Today’s guest post comes to you from Ashlee Cummins, one of the gorgeous and inspiring women I have the pleasure of coaching. Ashlee is a Personal Trainer with years of experience and is also on her way to be certified as a Health Coach. Ashlee has such a special message to share with the world; that exercise can be a mindful, enjoyable, blissful experience that allows us to reconnect with our physical selves and nourish our body, mind and soul.

I love the way Ashlee incorporates moments of mindfulness and presence into her workouts and they are always filled with love. For someone like me, who is a recovering gym-junkie, it’s truly wonderful to approach exercise from such a gentle place, yet still reap some incredible benefits. My abs were killing after this particular one! Go get your beautiful body moving and give this awesome workout a crack!

Exercise

When my beautiful Coach and dear friend Claire asked me to write her up a program I knew the one I just HAD to share!

I LOVE this program! Its mixture of intense cardio and body weight exercises really allow me to focus on catching and calming my breath during the workout, so when there are the bursts of intense cardio exercises, I can give it my all. Another reason why I LOVE this program is because you can do it ANYWHERE, ANYTIME – the gym, your lounge room, backyard or park; just use your imagination.

Now what shall I name this? How’s about…

The Anywhere Anytime Body Delight Program

WARM UP!

Warm up for about 5 minutes – this can be whatever you like. Really check in with your body and see where you are tight or are lacking range of movement.

For you Yogis out there, I like to perform a couple of Sun Salutations, as I find this continues to warm my body and loosen me up. It also wakes up my core and helps me to become centred and focused.

However if you need a little more guidance here’s a great way to warm the body –

  • If you are at a park/oval/outside, then jog around for 3 minutes
  • If you are at home and don’t have a lot of space, either jog up and down the length of your hallway OR the length of your backyard for 3 minutes

After you have jogged for 3 minutes perform the following moves twice through:

  1. x 10 Squats
  2. x 10 Push Ups
  3. Walking lunges: pick a distance you wish to travel and lunge all the way up and back to where you started. (If at home the length of your hallway will probably be perfect; if it’s small then walk up and back a couple of times).

OK, WARM UP IS DONE… CIRCUIT TIME!

Perform each of the below moves as many times as you can in the time allocated. Try and only rest for 10-15 secs before moving on to the next move. Some moves you’ll need a longer break; others not as long – just listen to your body. Try and perform 3 rounds of this circuit resting for a couple of minutes in between each round.

Oh AND in regards to your breathing – just keep reminding yourself to breathe throughout each exercise, rather than worrying if you are breathing right or not.

1. 30 sec Jump Jacks:

Different to star jumps. Start with your feet together, jump wide (heels to the floor with lots of knee bend) and jump feet back together. Reach arms overhead, as you jump your feet wide to really work the upper body and burn more calories. Think Les Mills Body Attack.

2. 30 sec Push Up:

Come down to the ground and set up your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and set your knees up under your hips. Lean your body forward, until you feel your belly tighten (this is your core activating). Lower your body between your arms, as low as you can, then push yourself back up (be sure to lower your hips with you, rather than leaving your bum up in the air).

ADVANCED – Set up is the same, except that you lift your knees off the floor and perform the movement. Beginners and advanced – look just out in front of your hands, rather than down at the floor (this will protect your neck and keep your neck in line with your spine).

3. 30 sec Hover:

Place your elbows on the ground, directly under shoulders. Be sure your knees and feet are hip distance apart. You can have your Knees either on the ground or off. Keep your butt low. Try not to look back at your toes – look just over your hands. Avoid sinking onto your shoulders or lower back – if this happens then simply push into your forearms and squeeze your belly tighter. Tip – pretend cough and your core will activate. Hold this and BREATHE.

4. 30 sec Mid Stance Squats:

Just like a regular squat, however you set your feet just outside hips, toes slightly turned out to activate your butt. Lower down and keep your weight in your heels, then rise tall. A really good tip is to push your knees out towards your little toes throughout the entire movement – it helps to activate the right muscles AND protects your knees.

5. 30 sec Prone Cobra:

Lay face down on your belly with your arms long by your side. Turn your thumbs out and up to activate your triceps. Lift your upper body as high as you can and hold this position. Try lifting your feet off the floor also, but if it’s too much leave them down. Squeeze your butt to protect your back.

6. 30 sec Mountain Climbers:

Come down to the floor on to all fours. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulders, knees under hips. Lift your knees off the floor into a plank position. Keeping your butt low, draw one knee into your chest and back to the starting plank position – alternating knees. Depending on the flexibility in your hip flexors will determine how close you bring your knees in – if your butt lifts then you have come too far. You can focus on the core and slow it down OR you can add cardio into the mix by picking up the pace and skimming your feet across the ground.

7. Walking Lunges:

Just like your warm up!

8. 30 sec Burpees:

Set your feet wide. Bend down and place your hands on the floor (in between your feet).

BEGINNERS – walk one foot back at a time to a plank position, then back in wide and stand tall. ADVANCED – jump both feet back to a plank position, then jump them back in wide and jump up.

So there you have it – 8 moves that will totally ROCK YOUR WORLD!

NOW… STRETCH!

I am a HUGE believer in stretching the body and calming the mind after EVERY session (yes you heard me right). Trust me on this one and just stretch already! You have just spent a good 20-30mins tearing and damaging your muscle fibres, so BE KIND to your body and REWARD it with spending at least 10 minutes of stretching. Google is a great tool, so if you’re wondering what are some good stretches to do, Google it.

Also, use your intuition – we know how to stretch so check in with your body and whatever feels tight, you now want to lengthen it. If you practice Yoga – YAY TO YOU AND I LOVE YOU – think of certain restorative poses that you LOVE doing and throw in a few of those.

If you like yourself some Group Fitness Classes (I know I do), then think back to the end of the class and you’ll have stored in your mind great stretches you can do (I would just recommend holding them for a lot longer than you do in a Group Fitness Class – say at least 30-60 seconds).

GET GRATEFUL!

If you have time, take a few minutes to sit quietly, breathe and allow a gentle smile to creep upon your face. Be grateful for the time you just spent on creating a healthier, fitter you. This is your time to reflect – without judgement – on all you just achieved in your workout. Ask yourself did you surprise yourself with any move? What was your favourite moment? How do you FEEL?

I’d LOVE to hear how you went so please feel free to comment below and if you have any questions for me come on over and LIKE my Facebook page – Mindful Health & Fitness – I’d be honoured to have you.