For single girls on a budget who prefer working out solo, personal trainer Shalini Bethala outlines a fun total-body workout
As the days get shorter and the weather colder, I find myself trading in my bikini and flip-flops for boots and sweaters. With extra layers and without the need to wear a bathing suit in public, I slowly start slacking on my diet and exercise until the great summer body I accomplished months before is totally lost. It doesn’t have to be like this. Although the workload picks up, fashions change, and summertime fun is over, I find that it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the year. While no one may see your flat stomach or toned arms under those bulky sweaters or jackets, it’s important that you feel good about yourself into the dreaded holiday season. If you do, no matter the season, you feel good on the inside and you’ll look beautiful no matter what!
For most of us, fall usually means cooler weather as well. The temperature drops, and it is easier to choose snuggling under a blanket on the couch over lacing up those running shoes and going for a run. Even as a personal trainer, I am no exception. Hot chocolate and a feel-good movie sound more appetizing than gasping cold air during a run in the park. That is why I got creative and came up with a full-body workout that can be done in the controlled climate of my living room (or at a park if you’re lucky enough to have Indian summer). Here are six exercises that target the whole body and get your heart rate up to help you keep that summer body all year long.
Start by facing a sidewall. Your feet should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and your toes should be facing the wall as well. Without moving your feet, drop your back knee until it almost touches the ground, then stand up. That is one set. Repeat twelve times with each leg.
Start in plank position. Now open your right arm, so that you are facing the side and both arms are stacked on top of one another. Bring it back down into plank position. Repeat twelve times on each side.
Get into a squat position. This time, your chest should be at 45-degree angle to the ground. While holding weights, bring your arms straight in front of you, then open them up wide. You want your hands to be in line with your shoulders. Do not let your arms come too high in a “Y” position or to low. Repeat twelve times.
Hold weights or a resistance band. Keep your elbows tight to your side. Bring your arms down to a 135-degree angle, then bring it all the way up. Do this ten times. Now alternate curls ten times. Repeat each set twice.
Stand in a split-squat: one leg in front of the other, a little wider than shoulder width apart. Hold a weight overhead. Keep your shoulders down; don’t shrug them up. Now drop the back knee almost to the ground. As your knee bends, drop your hands behind your head so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Extend both arm and legs at the same time. Repeat six times with each leg in front.
Lie flat on your back. Now pick your head, shoulder blades, and feet off the floor. Make sure that your lower back is pressed to the ground, and there is no gap. Hold this position for 10 seconds with your abs tight and tucked in. Lower yourself back to the starting position. Don’t get too comfortable because you need to crunch up again immediately and hold it for another 10 seconds. Repeat four times.
*I do not use dumbbells in the pictures, because my fitness equipment is en route to my new home. However, I recommend the use of weights in this workout. If you don’t have dumbbells, no problem! Just grab anything that you can hold with some weight to it, and don’t be afraid of heavy weights. You need to feel the workout, and you can’t if your weights are too low.
Shalini Bethala is a certified personal trainer, currently in her first year of law school at Florida State University.