today i’m sharing a few simple workout exercises that you can do at home or outside without gym equipment that have really helped me gain control over my core again after three babies! i’m also sharing a great toning exercise for glutes and legs, as well as my favorite pre-workout snack! i have loved getting to the gym over the last year and a half after making it a priority, but i also love getting outside as the weather starts getting warmer since the outdoor scenery and sun make me happy.
whether i’m packing a gym bag or putting together a bag for a day out with my kids, i always pack convenient on-the-go (and hopefully mostly healthy) snacks. i’ve talked a lot about the kinds of snacks we tend to bring along in past posts, and so you guys already know we are major almond fans in our home. we have been big fans of blue diamond almonds for years now. in fact, i wrote this blog post about them several years ago on one of our first family bike rides in nyc and we still never leave home for a bike ride (or outing, honestly!) without them! they are such a great snack since they are filled with lots of healthy fats, fiber and protein, and one that everyone can enjoy.
one of the biggest problems i run into with almonds is that they taste so good, i can over eat them. i love the blue diamond on-the-go, 100-calorie snack packs for this reason, because i just grab one and head out the door, and i’m set!
we are major fans of the whole natural almonds in our home, but we tried the dark chocolate and also the toasted coconut almonds recently and they were heaven sent and make a nice treat! you can check out all of the flavors of almonds blue diamond carries here.
so these jumping squats are killer. i try to do 3 rounds of them and 20 at a time.
i start by standing in a wide stance and doing a regular squat, trying to think about engaging my core the entire time. then, jump as high as you can, landing back in the squat position after each jump. as you try to think about your core, you’ll have more control over your landing, which is important.
when i’m at the gym, i like doing these single leg deadlifts with a dumbbell, but i’ve also found them incredibly helpful to do regardless of having a dumbbell. for me, these strengthen my core just as much as they do my hamstrings and glutes.
while standing on one leg, think about engaging your core and keeping your back straight while slowly lowering your torso downward by bending your hips as you raise the other leg behind you. keep the supporting leg knee slightly bent. bring the leg behind you back up to your knee as you bring your torso back up to your standing still position, keeping the core engaged and stable the entire time. i try to do 20 on each leg 3 times.
it’s actually taken me a good while to work up to a proper plank position after having conrad. i’m so glad i’m finally there again though, because the plank is seriously something that challenges my entire body in one move and i love it.
i love to start with my hands and feet shoulder and hip-width apart and prop myself up until my limbs are straight, while also keeping my core engaged and my glutes and back as flat as possible (without tucking!– always my struggle!!!) try to hold this plank position for 20 seconds before changing it up and moving into side planks or opposite arm and leg lift planks.
when you move from the plank position into the side plank, try to balance on one hand and the outside of one foot while keeping the body in a straight link as you raise the opposite arm and leg into the air. try to hold for 20 seconds before switching back to your regular plank position and moving into the other side.
when you move into an opposite arm and leg lift plank, continue to focus on your core as you lift the opposite leg and arm up in the air away from the ground as high as you can take them. i can only hold these for a few seconds at a time, but as i alternate, i try to do 20 of them in a row and my entire body is shaking afterwards in the best way.
for me, i know when i make time to work out each day, whether it’s a big workout at the gym or in the great outdoors or even if it’s just a few simpler exercises in my tiny square-footage nyc apartment, my body and mind are always so very thankful.
thank you to blue diamond for sponsoring this blog post!