Winter warrior workout: A cold weather-proof routine

Are you ready to winter-proof your workout?  Don’t let the weather put a deep freeze on your fitness routine. 

Finding the motivation to start moving is the hardest part of any workout.  Therefore, it is important to tap into what inspires you.  Are you questing to conquer an upcoming race, such as the Broad Street Run? 

Or, did you promise yourself to try a new workout this year?  Whether you are looking to get a leg up on a specific fitness goal, or you simply want to holistically heal seasonal depression, check out this no-equipment-needed, do it anywhere, winter warrior workout that will bring the heat and have you feeling hot, hot, hot.

This interval workout aims to keep your heart rate high by leaving little rest in-between exercises.  It is for this reason that a breathing break has been eliminated and replaced by 30 seconds of high knees.  Burn maximum calories by running your knees up to hip height in order to engage the abdominal and leg muscles.  No lazy legs allowed.  Each of the following exercises will be held for a total of one minute. 

Jack In and Out.  

With feet hip-width apart, lower the body into a deep squat and extend the arms out to the side.  Jump the feet together and simultaneously bring the arms to clap the hands overhead.  See how many repetitions you can pump out in for one minute.

Alternating Hand Plank.  

Lower the body into a forearm plank position.  The shoulders should be aligned above the elbows, and the body should form a straight line from the shoulders to the heels.  Without rocking the hips, push up through the right hand, then through the left until the body is in a standing plank position.  Slowly lower your right arm back into the forearm plank position, followed by the left.  Continue this alternating pattern for one minute.

Balanced Lunge.  

This exercise is complex in that it combines several moves into one.  Begin by stepping back into a lunge.  The front knee is aligned over the ankle, while the back leg’s knee is directly below the hip.  Push through the front foot and bring the rear leg up until the knee is bent at 90 degrees.  Hold this for 10 seconds.  The core muscles must be engaged and activated in order to maintain balance in this stationary, unilateral leg position.  Perform these lunges for one minute.

Tuck Ups.  

Starting in a supine position, extend the arms and legs straight out from the torso.  Squeeze the abdominal muscles as you pull the arms and legs in, and firmly hold the tucked legs for 2 counts.  Release and return to the first phase of this exercise.  Repeat until the timer hits one minute.

When the weather outside is frightful, turn up the heat by being your own motivation. Earn it. 

This article was featured in the Health section of Philly.com