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How to Create the Perfect 20 Minute Home Workout

January 30, 2016 Linda LaRue

Time to get moving! We've lined up all the tools you’d need for a perfect at-home 20 minute workout. So get your music pumping and mark your territory. Now, let’s put you, and those tools to good use!

Warm Your Body Up. Movement Prep. 3 Part 3 Circuit. Repeat 3 times! (4:30 minutes total). 30 Seconds Overhead Reach: Start with your feet hip width apart. Inhale while you do a partial squat down as if you were sitting onto a barstool exhaling on the way down and inhaling on the way up. As you stand back up reach your hands to the ceiling. Repeat 10 times to get the blood flowing.

30 Seconds Cardio. March or jog in place making sure you are breathing comfortably. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth to really get that oxygen circulating. Start thinking about standing tall by keeping your ears stacked directly over your ears, shoulders, and hips, and drawing your navel in to activate your abdominals. Be conscious of keeping perfect your posture and good alignment as you begin to increase your heart rate.

30 Seconds Easy Down-Dog. Take down dog position with the palms of your hands pressed flat to the floor at the front of your mat and your toes (and heels if you can get them down) six to 12 inches from the back of your mat, knees bent. Begin to circulate blood to your head as you lightly stretch the shoulders, hamstrings and calves to prepare for strength movements. Perform 5 inhales and exhales as you stretch through this 30 second pose. If you're up for it, extend your right leg for a One Legged Down Dog, and then repeat with your left leg. Back to the overhead reach!

Strength Circuit. 4 Part Circuit. Repeat 3-4 times (8-10 minutes total)

Body Weight or Dumbbell Squats– 15-20 repetitions- Begin with feet hip-width apart, inhale and squat down leading with your butt to approximately the height of a chair. (Sit down to a chair if this feels safer for you.) Keep your hips above your knees. Exhale and return to standing, exhale on the way up. Start with just your body weight and modify by adding your light or heavy dumbbells at your sides to increase difficulty.

Modified or Full Body Pushups. 10-15 repetitions. Begin on all fours on your mat. Keep shoulders directly over hands, bend elbows to lower chest to the mat, while maintaining engagement through your abdominals. Keep elbows close to sides, inhale and lower yourself to a few inches from the ground. Exhale and return to straight arms staying lifted through your shoulder blades. Walk knees further away from hands to increase difficult or progress to full body push-up if you can complete this with abdominals remaining strong.

Standing Split Squat. 10 times each side. Back on your feet! Step your right foot forward to the front edge of your mat. Step your left foot back. Place your hands on your hips, inhale and carefully bend your back knee to lower it 3-5 inches from the ground. At the bottom of the movement both knees should be at 90 degrees with your front knee behind your front toes. Exhale and straighten the back knee to starting position and bend again.

Core Transformer Resistance Band Row. 15-20 times total. Securely fasten your feet into the foot straps. Holding your Core Transformer in each hands, Hinge from your hip with tall trunk posture—ears stacked directly over your shoulders and hips—think about always lifting tall from your breastbone. Keep palms facing each other and row tubing handles up until elbows pass your back. Remain leaning from the hip and repeat. Back to the Squat!

Core Cool Down: 4 Part Circuit. Repeat 3 times. (6-8 minutes total)

Ball Bridge. 10-20 times. Get your stability ball. Lying face up on the yoga mat, place the bottoms of both of your feet on the top of the stability ball. Press your feet down into the ball so that it becomes stable. Lift your hips 3-8 inches off the ground. The higher you lift, the harder the exercise. Try to get everything from your bum up to your bra strap off the ground. Pull and keep your shoulders down during the entire move. Lower all the way down the ground and repeat. (If this is too challenging, begin with bridging both feet on the ground, following all other instructions.)

Ball Crunch. 10-20 times. Rest your knees on top of the ball so your legs are elevated in an upside down L-shape. This will help to deactivate your hip flexors and focus on the abdominals. Place your fingertips lightly behind your head. Pull your belly into your spine while keeping a continuous soft Kegel to engage your core. Inhale, then, exhale lifting from the top of your head to the bottom of your bra strap off the ground.

Tummy Vacuum Plank. 15-60 seconds. Move the stability ball out of the way. Turn over on the mat. Place your forearms on the ground with your hands in a fist. Straighten your legs behind you. Curl your toes under and lift from your shoulders to your shins off the ground. Draw your belly button up towards your spine, while keeping your butt as low to the ground as possible. Breathe and hold. Try to keep tension out of your shoulders by drawing and keeping your shoulder blades down your back.

Supergirls. 10 each side. Lie flat on your stomach. Extend your hands straight out in front of you with your thumbs up and legs behind you with the top of your foot on the ground while keeping your shoulders pulled down to avoid neck strain. Think about keeping equal tension between your front and backside muscles making sure you continually pull your navel into your spine. Look down at the mat. Lift the opposite hand and foot at the same time about 3 inches off the ground, hold for one second at the top, lower down and switch sides. Back to the Ball Bridge!

Work on increasing the number of repetitions to 20 on all exercise and try to progress to the most difficult versions. You go, girl!

SIDEBAR: This workout is intended to create a rate of perceived exertion between 5 and 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Ten being the most difficult exercise you’ve performed in your life. Begin with a gradual warm-up and then try to push for that 7 when you break into the strength circuit!



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