With many locales not including fitness services in the list of essential businesses, a lot of people are looking for home workout exercises so they can stay active from the comfort of their own home. At the Keri Shull Team, we know how important personal fitness is for many Arlingtonians, so we decided to ask an expert about how you can keep your blood pumping and stay limber during the COVID-19 lockdown!
Christa Aiken is a former member of the Washington Redskins’ cheerleading squad, traveling with the team for 4 years. Since leaving the team, she has begun teaching fitness classes at workout studios in Dupont Circle and Clarendon — and she joined the Keri Shull team as a member of our Buyer Advocate Team!
We met up with Christa in Rocky Run Park in Clarendon to show you some exercises that you can do at home! These workouts and stretches are a perfect way to get your morning started right, or to take a break from your work-at-home routine and get your muscles (and mind) loose!
Here are the top 4 exercises for home workouts that Christa showed us:
1. Good Morning Stretch
Let’s face it — most of us don’t stretch as much as we probably should. The Good Morning Stretch is a great place to start building the habit of keeping your muscles warm and loose. The stretch itself is straightforward and beginner-friendly, but it is a great move for people of all experience levels.
Here’s how you do a Good Morning Stretch:
Stand up to your full height — make sure not to slouch your back at all! By keeping a good form with a straight back throughout the entire movement, you will ensure that your lower back gets a good stretch.
With your back and legs straight, steadily bend at the waist as far as you can or until your torso is parallel with the ground. Hold the stretch for a few moments, then slowly return to the starting position. It’s important to perform this stretch with steady motions so you can properly relax and warm your muscles.
The Good Morning Stretch is ideal for loosening the abdominal oblique muscles in your lower back, as well as the hamstrings in your upper leg. You might also feel a stretch in your calves.
Because of the ease of this stretch and the muscle groups targeted, it is an ideal movement for people who are seated for long periods of time. This quick exercise can help keep the muscles and tendons in your lower body loose and oxygenated, so make sure to take some breaks while working from home and do some Good Morning stretches.
2. Inchworm Into Runner’s Lunge
For a full-body stretch, there are few better exercises that you can do from home than the Inchworm Into Runner’s Lunge. This movement hits muscle groups across your entire body, making it an ideal stretch for improving mobility from tip to toe.
Here’s how you do an Inchworm Into Runner’s Lunge:
Start as you would with a Good Morning stretch — back and legs straight, but not locked. Raise your arms above your head to stretch out your core and shoulders, then bend at the waist until you can put your fingertips on the ground in front of you. From there, walk your hands out while keeping your feet in place until your hands are a yard in front of your feet.
Lift your right hand off the ground and lunge your right leg forward, keeping your left hand and foot where they were. Your right foot and left hand should be even with each other, if possible. In a fluid motion, twist your torso until your right hand is pointed to the ceiling. Hold that position for a moment, then return your right hand and right foot to their original position and repeat the movement with your left hand and foot.
One of the best things about this movement is that you can perform it as a stretch or as a cardio exercise, depending on your speed. So not only is it great for getting muscles all across your body loose, it is also an effective way to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping!
Because this exercise involves a lot of stability, it targets a large host of muscles across your body including your deltoids, triceps, pectorals, and abdominal muscles in your upper body, as well as your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves in your lower body.
3. Lunge With a Squat
This movement is another stretch that can be performed as a cardio exercise, but it focuses more directly on the large muscles of your lower body. The Lunge With a Squat is a classic way to engage your core, quadriceps, and glutes during a home workout. It is also a great way to build stability and form for similar exercises that use more than your bodyweight.
Here’s how you perform a Lunge With a Squat:
Begin with your legs shoulder-width apart, as you would with a normal lunge. Step forward or backward with your right foot and dip your left leg until your knee is at a right angle. Return your feet to their starting position, then perform a squat by dropping your hips downward until your thighs run parallel to the ground. Stand back up to your original position, then begin the exercise again with your other foot lunging.
If you want to make the exercise a little more intense, you can add a hop before or after the squat. This will help you up the tempo and add a cardio element to your at-home exercise.
Lunges and squats both target your lower body almost exclusively, though they also require core stability that will help you engage your abdominal muscles. This exercise will primarily target your quadriceps and hamstrings, though it will also stretch and loosen your calves and hip abductors and adductors.
4. Hip Opener Glute Stretch
The final movement that Christa showed us is a great way to warm up before a workout or cool down after one. It’s simple, easy, and can be done anywhere that you have a place to sit down. The Hip Opener Glute stretch is a great way to keep your lower body limber during the stay-at-home regulations, because it hits several important mobility points in your legs and hips.
Here’s how you can perform a Hip Opener stretch:
Begin from a seated position, with your back straight and shoulders back. Place your right ankle on your left knee, then bend forward gently at the waist — you should feel a stretching sensation in your lower back and glutes. Then, simply switch the position of your legs and repeat the movement.
If your muscles are a little too tight to comfortably bend, you can instead place your hands behind your knee and draw it towards your core.
This stretch is ideal for keeping your core and glutes loose if you have been sitting in a chair for long periods of time — an all-too-common occurrence during the current lockdown regulations.
The Hip Opener stretch is rather targeted, hitting a few muscles very directly. In particular, you can expect to feel this stretch in the oblique muscles in your lower back, your glutes, and in the hip abductors and adductors.
Right now, it’s more important than ever to take care of your health — in more ways than one! These easy at-home workouts are a great way to keep your muscles loose and get some extra cardio, but learning how to ensure your financial well-being can be a bit trickier. Luckily, the real estate experts at the Keri Shull Team are standing by to help you!
We are taking every possible step to help protect you financially and physically while helping you buy or sell during COVID-19.. We offer Virtual Consultations for all of our services as well as Virtual Home Tours and Open Houses. We also have masks and booties for all in-person showings, and we are following all social distancing regulations.
We know that your real estate needs can’t always wait — so if you need to take care of your buying and selling needs anywhere in Arlington VA, Washington DC, or anywhere in the DMV, then contact the Keri Shull Team today!