Image by: Ole Husby
By MacKenzie Nelson-Greene
I was always an at-home workout person. One of the first times I went to a gym, a buddy of mine had to drag me along. I did my workout the same as I did at home. As we were walking amongst the machines, my friend said. “Yeah… it’s kinda a meat market here.”
Confused, I asked him what he meant.
He said, “Those three guys were staring at you while you walked past.”
Luckily, I’m the type of girl who doesn’t notice such things. However, if I were a girl who did notice such things, they would make me very uncomfortable.
It wasn’t until the man doing handstands to impress women before yoga class did a full-on face-plant right into his mat that I realized how uncomfortable gyms actually are. I retired to my home for the remainder of my health and wellness plan.
Ladies, whatever your reason for not wanting to go to the gym, you are still able to get your full workout at home, and it doesn’t even require expensive equipment! If you are an at-home workout kind of woman, check out these three ways to get yourself in shape, healthy, and ready for the beach in 30-minutes a day!
#1) Jump Rope
Of course, you should incorporate some form of cardio into your routine. If you don’t have an expensive elliptical or treadmill, you can still get all the cardio you need with a ten-dollar jump rope!
Begin with a warm-up. Take your time, setting the right pace for you with a double hop. Hop over the rope; as the rope comes over your head hop again for balance, rhythm, and position. Next, do what is called the Ali Shuffle. Place one foot in front of the other and switch feet as you take your hops. If you need to take the double hop for balance, do so! Your final warm-up is going to be skipping. Raise your knees as you jump. If you have issues with balance, remember to set your own pace to help you stay on task with your warm-ups and workouts.
Take a quick stretch, and now we are going to get into the tough stuff!
It’s high-knee time, ladies! Basically, you are running and jumping at the same time. As you jump, pick up your knees in an accentuated running-in-place style. Transition into a single-hop. Now, back to high-knees!
Give yourself another stretch to help your heart rate come down a little bit.
Single-leg hops are great for focusing on your lower legs. Switch legs.
Now, let’s do some lateral hops! Hop from side to side as you skip the rope. This is going to be a little difficult the first time you do it. Transition back to the single hops. Switch legs.
Stretch again. Remember, stretching is important throughout this intense workout. You want to make sure you aren’t over-exerting any of your muscles.
Time for a twist! Brings your knees up high, bring this into a twist. While you are in the air, twist your hips. This is incredibly difficult at this point in the workout, but you can do it! Remember, this is a very efficient way to burn calories and boost your heart health!
Finish up with some cooling stretches.
For some great inspiration and understanding of form, check out this instructional video:
If you have trouble with this the first few times you do it, don’t worry! Do your best. Go at your own pace; if you need to stop, stop! Eventually, you will do it enough to where you won’t have to stop! I know people who can jump rope for over 30 minutes straight! (Whoa!)
Now, it’s time to work that core, ladies! We all want tight abs for the beach or for ourselves!
Start out with some flutter kicks! Lay on your mat, lift your legs, and kick your legs. Keep your core active, ladies! I cannot stress this enough!
Reaching crunches are next! Lay on your mat with your knees up and your feet on the ground. Reach your left arm over your right knee. Switch. Squeeze your core as you go down.
Now, do a side hip raise. Start with a side plank, and lift your hips up. Switch.
Russian twists are next. Sit on your tailbone, bring your elbows up. Now, twist.
Toe touch crunches: Lay on your mat, lift your legs straight up, and reach up toward your toes. Do not release your abdominal muscles as you come down!
Facedown leg pulls: Start in push-up position. Lift your left leg back, then your right. Do this ten times for each leg. Remember to keep your core active! Switch it over to face-up leg pulls. Turn around, keep your butt in the air, and lift your legs, alternating.
Check out your form on this instructional video (note, this one doesn’t have the same energy as the jump rope video):
We all want stronger, toner arms, ladies!
Start by working your shoulders. Grab your dumbbells, and get to work! Stand with your legs apart on your mat. Bring the weights up to the side in a v-pattern. Don’t forget to keep your back straight.
Keep working your shoulders by reaching the weights over your head and bending your elbows as you bring the weights down.
Time to work the triceps! Lean forward, and bring your weights to your hips, extend your arms back, then bring them forward. This one is going to burn!
More triceps, ladies! Hold a single dumbbell over your head, and bring it down to the center of your shoulder blades. Repeat fifteen to twenty times!
Do some bicep curls next. Focus on one arm at a time. Spread your legs, keep your elbows close to your hips, and curl the dumbbell in and up. Switch arms.
Time for reverse flies. Bend over (use two weights for this one), let your arms fall toward the mat. Lift the weights up and out! This is going to really work your shoulders! Don’t mind the burn!
Check out this instructional video for even more arm workouts:
Ladies, you don’t have to go to the gym for the perfect workout! All you need is a jump rope, a mat, and a dumbbell set! Remember to always do your cardio, work your core, and get your arms tone! Do you like going to the gym? Share your experience with us in the comments below!