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Freedom in the Buff!

I’m not saying you have to do this workout naked. But you could, if you wanted to.Jenny Anchondo

To me, some of the joys of trying different workouts are the small constraints they can free you from. For example, if you decide to run outside, instead of at the gym, you don’t have to drive anywhere. If you go to yoga, you don’t have to wear shoes. If you lift by yourself instead of going to a class, you can get done faster. It is about looking for the small bonus points. So, the small bonus point in this “Freedom in the Buff” workout is that you don’t have to get dolled up to go to the gym. You can do it at home! (Sidenote: please don’t get dolled up to go to the gym regardless!)  The point is that you can literally roll out of bed and do this program in whatever you are wearing. You don’t even have to wear shoes!

It is time to celebrate your independence from the gym! So turn up your favorite tunes, or indulge in a little “guilty pleasure TV” during the workout; you’re the boss at your home gym! That’s the freedom I’m talking about. No waiting for equipment, no sweaty weight benches, no grunting from the guy on the squat rack.

I have done a routine similar to this one so many times when I don’t have access to the gym, don’t have time for it, or simply just don’t want to go out! It isn’t a program you’d want to do regularly because it doesn’t address all body parts. It should be seen as a supplement to your strength training program or as a way to introduce yourself to strength training if you’ve never done it. This is absolutely better than doing nothing and you’ll feel great having saved yourself the hassle of going anywhere to train.

By the way, your “home gym” this month consists of just you and a chair! That is it. In this routine, I’m also asking for an isometric hold of one second at the most challenging portion of most exercises. (Basically just staying put for a second). What that does is allow for a greater contraction of the muscle. Since we’re not using hand weights or actual equipment, this routine utilizes body weight for resistance and the extra hold makes the exercises more challenging. It is very important to keep breathing during the exercises, especially during the isometric hold.

Warmup: Crank up the music and dance for five minutes. Or, jump rope or jog in place for five minutes.

(ABS) Couch crunches: Place your feet under the couch with your knees bent. Start sitting up. When you reach a 45 degree angle, stop and hold for one second, then slowly release back down.

(CHEST) Chair pushups: Place two sturdy chairs against the wall that are far enough apart so you can do a wide pushup on them. Place one hand on the front of each chair and your feet directly behind you. Keeping your body tight and straight, lower yourself in between the chairs. Hold for one second, then straighten your arms.

(GLUTES) Chair step ups: Stand facing a sturdy chair. Step onto the chair with your right foot. When you get to the top, lift your left knee. Repeat on the other side and focus on using your legs, not momentum to get your on the chair.

(TRICEPS) Triceps pushups: Get in a pushup position on the floor. Then bring your arms so they’re directly below your shoulders. Slowly lower your body to a few inches above the ground, with your elbows pointing straight back. Hold for one second. Straighten your arms.

(CORE) Side plank: From the pushup position, turn your body so you’re facing front and balancing on one hand and one foot is stacked on top of the other. Hold the free hand straight up for balance. Hold for 30 seconds.

(QUADS) Sissy squats: Hold onto your chair with one hand for balance. Stand with your feet right next to each other then push up so you’re standing on the balls of your feet. Keeping your legs in line with the rest of your body, bend the knees forward and squat down. Hold for one second, then stand back up. Repeat 15 times.

(BACK) Back circles: With a flat back, lean forward so your upper body is almost parallel to the ground. Extend your arms straight out to the side. Make big circles forward with your arms 15 times. Reverse direction for 15 circles. Pump the arms straight up and down 15 times. Make sure to keep your neck in line with your back.

REPEAT the circuit three times and celebrate your freedom in the buff!!

*Always consult a physician before beginning any new exercise program.

 More articles by Jenny Anchondo

Jenny Anchondo is a certified personal trainer though the American Council on Exercise. She is also a journalist and morning news anchor for KOLD-TV, the CBS affiliate here in Tucson. Combining her two passions of writing and educating people about fitness, Jenny is a perfect fit into the Connections for Women family. To learn more about Jenny Anchondo we invite you to read her bio on the KOLD_TV website

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