Simplicity Has Its Place – Any Place

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When it comes to designing a workout plan with the plethora of workouts that are possible, it can be a little overwhelming. Seeing the endless stream of influencers promoting new workout trends and supplements, and/or subscription models at Peloton or Body on demand, the thought of picking any one workout can be daunting. Even as a personal trainer, I run into “analysis paralysis” when it comes to changing up my repertoire of workout programs. Well, I am here to tell you that sometimes simplicity rules.

All fitness programs should incorporate elements of push, pull, and leg exercises. You should also consider some element of cardio, which means getting out and raising your heart rate.

Push

Simply put, a push is any exercise or weightlifting movement that pushes your body away from resistance or weights away from your body. Think pushups and bench-presses. Using bodyweight movements (e.g., old-school calisthenics) takes simplicity to its root level. When I’m on the go, I like using pushups as a staple in my exercise regime. Hardly any space is required, and you can use variations to increase resistance. Examples of variations are diamond pushups, elevated (feet on a chair) or plyo pushups. Using your own bodyweight doesn’t mean you can’t get a good muscle pump by doing multiple sets.

Pull

Think pull-ups or chin-ups. Any pulling exercise is one that brings the weight toward you or takes your body weight to the resistance (bar). Again, you can make use of limited space without much equipment. In a pinch, I have even been known to use a tree for pullups. Back exercises such as lat-pulldowns or bent-over rows or even lawn mower pulls. You can even use chin-ups to work your biceps. When it comes to bodyweight exercises, you are only limited by your imagination.

Legs

While we like to think that as we move, we work our legs, you need to exert a little more effort to really work the muscles. Think of bodyweight movements such as no-weight squats, lunges, step ups or even plyo-box jumps. If you have access to equipment, then consider weighted squats, Bulgarian squats, leg presses or leg curls. When I am traveling for work, I have been known to opt for a stair workout. I use the stairs at the hotel to walk up and down, do one-leg hops up multiple floors, two-leg hops, and even run up the stairs to the highest floor possible. Just be aware that if you are doing a stair workout, don’t impede hotel traffic!

Sometimes keeping it simple is the answer. You don’t need much in terms of equipment, you just need the time and a little imagination. When all else fails, get out and just walk for an hour Go beyond what you do for your normal job or daily events. (No, walking the concourses doesn’t count!)

As always, you can seek additional guidance from health professionals, wellness coaches and trainers. Come back each month for more areas to examine. You can always reach me through email for ideas on how to create a goal, for example. And I welcome your ideas for future columns.




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