This workout's on the house
Get a full-body workout from your "home gym."
Even though those late-night informercials touting the wonders of the Bowflex are very tempting, you’ve never bought equipment for a home gym. But guess what? You already have one. James Bach, a personal trainer at Crunch Marina City (350 N State St, 312-527-8100), created this full-body resistance routine using everyday household items, from dish towels to your mattress (Bach is quick to add that you should still hit the gym for cardio).
After you’ve finished drying the dishes, save your towel (or better yet, grab a clean spare) and use it to work your core, hips, glutes, thighs and abs in three simple moves.
1. Stand upright and place the towel on the floor underneath your right foot. Keeping your left leg firmly planted on the floor, push your right leg about five inches out to the side, then slide it back to start position. Start with two sets of ten reps before switching feet, and eventually work your way up to more reps.
2. This second move (pictured) works your lower abs. Get in a push-up position, with your knees on the floor, and place a towel under both hands. Slowly extend your hands on the floor in front of you, keeping your knees stationary. Repeat as many times as your normal push-up routine allows.
3. In the push-up position again, place a rag under your feet. Then perform a reverse crunch by pulling your knees toward your chest while keeping your hands flat on the floor. To complete a rep, extend your legs by gliding your feet on the rag until they’re straight. Repeat six to ten times.
Use this cleaning device to complete a variation on a traditional chest press—and make sure to turn the vaccum on, so you’ll get some cleaning and toning completed in one fell swoop.
Stand in a split stance (with your left foot in front of the right) and do a lunge by bending both knees to descend slowly toward the floor. Hold the vaccum with your right hand and push and pull it back and forth for two sets of ten repetitions; then switch sides.
We know it’s essential to entering and exiting rooms, but the doorway also can be good for your deltoids, core and quads.
Stand in the middle of the doorway, facing the room, put the back of each hand against the door panels and try to push out to each side at the same time for 30 seconds. Your arms won’t move very far, so the exercise becomes a static contraction for your deltoids. Repeat up to ten times. To recruit your core and thigh muscles, stand on one leg at a time.
You’ve been making your bed for years, and by now you probably can get those sheets tucked under the mattress in less than a minute. Take a little extra time between the sheets to tone your arms.
Squat at the end of your bed in a sumo stance with your feet spread wide. Slide your hands in between your box spring and mattress with your palms facing up. Taking most of the weight with your right hand, slowly lift the mattress until it makes a 45-degree angle (for balance, also keep your left hand under the mattress), creating a static bicep contraction. Do ten reps, then switch hands.