The summer months are coming to a close, but that doesn't mean your workouts should. When you just don't have time to physically go to the gym, it's possible to grab a quick total body routine right at home, and sometimes right where you are, wherever you are. I know I am not original to introduce the water bottle workout, but I might be original to say, "go with a gallon". While the popular recommendation is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water a day, I say, carry a gallon jug with you because then you never have to count water bottles or glasses and you get to thoroughly gauge your intake each day. As long as you drink the gallon throughout the day and not too much all at once, it shouldn't be problematic. If you have concerns, please consult your physician.
According to physical therapist and CEO of Back 2 Health PT in Los Angeles, Dr. Slava Shut, "People fail to strength train often enough and as they get older, their muscles atrophy or decrease in size. Any resistance program, when done with good form, can decrease the amount of muscle lost over time by a significant amount."
So don't skip those strength training days. The other day while I was at the beach, I developed the following program. While you may not do this workout on the beach, you can do it anywhere, all with your gallon of water. If you began drinking your gallon, you will obviously have less weight to lift, and therefore you should simply add on a few more reps. Otherwise, grab a full gallon of water and let's get started:
Each exercise should be done for 15 reps in a superset fashion (one right after the other) for 3 sets.
Squat to Press:
Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip distance apart. Turn your toes out and track your knees in the same direction as your toes. Keep an upright posture with your spine neutral and your belly tight. Hold the water bottle around the middle (or use the little plastic handle). Keep the bottle close to your body through the lift to avoid over-straining your shoulders and back. Move slowly through the range of motion and focus on inhaling as you squat and exhaling as you press. For video demonstration, click HERE.
Alternating Side Lunges:
Start with your feet together. Hold onto the water on the sides at your chest level. Step out with your right foot, keeping your left leg straight. Make sure both feet are facing forward. Also make sure that your right knee tracks directly in alignment with your right ankle. The way to ensure that this happens is to kick your right hip to the side so that the knee follows over the outstretched leg. Don't step out too wide otherwise the knee will collapse inward. Bring the water to the outside of that right hip. Push off your right foot to switch sides. For video demonstration, click HERE.
Iso-Squat Front Press:
Think chair pose from yoga. Bring your big toes and heels together. Connect your knees. Slowly descend down to a ninety-degree angle in your hips and knees. If you have to lean your chest forward to achieve this, then go down as far as you can control without hinging forward through the hips. Once you get to the bottom of the squat, keep your belly tight as you push your arms in front of you with your arms in alignment with your chest muscles. Be sure to keep your ears in alignment with your shoulders while you press forward. Slowly bring the water back to your chest and once you're done with the set, push off the heels and ball mounts of your feet to come back to standing. For video demonstration, click HERE.
Bent Over Lunge Rows:
Find a staggered stance with your right foot forward and your left foot back. Take the water bottle by the plastic handle in your left hand. Place your right forearm on the right thigh as you hinge your weight forward to neutralize your spine. Straighten out the left arm and then bring your left elbow to your side body and squeeze your scapula (shoulder) inward towards the center of your back. Slowly release as you straighten your arm down to the ground again. Repeat and then switch sides. For video demonstration, click HERE.
Single Leg Biceps Curls:
Stand on your left foot and place the water bottle in your left hand, holding the handle. Lift your right foot off the ground to add instability or keep both feet on the ground for a less advanced version. Keep your left arm into your side body to isolate the biceps and as you drive your hand up towards your left shoulder, squeeze your arm into your side. Your opposite arm can go out to the side for balance or be held at your hip. For video demonstration, click HERE.
Supine Alternating Chest Passes:
Think dead-bug for this posture leading into the exercise. So feet up and core engaged. You engage your core by drawing your belly button down into the ground and bracing the muscles in your mid-section. Then, bring the bottle of water into one hand. Slowly chest fly the arm into the center-line of your body and allow the opposite arm to shadow the movement to receive the water bottle. Then hand the bottle over to the other hand. Lower the bottle slowly to the ground and alternate between sides. At no point should your lower back be hurting. If it does, simply drop the feet to the ground, but continue with abdominal bracing. For video demonstration, click HERE.
Photo and Video Credits: Michelle Hansen