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About 2.5 years ago, I changed my life. I went from getting my cardio by just chasing my kids around to actually learning how to work out, something I had never really done before. Because my body was so new to structured exercise, the results came on quickly. Within months, I was leaner, stronger, and faster than I had ever been before. I did a great job maintaining a healthy diet/exercise routine for almost two years until I had surgery last summer. After my surgery, it took me a while to rediscover my love of fitness, but in the process, my body suffered. Through the fall and winter holidays, I worked out maybe once or twice a week, and I was eating a lot more junk food than I’d like to admit. But the new year began and I realized it was time to make some positive changes. In February, I began going to the gym five times a week, cut back on many unnecessary calories, and I’m already starting to see results.
One of the problems that I had was this idea of “I’m too busy to exercise” or “I’m too busy to prepare well-balanced meals”. You should never be too busy to take care of your body. Because while you may feel ‘too busy’ now, it will quickly catch up with you – weight gain, lack of energy, fatigue – and you’ll notice that the activities that you used to be able to do fairly easily are now more challenging and utterly exhausting.
Here are 10 exercises you can do at home with one set of weights and a mat. It’s just that easy! Each exercise targets a different muscle group, so when you’re finished, you’ve gotten a full-body workout. If you don’t have time (or money) to go to the gym, set aside about 30 minutes every other day to complete this workout from home. To complete this 30-minute routine, do the following:
- Grab weights that are appropriate for your body. I selected exercises that I can complete using two 10-pound weights. Not having to switch up weights for each exercise makes this a very simple workout.
- Begin the workout by doing 10 minutes of cardio to get your heart rate up. I suggest jogging/running, jumping rope, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, or any other combination of fast-paced exercises. Find what works best for your body.
- Follow the steps below to complete each exercise. I suggest 10 reps of each exercise, 2 sets. Figure each exercise will take you about a minute to complete 10, so 2 sets should equal about 20 minutes.
- Try to be really aware of the position of your body at all times. Work on your posture, foot placement, and how you are holding your weights. It helps to stand in front of a mirror.
- After completing your workout, make sure to stretch out for a minute. Allow all of your muscles to relax.
- To maximize the benefits of a great workout, drink a protein shake right after. I have a delicious recipe below for my favorite shake!
Shoulder Press: Begin with your shoulders at 90 degrees to your torso with your elbows bent 90 degrees. Simply push up and return your arms back to the original position.
Bicep curl: Begin with your arms at your side with your palms up and weights in your hands. Bend your elbows, raising the weights toward your shoulders. Be sure to keep your elbows close to your body.
Back Row: Begin by bending at your waist with your knees slightly bent. Place your arms straight down with your palms facing toward one another. Bend your elbows as high back as you can, squeezing your shoulders together behind you.
Tricep Kickback: Begin by bending at the waist with your knees slightly bent. Raise your elbows back, then extend your arms so that your elbows are straight.
Reach-ups: Lay on your mat with your back flat and legs raised. Grab a single weight and reach up toward your toes with your shoulders off the mat.
Russian Twists: Grab a single weight and hold it vertically with your hands around the midsection. With your bottom on the mat, lift your slightly bent legs so your feet do not touch your mat. Lean back, and move the weight from one side of your body to the other, reaching back as far as you can.
Leg Raises: With your arms straight and your hands holding a single weight, raise your legs straight up and return them to the mat.
Squat: Place one weight on each shoulder. With your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed straight forward, pretend you are sitting in a chair, squeezing your bottom as you lower and raise your body.
Deadlifts: Place your feet shoulder-width apart, toes facing forward. Bend at the waist, with your back flat. Knees should be slightly bent. Reach down to almost your toes then straighten your back. Use the back of your legs to lift your body. (You may find you need a heavier weight to really feel this exercise. I usually deadlift about 75 pounds.)
Calf Raises: Place one weight in each hand at your side. Stand on your tiptoes.
Repeat two sets of these 10 exercises to get a full-body workout in just 30 minutes.
So remember, that protein shake I told you about? Here’s the recipe! I like a shake that really fills me up after a good workout. To aid in my digestion, I like to add a few ingredients that are high in fiber to compliment the protein. Prepare the shake by adding all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and serving immediately.
- 2 scoops of EAS® 100% Whey Protein (vanilla or chocolate)
- 1 T ground chia or flax seeds
- 1 T raw cacao
- 1 T almond butter
- 8 ounces milk
- 4 ice cubes
Visit walmart.com or head to your local Walmart store to purchase EAS® 100% Whey Protein in the pharmacy section. The new EAS Protein, available in chocolate and vanilla, contains no fillers or sugar. It has 30 grams of protein per serving, the ideal amount for a post-workout recovery drink. The fast-digesting whey protein is perfect to replenish and start rebuilding muscle. Check out the New NBC Show S.T.R.O.N.G where EAS® products will be featured on the June 2nd episode (9pm EST 8pm CST).
How do you recover after a full-body workout?