As winter approaches the excuses pile up not to exercise. Warm sunny weather isn’t needed nor is an expensive health club needed to stay in shape this winter. Here are 10 exercise ideas that can keep anyone in shape this winter. These exercises can be done in the home, and the best part is that most of these exercises don’t cost anything.
1. Hindu Pushups
This is a great all body exercise. Start with your legs spread out as far as comfortable. Lean forward and place your hands about shoulder width apart. Your body position should look a “V”. This is the starting position. Bring your upper body down towards the floor in an arc, inhale. Throw your head up towards the ceiling as you arch your back and straiten your arms, exhale. Return to the “V” position.
2. Hindu Squats
Hindu Squats is a fantastic lower body exercise. Start with your legs a little less than shoulder width apart. Lean forward slightly into the squat position with your knees over your toes, exhale. As you reach the bottom of your squat, place your hands slightly behind your back. As you return to the starting position, raise your arms in a rowing motion and finish with your arms tightly against your chest, inhale.
3. Squat Thrusts
Squat Thrusts is another excellent all body exercise. Many of us remember this exercise from gym class. Many of us probably haven’t performed this exercise since gym class, and I bet many of us forgot what a great workout you can get from this movement. Start out with your legs at shoulder width apart. Squat down as you place your hands on the floor just in front of your legs. Move into a pushup position. Bring your legs back into a squat position and return to a standing position.
4. Mountain Climbers
This is an exercise my high school football coaches loved. Start in a modified pushup position with your butt slightly in the air. Get up on your finger tips and alternate your legs in a climbing movement. This will get your heart rate moving.
5. Jump Lunges
This exercise requires coordination and balance, but is a great lower body and cardio exercise. Start with your legs slightly less than shoulder width apart. Throw one of your legs back, keep your back straight, hands on your hips and lower your body until your front leg reaches a 90 degree angle. Jump in the air and switch legs.
Stretching is a forgotten part of any exercise routine. Not only is it vital, but stretching will prevent injury and aid in the progression of anyone’s physical health. Opinions vary when stretching should occur, but I like to stretch throughout my exercise session.
Dips have always been regarded as an ideal upper body exercise. To perform dips at home, all that is needed is 2 sturdy chairs. Lower the upper body until the bend in the elbow reaches 90 degrees and then push up.
8. Jump Rope
Until now I have provided exercise ideas which cost nothing to perform. Even though a good quality jump rope is fairly inexpensive, this is a fantastic cardio and coordination exercise worth the investment. Jumping rope requires a little practice, but this can be a great alternative to running especially on cold, snowy winter days.
9. Heavy Bag Work
Several years ago Santa brought me a 50 LB heavy bag and set of bag gloves. This is great stress reliever and a great workout. The key is to use proper punching technique to prevent hand and wrist injury.
10. Exercise Ball
There are many uses for the exercise ball beyond working your abs. An exercise ball can increase the intensity and add an element of balance and control to a variety of movements. The one great thing the ball does is work the core muscles which are crucial for balance, and posture.
Hindu Squats and Hindu Pushups: http://www.cbass.com/Furey.htm
Heavy Bag Routines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvnxn-P_euI
Exercise Ball Movements: http://exercise.about.com/library/blbeginnerball.htm
Jumping Rope: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9DPme8v6kc