Small workouts may seem like they’re not doing much but these 10 small workouts will improve the way you feel and look. Working out is hard and a lot of people have the all or nothing mentality when it comes to working out but it usually amounts to nothing. These small workouts when done every day are more effective and easier than doing a rigorous workout sporadically. You have to start doing these 10 small workouts every day.
These pilates style workouts tone your core, strengthen your back, build your gluten and are a full-body workout. The best part is they’re easy and fast- you can do them before or after work no matter how tired you are. These workouts are good for you physically and mentally. Since pilates incorporates a lot of controlled breathing, these workouts are really good for calming anxiety. If you do these workouts every day, you should see results within a week.
1. Scissor Kicks
For this workout, lay on your back and lift legs at a 90-degree angle with legs straight. Have your torso in a chest lift with abs engaged and chest lifted at a 45-degree angle. Hold on to one of your legs at the knee and bring toward your chest while exhaling. Lower the other leg to hover over the ground or as low as you can get it. Keep legs as long and straight as possible holding at the knee. Alternate legs exhaling when your leg meets your chest and do this for 30 reps.
2. Scissor Leg Lifts
For this workout lay on the floor with your legs bent and feet touching the floor. Go into a chest lift with elbows and forearms on the floor and chest lifted as high as you can. Bring legs to a 45-degree angle in a pilates V and zipped together. Rotate legs in V shape alternating which leg in on top. Alternate legs, one over the other for 4 counts while you alternate them down and 4 counts while you alternate them up. Breath in for 4 counts while you alternate your legs down and exhale for 4 counts while you alternate them up. Alternate legs up and down for 4 counts 10 times.
3. Double-Leg Stretch
Stay in the chest lift with torso and legs at a 45-degree angle and zip legs together. Bend one leg while keeping the other leg lifted and bend it so your foot is nearly reaching your other knee. Bend and straighten the same leg bringing your foot to your other knee, do this 10 times slow and then 5 times fast. Alternate and do the same on the other side, 10 times slow and 5 times fast.
4. 100 Breath Count
Lay on your back with your neck and head lifted and your legs lifted at a 90-degree angle. With your legs zipped together and your arms and hands stretched out beside your hips. While pumping your arms up and down, breathe in for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts. Continue breathing in and out for 5 seconds 10 times or until you get to 100 breaths.
Lay on your side with your head in your hand and the other arm by your stomach stabilizing your body. Legs are bent and stacked on top of one another with your knees and shins in a line parallel to the outside of your mat or towel. Raise feet and ankles 45 degrees and rotate knees outward in a diamond or clam shape. Rotate knees in and out 30 times, exhaling when closing knees and inhaling when you open your knees. Do the Same on the other side, 30 reps as well.
6. Clams With A Leg Extension
Same as the last workout, lay on the edge of your mat with your head in hand, back aligned with the edge of the mat and legs bent with knees and shins parallel to the edge of the mat. Raise ankles and feet at a 45-degree angle and open knees, this time extending the top leg, extending at the knee. Inhale as you open knees and extend leg exhale while bringing leg and then knee in. As you inhale, bring belly button into ribs as if you were sucking is. Do this 20 times on each side.
7. Leg Circles
Lay on edge of the mat with head in hand and legs in a V-shape with shins parallel to the other side of the mat. Lift the top leg and rotate knee and leg towards the floor without locking at the knee. Flex foot while rotating it down as much as you can. Bring leg forward towards your upper boy 45 degrees and make small circles with your foot in a forward motion. Do 10 circles forward and then 10 circles backward. Do the same on the other side, 10 times each way.
8. Big Glute Stretch
Go into all fours with your ankles aligned with your knees and extend your left arm and your right leg. Hold this position for 10 seconds while breathing in and out. Raise your right leg to the ceiling 10 times then hold for another 10 seconds while the glute is engaged. Do this on the other side with the right arm extended and the left leg extended in the opposite direction. Balance for 10 seconds, lift the leg 10 times then hold for another 10 seconds.
9. Side Plank
Go into a plank position, and if you’ve never done that before, go into all fours and then just extend your legs. Hold in plank position for 10 seconds, breathing in and out. Rotate to the right side balancing on to one arm with the other arm extended to the ceiling. Stack the feet one on top of the other but if that is too hard, you can bring the lower knee down to the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds, breathing in and out. Lift hips to the ceiling as high as you can with 10 pulses up. Repeat this on the other side, lowering the knee if needed.
10. Pike with a bent knee.
From plank position, go into a pike or downward dog in yoga, and bring the hands in while lifting the pelvis to the ceiling, keeping the legs straight and hamstrings engaged. Bring right knee to left armpit making a “C” curve with your back and then extend the leg back getting as high as you can get it. Do the same bringing the knee to the opposite (right) armpit and extend the leg to the ceiling. Do this 10 times, five to each armpit then alternate to the other leg. Do the same with the other leg bringing the knee to opposite armpit, altering armpits 10 times.
Don’t forget to Stretch! a good stretch for this is cobra position and pigeon stretch!