By Natalie DeGenova, Contributing blogger (@nat.nova)
It's a new year, but it certainly doesn't have to be a whole new YOU. I feel the need for a "New Year's Resolution" is largely unnecessary and a part of the diet fad culture we should finally let go of in 2020. It's wonderful to set personal goals & let January 1st be the start of a newly found or rediscovered workout routine, but setting a resolution for yourself on the first of the year isn't going to make your desired lifestyle change a reality. YOU, and only you, are responsible for that. Not just for the first 2 weeks of January, but throughout the year.
A lifestyle change has to be something you find challenging, but also something you enjoy. You don't have to set aside an hour of every day to get a P90X-style hour long workout in. The beauty of working up a sweat is that it can look different every day for everyone. You can incorporate it into your morning routine with your kids while they're getting ready for school, or your Saturday afternoon cleaning. It comes down to getting your body moving, being in tune with yourself mentally & physically, and feeling good in the process knowing that you're setting yourself up to be the best version of the already amazing YOU that you can be.
Now that you (hopefully!) have a little excitement and motivation for the New Year and are ready to jump into a fresh workout routine, here's a quick 20-minute HIIT style workout that you can do with or without weights at home, in your yard, at the gym, and just about anywhere else you have space!
It's a total of 6 exercises that you will do for 35 seconds each, resting for 12 seconds between exercises to best keep your heart rate up. You'll repeat these 6 exercises for 4 rounds, resting 30-60 seconds between rounds, putting you at about 20 minutes all together. I love to use the Seconds Interval Timer for iPhone or the Tabata Timer for Android. These apps make it much easier to count you down with each move so you can focus on your form & your breathing and not on counting the seconds.
You'll torch calories with this power-packed workout that will work your entire body without sacrificing your whole morning or evening plans. Sound up your alley? Great. Let's get into it!
Alternating Drop Lunges:
Jump legs together between each lunge so the sequence would go: Jump Lunge, Jump Together, Jump Lunge, alternating which leg is in front for the lunge each time.
You know the drill…get those knees as close to your chest as possible each time!
Side Plank Hip Dips:
Start in an elbow plank position and "dip" your hips from side to side, tapping your right glute to the floor when dipping to the right, and tapping your left glute to the floor when dipping to the left.
Alternating Burpee Crunches:
Start by hopping out into regular push-up position, then hop back with your knees bent close to your hands still touching the floor; stand up with legs hip width apart and bring right knee towards your left elbow, twisting into a standing crunch position. That's one rep. Repeat entire sequence again this time bringing left knee to your right elbow. You can modify the burpee by stepping in from your push-up position one leg at a time instead of hopping both legs together. Either way, you should feel the burn after 35 seconds!
Start in a squat position and propel yourself into a jump with both legs coming off the floor completely before landing back into a squat position. Repeat as many reps as possible for 35 seconds. Be sure to land softly to prevent any excess pressure to your knees and squeeze your core and glutes while jumping to assure your body stays tight and in control with each movement. You can add weight by holding a dumbbell or any weighted object towards your chest for extra burn!
Out To In Roman Twists:
Start with your legs elevated a few inches off the ground in a sit up position with your hands touching the floor right behind your hips. Engage your lower abs while you extend your legs going out with the legs, and sinking into a deeper bend in your elbows, before bringing your knees up towards your chest, straightening your elbows, keeping that same seated sit up position. Next complete 4 oblique twists alternating sides. You can do this with bodyweight only or you can pick up a weight to use for the roman twists and set it down when you perform the "out-in" movement - make sure to breathe throughout these sequences, especially towards the end when you're really starting to push your hardest!
Remember: small changes that become part of your regimen make a huge difference in the big picture. When you incorporate short bursts of movement like this workout 3-4 days a week, and stay consistent as often as life allows, you'll have the winning formula (minus the restrictive dieting mindset of New Year's Resolutions Past) to make 2020, by far, your best year yet.
Natalie DeGenova is wearing our Studio Zen 7/8 Legging in images above.