As most of you already know, exercise is my sanity. It is the perfect stress reliever for me, and when I go a few days without getting a good sweat in, I become a total bear! Like, woah! (sorry family.) So many times in the past I’ve slacked on my exercise schedule because, well, life happened. Like most of you, i’m crazy busy; everyone around here has a ‘schedule’, even the toddler. There are always a million things to do and getting to the gym seems impossible at times. 2017 has been a great year for me so far, and a huge part of that success can be attributed to the fact that momma’s been getting her workouts in! Not only do I look better, but I feel better; on the inside and outside. Exercise is not only good for you physically, but it’s also good for you mentally and emotionally. I’m not going to lie though, it’s not been easy. So many times I’ve thought about making excuses, but I’ve tried really hard to push myself and get in a good workout at least 3-4 times a week. Here’s the crazy thing – nearly all of these workouts have been in the privacy of my own home. Don’t get me wrong, I AM a gym person and I love group classes. I’ve had a Y membership for as long as I can remember and CrossFit is one of my all time favorite workouts. However, it’s not always easy to make it to a class. Often times my workouts don’t even happen until the kids are in bed, sometimes that may be 9 p.m. or later. So I’ve found that home workouts are best for me at this stage in life. I incorporate a lot of Crossfit style moves (body movement workouts) into my regular routine along with some small mobile equipment. Below is a review of my favorite moves and home equipment.
My Favorite Equipment:
1. Jump Rope – I start nearly every workout with jumping rope. It’s great cardio and gets your blood pumping quickly! Within just a few minutes you’ll be sweating and breathless. For beginners, I would suggest the normal technique for jumping rope (jumping with both feet at one time with your knees slightly flexed.) I love to change up my jumping routine often. Sometimes i’ll swivel my core and lower body from side-to-side, sometimes i’ll alternate jumping on only one foot, and sometimes i’ll do a jumping jack motion with my feet (feet going together then apart.) This breaks up the monotony and makes it fun! Here’s a tip – do NOT purchase a jump rope that is made of actual “rope.” You’ll want a rope that is made of a plastic/rubber substance – one that is made for speed.
2. Kettlebell – The Kettlebell is a great full body workout. The kettlebell swing, if done properly, can be felt in your back, core, shoulders, butt and thighs. It can be used many ways: the traditional kettlebell swing, it can be lifted one handed, and you can also use it for weighted squats. There are many sizes/weights of kettlebells available. (If you’re new to using a kettlebell, I would suggest starting out light and working your way up – maybe start around 10-15 pounds. The kettlebells I use are 20lbs and 35lbs.) There are also many home workout videos that do a full kettlebell workout, and trust me, you’ll feel the burn.
3. Dumbbells – I have several different sizes of dumbbells that I use daily. I use lighter weight dumbbells for high-rep exercises – usually to accompany some type of cardio move. You can also use them while taking a brisk walk. Although 3 lbs sounds really light, I promise you’ll feel muscle fatigue if you continuously use them for an extended amount of time! I save the heavier dumbbells for low-rep movements that are targeting a specific area. I use 3 lb, 5 lb, 10lb, 15lb and 20lb dumbbells. (For the men, and super strong ladies, you may want to go even heavier.)
4. Stability Ball – The stability ball can be used in SO many ways. Sit-ups, pushups, legwork, core work; you name it and the stability ball can probably aid with the movement. The stability ball also relieves pressure while making most moves more challenging, yet comfortable. Another favorite of mine is the medicine ball. The medicine ball is a weighted ball that can be used for squats and the infamous “wall balls” exercise. If you’re unfamiliar, google this movement. It’s the ultimate squat workout; however, you’ll either need very high ceilings or you’ll have to take this exercise outside!
5. Neoprene Waist Trimmer – My neoprene “sweat band” (as I so lovingly call it) is one of my most prized possessions! Like a lot of people, my mid section is always my problem area. Two c-sections later and momma will never have abs again. During a normal workout, I don’t feel like my core sweats that much. But when I wear my neoprene waist trimmer, ohh my lanta! It’s on like Donkey Kong. It maximizes the intensity of the workout dramatically; I never exercise without it. (I will note, this product will heat your body up quickly! Make sure to stay hydrated and make sure that you are healthy enough to use this product.) Now prepare for the water works!
6. Insanity: Fast And The Furious DVD – When I’m short on time but need to get a really good workout in, my go-to is “Insanity Fast And The Furious” DVD. This exercise video is only 20 minutes, including the warm up and cool down, but it will kick your booty! You will be dripping the sweat when you get done. And best of all, there is no equipment involved and you really don’t even need that much room! I highly suggest this product, and anything else Shaun T puts out. He’s a beast!
My Favorite At Home Exercises:
- Push Ups
- Kettlebell Swings
- Jump Rope
- Mountain Climbers
- Tuck Jump
I hope this information was helpful and I hope it gets you moving! I’d love to hear about your favorite workout routines. Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.
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Disclaimer: These are strictly my opinions. I am NOT a personal trainer or fitness instructor. These are simply exercises that have worked well for me. Before starting a new workout routine you should consult with your physician.