While it would a lot more fun and a lot less stressful to sleep all through the weekend, you need to add some more exercises to your weekend routines, to help you relief stress and keep you in better shape for the new week ahead.
There a few exercises explained below, but first, it is important to heed these few instructions;
- Perform each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds. You can perform each exercise in one single push or take mini breaks and then go back into the same movement.
- Don’t overdo it (don’t break yourself on your first attempt)
- Be realistic with your expectation (weight loss or absolute fitness won’t happen overnight)
- Be comfortable (wear comfortable workout gear; get a yoga mat, a towel, a water bottle etc. No ice cream or chocolate bars please)
That being said, let’s begin the workout…
Get into a kneeling position with your knees hip-distance apart and feet together behind you. Take a deep inhale, and on the exhale lay your torso over your thighs, pressing your butt onto your heels and reaching your arms forward. Think about lengthening your neck and spine by drawing your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of your head away from your shoulders.
Rest your forehead on the mat. You should feel a stretch on your backside and possibly in your hips. You may also feel a stretch in your arms if they are straight in front. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. If you feel any back pain in this position, bring your knees closer together.
Start on all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and hips over knees. Take a slow inhale, and on the exhale round your spine and drop your head toward the floor (this is the Cat posture). Inhale and lift your head, chest, and tailbone toward the ceiling as you arch your back for Cow.
That’s 1 rep. Continue performing reps for 30 to 60 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your spine and possibly your glutes and shoulders as well. To round your spine even more in Cat position, press into the floor with your hands and knees.
Get into tabletop position with your wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Walk your arms forward and bring your chin to the floor while keeping your butt lifted above your knees. Your arms should be stretched out in front and your armpits lifted off the floor. You should feel a stretch in your armpits, across the front of your chest, and in your core.
Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. If it hurts to rest your chin on the floor, rest your forehead instead.
Lunging Hip-Flexor Stretch
Kneel on one knee. Place the opposite foot flat in front of you, front thigh parallel to the floor, ankle underneath your knee. Hold this position or, for a deeper stretch, lean forward, stretching your hip toward the floor (just make sure your knee doesn’t extend over your ankle).
Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more. For an even deeper stretch, reach up with the arm on the same side as the knee on the floor. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. Also, if your grounded knee hurts, put a towel or doubled-over yoga mat under it for extra cushion.
Downward Facing Dog
Start on your hands and knees with your hands stacked under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Spread your hands wide and press your index finger and thumb into your mat. Lift your tailbone and press your butt up and back, drawing your hips toward the ceiling. Straighten your legs as best as you can and press your heels gently toward the floor.
Your head should be relaxed between your arms, facing your knees; your shoulders should be pulled back and down; and your back should be flat. You may feel a stretch in your hamstrings, calves, back, and/or shoulders. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. To help relieve low back tension, bend your knees. Keeping straight knees will work hamstring and glute mobility.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Straighten your legs out as much as you can without locking your knees and let your torso hang down. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine.
Depending on your flexibility, your hands will touch the floor or dangle above floor level. You can hold onto each elbow with the opposite arm or let your arms hang separately. You should feel a stretch in your back and hamstrings. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. If you feel tension in your low back, bend your knees. For a deeper release of tension in the back and hamstrings, place a block underneath your hands and press into it.
Seated Spinal Twist
Sit up straight on your butt with your legs crossed. Make sure you’re not rounding your pelvis. Place your left arm on your right knee and your right arm behind you, fingers on the ground facing away from your body.
Inhale and elongate your spine, then exhale and rotate to the right. Your goal is to look over your right shoulder while also keeping both shoulders relaxed and away from your ears. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch sides and repeat. Take your time to ease into this stretch; don’t yank your spine.