Now that it’s officially cold (at least here in New England), we wanted to give you a workout that will warm you all the way from your core to your extremities! This workout doesn’t even require leaving the house! All you need is your body and if you choose, a yoga mat. We recommend starting with a light warm up, a few minutes of jumping jacks or dancing, just to loosen up the joints. Try this workout now, or download it and print it for later.
1. Plank on Hands
Set yourself up with your hands under your shoulders. Work to create a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Make sure not to “sink” down into your shoulders; think about pressing the ground away from you, but without lifting your hips. Take deep breaths, working to draw your abdominals in with every exhale. Hold for 45-seconds, then transition to exercise #2.
Modifications: If you’re new to the plank, you can modify this move by placing your knees on the ground. If you have any wrist issues or pain, you can also drop down to your forearms.
2. Modified Side Plank
Transitioning from your plank position, shift the weight to your left hand and rotate your body to the right, lifting your right arm up towards the ceiling. Cross your top (right) leg in front, and bend it to place your foot on the floor for extra support. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
3. Mountain Climber
Return to your plank position. Exhale and draw your right knee in towards your chest, then switch to pull the left leg in. You can do this slowly by stepping one foot forward and then the other, or fast, by hopping to switch legs. Continue for 30 seconds.
4. Basic Crunch
Transition to lying flat on your back, with knees bent and feet relaxed on the floor. Place your hands behind the base of your skull, letting your head feel heavy in your arms so you don’t strain your neck. On an exhale, roll your upper body up off of the floor; imagine lifting the bottom tips of your shoulder blades off the ground. Draw your abdominals up and in, imagining your belly button drawing down towards your spine. Inhale to lower; exhale and repeat. Perform 15 repetitions.
5. Twisting Crunch
Continuing from your Basic Crunch position, on your next exhale, lift up to twist towards the right. Inhale and lower your body; exhale and twist to the left. Try to keep your elbows wide and think about reaching your opposite shoulder to your opposite hip. Perform 10 repetitions on each side (20 repetitions total), and then move on to exercise 5a.
a. Modified Bicycle
Continue the twisting crunch, but now lift the leg that you are twisting towards (as you twist to the right, lift the right leg). Gently place it back on the floor to switch sides. Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
b. Full Bicycle
Continue the modified bicycle. This time, when you twist towards the leg you are lifting, extend the opposite leg straight. Ideally, you want this leg to hover a few inches above the floor, but if you need to modify, keep the leg lifted as high as you need. Exhale to switch sides. Note, in this position it is tempting to just swing the elbows. Make sure you are using your core and trying to keep your shoulder blades from lifting up off of the floor. Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
6. Straight Leg Crunch
Lying flat down on the floor, lift both legs up towards the ceiling. If you can’t keep your legs straight, it’s okay to have a slight bend in the knees. Lower your legs so your feet are over your hips. This will help to activate your core muscles. Place hands behind your head, just like you in in the Basic Crunch, and exhale to lift the torso (and the shoulder blades!) off of the floor. Inhale to lower. Perform 10 repetitions, holding the 10th one up to move on to exercise #7.
7. Rope Climb
From your Straight Leg Crunch position, reach your right hand towards your left foot, and then your left hand towards your right foot. Imagine you are pulling up a rope to lift your torso higher and higher off of the floor. Continue breathing, drawing the abdominals into the spine. Continue this motion for 45-seconds.
To get into this position, come to a seated position with your knees bent towards the ceiling and your feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you lift tall in the spine, and exhale to lean back, drawing the abdominals up and in. If this is enough for you, you can stay here. Or, move to the full version and lift your feet off of the floor. Work to get your shins up towards the ceiling (but this may take some practice depending on your strength and flexibility). Reach your arms forward and continue to lift your chest towards your thighs. Hold for 30-seconds and then move on to exercise #9.
9. Twisting V-Sit
Holding your V-Sit position, cross your arms like you’re holding a baby. Twist your torso to the right, then to the left. Perform 20 repetitions, total.
Roll over onto your stomach. Squeeze your legs together, and reach your arms out to the side into a “T” shape. On your next exhale, lift your head, chest, shoulders, arms, and legs off of the floor. Hold for a moment and then inhale to return the back down to the floor. Make sure not to completely relax at the bottom. Perform 10 repetitions. Sit back on your heels to finish.
You did it! Let us know how you did in the comments below!