Lunden Souza: Fitness

June 30, 2012

Lunden Souza: Eliminate excuses; you can work out anywhere

Being a mobile personal trainer, I see an opportunity to work out wherever I am.

Whether it is a park, a kitchen, a living room, office or back yard, there really is a way to get fit in any environment. That eliminates a lot of the excuses people have for not being able to work out or get to a gym.

The more creative I become with workouts, the more my clients become creative themselves in their environments -- ideally creating no-excuse workouts on their own.

Even if you do not have a big back yard or patio, if there is enough room for a yoga mat, you are in the game.

On the mat, you can do exercises such as planks, squats, jumping jacks, forward and backward stepping lunges, hop squats, switch lunges, walking lunges (if you have room), burpees, a variety of abdominal crunches, narrow pushups, regular pushups and wide pushups.

If you have a chair in the back yard or patio, you can use it for tap-squats and tricep dips.

For the tap-squats, stand in front of the chair with your back to it. Sit back into a squat, while making sure your toes do not go past your knees, until your bottom barely taps the chair, and then stand all the way back up to complete the squat.

For tricep dips, make sure that you keep your lower back and bottom really close to the chair, so your triceps really are put to work. Pick five of these exercises and do each of them for 60 seconds, and do not rest until you are done with all five. When you are finished, rest for 60 seconds and then repeat the exercise three to five times.

If you live near a park, you have plenty of room to do a very effective workout.

Picnic tables and benches at parks make some of the best workout equipment. On a picnic table, you can do exercises such as inclined pushups, declined pushups, inclined plank, knee tucks while holding an inclined plank, step-ups, single-leg squats, box-jumps, push-offs, tricep dips, tap squats, inclined mountain climbers and anything else that you can come up with on your own.

Write down eight to 10 exercises and do 20 repetitions of each without rest. When you are done, rest for 45 to 60 seconds, then repeat three to five times.

You can alternate one upper body and one lower body exercise for a total body burn, or you can focus on a specific area to burn out that muscle group.

Variety and creativity is what will keep you motivated and excited about your workouts.

Choose a hallway in your house or other area where you can do walking lunges. Weights for these lunges are optional but highly recommended. Do walking lunges up and back as many times as it takes to get 20 lunges on each leg.

When you are finished with the 20 lunges, hold a wall squat for 60 seconds. Make sure that you eliminate the space between your lower back and the wall, and squat down low enough to make your legs really work hard.

For an added challenge, rest the weights from your walking lunges on your upper quads. After the 60 seconds is up, immediately do 20 hop squats and then rest until the legs feel energized again. Repeat it three to five times. If you are really feeling strong, do 20 switch lunges (10 on each side) after the 20 hop squats.

It is always fun to eliminate excuses and replace them with creative workouts. You don't have to make it to the gym, and you don't always need to work out for an hour or longer to make it worth your time.

Even if you just have 15 to 30 minutes to get in a quick workout, that's always better than finding an excuse to do nothing.

Lunden Souza can be reached at

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