If you really can’t drag yourself away from the heater this winter, never fear because here are 3 amazing workouts you can do without setting foot in a gym.
If you just can’t bring yourself to leave the comfort of your warm and cosy home to workout mid-winter, you’re not alone. A study commissioned by Kellogg’s found that 78 percent of women exercised less during winter and 59 percent of those women blamed the cold weather for their lack of motivation.
But forgoing your regular gym sessions during the chillier months could be a very bad move. Leading health information centres in the US, such as the NICHD have shown that extra weight gained over the winter period accumulates through the years and may be a major contributor to obesity in later life. Yikes!
There are huge benefits to training throughout winter. It’s the best way we know to beat the bad weather blues and when spring returns, there’s no need to panic because your favourite bikini will still look just as fab on you as it did throughout the summer months!
But if you really can’t drag yourself away from the heater, never fear because this week we’re bringing you five amazing workouts you can do without setting foot in a gym. Yep, you can do these sessions in the comfort of your own home, in your favourite daggy tracksuit if you feel like it. So there are no excuses not to stay active this winter!
Once you get bored of these workouts, get creative and come up with your own exercise combinations to mix it up and keep things fresh.
Winter Workout #1: CHAIR WORKOUT
Set your stopwatch and complete each of the below exercises for 45 seconds each, then rest for 15 seconds as you prepare for the next move. Once you’ve completed all 9 exercises, rest for the 10th minute and then jump straight back in at exercise number 1. Repeat the entire list 2-3 times, depending on how much time you have available
- Tricep Dips
Sit on your chair and position your hands shoulder width apart on the surface, before shifting your weight forward so your bottom is in front of the seat. Now bend at the elbows and lower your body down towards the floor, as far as you can before pushing off with your hands and coming back up to your start position. Don’t let your shoulders end up around your ears – keep a good posture throughout.
- Split Squats LEFT
Stand in front of your chair and put your left foot up on to the bench. Slowly lower your body into as deep a lunge as you can, pausing at the bottom of the move before you return to the starting position.
- Split Squat RIGHT
As above but pop your right foot up on to the chair.
- Feet Elevated Up/Down Plank
Start in a push-up position with your feet elevated on the chair. Keeping your pelvis as still as possible, move into a plank position with forearms flat on the floor, then back to the push-up position.
- Step-Ups LEFT
Stand facing your chair. Now place your left foot into the middle of the chair and press up, squeezing your left glute as you lift your other leg off the floor. Step back down, lightly tapping the ground with your foot before repeating the move again. Count your repetitions and try to match them when you switch to the other side.
- Step-Ups RIGHT
As above but with your right foot this time.
- Pushup with Ankle Tap
Place your hands on the edges of the chair’s seat. Extend your body so that it creates one long, diagonal line. Bend your arms and lower your body towards the chair. Now push back away from the chair, up to your starting position. Now bring your right leg forward towards your chest and tap the front of your ankle to the edge of the chair. Pop your foot back in its start position and complete another pushup before bringing your left ankle up to touch the edge of the chair. Continue repeating this sequence until your time is up, keeping your body straight throughout.
- Cross-Back Kicks LEFT
Start by placing your right knee on the chair seat and holding on to the back of the chair with both hands. Now extend your left leg to the side, in line with your hip, with your foot pointed (your big toe should be lightly touching the ground in this position). From here, lift your leg and bend it, taking it behind you and past your right shoulder, straightening it out behind you and pointing your toe hard. Return the leg to its start position in a controlled way, making sure the foot doesn’t ‘plonk’ back down to the ground. Repeat without resting until your time’s up.
- Cross-Back Kicks RIGHT
As above but on the other side.
Winter Workout #2: CLIMBING REPS FLOOR WORKOUT
TIP: Complete all exercises below for the indicated number of repetitions. Rest for 60 seconds. Repeat for a total of 3 rounds.
- 10 x Plank Jacks with Pushup
Start in a very wide-legged pushup position. Complete one pushup, then jump your legs together before quickly returning them to their wide position and completing another pushup.
- 15 x Slow Descend Squat Jumps
Start in a wide-ish squat position, legs about shoulder width apart and toes pointed out just a little. Lower yourself down slowly into a deep squat (this should take about 3 full seconds, take your time!), then jump up and out of that position quickly, lifting yourself off the floor into a full squat jump. As you land, slow your descent down so that you can lower yourself slowly once again, using the full 3 counts to get down into your deep squat position before repeating the jump.
- 20 x Towel Jackknife
You’ll need a smooth surface for this move – a wooden or tiled floor will do the trick. Start in a pushup position with your toes on a towel. Now slide your feet in, bringing your knees toward your chest. Lift your glutes toward the ceiling as you drag your feet underneath you, then return to the start position and repeat.
- 25 x Prone Lifts
Lie face down on the floor, legs slightly apart, with the palms of your hands under your thighs. Lift both legs, bending at the hip, at least high enough that your thighs are lifted from your hands. Simultaneously lift your head and shoulders from the floor. Smoothly lower your head, shoulders, and both legs.
- 30 x Capeoira Squats
Start standing upright with your feet together. Leap as far as you can to the right, landing on your right foot and bringing your left foot down behind your body, lowering yourself until your left knee is almost touching the floor. At the same time, reach your body over to the right until your right hand touches the floor below your right foot. Leap back to the left, landing on your left foot this time and bringing your right foot diagonally behind your left as your left hand taps the ground. Repeat, making your leaps as long as possible with each repetition.
- 40 x Mountain Climbers
Start in a pushup position, core switched on. Bring your left leg forward so it’s Qresting on the ground directly underneath your chest, then jump-change your legs so they switch positions with each other. Continue switching sides as quickly as you can.
Winter Workout #3: MED BALL WORKOUT
Complete the number of repetitions suggested for each exercise, then rest for 30-60 seconds before repeating for a total of 4-5 rounds. You’ll need a med ball for this workout but if you don’t own one, you could also use a dumbbell or even a heavy book or weighted backpack. We’ve given you advanced options here too, for when you’re ready to progress.
- 10/side x 1-Handed Pushup [advanced: with arm lift]
Start in a standard pushup position, either on the knees or toes. Place one hand on a medicine ball and keep the other on the floor. Complete 10 pushups in this position before switching sides. For the advanced version, after each pushup you’ll balance on the ball as you lift the hand that’s on the ground up in line with your ribs, squeezing your shoulder blade back and rotating a little as you do so.
- 20 x Russian Twists [advanced: full v-sit after every 4th twist]
Start by sitting on the floor, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Hold your ball at chest level, elbows out and shoulders down. Make sure your chest is up and your back is straight. Begin by rotating to one side and then directly to the other. Do not stop in the center. Make sure that you rotate at the trunk, keeping the ball in front of the chest at all times. For the advanced version, lift your feet off the ground as you complete the twists and after every fourth twist, complete one full v-sit crunch by extending your hands and arms out fully as you stretch your body out along the floor, then bring the ball up to meet your feet, creating a “V” position. From there, go straight back to your Russian twist position, no pausing.
- 20 x Squat to Overhead Lift [advanced: with jump]
Stand in a wide squat position, holding the med ball in front of your body. Squat down and tap the med ball to the floor, keeping your chest up. As you push up out of your squat position, bring the ball up overhead in one fluid movement. For the advanced version, jump out of your squat position as you bring the ball overhead.
- 10/side x Lunge with Straight Arm Twist [advanced: keep arms straight the entire time)
Start standing upright, feet together and ball held at your chest. Step forward into a lunge with your left leg and as you do so, move your arms directly out in front of you, so they form a straight line with your chest. Keeping your arms straight twist your trunk to the left, then bring it back to the middle and step your feet back together, bringing the ball back into your chest as you do so. Complete 10 repetitions on the same side before changing to your right. For the advanced version, keep your arms straight the whole time. It’s tough!