A Guided, At-Home Workout with Rachel McClellan
“Whether you are expecting, newly postpartum, new to fitness, or a lover of exercise, this workout can be customized to fit your needs and fitness level. It includes a mix of strength, balance, and flexibility training.”
For this workout, you’ll need a core ball (or any kind of medium-sized ball) and a resistance band or hand weights. Perform each move for up to 90 seconds, and add in cardio bursts in between sets: go for a walk or quick jog, or perform stationary jumping jacks. Don’t forget to finish off the workout with a cool down, including a long stretch and some deep breathing.
Grab a core ball, place it between your hands, and engage from your fingertips throughout the length of your hand. Pull your shoulders away from your earlobes and lift your core, then place your weight in your right leg, evenly distributing the weight. Take a step back with your left leg. Allow the left knee to come as close to the ground as comfortable, aiming for a 90-degree bend at the knee. Come back up to a standing position and repeat. Perform for 90 seconds before switching legs. Your focus should be on keeping the core lifted, holding a tight squeeze on the ball, and getting a full range of motion in the lunge.
Grab a core ball and apply pressure throughout your hands, causing the muscles in your forearms, upper arms, chest, and shoulders to engage. Draw your abdominals in and place your weight in your right foot, evenly distributing the weight. Now lift your left leg to the sky while hinging at the waist. The goal is to create a straight horizontal line with the body while keeping pressure on the core ball and getting a deep stretch in the back of your left leg. Perform for 30 to 90 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
Move to all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Tuck your toes and lift your knees and shins two inches off of the mat. Try not to let your hips shift forward as you keep your back long and your core strong. Your focus should be on maintaining a flat back and strong core. Hold that hover for 30 to 90 seconds and then lower and repeat.
Come to a side plank on your right forearm and the side of your right knee. Then continuously lift and lower your left leg for 30 to 90 seconds. Aim to keep your hips lifted, your chest out, and your core strong. You can increase the challenge here by slowing down the lift and lower of your leg. Switch sides and repeat.
Stand on your resistance band with both feet and a handle in each hand (or a free weight in each hand); cross the bands in front of your knees. Stand tall and engage your core – then hinge at your hips, pull your elbows back, and release the arms. Stand up and repeat. Be mindful to keep a slight bend in your knees and a flat back, and push your glutes back so that you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings. Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the row. Repeat this exercise for 30 to 90 seconds.
Place your right foot on the center of your band with a handle in each hand. Step your left foot slightly backward so that the majority of your weight is on your right leg. Sink into a squat with your right leg, and as you come up, complete a biceps curl while lifting your left knee at the top. Perform this move as slowly as necessary to maintain balance. You can modify the challenge by omitting the knee lift, or you can increase the challenge by “choking up” on your band for more resistance. Perform for 30 to 90 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.