The Back Up Plan (Level 2)

In February I posted my original back up plan for last-minute workouts from home or the office.  If you’ve been consistent, you should be ready for some new exercises.  If not, you can always refer back to the original article for guidance.

Spring is here, which means summer isn’t far away. Regardless of whether you’re preparing for a beach vacation or not, it won’t be long before it’s warm outside. Who wouldn’t want to feel great wearing shorts and a tank when the time comes? So make the time in your schedule for 30 minutes of heart rate-raising activity and a bit of muscle toning. You won’t regret it.    

Here are five of my latest metabolism-boosting exercises that can be performed using minimal space and equipment (try each exercise without shoes if possible; three sets at 15 repetitions per set):


1.The “Mini” Proposal (lower body): Think of this lower-body toner as the same exercise from the original Back Up Plan, but don’t stand all the way up. Only come up a few inches off the floor then kneel back down. This is a bit more challenging because you aren’t getting to rest up at the top.

2.The Teeter Totter (lower body and balance): Stand up straight. Place your hands behind your head. Tip forward with your upper body. As you tip, lift one leg behind you. Keep your leg straight and your toes pointing toward the floor. Your chest and leg should move in equal but opposite directions.  Your goal should be to tip until your leg and chest are both parallel to the floor. Then slowly come back to standing upright. Don’t forget to switch legs. (Note: If you have tight hamstrings, they will limit you in this exercise. Just bend your base leg slightly and you should be able to tip a bit further.)

3.The “Limbless” Plank (upper body and trunk stabilization): Start in a basic pushup position; shoulders over wrists, hands and feet shoulder-width apart. Take turns lifting each limb off the floor and holding the three-point stance for 10 seconds. When you raise your arm, keep it straight and lift it up toward your ear with your thumb up towards the sky. When you lift your leg, keep it straight and just point your foot, barely lifting it up off the floor. No part of your body should move aside from the limb that you’re lifting.

4.The Live Bug (trunk stabilization): Lay on your back with your feet off the floor and knees bent 90 degrees. Lift your arms up straight so your fingers reach for the sky. Take turns extending one limb at a time and hold the extended position for 10 seconds. Arms go back by your ears and legs extend straight out or slightly on a 45-degree angle up. One at a time.

5.The Temper Tantrum (postural muscles): Lay on your belly with your arms straight above your head. Keep your head on the floor and lift one arm and the opposite leg an inch off the floor. Then switch sides. Start with holding them up for five seconds. Then try it for four, three, two seconds, then alternate them back and forth for one second each time.  


This should get you toned on spring break or even a quick work break. If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me directly through my website Next month I’ll discuss heart rate training and ways burn calories at different intensities.   

Be happy and be health!

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