The Back Up Plan

(Editor’s Note: Check with your physician before undertaking any exercise routine.)

The chaotic new year has arrived. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day is an overwhelming thought, but, hey, shouldn’t a resolution be just that? While I truly believe the best workout results come from getting out of the house or office and into the gym, I know there are days an alternative option is necessary. 

Here are five metabolism-boosting exercises that can be performed using minimal space and equipment. (Try each exercise at 3 sets,15 repetitions per set)


    1. The Proposal (lower body): Much like a classic wedding proposal, start by kneeling on one knee on a soft surface. Place your hands behind your head. Stand up straight, keeping your weight even between both legs. Then slowly lower yourself back to a kneeling position to finish. Don’t forget to switch legs after the first side is complete.
    2. The Folk Dancer (lower body and balance): From a seated position, place each hand on the top of the opposite shoulder. Lift and continue to hold one foot off the floor. Use only your base leg to stand up straight and then slowly sit back down.  Again, don’t forget to switch legs after the first side is complete.
    3. The Plank “Squared” (upper body and trunk stabilization): You are about to draw an imaginary square with each hand on the floor from a pushup position. Start with your hands and feet (knees are a good modification) shoulder width apart in a pushup position. Without letting your lower body shift or move, pick up your right hand and tap the top of your left hand. Next, tap the floor 6 inches in front of your left hand. Then tap the floor 6 inches to the right of that spot. Finish back in your original push up position. Then pick up the left hand and repeat in the opposite direction. Alternate drawing a square with each hand until the set in finished.
    4. The Dead 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. Hold that position for 30-60 seconds then rest 30 seconds and repeat.
    5. The Falcor (postural muscles): Lay on your stomach with your arms straight out to your sides so your body makes a T shape. Turn your thumbs toward the sky. Lift your arms, head, and chest off the floor 4-6 inches and slowly put them down.  Be sure your head remains in line with your spine as it lifts. 


These exercises are great for your entire kinetic chain.  The workout shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to perform if you move at an average pace and take no more than 60-90 seconds to recover between sets.  his is a perfect back up plan to use on days you are short on workout time and can’t get to a gym. Happy Healthy 2013! 

(Fitness instructor Kiley Schoenfelder was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 8. She operates her own independent fitness company, K FIT NYC. Kiley holds two certificates from the National Academy of Sports Medicine: Corrective Exercise Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer.)



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