Does your workout provide a fully holistic approach to exercise? By that, I mean strength, cardiovascular fitness & flexibility? Can you do it ANY time? ANY place? ANY day?
Working with busy professionals, it’s always important for me to share my rituals for creating balance, being realistic with my time & efficiency from my workouts.
I’m drawn to the 7 functional movements as a way to achieve this. From an evolutionary perspective, these are the movements all our joints were designed for. Whether it’s pulling ourselves up into a tree, picking up a heavy stone or squatting to make a fire. In developing these workouts my clients have been able to use a 2×2 space when traveling or even at home to get a 20-30 minute workout with or without any equipment available. Here’s how to create yours;
Push – find a movement that allows your body to push against resistance. I find the easiest way is to do pushups on the floor. It doesn’t require much space, you can do them on your knees, wide arms or narrow arms. If you’re a pro you can lift a leg for extra resistance.
Pull – if you’ve thought ahead of any travel you’ve hopefully found a place that has a small gym but worry not, all these exercises can be done anywhere. If you have a gym the lat-pulldown machine provides an excellent resistance pull targeting the back & arms. If not lie on the floor & find something to place your legs under like a heavy table or sturdy chair, now pull your chest up towards the item & back to starting position.
Rotate – ok this is a simple one. Aim to move your torso in a twist position. A simple seated position with legs slightly raised and twisting to look over your left shoulder then your right can do, but to simplify, the same can be done in standing position. If you desire you can hold a weight (any size) for extra resistance.
Hinge – I like to have my torso on something flat like the benches you find in the gym but the same can be done on the floor. Just use your hip as the point of the hinge and lift your legs up & down, being careful not to overarch the back by going as far as you can without the back arching to compensate.
Lunge – you remember this one from the gym right? Any lunge will do, static lunges in place, ensuring the knees don’t go over the toes, walking lunges or raised lunges by lifting the back leg onto a surface around knee level.
Squat – no workout is complete without this full-body workout move. You can try static squatting by imaging your bum going horizontally and not vertically, hold something heavy for resistance, try hip-width or even sumo squats by going wider.
Gait – walk, run, skip, how can you focus on technique whilst maintaining a cardio style movement? My preferred gait movement is star jumps (aiming for 30-50) or high knees (60-70 seconds), paying particular attention to lifting my chest up & keeping my shoulders back.
So now you have all 7 moves. Don’t forget to warm up, then do all 7 moves as 1 circuit, complete the whole circuit 3 times with a 30-60 second rest between each circuit, add-on stretches at the end and there’s your complete workout!
If you are new to any form of body strength workout, it’s always sensible to have a few private sessions with a personal trainer who can guide you around the technique to prevent injury.
Do share this article with anyone you believe would like the support to reach their health goals. You can watch my short video on my facebook page vlog and be sure to sign up for my newsletter at elika.co