Fitness Articles

The Rainy Day Workout

Don't Let the Rain Ruin Your Exercise Plans!

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Don't let the rain ruin your good intentions to exercise! When the weather isn't cooperating, try this simple equipment-free workout circuit to get your heart pumping and your muscles working right from your living room.
  • Length: 5 minutes per full circuit. You can repeat the circuit as many times as you'd like depending on your fitness level and time available. We'd recommend 1-3 times through for beginners.
  • Equipment: A mat (optional) and a chair
  • Type of Workout: Strength training (toning) & cardio intervals
  • Muscles Worked: Glutes, hamstrings, triceps, biceps, abdominals
  • Fitness Level: Beginner to advanced
  • ImpactMedium-impact. May not be suitable for those with knee issues.
See below the graphic for more detailed instructions. Don't forget to Pin this graphic for later!


Strength: Sunshine Squats (Single-Legged Squat)
Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds on each side.
Set Up: Stand behind chair; hold back of chair for balance. Lift right leg off ground, keeping left leg slighly bent. 
Action: Inhale and bend left leg to squat. Hold for 1-3 counts. Exhaling, straighten leg and return to start. 
Repeat this move as many times as you can for 30 seconds on your right leg, and then switch to your left leg for another 30 seconds.
Special Instructions: Don't let knee of squatting leg go past toes. Keep upper body straight and avoid leaning forward as you squat down. 
 

Cardio: Lightning Punches (Front Jabs)
Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, alternating arms.
Set Up: Stand tall with your 
back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, arms at your sides, elbows bent and feet spaced wider than your hips, toes turned outward. Make fists with your hands and bring your hands up in front of your chin as if in "defense." Bend your knees and squat straight down toward the floor without pushing your hips back. 
Action: Breathe deeply as you punch one arm straight out in front of your shoulder (without locking the elbow), then pull that arm back in to the starting position and you punch the 
opposite arm forward. Repeat front jabs, alternating arms with each punch while trying to remain low in your squat. Perform as many punches as you can for 30 seconds.
Special Instructions: Every punch should have two phases: the punch itself and the retraction, where you pull the arm back down with as much effort as you took to punch upward. Try to remain relaxed in your shoulders. Punch with greater force, squat lower and/or speed to increase your overall intensity.
 
Strength: Blooming Flowers (Triceps Dips)
Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds.
Set Up: Sit tall on the edge of a sturdy chair or step and wrap your fingertips over the front edge. Place feet on the floor in front of you with knees bent. Lift hips and butt up and slightly forward.
Action: 
Bend elbows about 90 degrees and lower hips toward the floor. (If you feel pain in the shoulders, your elbows are bent too much). Press up until elbows are straight, but not locked. Perform as many dips as possible in 30 seconds.
 
Cardio: Raindrop Runs (High Knee Jog in Place)
Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, alternating legs.
Set Up: Start in a standing position, core engaged.
Action: Alternate hopping from one leg to the other, bringing your knees up as high as you can to your chest. Maintain a steady pace for 30 seconds.

 
Strength: Puddle Jumpers (Lateral Lunges)
Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, alternating legs.
Set Up: Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips. 
Action: Inhaling, step out to the right and shift your body weight over your right leg, squatting to a 90 degree angle at the right knee. Try to sit down with your butt, keeping your back as upright as possible. Exhale and push off and bring your right leg back to center to complete one rep. Alternate lunging with each leg at a steady pace for 30 seconds.
Special Instructions: Keep your weight on your heels and make sure your knees don't go over the plane of your toes. Hold your arms out in front of you to help with balance.

Cardio: Cloud-Kickers (Front Kicks)
For each side, do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds
Set Up: Stand tall with your back straight, abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, arms at your sides, elbows bent and feet hip-width apart. Make fists with your hands and bring your hands up in front of your chin as if in "defense." Keep arms up at all times. 
Action: Breathe deeply, shifting your weight into your right foot to prepare to kick your left leg. A proper kick should string together four phases: 1) Lift your left knee toward the ceiling. 2) Extend your left knee to straighten your leg (foot flexed). 3) Bend your knee again. 4) Return your foot to the floor. Repeat front kicks on this leg OR alternate legs after each kick (not pictured). Repeat this move on your right leg for 30 seconds, touching your foot to the ground between each rep. Then, switch to your left leg for another 30 seconds. 
Special Instructions: Keep your abs engaged, the knee of your standing leg slightly bent, and find a focal point in front of you to aid in balancing. Try to avoid leaning back as your kick to the front. Make sure your knee does not lock when you extend your leg. Kick lower to the floor to decrease intensity or higher to increase intensity. Slow down or speed up depending on your fitness level.

Rainbow Raises (Glute Bridges)
Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds
Set Up: Lie with arms at sides, feet on floor, knees bent. Press into heels. 
Action: Exhaling, slowly lift hips off of floor toward ceiling, squeezing the glutes. Inhale and return to starting position. Complete as many bridges as possible in 30 seconds.
Special Instructions: Squeeze glutes through entire rep. Try not to let butt touch ground when lowering between reps.
 
Thunder Twists (Bicycle Crunches)
Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, alternating sides.
Set Up: Begin by lying on your back, placing your hands behind your ears. Do not put your hands clasped behind your head. Lift your legs in the air and bend your knees so that your legs form a 90 degree angle. 
Action: Move your legs in a bicycle motion. When your left knee is closer to your body, reach your right elbow to it. When your right knee is closer to your body, reach your left elbow to it. Continue alternating sides at a steady pace for 30 seconds.
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About The Author

Melinda Hershey Melinda Hershey
Melinda has a bachelorís degree in health promotion and education and is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer. Before working as an editor for SparkPeople, she developed and taught health programs for several non-profit organizations. She enjoys writing, interval training, yoga, and cooking with friends.

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