No Gym, No Problem: Tips For Squeezing In a Workout Anytime, Anywhere
If you're like approximately 90% percent of the population, you made a resolution to get more physically active and fit in 2017 (and 2016, and 2015, etc., but who's keeping track?). If exercise is something that's recently fallen by the wayside and you're having a bit of trouble trying to start a routine that works with your schedule, you're not alone. The struggle is so real, which is why we've tapped a couple of experts to teach us some basics for getting motivated and back on track, and a few pointers for getting in a sweat session without having to step foot in a gym (if, for whatever reason that's not your jam).
Shawna Whitlock and Mandee Miller are two badass local fitness instructors who also happen to be bosom buddies. Though we highly recommend hitting up a class taught by these two (visit their sites to find out when and where!), we also recognize that sometimes you want to do your own thing, so these ladies are giving us their best tips for getting your heart rate up and strengthening specific muscle groups. And because both of the gals agree that a major source of motivation is dressing the part in activewear that makes you feel like you can conquer anything (and look good doing it), we've teamed the two up with Wear It To Heart, an LA-based brand that makes fun, flattering fitness gear that also happens to be sustainable and ethically manufactured.
So get up, get dressed, scoot your cats off that yoga mat (or is that just us?) and dedicate a space in your home, or grab a buddy and hit the nearest park, and follow these fun and effective tips to get inspired for a fitness routine you can can do anytime, anywhere.
1. Getting Started
Shawna: I love a little affirmation. It feels silly at first but you can trick yourself into having a good time. If you're tired, yell with over-exaggeration "I'm so awake and feel amazing! I love working out!" The more ridiculous the better. Play your favorite jam and have a dance party for about 3-4 minutes. Hold a straight arm plank to get the body heated then add in leg work like mountain climbers or a hop your feet out, then in for a Jumping Jack plank. Rest then repeat 2-3 times. Add 8-10 push-ups, then return to plank, inhale into down dog, and exhale back to plank. Do this 3-4 times. By this time you should feel good and warm. Do your best pop star pose! Then, runway walk up and down in your home or at park — I dare you! If people are looking, you're doing it right.
Mandee: I start by getting my heartbeat up by dancing (8-10 minutes), going for a walk around my neighborhood (10-20 minutes), or going for a hike (about 30 minutes). The dancing-by-myself jam sesh starts very simple and ramps up to some sweet sticking landings and vogue poses (think high and low intensities mixed in with one another), while the walking is a constant and steady light to moderate challenge with added emphasis on posture and breathing (think moving meditation). The hike option is more of a moderate to high intensity cardio challenge as it typically involves a steep elevation and short spurts of running mixed in with a steady walk pace with little to no breaks. All are guaranteed to make ya sweat!
2. Bust Your Butt (literally)
Mandee: Obviously because I teach classes geared towards working your buns, this is one of my favorite topics. Squats, lunges, and deadlifts are always good for sculpting your backside. Add weights for more of a burn in your booty and backs of your thighs. Three sets of 12-15 reps should do the trick and between sets add in a plank and squeeze your cheeks (not the ones on your face)!
Shawna: Besides squats, I love "back dancing" for a good butt workout. Pick an upbeat song and lie flat on your back, feet flat on the floor hip width apart. With your ribs still on the floor, squeeze your glutes to lift your pelvis. Keep the squeeze as you lower back to the floor. You want to really keep your muscles engaged on the up and down movements. That creates the resistance. Then you can alternate one cheek then the other. The goal is to burn out your glutes, so embrace the
3. Sculpt Sexy Shoulders and Arms
Shawna: Try some triceps dips: with feet hip width apart on the ground (or propped on a bench or your couch), engage your abdominals and squeeze your booty. Bend elbows (make sure they point directly behind you) then press up. Think about really lengthening arms. Do 8-10 full range bends. Then bend down half way and do 6-8 tiny pulses down. Think of this as one set. You can repeat 2-3 times with a little rest in between.
Mandee: I love a good boxing routine for arms and shoulders: jabs, uppercuts, and hooks. Find a mirror, channel your inner animal, and punch like you mean it. It's more about the return than it is the actual punch (after all, you're shadow boxing, not hitting an actual target). Play the Rocky theme Music and yell, "Yo Adrienne!" after each minute round. Do these three different types of punches for three rounds each to break a sweat and feel the arm and shoulder burn. For a bonus, add 1-2 pound hand weights.
4. Strengthen Your Core
Mandee: My go-to is a traditional Pilates mat class when it comes to tightening up my nugget. Pilates works all angles of the core so you won't be imbalanced. On your own? No prob, make sure you have a soft mat to lie on and protect your spine. The classic Hundred move (back flat on the floor, legs in a tabletop position, head and shoulders curl up while arms do pumping motions parallel to the floor). Other Pilates faves include The Roll Up, Saw, Swan, and Shoulder Bridge. No equipment is needed; just strong will to do the work well.
Shawna: Planks are my fave! They can feel so tortuous but they are so good for us! Try a side plank to strengthen your obliques; I personally like doing then on my forearm, but you can do with a straight arm on ground or find a bench that is grounded. You can hold or do little lifts up and down. If you wanna add on, wrap your left arm down through the floor and your body and reach up for a little twist. Do 6-8 and end with a victorious. This really will trim your waistline.
5. Tone Up Your Legs
Shawna: For legs, I love a Curtsy Lunge, which activates the glutes too. Start with feet hip width. Cross one foot behind the other, bend both knees and hinge chest forward like 45 degrees. Pulse down and up about 10-15 times. Your hands can be on your hips or in front of chest in prayer. Then switch sides. You can add a squat (feet hip width) then curtsy, alternating sides. You will feel the burn so good! No need to take a bow when you are done as you've been "curtsying" this whole time. But def, high five yourself!
Mandee: I like to use resistance mini-bands along my thighs for an extra burn while I squat or lift my leg out and back to feel the work happening in my outer thigh and caboose. To work my inner thigh, I lie face up and draw my legs in and out while keeping my back and head relaxing along a mat. Add a crunch between each repetition to make this exercise harder and go to fatigue (or until it feels like your legs are gonna fall off!). Standing hip circles and single leg squats or deadlifts are also a great way to tone your gams and challenge your balance and stability. Don't underestimate the power of a lateral lunge and foot drag back in for more booty and inner thigh burning!
6. Be Kind to Your Bod
Mandee: Eat like you are fueling a brand new yacht, not a 1998 Dodge Neon with a missing hub cap. This means choose wisely with food and drinks you consume. Are you truly hungry? I always try to drink a full 8 ounces of water before rummaging through my cupboards and fridge for a snack because it may just be that I am thirsty.
Shawna: Go to sleep at a decent hour, for me it's around 9pm or 10pm (I'm a grandma!). So when my alarm goes off around 6am I'm ready for the day — maybe not emotionally, but you know! Getting enough sleep is so important especially if you are wanting to have energy to workout then go to work or vice versa.