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Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)


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My favorite exercises – no equipment needed

I’ve been working out regularly since 2008. I worked with a personal trainer for 4 years during that time. He showed me so many different exercises and, although I try to keep my workouts varied, these exercises are always in my routine. I love them because they kick my butt – every. single. time. Also, they are great for people of any level and can be done anywhere, anytime – no excuses!  It is important to move – even a little is better than nothing.  Incorporate exercise into your daily life – it is so important!

 

Do you have any favorite exercises?  I’m always looking to bring variety to my workout so please share in the comments!

 

Squats

Half squats, full squats, with no weights, with weights, two legs, one leg – this exercise has many challenging levels.  If you want to look good great from behind then you WILL do them!  They are tougher than they look, but they will get you results.

Lunges

This is an exercise with huge variety. Forward walking, reverse, sideways, jumping (in one area), with a twist, with weights in front, weights above. Two lunges for every step, five for every step.  You can even add kicks and punches to the lunges.  Variety is important and this is one exercise that you can change up so many times.

Push-ups

You feel push-ups all the way to your core.  Push-ups on your knee, full push-up on the ground or on an elevated bar, push-ups with a twist, with one leg, with a clap, with feet elevated, push-ups with a wide grip or narrow grip.  Again, I could go on and on with variations.  There is a style of push-up that you can do, and there will always be a style of push-up that will challenge you.  Do not shy away from this exercise.

Planks

Keeping your body in a plank position is probably harder than you ever imagined!  Once you have 10 seconds down you can work on 20, 30, 60 and so on.  You can do it with your arms straight, or rest on your forearms, or even as a side plank on one arm.  Try it on one leg, or alternating legs.  You can also incorporate various movements – legs stepping or jumping out and in,  walking around a medicine ball, shoulder taps, lifting alternate arms, climbers.  You can simply go up and down from straight arms to your forearm and back up to straight arms.  Your body will never bore of this exercise as long as you keep pushing yourself.  Why not try a 30 day plank challenge?

Skipping rope

Ok, so this one technically needs equipment (or imagination!).  It’s simple and effective.  I find it a great way to include this as a quick burst of cardio during a HIIT circuit.  If you don’t have a rope try jumping jacks instead.  This video will give you some idea of the variations in this exercise.

Turkish get-ups

If you don’t know this exercise then learn the steps and do it.  I typically do it with a light weight in my hand.  I know – I said no equipment, but this exercise is too good to leave off the list!  If you do not have any weights handy, a can or bottle of water will do!  All you need is a floor to lie down on – and then just get up.  Simple, but a challenging and effective full body workout.

Burpees

I saved the best until last!  This one kills me every time (in a good way!).  I couldn’t do them before.  I look so ungraceful, but exercise is not about being graceful!  I tried and tried again, and I have got better.  I can even do a few in a row (read: big accomplishment!).  One day I will be as light on my feet as this guy:

 

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