The holidays are over and it’s time to get back at it. It’s been weeks of eating chocolate and leftover turkey, followed up by a few too many drinks on New Year’s Eve. Seemingly out of nowhere those extra calories caught up to you, but luckily you’ve made it your resolution to get back in the gym. The only problem is figuring out where to start. Look no further, because here are some exercises to work off those homemade meals and start your 2018 off right.
Since the focus here is on working off those extra snacks, the exercises will work your abdominal muscles. We all know the basics of sit-ups and planks, but hopefully this gives you a few more options to work with.
Lie down on the floor or an exercise mat with your legs fully extended and your upper body upright. Grab the plate by its sides with both hands out in front of your abdominals with your arms slightly bent. When deciding on a weight, pick something suitable based on your experience. It’s always easier to start light and work your way up than start with a weight too heavy and risk an injury. Cross your legs near your ankles and lift them up off the ground. From there, move the plate to each side of your body, touching it to the floor each time. Just make sure to use slow and controlled movements to reduce the risk of injuring your back.
Hanging Leg Raise
Hang from a chin-up bar with both arms fully extended, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Raise your legs until your upper body makes a 90-degree angle with the legs. Exhale as you perform this movement and hold this position for a second or two before returning back to the starting position. Start off using just your bodyweight, but you can begin adding more weight as you get comfortable with the exercise.
Kneel about a foot in front of a cable system with a rope attached. Again, it’s better to start with a lighter weight and work your way up. While kneeling, grab the rope reaching overhead. To begin, flex at the spine, attempting to bring your rib cage to your legs as you pull the cable down. Once at the bottom of the movement, hold the position before returning back to an upright position.
It’s the part that nobody wants to do, but adding some cardio to your workout is necessary to get the results you want. However, it’s possible to get the results without putting in a ton of time on the treadmill. Using high intensity interval training, you can get the effect of a full workout in less than half an hour. This workout consists of short sprints followed by short rest periods repeatedly until you are too tired to keep going. It’s early in the year, so starting with a heavy workout like this might not be the best idea. If you’re not in the mood for sprints, just do any form of cardio at the end of your workout. Using an elliptical or bike is a good alternative to a treadmill, but getting your cardio in at the end of your workout helps to burn some extra fat that might have built up in December.
It’s tough to get back into a routine, but starting your year off right with some of these exercises is sure to help you keep up with your resolutions.