend to fly like superman, will tone your backside from head to toe. Squeeze your backside as you hold your hands and feet about 4-6 inches off the floor.
Start out lying flat on your back. Bend your knees and plant your feet. Press through your heels and squeeze your glutes. Hold your buns as high off the floor as you can. Set that booty on fire!
Do a pushup, and hold in the lowered position. If it’s too hard, go to your knees, or let your stomach rest on the ground while continuing to press away from the ground with your hands.
Kneeling down, with your thighs and upper body stiff as a board, lean back. You don’t have to lean back very far to feel it. If you look at Ben’s face, he’s feeling it, and he’s not leaning back very far.
On your knees, with your feet tucked under something to stabilize you. Your going to lean forward this time. Once again, you don’t have to go far to feel it.
Standing up straight, press up onto your toes, and squeeze your calves.
This workout can be done anytime, anywhere. The core strength you will build will help you with other workouts, as well as your everyday activities. As it gets easier, push yourself to hold each exercise longer. You should always be pushing yourself!