Backpack Swing- Take a backpack and fill it with books. (this is nice because you can add or take out books based on your needs). Stand holding bag in front of you with straight arms. Let the bag swing down between your legs and behind you a bit. Bend the knees naturally. Swing the bag forward and up, keeping arms straight until bag is overhead. Play with where you hold the bag to make sure you have control of it, especially when overhead. Let momentum happen. This is a fantastic full-body warm-up. *Watch for ceiling fans!
· Milk Jug Bent Over Row- A full gallon milk bottle weighs about 8 pounds. Fill it to make it the weight you desire. Hold in one hand (or you can use 2 containers, one in each hand). Bend at the waist to about 90 degrees and slightly bend the knees. Let arms hang straight down. Pull your elbow(s) up, pulling the jug towards your chest, as if you were starting a lawn mower. This is a great back and bicep exercise! *I suggest using containers with a screw on cap rather than the kind that snap on. Don't ask me how I discovered this!
· Dog Food Squats- Grab a bag of dog food. Hug it close to you. Keeping your back as straight as possible (think "chest up"), bend the knees to about 90 degrees and stand back up. You are working quads (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and glutes (butt), as well as abdominals! *Beware of dog!
· Kid Press- Really! If you have a young child, lie on your back while you are holding them on your chest. Press them up until your arms are straight and still over chest. They will LOVE this! If you don't have access to a child, push-ups will do fine! Great for chest and triceps (back of arms). *You may want to use a spotter or at least do it over a soft run or on a couch just in case!
· Kitty Litter Carry- Bag or bucket, scoop-able or not, they all work! If it's in a bag, hug it like the dog food; if it's a bucket, hold it from the handle. Now, simply, walk! Go as long as you can carrying the litter. You can do it inside in a hallway, back and forth, or outside. Great for legs, shoulders, biceps, back, and muscular endurance. *Be prepared to explain rationale to neighbors!
· Laundry Detergent Curls- Hold a box or bottle of laundry detergent and curl it like you would a dumbbell. Arms down straight and by your sides. Bend elbow to brink soap towards same shoulder. Working biceps. *Item can also be used for the "clean and jerk". J
· Couch Dips- Sit on the edge of the couch with your hands face down on the couch next to you. Slide forward so that your butt is hanging over the edge and you are supported only by your hands. Bend elbows to lower butt towards floor. Push back up and repeat! Great exercise for triceps! *Do it doing commercials.
· Overhead Rock Press- Find a rock or large stone outside (or 2); ones that you can hold in one hand. Hold the rock(s) by your shoulders and press them straight up overhead. Lower and repeat! This exercise works the shoulders and triceps. *Make sure rock is not too heavy as you could strain your back!
· Chair Hamstring Raise- Lie on your back with your heels on a chair that's in front of you. Knees and hips are bent at 90 degrees. Pushing down through your heels, raise your hips up towards the ceiling. Pause at the top and lower. Great for hamstrings and low back. *Beware of dog!
· Stair Calf Raise- Stand on the edge of a step so that your heels are hanging off (on the balls of your feet). Let your heels drop below horizontal and raise up as high as you can onto your toes. Great calf work! *May be done one leg at a time.
· Couch Cushion Crunch- Put a couch cushion on the floor. Lie on your back on the cushion with your knees bent so that your feet, butt and low back are on the cushion, but your upper back and shoulders are on the floor. Cross your arms across your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off of the floor. Pause, lower and repeat. For abs of steel! *Put cushion back on couch.