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The RefreshinQ Exercise Dictionary

By Anna Jones, Community Activation Specialist

One great way to add a little exercise to your day is to perform a handful of equipment-free exercise movements. The best part? You can do any of these virtually anywhere for as little or as much time as you have in your day in an endless number of combinations. See what you like. Mix and match. Better yet, do them all!

Here are some of our favorites, with the proper form described:

Air Squats: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. While resting on your heels, squat your butt down so your legs are parallel with the floor, and then drive through your heels to stand back up. Try to keep your chest up and your heels down on the ground.

Alternating Lunges: Step forward and bring your knee almost to the floor and then push off of that forward foot to bring your feet back together again. Switch legs.

Burpee/Squat Thrust: Begin by standing, then drop your body into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet all the way back into a plank position, touch chest all the way to the ground, then immediately return your feet by walking or jumping back in to the squat position. Stand back up, and repeat.

Crunches: Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent hip-width apart, then curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower back down. (Note: be sure you don’t pull on your neck with your hands or draw your elbows in.)

High Knees: This is pretty much running in place trying to get your knees up high, even with your hips. Press off of the bottom of your foot and drive that knee high. Focus on each foot drive and lean slightly back.

Jumping Jacks: Start with your feet together and your arms by your side. Jump off of both feet and land with them wide. At the same time, you are jumping raise your arms over your head and clap them together. Then jump again and bring your body back to the start position.

Mountain Climbers: Start in the pushup position. Push off of your right foot and drive your foot up outside of your right arm. Drive off of that foot again and bring it back down, at the same time you are driving your left foot up to your left arm. Both legs should be moving in opposite directions.

Plank Hold: Start the same way a pushup does. But rather than lowering yourself up and down, you will be holding the top of the pushup for as long as you can, keeping your core engaged the entire time. Think about tucking your belly button up towards your hips. Try not to raise your butt up higher than your body.

Pushups: Start with your toes or your knees on the ground, and your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart. Keeping your body tight and core engaged, lower your body all the way to the ground and then push back up. Keep your hips level with your chest and imagine your body is a board that can’t bend.

Sit-Up. Lie on your back with your arms across your chest or behind your head, then elevate your back until only your buttocks are touching the ground. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower back down. (Note: be sure you don’t pull on your neck with your hands or draw your elbows in.)

Superman: Start by lying flat on the ground on your belly. Raise your arms straight over head. Lift your arms and legs up off of the ground, driving them towards the ceiling using your posterior (back/rear) muscles. Try to hold this position.

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