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COLUMBIA - Really tight on time but still want to get a workout in? There are a few ways you can do this.

One is to take a piece of paper, tear it in to strips, write each exercise on its own strip, fold and put in your special magic "Do It" Jar. Take five exercises out each day and do three sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. You can do it all at once or break it up throughout the day wherever you find time.

Another is to make your very own BINGO Board with exercises in every square. Challenge yourself to complete the entire board within the week by putting an "X" through each completed exercise.

Some of the exercises that can be done are below. You don't need much equipment but you do need some motivation!

Beginners: Beginner_BINGO.pdf

  • Easy squats (need a chair)
  • Low impact jumping jacks
  • Wall push-ups or basic push-ups (need a wall; and towel or blanket)
  • Standing knee raises (need a chair or a wall)
  • Standing cross-over knee raises (need a chair or a wall for balance)
  • Arm circles
  • Quadrupeds

Intermediate: Intermediate_BINGO.pdf

  • Squats
  • Jumping jacks
  • Push-ups
  • High knees
  • Triceps dips
  • Push-backs
  • Plank (high and low)

Exercise descriptions:

Alternating Jump Lunges: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step forward with your right foot while dropping your left knee back. Your leg in front should be at a 90-degree angle with a straight line from your knee to your ankle. Your back leg should be at a 90-degree angle with a straight line from your hip to your knee into the floor. Jump up as you switch your legs midair (like a pair of scissors) and then land in the same position but this time the feet have traded spots. Repeat, switching legs again.

Alternating Side Planks: From a full plank position, shift your weight over to one side and rotate your body so that you can raise your arm. Your feet should be heel to toe with the top foot in front of the bottom foot. Transition to the other side by slowly and controlled rotating whole body in a straight line to the other side. Your feet should remain heel to toe (but now with the opposite positioning).

Bridge: Lay on your back with your feet hip-width apart and flat on the floor (your knees will be bent). Your feet should not be too close to your butt. Inhale for a few seconds and as you exhale, press your feet into the floor, squeeze your butt as you press your hips up towards the ceiling. Press high enough that your body creates a straight line from your shoulders to the top of your knees. Inhale as you pause at the top of the movement. Exhale and slowly release the position, controlling your movement as you lower your butt back to the starting position. Repeat.

Burpee: Begin in a standing position. Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground (like you're crouching). Kick your feet back (as if you're in the top of a push-up). Do a push-up. Jump back into the crouching squat position. Jump up into the air. Repeat.

Chair Squats: Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your knees over your feet. Slowly lower your butt toward the chair without actually sitting down. As you move, tighten your abdominal muscles to support your back. Keep your weight in your heels throughout the full range of motion. Placing your arms out in front of you may help your balance.

Donkey Kicks: Get on hands and knees (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). Keeping right knee bent 90 degrees, flex right foot and lift knee to hip level. Lower knee without touching floor; lift again. Do desired number of repetitions. Switch legs; repeat.

Hydrants: Get on hands and knees (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). Elbows should be slightly bent. Your back should be parallel to the ground, not arched or swayed downward. Remain in the kneeling position while raising one leg out to the side, parallel to the ground (like a dog lifting its leg to a fire hydrant). Pause in the up position, then return leg to starting position. Perform desired number of repetitions. Switch legs.

Jump Squats: Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart, toes facing forward and slightly out. Squat down. Keep your hips back, back straight and your head facing forward. Immediately jump up. Reach upward as high as you can with your hands as your feet leave the floor. Land in your starting position. Swing your arms back and immediately repeat.

Knee Strikes: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise both your hands up above your head and mimic holding something like a ball or a water balloon in both heads. In a strong motion, bring one knee up to waist high as you simultaneously bring the "ball" to meet the knee. Weight will shift from both feet to the static foot. Exhale as you "strike". Mimic striking with force, then return foot to the ground and arms above the head. Repeat desired number of repetitions. Switch to the other side.

Mountain Climbers: Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Your hands should be slightly ahead of your shoulders and your fingers pointing forward. Bring your left foot forward and place it on the floor under your chest. Your knee and hip are bent and your thigh is in toward your chest. Lift your right knee off the ground, making your right leg straight and strong. Brace your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Keeping your hands firmly on the ground, jump to switch leg positions. Both feet leave the ground as your drive your right knee forward and reach your left leg back. Now your left leg is fully extended behind you and your right knee and hip are bent with your right foot on the floor.

  • *Variation: instead of jumping both legs simultaneously to switch position, a beginner move would be to step a foot forward and back and then switch.

Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and bending your pelvis up slightly. Hold. Lower and repeat.

Plank: Lie on the floor. Rest your body on your forearms with your palms flat on the floor. Your shoulders should be directly above your elbows. Raise your body off the floor, supporting your weight on your forearms and your toes. You should have a straight line from your feet to your head. Make sure that your back is flat and your head, neck and spine are in a straight line. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged. Do not let your hips/butt rise up.

  • *Variations: To make it easier, you can lower your knees to the ground, so instead of balancing on your toes you are in a modified plank position with your lower body supported by your knees. You can also do a high plank and balance on your outstretched arms and hands (like being at the top of a push-up) rather than on your forearms.

Quadrapeds: Get on hands and knees (hands under shoulders, knees under hips). Keep your back flat and your gaze down between your hands to keep your neck in alignment. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, simultaneously extend your right leg and your left arm. Inhale to return. Exhale, and extend your left leg and right arm. Inhale to return. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in towards your spine. Perform as many repetitions as you can without losing form.

Squat Thrusts: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat down while placing your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward so that you're now in the top of a push-up, with your arms straight. Jump your feet back in. Then jump them back out into the top of the push-up. Repeat this jumping in and out movement. Finish in a standing position.

Wall Push-ups: Find a large and empty wall and stand about 3 feet in front of it, hands outstretched, facing the wall. Lean your body towards the wall with your hands touching the wall. Keep your arms wide enough that as you lean towards the wall, your elbows make a 90-degree angle. Push your body back, with your hands until you are once again in a standing position.

(Editor's note: This is a republication of a previous story, with video segments included.)

Amanda K Barnes
Certified Personal Trainer


Weekly Wellness