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10 Simple Winter Exercises

10 Simple Winter Exercises

Whether it’s rain or shine, here are some exercises that you can do in your home for free. Please consult your physician prior to engaging in a new exercise routine.

1. Push-Ups: Whether you do a traditional push-up, knee push-ups or wall push-ups (leaning against the wall), this is a great exercise to strengthen the chest, shoulders and arms. Do 10 push-ups! Proceed by doing more in multiples of 5 as it gets easier.

2. Sit-Ups: I always recommend doing crunches instead of full sit ups because it helps to reduce stress to the neck and back. With your arms crossed against your chest, crunch up toward your knees (bent) until your shoulder blades clear the floor completely. Perform this slowly up and down, breathing out coming up and breathing in coming down. (Yes, this is counterintuitive, but it’s the right way!) Do 20 sit-ups. Proceed by doing more in multiples of 5 as it gets easier.

3. Jumping jacks: Remember these when you were in elementary school? Jumping jacks are a great way to move the arms and legs in a large range of motion. Do 2 sets of 15. Avoid being flat-footed – jump off your toes. This exercise is helpful for strengthening the calf muscles and maintaining balance while in motion.

4. Squats: Strengthen the thighs and buttock by standing against a wall. With your legs spread shoulder-width apart and feet pointing forward, bend your knees 45 degrees and then return back to the standing position. Do this for 10 repetitions and 2 sets.

5. Military Press: In a standing position, holding 5 pound weights near your ears, raise the weights upward until your arms are almost fully extended without locking your elbows. Return the weights to the starting position. Do these slowly, breathing out while pushing up and breathing in while lowering the weights down. This exercise strenghtens the shoulders, arms and back muscles.

6. Calf Raises: Standing on your toes at the edge of a stair step, lift up onto your tippy-toes. Perform 12 repetitions for 2 sets. Use a rail or other stable object to help maintain your balance during this exercise. This strengthens your lower legs and also works on your balance.

7. Superman: Lying face down, with your arms above your head and legs spread slightly, raise your arms and legs 6 inches off the ground. Also raise your head so it is just slightly off the floor. Hold this position, maintaining normal breathing, for 30 seconds. Proceed by doing this for an additional 30 seconds as it gets easier. This exercise strengthens the arms, legs and back muscles.

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