Missed your workout today, but not your favorite tv show?
So you’re at home watching The Housewives of New Jersey, or Mad Men, or Thirty Rock, or whatevers, and commercial break hits. Instead of hitting fast forward on your DVR, challenge yourself to my commercial break workout. Quick, easy, nothing is missed but some couch potato intermission drool.
The average commercial is approximately 30seconds. Most of these challenges require about 2 -4 commercials, although you could go the entire commercial break if you choose at some point. At this rate you could be getting in 5 minutes of exercise a day. Enough to make a difference in a week. You’d be surprised! Take the challenge!
BREAK #1. EXTENSION with Arm Push (Adapted from Somatic Patterning by Mary Ann Foster)
The arm push will strengthen rounded shoulders. Lying on your belly. Put both arms to the sides and bend your elbows. Palms are flat and all 5 fingers are touch floor! Widen and sink across the front of your chest. Reach your elbows out to the sides to widen across your shoulders. Keep your neck long by reaching out the top of your head. Slowly press your entire hands and forearms into the floor. Sense the force of the push traveling up your arms, into your back and down your spine Continue to push your arms down and out into the floor and raise your head and chest off the floor. Keep the back of your neck long. Let your chest feel broad, your neck free, and your spine feel long. The shoulder blades should be drawn together behind you. The arms stay straight. Hold for at least two commercials. If you feel pain in your back, walk your hands out in front of you further, or prop your belly with a pillow. If you feel pain in your gluts or legs. Stop.
BREAK #2. FOREARM PLANK CHALLENGE
Nothing fancy about this one. Tried and true. Do not do it on your hands, thinking you are making it harder. On the hands is actually easier for your to avoid your core and to tense your shoulders. The forearm plank is good core stability work. Lengthen in the position. Keep stretching your chin and neck past your fists. Keep your armpits reaching for your hips. Hold at least 2 commercials.
BREAK #3. JUMPING JACK CHALLENGE
You know how to do them. So go for it. How many can you do in a commercial break?
Little tips: Try to keep your neck tension free by reaching through the crown of your head towards the ceiling. Pull your belly button to the spine to help from placing too much tension on the knees.
BREAK #4 BALANCE CHALLENGE: Balancing on one leg and toes
Practice you balance by standing on one foot for one commercial break. Shift to the other foot for the next commercial. And then balance on your toes for the third commercial. You can always extend the time. Keep the thought of lift the spine and your posture in mind as you practice your balance. Let your eyes look up to where the wall and ceiling meet to help keep your neck long.
There you are. Not only did you get your tv time in, but your work out as well. Who knows? Maybe it will catch on and become the party game of every tv show watching party across America. Okay. So I’m dreaming big. You could also challenge your kids or grandchildren as well. No matter what, just have fun with it, perhaps making up your own commercial break workouts. Good Luck!