I always seem to get asked about what people should do on off-days. That is, the days that they do not have a structured trip to the gym planned. My short answer is usually just “rest.” In most cases the people asking these questions are just beginning a new program and have exciting new goals they want to reach as quickly as possible. While noble in their intentions; I feel these are often the folks who end up straying from the path laid out for them.
The path is laid out like it is for a reason. It’s like a recipe. If the recipe calls for 3 eggs, it doesn’t mean 6 eggs followed by an hour of cardio. Again, I understand the intentions but back to recipes, if it’s supposed to be cooked at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, you can’t expect the same result by cooking at 500 for 10 minutes!
But if your personality is one that craves borderline obsessive behavior and you MUST workout everyday, I’ll give you a few options you can do right in the comfort of your own home, or office if you don’t mind getting weird looks! These are four things I would to do daily. And no cardio will not be one of them so if you’re looking for me to give you the answer you ‘want,’ I’ll save you some time! (These are in order too, so if you only have 5 minutes: do the first, if you have 10 minutes: do the first and second, etc.)
1) Roll out your chest, shoulders and piriformis. All it takes is a lacrosse ball or baseball and some floor space and wall space. Spend about 30 seconds on each side, longer if there is considerable pain.
2) Stretch Piriformis and Chest. Hold each stretch for ~30 seconds per side. Two areas that need a little extra stretching in anyone that uses a computer or sits in a car all day.
3) Perform Cook Hip Lifts and Wall Slides. 3 sets of 10 on each exercise. Two muscle groups that always need to get a little stronger or moving a little better.
4) Perform 24-12 Lower Body Complex. (This is not for beginners and probably not best for office use!) This is a more advanced progression for advanced trainees. You will be sweaty after doing 1-3 rounds of this circuit with a minute break between so it’s best save this one for at home or weekend use! The circuit is 24 squats-12 reverse lunges (each leg)-6 split jumps (each leg)-12 squat jumps. No break between exercises on this one, just move from one to the next as quickly and with as good of form as possible. The video I shot for this one ended up being done in the wrong order (shame on me) so here’s a good version I found online from Coach Nick Tumminello up in Baltimore.
Going back to the beginning and a big theme I’ve been stuck on lately. It’s about prioritizing. If you’re pressed for time, just get your 2-3 solid workouts in and rest! If you have extra time and desperately want to do more, then add in these suggestions in the order suggested. Sorry if it’s not the answer you wanted, but it’s definitely the answer you needed.
***Be sure to check out myself and Coastal Performance in the latest feature in the Palm Beach Post’s Step By Step Fitness Blog!