Will your fitness motivation weather the winter? Frigid forecasts and snowy conditions can put a deep freeze on your fitness goals. And while it is tempting to hibernate until warmer weather returns, your body needs a lot more muscle movement than it gets flipping through the television channels.
Don't let shivering be your only workout this winter.
You don't need to trek outdoors to turn up the heat on your workout routine. Instead, try this total-body, high-intensity, indoor training circuit. All you need is two sets of free weights — one set that is challenging and a lighter option. (I'm using 8-pound and 5-pound weights.)
Glute bridge chest press. This move engages major muscle groups in the legs, glutes, core, chest and arms. By consolidating two exercises into one (glute bridges and chest presses), the core muscles are forced to stabilize and balance the body through each repetition, which increases muscle strength, definition and caloric expenditure. Pro tip: First, practice each move separately to ensure you are using proper form.
- Grab two free weights and rest them within arm's reach. If you are new to the chest press, opt for the lighter set of weights until you feel more comfortable with the exercise.
- Begin in a supine position with your knees bent and both feet planted hip-width apart on the floor.
- With your weights in your hands, position your arms out to a T-shape with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your triceps flush with the floor.
- Take a deep breath, push through your heels and lift your hips off the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your knees. Squeeze your glutes for the duration of this exercise.
- Remain in this position as you completely extend the weighted arms above the chest. Hold for one count, then lower your arms to the starting position.
- Perform 12-15 chest presses. Slowly lower your hips when completed.
Reverse lunge shoulder press. Reverse lunges are a single leg movement that helps improve balance, joint stability and core strength. Combining the reverse lunge with a shoulder press really puts the aforementioned fitness factors to the test. Remember to try each exercise independently before combining into one movement.
- Hold one free weight in each hand with feet hip-width apart. Bring your hands up to shoulder height so your palms are facing out and your elbows are close to your ribs. Push the weights up over your head until your arms are fully extended. Avoid overarching your back by keeping your core tight and positioning your shoulders over your hips.
- Simultaneously take a step backward with your right foot and slowly lower the weights back down to shoulder height. Check the form of your lunge: your left knee should be aligned above your left ankle, and your right hip stacked above your right knee. Hold for two breaths.
- Return to the starting position by pushing through your left heel and elevating your arms above your head.
- Continue this sequence for 10-12 repetitions then switch legs.
Squatting triceps extension. If improving your overall fitness is a priority, this move — designed to boost your cardiovascular health, flexibility and strength — is for you.
- Stand tall with the feet wider than hip-width. Make sure your toes are facing out.
- Firmly grip one free weight between your hands and elevate it above your head.
- Keep your bodyweight in your heels as you lower into a squat. At the same time, bend at your elbows to lower the free weight behind your head.
- Push through your heels to standing as you bring the weight back to an overhead, extended position. With each repetition, your arms will get tired and as a result, your elbows will begin winging out to the sides. Avoid this improper form by securing your elbows close to your ears throughout the entire exercise.
- Continue this for 12-15 repetitions.
For optimal results, repeat this circuit 3-5 times.