If your mind is bored from your workout, sometimes your body can be, too.
It's important to change it up and do things differently, even if it means just working out outside instead in order to clear your mind -- sometimes even a change of scenery or workout equipment can be a strong motivator.
Creativity is great for days when you seriously feel like you have no time, or minimal time to get in a workout. I really like workouts that you can do at home, that don't require much preparation. This week I decided to use a chair to come up with as many exercises as I possibly could.
Push the back of the chair up against the wall, so it does not slide on the floor.
This is where the push-up variations begin. You can put both hands on the edge of the seat; one hand on the seat and one hand on the back of the chair; hands really close together bending the elbows backwards each push-up; toes on the seat of the chair and hands on the floor.
With your toes on the seat and hands on the floor you can do a lot of variations with your hands to narrow, shoulder width apart and wider. Then you can also stagger the hands so that the right is in front of the left or vice versa while increasing and decreasing the width between the hands.
Push-ups are one of my favorite, most challenging exercises.
There are so many different things that you can do for your legs on a chair. Stand in front of the chair and squat until you tap the chair and then come all the way up.
If you cannot go all the way down, go as far as you can. Switch up the width of your feet to narrow, shoulder width and wider with your toes pointed out. As as always, make sure you are pushing through your heels when you squat and your knees are still behind your toes.
Grab a weight or something heavy in your kitchen like a bag of flour and sit down and stand up in the chair as many times as you can for a minute and then rest. Repeat this three times and see how your legs feel. Make sure you keep your abs tight and chest up to protect the lower back.
Actually sit down into the chair and push through the heels to stand up. Now come around to the back side of the chair and put your hands on the back and stand straight up.
Do standing leg raises by lifting the leg straight back and through the heel activating the glutes -- do 20 on each leg and then
20 high knees to up the cardio a little bit.
A few other exercises that I did on the chair were tricep dips, inclined, declined and reverse planks, mountain climbers on an incline and glute bridges with my legs straight and heels on the seat of the chair. Everybody has a chair or access to a chair of some sort.
Here is a really great way to get in a 15- to 30- minute workout without having to drive anywhere: 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 30 seconds of pushups, 30 seconds of tap squats, 30 seconds of mountain climbers, 30 seconds of tricep dips, 30 seconds in plank position, 30 second of mountain climbers, 30 seconds of pushups (different variation), 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 30 seconds of sit stands.
Rest for one to two minutes after this five-minute circuit and then repeat as many times as you have time for. Perhaps this is your way to get out of an unfit slump, making fitness a part of your everyday chaotic life.
Lunden Souza can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.