Have you ever been away from your routine, say on vacation or a business trip, and thought to yourself “I can’t do my normal workout” and then you end up falling off your own bandwagon just because you miss a few days of your “regular” activity? Well, as you may or may not know, you should be mixing up your routine anyway so why not try adding in some of these exercises I’ll give you that you can do anywhere with little to no equipment? Sounds simple, right? Get to moving …

All of our functional movement is initiated through our main core section of our body. This includes our abdominals, hips, and thighs. When I say “functional” movement, I mean it’s incorporated in everything we have to do. From bending over to pick up your child’s toy, lifting a heavy box overhead, picking up the laundry basket, and so much more. Those muscles are crucial. You won’t build those functional muscles by using a machine in a gym like the bike or a treadmill. To build those muscles, you need to actually DO functional movements. Do you need special equipment for this? NO.

Now, if you’d like to progress the exercises then you could benefit from resistance training but that’s a whole other topic to discuss … Maybe I’ll write about that one day.

This is to show that you CAN build those functional core muscles anywhere. At home, at work, on vacation, when you’re traveling for work, at your child’s sporting event … anywhere.

EXERCISE PLAN TO BUILD A STRONG LOWER BODY

  1. SQUATS

    • Now, do you actually know HOW to squat. I’ll tell you, from my experience … and trust me I have a lot of experience with this as a doctor of physical therapy …  most people do this incorrectly. So, we’ll start at the basics. First, stand with your feet shoulder width apart (your feet can be pointing straight in front of you or slightly out, each person is different). The movement for a squat starts with the HIPS (NOT THE KNEES, which is most everyone does wrong). Start to hinge at your hips – this will make your butt go back behind you. I find it best to instruct people on proper squat positioning by placing a chair behind them – imagine that you’re going to sit down … like on a toilet … we all know how to do that.
    • Image on the left is WRONG, Image on the right is CORRECT ==>download-8
    • This is the beginning of the squat position. Keep your back up straight (DO NOT HUNCH OVER FORWARD) and then slowly lower your body down into a full squat. What’s a full squat, you ask? Your hips have to be below your knees! Yes, I mean that. Seriously. If you can’t do it yet … that’s ok … practice and improve your mobility and you will.
    • Image on the left is WRONG, Image on the right is CORRECT ==>images (10).jpeg
    • HOLD the bottom of the squat position for a slow count to 3-5 seconds … Keep your torso upright and remember … keep breathing. Yes, I know that sounds silly, but people often forget this very important part!
  2. SQUAT JUMPS

    • This exercises takes those basic squats to a whole new level – into the air!
    • Start with the standing position for the squat: feet shoulder width apart, keep your chest up (remember, NO HUNCHING!).
    • Squat down
    • Instead of holding the bottom of the squat like before, now you’re going to explode up into a jump, getting your feet off the ground as much as possible.
    • Land in a squat position (you won’t be as low as your squats in #1 above when you finish this but then lower yourself to the bottom of the squat positon.
    • Repeat the jump.
    • images-11
  3. STEP UPS

    • You’ll need a platform to step up onto for this one. A park bench, a set of stairs (you’ll step up onto the 2nd step if you can), or something similar.
    • Place your right foot on the platform and then step up with your left foot. Step down with the right foot, and then down with the left foot.
  4. LATERAL LUNGE

    • Stand with feet shoulder width apart, place your hands on your hips. Step out to the right and shift your body weight over your right leg, making sure to squat at a 90 degree angle. Same as before with the squats and squat jumps, initiate the movmeennt with your hips, keeping your back straight and upright (NO HUNCHING!).
    • Push off and bring your right leg back to starting position.
  5. BRIDGE

    • Lie flat on the floor with hands by your sides and your knees bent. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Pushing your heels against the floor, lift your hips up while keeping your back straight.
    • images (12).jpeg

 

Your only limit is YOU!

Get up and get FIT!

Until next time …

Be Well,

Dr. Cori

 

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