Most people assume they have to work out a lot to make any sort of difference, but to begin a transformation you don’t have to hit the gym 5 days a week and pound out 32 sets per session. However, if you want to get fit and change the shape of your body you do have to start somewhere. That somewhere doesn’t have to be a gym, though, and you don’t need any equipment to get started.
All you need is a can-do attitude and consistency over time to see results and gain the much-needed confidence you’ll use when you decide to get really serious, which I know you will! That’s it. Truly. We’re talking 2 simple exercises, 3 times per week: squats and push-ups. No whining about space or place or time or money. You can perform these moves in your home, hotel room, condo parking space or on the dirt road leading up to your quaint family farm in the country (though I’d personally find more satisfaction in a green pasture). Wherever you are, I know you can scrape together 15-20 consecutive minutes in a day. No excuses!
SQUATS 4 sets of 8-20
But squats are HARD and I don’t have a rack or a bar…..the list goes on. You WILL squat, get over it. Squats are hands down the most comprehensive and REAL compound exercise you can perform for your lower body, and they also help with balance and flexibility. Most of us dropped squatting on a regular basis for everyday movement when we reached adulthood, so if you’re just beginning, the bodyweight squat is your first step. PLEASE take a moment to review the proper form for this exercise – I took some time to give some instruction in specific detail here. So, see? Not so intimidating, and you’d be surprised just how challenging this move with no weight can be. Once you get your form down for 4 sets of 20 you can begin adding to the challenge – detergent, cockapoos, small people and eventually big people. Be creative and find some good weight to get under!
PUSH-UPS 4 sets of 8-12
I know you know about push-ups. They are THE upper body exercise. Another compound move that works the chest, arms, back, shoulders, even your core. You may be thinking that there is NO WAY you can do a regular push-up right now. That’s OK. I was once there too, so be brave. There are many variations of push-ups and a solid progression path for beginners. If you haven’t worked out in a while or lack substantial upper body strength, you can begin by pushing against a wall. When you feel accomplished with these you can move on to a high counter, dresser, back of a couch or smith machine at a gym. From there keep reducing that angle to a coffee table, step on your staircase, and eventually to the floor. The key is laying out your full body so you get the leverage and actually build strength. Push ups from your knees may feel cool because they’re familiar and you’re on the floor, but they do little to get you stronger. Also remember a push up is basically a moving plank, so no breaking at the waist. Keep that core and those glutes tight. In fact, use full body tension as much as possible to help support your spine throughout the movement. Get 4 sets of 8, then progress to 12 reps. After you master 4 sets of 12 reduce the incline and start over at 8 and repeat. Take your time, and before you know it, you’ll be progressing like a boss!
So there you have it, 2 powerhouse moves you can master all by yourself, in the comfort of wherever your happy space may be. Do me a favor and take a stab at it. You may just surprise yourself, so I urge you to come back here and let me know what you think!
EXTRA CREDIT If you’ve got some gusto and want to ratchet things up a notch, try incorporating the slightest bit of clean eating, along with this workout for even quicker results!