Turn household items into calorie-torching, body-sculpting tools
The new movie Oz: The Great and Powerful has me thinking about the famous phrase, "There’s no place like home” and how it can apply to your exercise routine. Fact is, your house could be the best new fitness facility on the block if you know what to do. Your pillow, for example, is a great tool for proprioception training, and a kid’s skateboard can be the ideal piece of equipment when it comes to trimming and toning your thighs. Try this routine and you'll see.
Two or three times a week, add one of the following protocols to your daily routine or complete the entire group as an independent workout. Perform each exercise in order without rest. Complete 1 to 3 circuits depending on your fitness level.
Old issues are keeping you in SHAPE (pun intended)! Turning the pages is a great way to build core strength, chisel your chest and arms, and serves as an excellent tool to prehab your forearms against carpel tunnel syndrome.
1. Page-Turner: Begin in a traditional pushup position with the magazine directly under your face. Reach down with left hand and see how many pages you can turn in 30 seconds, making sure that the page is completely turned before you reach for another one. After 30 seconds, switch to right hand and see if you can turn back the same number of pages within 30 seconds.
2. Hand Walking: Begin in a traditional pushup position with the magazine positioned outside of right hand. Reach over the magazine with right hand, then left hand. Beginning with left hand, step hands back to starting position. Repeat this pattern as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
3. Turn and Press: Begin in a traditional pushup position (beginners can lower both knees to the ground in modified pushup position) with the magazine directly under your face. Reach with left hand and fully turn one page. As soon as the page turns, complete a pushup. Repeat for 30 seconds turning with left hand. Break and repeat with right hand for an additional 30 seconds.
4. Roll and Crumble: Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the magazine with the spine parallel to the floor and fingers curled over the side opposite the spine. Keeping arms fully extended, raise the magazine to chest level so arms are parallel to the ground. Begin walking fingers down toward the spine of the magazine, rolling it into a tight tube as you would a brown paper bag. Pause, stretch the magazine back to its original position. Repeat as many times as possible for 30 seconds.
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Bedroom Pillow Workout
A pillow can create an unstable surface, making it a great tool for proprioception training. Be sure to perform these moves without shoes.
1. Bam Bam Slam: Hold the pillow in both hands and stand with feet one and a half shoulder-widths apart, knees slightly bent into a light squat position. Fully extend arms toward the ceiling so pillow is directly overhead. In one explosive motion, drop into a full squat while driving extended arms down between legs. Just as the pillow passes your navel, release and let it slam down to the floor. Quickly grab the pillow, return to standing, and repeat as many times as possible in 30 seconds.
2. Leaning Tower of Pisa: Begin with right foot on the pillow and extend arms out to sides at shoulder height. Lift left knee to navel height so thigh is parallel to the floor. Reach down toward right foot with left hand, rotating at the hips and driving left heel under your body and behind you so leg is fully extended. Pause, then return to balancing on right leg. Perform as many times as possible in 30 seconds before performing standing on left leg.
3. Clockwise Core: Begin in a traditional pushup position with right hand firmly placed on the pillow. Raise left hand straight out in front of you. Keeping it fully extended, begin circling your arm clockwise for 30 seconds. Pause, then repeat for 30 seconds rotating arm counterclockwise. Repeat with your left hand on the pillow and right arm extended.
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Your son's (or daughter's) toy is the perfect proprioception training device. It can be used to assist in the development of stability and balance, and for core conditioning.
1. Skater Squat: Stand on a carpeted floor with feet on either end of the skateboard, hands on hips. Squat, lowering hips until thighs become parallel to the ground. Pause, then return to standing. Repeat as many as possible in 30 seconds.
2. Lunar Lunge: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, right foot on the skateboard (as if you were to begin skateboarding), hands on hips. In one smooth motion, slowly lower hips while sliding right leg back into a full lunge position. Pause at the bottom, then retract back to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch to your left leg for an additional 30 seconds.