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Winter is usually a time where people hibernate, eat warming foods and relax. While I too love all those things, working out is something that I maintain year-round. No winter weight gain here!
Take some time this holiday season to plan healthy meals and work out. Working out at home or outdoors is a fantastic alternative to working out at the gym, and it’s free! Here are my top workout moves to help support winter activities such as winter sports and traditional winter yard and driveway maintenance.
This move will help to strengthen your hamstrings and back, which is important when shoveling all that snow out of your way!
- Start with either soup cans/water bottles or if you want a challenge, use large jugs of water.
- Starting in a standing position with knees slightly bent, holding your weights of choice, begin to slowly move the weight down your thighs to just below your knees while pushing your glutes back, maintaining a strong and straight back with shoulder blades together.
- Once your reach just below the knees with your weights, slowly begin to stand back up to straight legs and strong back, while squeezing your glutes and pulling your hips forward at the top standing position.
- Repeat this 10-15 times for 3-4 sets.
2. Bicep curl into shoulder press
Using your water bottle or weights, this functional move will help you when you are carrying groceries or shoveling through the cold winter snow.
- Hold your chosen weights in a standing position with knees slightly bent, shoulders retracted back and down away from your ears.
- Curl your arm up with your palms facing your up, engaging your bicep. Once you reach your shoulder with your weights, turn your palms away from your face and lift your arms up into a shoulder press, then back down to your shoulders.
- With your palms facing up, lower your arms until you they are straight by your sides.
- Repeat this 10-15 times for 3-4 sets.
3. Tricep dips (on couch or chair)
Getting out of your car, or snow sled requires a pushing movement which requires the help of your triceps. Engaging in some tricep dips will not only lose any “wings” on the back of your arm, but it will help you get out of snowy situations!
- With your arms straight and palms face down on a couch or chair (with your fingers hanging off the end), bend your knees (for beginners) or straighten them in front of you (advanced).
- Slowly begin to bend your arms to 90 degrees, keeping your back and glutes close to the chair/couch.
- Once you reach a 90 degree bend in your arm, push your body weight back up to straight arms.
- Feel that burn at the back of your arm! Repeat 10-15 times for 3-4 sets.
4. Wood Choppers
Although you may not be chopping any wood, this classic move is great for arms, back, shoulders and core, and mimics the movement of shovelling.
- Begin with your weight of choice, held in one hand.
- Bend your knees and shift upper body weight down from your left side, fully extending your body upward and across to the right side, with arms above head, into the air.
- Repeat this movement 10-15 reps from left-to-right then switch to the opposite side and repeat the movement of chopping from the right ankle to over the left shoulder and above the head for 10-15 reps and 3-4 sets.
- Be sure to maintain a strong core here, to protect your back!
While winter definitely has its cold uncomfortable moments, try to think of all the positives. New challenges and ways to workout outdoors, more time to spend with family and friends, more time to set goals for the New Year and time to prep for your meals and workout schedule. Don’t let the winter rule your schedule, and make 2015 your fittest year yet!