10 Easy Exercises for Melting Those Holiday Pounds

10 Easy Exercises for Melting Holiday Pounds

You don’t need a gym to get fit, burn muscle, and lose weight. Help yourself and start feeling like you’re in control of your health again (if you have been slipping)! Even if you work in an office and have “no time” to workout, make a few minutes per day to get started. That’s all it takes! Simply set a daily routine, tell yourself you can do it, and get started melting away the pounds. You will notice suggested reps/sets after each exercise. As a starting point, it may make sense to pick 2-3 per day as you become accustomed to the movements.

1. Pushups

Position yourself on the ground with your legs straight and your hands flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. Tightening your core, keep your entire body rigid as you lower yourself slowly down. In a controlled fashion, let your chest touch the floor and then push back up, rising until your arms are straight again. Be sure to keep your spine straight. As a modification, feel free to do assisted push-ups on your knees. Eventually, you should be able to work up to performing push-ups with the correct form. Do 10-15 push-ups and rest for 1-2 minutes. Repeat 3-5 times.

2. Squats

Place your hands behind your head, hold your chest out, and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your elbows back, and focusing on your center of balance, sit back on your hips, and bend at the knees so that you’re slowly lowering into a sitting, squatting position. (You should lower yourself to the point where you disturb your spine’s natural arch). Flex your glutes, and slowly, retaining this position, stand again. Do 10-15 squats and rest for 1-2 minutes. Repeat 3-5 times.

3. Pull Ups

Find something to hang on and keep your hands shoulder-width apart. Your palms should face away from you as you pull yourself up over the bar. Pull until your chin rises over the bar/surface, and slowly lower yourself back down. Repeat as able.

4. Step Ups

Find an elevated surface (stairs work great as you can perform single- or double-stair step ups). Pushing weight onto your heel, pick yourself up onto the step and let your other leg hanging behind you. Lower yourself, switch legs, and repeat this process for as long as you feel you can. Lose weight the easy way, without a gym!

5. Plank

Situate yourself on the ground as if you were going to do a pushup. Leave your hands apart, back straight, feet together – but leave it at that. Shoulders should be kept down, back, and abs should be held tight. Hold this for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times.

6. Single-leg Deadlift

Have a wide stance, slightly more than shoulder width. Picking up one foot, move it out behind you so it’s barely touching the floor. Glutes and abs should be paid attention to at this point, and your spine should retain its natural curve as you bend forward — leg back, arms forward — and keep on leaning until your body is parallel with your floor. Hold this, and do the reverse, moving back to a standing position before switching legs.

7. Stick-Up

Put your back against a wall, but be sure you’re not leaning into it. After raising both arms to put hands on either side of your head, like in a stick-up, raise them up the wall above your head until your arms are straight. Making sure every part of your arm is always touching the wall, slide them back down to the starting point, and do it again.

8. “T” Pushup

Begin this exercise with a regular pushup, mentioned above. After pushing yourself back up off the ground, when your arms are straight again, raise your right hand, twist your body, and turn towards the ceiling as you extend your hand up, creating something of a “T” shape. Place your arm back down, and do another push up. Repeat with your left hand, and continue alternating as you perform additional reps.

9. V-Up and Roll

Lie down. You should be on your back, your legs should be straight, and your arms should be back up over your head on the ground. Squeezing your abdomen, lift your body up off the floor by your legs and arms, bringing your legs up in front of you and pushing your arms as close as you can down towards your toes. Keep your back completely straight as you use your abs to lift it up off the ground. Relax down into the start position, and continue when ready.

10. Shoulder Press Pushup

Position yourself so that your feet are up on a bench, or raised up object — maybe the same object you’d use for step up — and your hands are on the floor, a little bit wider than shoulder width apart for stability. Try to be as vertical as possible, and move your hips up into the air to attain this. When you’re ready, bend your knees and lower your head to the floor below. Pause, and push yourself back up.