Looking to firm up before that holiday soiree? Or perhaps you’ve decided it’s finally time to ditch those high gym fees for a more frugal option during this crazy time of year. Either way, it’s completely possible to do a total-body workout at home with nothing more than a mat.
To get the skinny on what moves are best for your bod, we talked to Deanne Schell, a CanFitPro fitness professional who also happens to be a certified yoga, pilates, bellyfit, zumba and insanity instructor, too. Basically, fitness is her life.
Here she created a total body workout that combines strength and cardio training for a 30-minute workout that can easily be adjusted for any fitness level. Just adjust the number of reps accordingly.
Start with this three-minute warmup before launching into the workout itself:
do each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat
Do each exercise in the set for 30 seconds, taking a 30 second break after the set and repeat 2-3 times
Squats: works quads, glutes, core
Keep your feet hip distance apart with your knees following the line of your toes. The tailbone should move back and down, and your knees should stay behind your toes. Press into your feet and squeeze glutes to return to standing. Be careful not to tuck in your pelvis.
Single Leg Deadlift (on the right): works back, glutes, hamstrings, core
Stand tall with one foot back, keeping knee of supporting leg soft and NOT locked. Fold forward from hips with flat back going only as far as possible while maintaining straight line from ears to shoulders and hips. Meanwhile, back leg lifts in relation to the fold. Squeeze glutes and engage core to return to start position.
Push-up: works chest, back, core
Begin in a plank position on your knees or toes and bring hands in line with your chest. Engage your abs by drawing your ribs towards the hips, almost like you’re about to take a punch. Bend from your elbows and slowly lower chest towards the floor. At the bottom, your elbows should be aligned directly at the sides of your chest. Push the floor away to return to start position.
Single Leg Deadlift (on the left): works back, glutes, hamstrings, core
V-ups: works shoulders, chest, back, core
Form an inverted ‘V’ position by bringing feet shoulder-width apart and hands together to form a diamond with index fingers and thumbs touching. Spread the rest of your fingers wide and maintain contact with the floor through all knuckles. Bend at elbows to lower head toward hands moving only as far as is comfortable. The movement should be small and controlled.
High Knee Twist to Curtsy Lunge (on the right): works legs, glutes, obliques
From a neutral standing position, tap right toe out to the side while bringing left elbow up in line with shoulder. Lift knee up and cross, bringing your elbow and knee to touch. Return right foot to floor while shifting your weight. Step your left foot behind the right, bending your knees to lower into curtsy lunge. Bringing your left elbow to right knee to finish. That’s one rep.
Dead Bug: works core
High Knee Twist to Curtsy Lunge (on the left): works legs, glutes, obliques
Table Top Tricep Dips: works triceps, biceps, core
Begin in the table position, hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath the hips with your core engaged. Bend at the elbows to lower them to the floor while maintaining alignment with wrists and shoulders (think about squeezing elbows together as if holding a brick in between). Be sure to keep your hips over your knees with a flat back. Push into hands to straighten arms and return to start position.
Dolphin – Swim & Tuck: works shoulder, chest, core
Begin in a low plank on your elbows with fingers interlaced. Then lift your tailbone towards the ceiling to create an inverted ‘V’ position. Move your shoulders back behind your elbows as your tailbone lifts and your heels move towards the floor — that’s Dolphin. From there, tuck your knees towards the floor without touching. Return to dolphin, shift forward to plank. That’s one rep.
Spider-Man Lunge: works back, core, legs
From a high lunge, step your right foot forward to the outside of your right hand. Throw out an optional “web.” Return to high plank and repeat on the left side. Be sure to keep your chest lifted and your shoulders wide throughout the exercise.
Super(wo)man: works back, core
Begin in neutral position lying on belly with your arms extended forward. Moving from your lower back, lift legs, arms and chest away from floor to “fly.” Return to start and repeat or hold the position for the entire 30 seconds if you prefer. Keep a long neck, soft throat and be sure to gaze towards the floor to protect your back. Meanwhile your shoulders should be wide and down.
Congrats, you’ve completed Schell’s 30-minute home workout. Be sure to stretch all of your major muscle groups, including your quads, hamstrings, chest, back, arms and shoulders for a proper cool down.