Longer days, warmer weather, blooming flowers, and chirping birds: Spring is a time of energy and rebirth as winter melts away. Let that surge of energy spur you into action!
Here are some simple exercises to wake up your body and refresh your mind. You can do them outdoors or in the comfort of your home — no fancy equipment needed!
First, let’s get your upper body moving. This exercise will strengthen a muscle in the back of your arms called your tricep.
- Start with the back of your couch, a countertop, a park bench outside, or any other sturdy ledge that won’t move.
- Face away from the ledge and place your palms on its surface.
- Keep your palms on the ledge surface while you step your feet forward a couple steps. Let your hands hold your weight.
- Gently lower your body by bending your elbows. Bend them as close to a 90-degree angle as you can, but no more than that. This lowering action should only take 2 or 3 seconds.
- Then lift your body back up by straightening your elbows. Push your weight into your palms. Bring your arms back to a sturdy position, but don’t lock your elbows. This action should take another 2 or 3 seconds.
- This dip-and-rise sequence is one rep. Repeat this sequence for a total of 8 to 10 reps.
Plank Hold With Leg Raises
Next, we’ll wake up your core. Plank holds will boost the muscles in your belly and back, as well as your arms and legs.
- Begin by planting your palms firmly on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms straight beneath you without locking your elbows.
- Keep your body lifted by planting your toes on the ground. Keep your body straight from the backs of your heels to the top of your head.
- You can hold this pose for a good core exercise. If you want a more challenging workout, try adding leg raises. Keep your weight balanced on your hands and your left foot while you lift your right leg straight up behind you. Lift with just your glute and leg muscles without arching your back too much.
- That lift action should just take 2 or 3 seconds. Take another 2 or 3 seconds to bring the toes of your right foot back to the floor. Then repeat the action with your left leg.
- Repeat this sequence for 4 or 5 reps per leg, alternating legs.
Squats With Rotation
Lastly, let’s focus on your lower body. Squats are a great way to build up your thighs and rear. But we’re going to add a twist to keep things interesting!
- Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then bend your knees to start lowering your rear toward the ground.
- As you lower your body, bend your elbows and bring your arms straight out in front of you to stay balanced.
- Make sure your knees don’t drift over your toes as you squat. Keep your shins straight up from the floor without bringing them forward or back. Try to get to a 90-degree angle in your knees, but no more than that. This lowering action should take just 2 or 3 seconds.
- Then stand back up by engaging your thighs and glutes. As you stand, twist your body to the left. Rotate your right foot to help you. Keep your arms bent in front of you. This stand-and-twist action should take another 2 to 3 seconds.
- Then repeat by squatting again. When you stand, rotate to the other side. Twist your body to the right and rotate your left foot to help you.
- Repeat this sequence 12 times: six squats-and-twists on each side, alternating sides.
Make sure your body is ready for these movements. Check with your doctor or a certified fitness expert before you try any new exercise.
Enjoy the feeling of revving up your whole body with this easy exercise circuit! Try it a couple days this week, or every other day if you’re hungry for a challenge.