With summer here, does your schedule get all mixed up? It’s in a good way usually, but I used to find it difficult to keep my workout consistent until I started taking it with me. Here are some suggestions for easy-to-do exercises (no equipment required!) when you’ve got company, you’re camping, you’re traveling, or whatever else summer throws your way! Just remember to have fun.
We’ll start at the bottom and work our way up. One of my favorite exercises for the legs is lunges. They work your hamstrings, quads, and glutes on both sides. They’re easy to do, and you can vary how they’re done to mix it up.
- To start, let’s focus on stationary lunges.
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and take a big step to move your right leg forward. You may need to scoot your left leg back a little.
- Next, bend your knees to move down, making sure your right knee doesn’t move past your toes. If it does, widen your stance, move your right foot forward, or move your left knee back.
- Continue moving up and down with your right knee over your ankle for 5–10 reps.
- You can add an isometric hold when you go down: hold the pose for about 5 second, then push back up to standing.
To add more of a challenge, you can walk forward in a lunge: take big steps, dropping down and back up, then stepping again. Just be sure to watch that your knees stay behind your toes and don’t move inward when you lower down. Next, walk backwards, lunging with each step back. You can add small pulses when you’re down for a count of 6 to 12. For extra resistance, add hand weights held at your hips.
Next up, the core: both your abs and back side. For our extensors or back side, we’re going to do Pilates Swimming. If you have a back injury, please skip this one!
- To start, lie on the floor with your feet together and your arms stretched overhead, shoulders relaxed.
- Pull your navel up off the mat and raise your head, then raise your arms and legs up simultaneously.
- Flutter the right arm with left leg, then the left arm with right leg. Keep swimming alternating back and forth.
- Reach arms and legs away, extending your body as much as possible. Swim continuously for about 24 beats.
To modify, instead of keeping all four limbs raised, you can touch down one arm and the opposing leg while the other arm and leg is raised and pulse for five beats. Switch the arm and leg in the air and repeat several times. If needed, you can try the arms and legs separately — raising the legs and kicking, then raising the head and arms to swim. Press into a child’s pose to rest and stretch your back.
Now for the front side!
- Lying on your back, place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows wide.
- Let your feet turn out and lift up your left leg about 45 degrees, keeping it straight.
- Raise your right side, keeping your right elbow back and your left elbow at rest.
- Pulse for five beats, moving your left leg up slightly as you pull the right shoulder towards the left. Continue for about five beats.
- Lay back down and do the other side – raising right foot and left side – and pulse for five beats. Don’t touch down while you’re pulsing.
- As you raise the leg, you’re turning the trunk and bringing the opposite arm/shoulder forward. Continue for a count of 10 to 20. With the leg rotated, you’ll be working your inner thigh, too.
To vary it, bring one leg to 45 degrees and flex the other knee into your trunk. Hold this lower body position while your upper body pulses toward the bent knee five times, with a hand behind the head and elbow out wide. If your right knee is bent, you’ll bring your left arm toward it, then do the same with your left knee and right arm.
Lastly, we work the upper body and arms. I love planks! They’re a good overall strengthener and there are several variations. Planks really hurt my wrists, so I wear my WAGs for wrist pain relief.
- Assume a good plank position — arms shoulder-width apart and hands, elbows, and shoulders lined up.
- Pull the abs in tight and don’t let your back sway or stick your butt up in the air. Legs are straight, hip-width apart, and you’re resting on the balls of your feet.
- Hold the plank for one minute, then rest and repeat several times.
You can increase your time in a plank or the number of repetitions you do for more of a challenge. You can also flex one knee, touch the floor, then straighten it and flex the other knee going back and forth. Next, try to lift one leg straight up for five to ten seconds, then repeat with the other leg and go back and forth. If you need a break, push back into child’s pose for a nice rest.
Next, assume a stable plank and lift your right hand up to touch your left shoulder. Resume plank and lift your left hand to touch your right shoulder. Continue for five repetitions or more. To prevent swaying from side to side, widen your feet slightly for a more stable base.
To finish it off, throw in some good ol’ push-ups. Keep your hands narrow and elbows close to your sides to focus on your triceps, or place your hands wide to focus more on your pecs. If push-ups are too hard, try them with your knees touching down — it definitely make them easier!
There you have it: simple exercises to keep yourself fit while you enjoy all the excitement of summer. If you experience wrist pain with these or any other exercises, then try a pair of WAGs! Our ergonomic gloves are made to support your joints through bodyweight exercises and a wide range of fitness activities so you can stay healthy and pain-free. Order today!