Meredith’s Favorite Exercises
Did you choose a “Word of the Year” for 2017? This year, I chose balance. This mostly comes from needing to make more time for myself and less time always working, which I’m sure we can ALL relate to!
When I first started SFT, I was actually a fitness instructor for Yogalates, located here in Baton Rouge. I would work out daily -- sometimes two or three times a day! I loved the fitness world, but as the demand for SFT continued, I eventually had to stop teaching and focus 100% on SFT. And you bet I miss those days of leisure and teaching -- it was so peaceful and rewarding.
Being the sole owner of a business is very hard to find “me” time and time for working out. So going into 2017, I told myself it was time to find balance again. That means balance for work, home life, mom life, wife life and newly grandmother life! And the list goes on…
For today’s post we’re focused specifically on balancing a work and fitness life. I’m here to show you how you can work fitness into your daily crazy life no matter what! Whether you’re home, in the office or at a gym, you’ll be able to use these five exercises to squeeze in some fitness into your day.
Before we get into the exercises, I want to offer you a tip! Set alarms throughout the day to remind yourself to stand up and workout briefly for 5-10 minutes. You can do all of the exercises I’m talking about today from anywhere! I like to call it a little workout-lagniappe!
- Upright Row - This is one of my favorite workouts using light - medium weights. You can build the strength through your biceps and through your shoulders with this exercise.
- Grab two weights in each hand to create an overhand grip, turning the weights towards your body. Keep the weights down by your side and then lift the weights up to your shoulders with your arms extended with a slight bed in your elbows. Keep your back straight and feet hips width distance.Oh, and don’t forget to relax your shoulders!
- You can also use the same motion from a sumo squat, this is my favorite.Two workouts in one!
- Squats - I love working squats in all the time. I will do them throughout my day, by setting my alarm to go off the last 10 minutes of the hour. I will do between 30 to 50 reps each time -- so good for your glutes and legs!
- Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
- Sit back and down like you're sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
- Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
- Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
- If you want to challenge yourself, grab a hand weight and keep it by your side as your squat.
- Plank - You can plank anywhere and almost in anything. Just like my squats, I will do the same in a plank. I will hold sometimes from anywhere from 20-40 seconds each time. I love do a full plank because it's a full body workout. You are working every muscle group. Plus it helps with the tension in my shoulders from working on my computer.
- Start by getting into a cat position (on both knees and arms are straight)
- Step your feet back.
- Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
- Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.
- Hold this position for the prescribed time.
- Crunches - I love crunches -- like all of them. Do you have 5 minutes a day? I know I do and I try to give myself 5 minutes a day before I take a bath to do five 60 second reps of my favorite crunches. You can easily do this for yourself while running your bath water. Here are my five crunches I like to do:
- Traditional crunch with your elbows back, belly pulled in and lift and crunch.
- Cross crunches where you lay flat on your back and place your right hand behind your head. Bend your left knee to a 90 degree and bring the right elbow to your left knee. You can do this for 60 reps and switch to the other side. (repeat opposite side)
- Table top crunches with your feet in the air. This one is really easy -- you will lift your feet up in the air with your feet flexed. You will lay flat with your elbows behind your head and you will lift straight up -- or you can also lift your arms up and try and let your fingers touch your toes.
- Bicycles crunches where you raise your legs and bring your right elbow to your left knee and alternate.
- Standing Bow - This is by far one of my favorite balancing poses I loved at Yoglates. You can always improve your form and challenge yourself with this move.
- The first step is to reach back with your left hand and grasp the inside of your left foot or ankle. To avoid compression in your lower back, lift your pubis toward your belly button, and at the same time, press your tailbone toward the floor.
- Slowly lift your left foot up, away from the floor, and back, away from your torso. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso, parallel to the floor.
- Keep your head up and focus on something to maintain your balance. If you’re in front of a mirror, the best thing is look at yourself and picture your leg lifting up as you breathe and stretch into the pose.
Plus, it wouldn’t be a complete exercise post without mentioning our NEWEST Sweet Baton Rouge® tees, which are now my favorite to work out in! They come in this tank and in long sleeve, which are perfect for those cool morning runs!
I look forward to hearing more from you and hope you try some of these workouts through your busy day. Remember to find the balance in your life for some "me" time.
xoxo - Meredith