Real talk with Kevin Hill: Top 5 Indoor Winter Exercises Without Equipment
What do you get when you combine cold weather, the holidays, time with family and friends plus delicious foods? A “Holiday Hangover”! You know, the excess weight that hangs over your belt! You have been having so much fun during the holidays with friends, family and food that extra weight has slowly crept up on you while you slept. Until, one day, while you’re trying to get your pants on you look in the mirror and… Aaargh! It makes your heart skip a beat – belly fat accompanied by flabbier hips and thighs. What do you do now!?!
You were committed to staying in shape through the holidays! What happened? Not to worry, we have the top 5 indoor workouts that will burn through fat like a hot knife through butter. There’s only one problem when it comes to these exercises – you have got to do them! And there are no excuses for bed winter weather because you can do these indoor and no equipment is needed.
What’s even better is that these exercises are calisthenics. Calisthenics are a great way to gain control over your body and understand its proper balance and function versus machines that very often control your range of motion.
Don’t forget, various forms of exercise have been linked to outperforming drugs when it comes to making you healthier overall; the main difference is that exercise has no side effects and it’s free! Plus, exercise will actually help you live longer. They still haven’t found a pill for that!
Also, eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and non-processed foods when starting your exercise routine. Although it’s a great start, exercise alone can’t get you into great shape!
1. Push Ups
Target areas: Chest, Shoulders, Abs, Core & Possibly Delts + Triceps
This is still one of the greatest exercises of all time for the chest. Plus, push ups are convenient to do. Whether you’re a beginner or a top bodybuilder, everyone should incorporate push ups into their winter workout.
- Start Push ups in a plank position making sure that both hands are wider than shoulder-width apart and your legs are extended straight behind you, with your toes in contact with the floor to support your lower body.
- Thumbs in and bend both arms with elbows flaring out as you lower your chest to approximately 3 inches above the floor.
- Straighten your arms and return to the starting position. Your body should remain stiff, with no lowering or raising of the butt. Only your arms should be moving you up and down.
Start with two sets for 6 to 8 repetitions until you can work up to three or four sets of 10 to 25 repetitions, as you become stronger.
To start, try placing both knees on the floor during the exercise.
Target Areas:Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Glutes
If Push ups are considered the king of all chest exercises then Squats would have to be the king of leg exercises. If you’re using weights or not, this exercise will definitely allow you to realize the intensity required to move the largest muscle group in your body. You can burn calories and add muscle mass strictly based on the intensity of your leg workout.
- Place your feet shoulder width apart and lower yourself down. Bend at your knees while keeping your shoulders back. Lower your buttocks until it lightly touches the chair while keeping your chest up and your abs tight.
- Once your buttocks have lightly touched the chair, straighten your legs and return to the starting position. Your knees should not be in front of your toes to ensure less stress on your joints.
Start with two sets of 10 to 20 squats and build up to three to four sets of 20 to 30 squats. For variation change the pointed position of your toes in order to activate various parts of the legs and glutes.
Start with a chair below you in order to properly learn this exercise.
3. Ab Crunches
Abdominal crunches can be challenging because they are often performed incorrectly but if performed correctly beginners will find it challenging to achieve 10 repetitions (which means they do not take much time).
- Lay down on the floor with feet on the floor and knees shoulder width apart. Your lower back and the rib cage should be firmly against the mat with no arch. Place your hands behind your neck with the elbows maintaining a position always as wide apart as possible.
- Exhale all of the air out of your abs as you fully curl your upper body towards your knees. Make sure that your shoulders are off of the mat and that no tension is in your neck, while keeping your chin firmly against your neck.
- Slowly return to the start position as you inhale through the nose.
Attempt 15 to 20 repetitions of this exercise.
Raise your knees towards your chest at the same time as you curl your upper body for a total abdominal workout.
4. Calf Raises
The calves are key for maintaining our stability and mobility. This is a high repetition exercise since you use your calves for everyday walking.
- Use the lowest stair on a set of stairs. Standing up straight, hold onto a rail or something to balance yourself. Position your feet approximately the width of your hips apart.
- Push yourself up with your toes until you’re balancing on the balls of your feet and pause.
- Lower yourself until your heels are lowered below the stairs you’re standing on.
Perform as many reps as you possibly can until you feel your calves burn.
Target: Upper & Lower Body Muscles + Cardiovascular
Burpees are excellent because almost every muscle is being used and although challenging they can be fun once you’ve mastered them (and then you can challenge your friends or kids).
- From a standing position squat down into a crouching position, with your feet near both hands on the floor for stability.
- Jump your feet backwards into a plank position. Then, bend your elbows to lower yourself down to perform a full pushup.
- Jump from the push up plank position back to the original crouching position so that your feet once again land near your hands.
- Jump vertically into the air reaching your hands over your head and repeat.
Attempt to do 5 to 10 of these. Try to increase by 1 to 2 every week until you reach 10.
Don’t let excuses (or winter weather) hold you back. No one can make up your mind for you. If you won’t get committed to your body the next time you look in the mirror and you’re not happy with what you see, just blame it on the bad weather and see if that makes you feel any better.
On a serious note, you simply have to realize that there’s more pain in not working out versus making exercise a priority that is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning. It’s best to take an attitude that exercise is part of a healthful lifestyle, like washing your face or brushing your teeth. Taking a half hour to an hour to do some or all of these wonderful calisthenic exercises ideally 5 days a week or at least 3 days per week will have you leaner and stronger and feeling physically and mentally better in less time than you can imagine.