Get outside the walls of an exercise facility and mix up the routine. Even if the weather is chilly. People all around the country just participated in Turkey Trots last week, which are 5K fun runs in honor of Thanksgiving. There’s nothing like cool air to motivate your clients to keep moving! Thanks to gravity, the human body is an excellent form of resistance for itself. There are plenty of bodyweight training options when you venture away from the ol’ reliable equipment box of a gym.
Here are seven exercises you can do with a client on a walk, at a park or in their home. Proper form cues are included and no equipment is required. Have them perform each one for 30-60 seconds and repeat them in sequence 1-3 times for a circuit workout. You can also teach these bodyweight exercises and this routine to clients so they can use them over holiday breaks and stay in shape.
Wall/Tree Sit – Support your back so that it is flat with natural spine curves. Place feet hip width apart. Slide down until your hips and knees are at 90 degrees. Relax your shoulders and breathe while holding the position. Keep your head up tall.
Bench Push Up – Place your hands shoulder width apart in line with the joint. Align your body from head to toe with natural spinal curves. Press your body toward the bench until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Then push away, inch by inch. Take your time so that a maximum number of muscles are recruited.
Step Ups – Place your foot on a bench or step. Contract the abs and step straight up, nice and tall. Lower back down slowly and carefully, the step down is just as important as the up.
Plank Hold – For an easier plank, you can hold yourself in the push-away phase of the push up. Planks can be done on your forearms with elbows bent or on hands with elbows straight. They can be done on your knees (easier) or toes (harder). Keep the body aligned from head to toe with natural spinal curves.
Side Plank Hold – Lay on your side on the floor or ground. Align your elbow under your shoulder. Knees bent is easier, legs out straight is harder. Lift your hips off the floor until your body is in a straight line. Keep your neck neutral, looking straight forward. Hold for as long as you can and then return to the floor to rest.
Wide Squat – Start with your feet together. Step one leg out to the side wide while reaching your hands toward the ground. Return that leg back to center and then switch sides. This can be done back and forth or by traveling one direction for 10-15 steps and then the other.
V-Sit – Sit on a park bench, the floor or ground. Place your hands behind you for support. Bend your knees and bring them as close to your chest as you can. Then, bring your feet as far away from your chest as you can. Go slowly, stay in control and be mindful of your lower back – make sure it’s not cramping. Alternate these two positions slowly to work the abdominal muscles.
Give your clients a heads up if you’re going outside so they can dress appropriately. They’ll enjoy the change of scenery.
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