Winter is rapidly approaching us, and your workouts are in dire need of variety. Rather than building muscle and simultaneously strengthening your cardiovascular endurance, you’ve been languidly going through the motions of jogging outside everyday. Now more than ever is a great time to escape the monotony of your workout routine. Adding some variety to your workouts motivates you to use your expensive equipment out of excitement or fear of your next workout. Luckily for you, I’ve created a list of ten workouts that are perfect for a cold day. All of these workouts are well-known and for good reason. They carry proven results, and most of them don’t require a gym membership. Without further ado, let’s jump into it.
1. Tricep Kickbacks
I’m starting off this list workouts for a cold day with a series of strength moves that will make up for your depleted muscle tone. First off is tricep kickbacks. Surprisingly, this workout targets the triceps. Keep your back flat. Don’t strain yourself to bend parallel to the ground. Slightly bend your knees, and keep your feet hip width apart. If you’re familiar with clean deadlift form, this move is similar to a deadlift. By contrast though, you’ll be stagnant in deadlift position as your arms move backwards. Thus, if your balance is poor, I wouldn’t advise incorporating this move into your workout, as it calls heavily upon your legs to keep yourself upright.
2. Lateral Raises
Lateral raises work your shoulders, and they’re exceptionally challenging. Don’t raise your arms up above your shoulders. At their highest, your arms should be parallel to the ground. Again, as if this isn’t already a given, keep your back flat. Inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down.
3. Bicep Curls
As the name suggests, bicep curls target the biceps. They can be excruciating with the appropriate weight, but you’ll come to crave the pain. Keep your elbows close to your sides. Your arms should remain behind your rib cage. Keep that back flat! Of the strength workouts I’ve listed, these are the least challenging. Therefore, a heavier weight is required.
This exercise can be done with or without dumbbells. If you don’t already know, squats target the lower body, and they can be painfully rewarding with the proper weight. Your knees shouldn’t buckle inward or outward. Go down as far as you can control to reap the rewards. Those knees shouldn’t be over your toes; keep them in line with your feet. This move is apt for modification, but make sure you’re always challenging yourself.
5. The Elliptical
This is the only workout on this list that requires a gym membership. With that in mind, it’s really the best workout for all skill levels. Make sure to raise the resistance for the best results and stop when you feel the resistance isn’t manageable. Many beginners have a proclivity for adjusting the machine to the lowest resistance and breezing through the workout. Don’t do that! Challenge yourself. At the same time, pushing yourself to the absolute brink every workout won’t produce the reward response that conduces to consistency. A healthy lifestyle is a marathon, not a race.
Sadly, I’ve included just one body weight only strength workout into your routine, the pushup. Even if you’re a novice, I’m sure you’re already familiar with this move, but you’re probably not familiar with proper pushup form. Clean form is such an important part of reaping the rewards of the pushup. Your body should be completely straight. To avoid spreading your legs out too far, your ankles should be touching. Once you’ve positioned your hands shoulder width apart, go down until they’re in line with your chest. Your core, your arms, and your chest should be burning.
7. Alternating Jack Knives
This workout brutally targets your core. Your lower back should be pinned to the ground throughout. Try to keep a relatively straight leg. Your core should be engaged more than your legs. Consequently, your leg should only point as far as the ceiling straight ahead of you, allowing your core to do the rest of the work. Ab workouts especially our known to stifle breathing, so placing this move at the end of your workout is ill advised. Maintain steady breathing and keep going!
8. High Knees And Butt Kickers
Now that we’ve traversed all the strength workouts you’ll need, let’s jump into the cardio moves that will supplant your fall workout. I’m combining this moves not only due to their similarity, but also because they’re simple. High knees are an easy move to start out your cardio intervals. As the name suggests, you knees should be high! Similarly, during butt kickers your heels should be slamming into your butt. Ironically, the easiest moves are the moves that are half-assed. Don’t disregard the importance of sustaining a high level of intensity throughout the entire workout. Consistency is key.
The famous or perhaps infamous burpee is a perfect lung busting workout that will improve endurance as it tones. As is the case with the pushup, keep your body straight on the way down. Your body should explosively spring upward. This move is usually done in short intervals or for short periods of time. Typically, the workout junkie does this move at the end of his or her workout for the maximum burn. By the end of your workout, don’t kill yourself attempting to complete all your burpees. Simply modify the move by cutting out the jumps. Whatever you do, keep moving!
10. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are another burnout move to complete your workout. Maintain a steady pace and keep breathing. Your breathing should be rhythmic and controlled. At this point, your legs will probably be close to giving out, but just keep striving forward for just a few more minutes. Remember what your goals are. Remember how badly you want it. On the other hand, if the workout is too difficult to manage, move one leg at a time and/or slow down.