Written By: Kelsey Chernak, Marketing Coordinator and former Division 1 Collegiate Athlete
At the beginning of every new year, people are eager to get started on their resolutions–and cross their fingers that they can stick to them. But have you ever wondered why your true-intentioned resolutions of years past tend to fall apart after only a month or two?
In a December 2020 survey, 46% of people said they were motivated to get on track with their health and fitness after a year of staying inside and baking banana bread. If that sounds like you, you may feel inspired but also hesitant for sometimes external circumstances tend to get in the way. It’s easy to look at those obstacles and tell yourself the odds are stacked against you or use them as the reasons you put your goals off for later. But I encourage you to go for it despite the challenges.
As a former collegiate athlete, I truly embodied the active lifestyle and made working out my hobby in the years since I’ve finished playing. It’s safe to say the gym was one of my favorite places. Squat racks, cables, leg press machines and all. So much so that I basically lived in graduated compression socks and accessorized with a foam roller to help me recover for the next day. But then suddenly, 2020 happened and the circumstances became out of my control. I could have easily used those circumstances to justify putting my goals on hold. But instead, I chose to spend the last year adjusting the way I exercised so I could stay home. Stay safe. Stay healthy. And stay on track.
Here are 5 at-home exercises that you can do right now to help get you started and feeling confident you can stick to your resolutions despite any obstacles.
Static Lunges (Suggested: 3 Sets, 10 Reps – each leg)
- Stand with right foot forward and left foot back (about 3 feet apart).
- Bend your knees to lower your body straight down to the floor. Keep your front knee behind your toes and avoid moving your weight forward.
- Return to initial position without locking your knees.
- If desired, add dumbbells to each hand for additional weight.
Squats (Suggested 3 Sets, 10 Reps)
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes slightly pointed outward. Reach your arms straight out in front of you.
- Slowly lower your body until your thighs are parallel (or slightly below parallel) to the floor, keeping your heels flat on the ground and keeping your back as straight as possible.
- Pause for a second then push through your heels to return to your initial position.
- Add a 3-5 second pause for an extra burn.
Glute Bridge (Suggested 3 Sets, 10 Reps)
- Lie face up on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Drive your heels into the ground and lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
- Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your core engaged.
- Hold the bridge position for a few seconds and slowly return to your initial position.
- Rest a dumbbell on top of your hips for added weight.
Bent-Knee Bench Dips (Suggested 3 Sets, 10 Reps)
- Sit on a couch or chair and place your hands beside you on the edge of the couch or chair with your fingers facing forward.
- Slide your body off of the couch or chair and move your legs forward with your knees bent. Your arms should be holding your body weight.
- Lower your body down, keeping an upright posture and until your arms are at a 90 degrees angle and you’re only a few inches from the floor.
- Push yourself up with your triceps to your initial position without locking your elbows.
- Rest a dumbbell on top of your hips or extended your legs straight for a challenge.
Incline Push-Up (Suggested 3 Sets, 10 Reps)
- Stand facing a bench, table, or edge of a couch.
- Place your hands at the edge of the surface with your fingers point away from you. Your arms should be slightly wider than shoulder width and straight without locking your elbows.
- Align your feet so that your arms, body and legs are straight.
- Bend your elbows to slowly lower your chest to the edge of the surface, keeping your body straight.
- Pause for a moment before slowly pushing your body away from the surface and back to your initial position.
My Words of Encouragement:
One of my favorite quotes says, “The only way to become an experienced master is to once be an inexperienced beginner.” Even the most skilled chef, artist, or musician once picked up a spatula, paintbrush, or guitar for the very first time. And if they didn’t, you would have never tasted your favorite meal, admired your favorite portrait, or heard your favorite song. Your life is better simply because someone dared to try something new.
And as uncertain as they may have been or whatever obstacles they may have faced, I can guarantee they look back and are happy they went for it. They looked that hesitancy in the face and said, “I’m doing it anyways.” Uncertainty does not have to be a barrier to being the best (and healthiest) version of yourself. It’s all about starting.