5 Non-exercise Exercises to Kick Off 2010
December 28, 2009
This list is intended to help you add a kick to your already-established workout routine OR to begin your migration towards establishing a workout regime. I created these simple exercises for myself in order to connect better with my body and to turn everyday activities into multitasking exercises. As with all exercises, check with your doctor if you are uncertain if these are safe for you.
Wherever you are sitting, standing, or laying right now I want you to notice your booty. Take a minute to focus on your gluteus muscles and make your brain connect with them. Slowly, start to clench and squeeze JUST the right butt cheek. Liken this to slowly tightening a clenched fist. I want you to think about contracting every little fiber of those muscles on the right side while leaving the left relaxed. Can you? Can you sense the left side or your thigh muscles wanting to help out and stabilize the pelvis? Now try to squeeze just the left side. Most people will be able to do one side better and will notice a compensation pattern in the opposite side of the weaker glut muscles. Lastly, squeeze both cheeks and see if you can hold it for 10 seconds. You can also try little pulsations from side to side or together to a rhythm. Congratulations! This is one of your first exercises to truly get you to connect with your butt! Now, the next time you walk up stairs, do laundry, go shopping, or do any activity requiring movement of your legs pause a minute to reconnect with your gluts. Make yourself use them during your normal daily activities and you can actually start to tone them without changing your routine much at all.
2-Tone your thighs by brushing your teeth.
In yoga, there are poses that require you to stand on one leg at a time. This requires pretty much all of your leg muscles, low back and gluts to work to keep you balanced and upright. You can apply this to your daily life by challenging yourself to stand on one leg while brushing your teeth, cooking or even during work. Side note-be careful not to lose balance and skewer yourself with cooking utensils or your toothbrush. Basically, your goal is to notice all of your leg and butt muscles and to keep them firing at a rapid rate to maintain standing on one leg-it’s harder than you think. Most of the time it’s easiest to not cheat by bending the non-stationary leg into a flamingo pose. At work, you don’t want to look like a flamingo-standing freak so you have to try to shift your balance to one leg while letting the other appear to be still touching the ground. You just have to pretend that the lifted leg needs a centimeter buffer between your shoe and the ground. Keep your abs tightened as well and you have just created a total lower body workout by standing.
3-Sexy Back (and arms)-with computer work or cleaning dishes.
This “exercise” is aimed at toning your mid and upper back muscles to create a better look for strapless shirts for you ladies. Whether you try this at your computer or at home over the kitchen sink, you must first concentrate on your shoulders. Most people have their shoulders rolled forward so sit/stand up straight and roll your shoulders to a neutral position and keep your body upright with your head balanced over it (not poking forward to read this). Now I want you to reach forward towards the keyboard or the household item. STOP! Notice how you let your shoulder loosen and lean forward to reach? Try reaching again but with keeping your shoulder blade squeezed back towards your spine. This tightens mid-back muscles and keeps your shoulder back where it should be. It will seem harder to reach because you are activating your upper back muscles, stabilizing the shoulder and forcing your arm muscles to do the work of movement instead of your shoulder and shoulder joint. Try to keep this posture for the next 10 minutes of work and feel how much you can use your arm and back muscles.
4-Hot Abs from Hot Hairstyles
Remember those exercises where you put both arms out to the sides (like a T) and lean side to side to work on your oblique ab muscles? We are about to reincarnate that exercise but put it to practical use. This is best tried in front of your bathroom mirror when you are getting ready to blow-dry or brush your hair. For your first trial, I ask you to please be able to see your bare belly in the mirror so roll up your shirt or try this in just your bra. Start with your left abs and right arm. Watch yourself try to flex/squeeze or even just slightly tighten the left side muscles (as if you would be using them to bend you forward and to the left). Now, arm your right hand with the brush or blow dryer and while keeping the left abs contracted, do small leans to the right while doing your hair. Start with 20 slow right-sided leans, controlling it with the left abs. Swap sides and repeat.
5-Tone the Arms
Battle the underarm waddle by using your email-reading time to tighten your triceps and biceps. This exercise works with any chair and any activity where you get to hold still for 30 seconds or more. Simply grip the edges of the chair you are sitting on lightly and lock out your arms enough to lift your booty off the chair. Holding this pose will activate your upper arm muscles. If it’s uncomfortable on your wrists, try rolling your hands into fists and instead of gripping the seat, balance on your knuckles while keeping your wrists straight. 30 second holds 5 times a day will get you on your way to toning your arms! You can do this while reading emails or internet research or even watching TV.
Got questions or want to add to my suggestions? email me directly at info@DrKristiSmith.com. If you like this blog and want to learn more, you can visit my website at www.drkristismith.com