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Put your desk to use
Shape your arms with a challenging variation of the standard push-up. With your desk up against a wall, place your hands on the edge a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet on the ground, back flat and chest in line with the edge of the desk. Slowly lower your chest down, bending at the elbows until you’re about 6 inches from the desk. Push your body back up to the starting position. Try to work your way up to 3 sets of 15.
Burn off that late-night snack
Need an energy boost? Instead of reaching for food, opt for a quick cardio blast by alternating 3 sets of 20 stadium runs and 20 jumping jacks. For stadium runs, start with hands on the floor and feet shoulder-width apart. Use a thrusting motion to bring your right knee into the chest. As the right foot goes back to starting position, raise your left knee. Be sure to have a slight bend in the elbow and keep your abs tight.
Get six-pack abs
Tone your tummy with the help of your textbooks. Lay face up on a mat or towel with knees bent and feet on the floor. Hold your heaviest course book directly over your head with both hands. Keeping your abs tight, slowly lift your head and shoulder blades off the towel, lifting the book in the air. Hold for 1 second then slowly release, working your way up to 3 sets of 20.
Use your bed for more than sleeping
Sculpt your arms from the comfort of your bed by doing dips. Sit on the edge of the bed with your hands next to hips. Move your hips in front of the bed, bend your elbows and lower a few inches while keeping your butt close to the bed. Don’t sink into the shoulders or lower past 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat for 3 sets of 15.
Get off your butt
Use your desk chair as a prop for shaping your backside with these squats. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down slowly as you sit back on your heels. Lower as far as you can while keeping your knees behind toes and not going below 90 degrees, then return to starting position. Try putting a chair behind you and act like you’re about to sit down, pulling up before actually sitting. Do 3 sets of 10. Want an extra challenge? Use an explosive jump to get up from the bent position and you’ll burn more calories.
If you have never lifted a dumbbell before, you can start with 5 lbs, but you can probably handle more. Slowly lift your arms (or alternate between arms) into a curl position, and then lower back down, with control. Form is important with this exercise, and Bohn and Cotta mention, “women who have had multiple births have a change in their spine, so you get a sway in your back, and therefore your pelvis is no longer in neutral. So, if you return to normal stance position and your pelvis is in neutral, it will contract. Therefore, you are working both your arms and your pelvis.”
Want a Challenge? Switch out your 10lb weights for 15lb weights.
“They hurt,” according to Bohn and Cotta. Women at home can use a bottom stair, a step, or a chair to complete this exercise, however it is vital to make sure that whatever you use is braced against a wall or is unable to budge.
You want to put your hands by your hips while sitting, and walk your feel out, so that once you dip you are going up and down in a straight motion, as if you are against a wall. Bohn and Cotta suggest the following: “Imagine that nothing works below your waist, and that your arms are lifting and lowering your entire body.”
Want a Challenge? Once you get good at these, you can increase reps, or place a light dumbbell in your lap.
Bohn and Cotta’s rule of thumb, “Don’t tip or swing your arms, because it is not helping you much.” To start, you should use a set of smaller dumbbell weights, as heavier weights tend to make you tip. Keep your wrists in a neutral position, so that you don’t hyper extend and you should have a slight bend in your elbow. Keep knees soft and don’t raise weight any higher than your shoulders. Slowly lower back down to the starting position, and repeat.
Want a Challenge? You can use anything around the house that you have two of – laundry detergent containers, gallons of milk, etc …
It is easy, when attempting this exercise for the first time, to hit yourself in the back of the head … avoid that.
To start, keep your elbows pointing forward to isolate that tricep. As you get tired, you need to be mindful of bringing the elbow back in – so think about keeping your arms glued to your ears, offers Bohn and Cotta.
Want a Challenge? As you progress, you can bring the weight lower and lower down your back, but only as long as it is comfortable.
Upper Body workout.