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Toning at Home? Try These Exercises.

Sophia Bernard is a fitness and nutrition coach who, by day, somehow finds the time to also hold down a full-time job as a lawyer. With such a packed schedule, Sophia knows how to optimize your fitness routines (yes, from home!) for the most efficient and effective workout. We asked Sophia to share her recommended exercises for key areas of the body: abs, glutes, arms, and stretches.

ABS

Oh, the abs. We wish it didn’t burn so much to tone them, but a strong core impacts everything in your body: back pain and mobility, improves your balance, and makes you more flexible.

For your at-home core exercise, Sophia says to try: 

BOAT POSE

HOW TO DO IT: Seated on the floor, have your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground with your hands resting beside your hips. With your spine straight, lean back and lift your feet, lifting your shins parallel to the floor. Suck in your tummy to lengthen your lower back, lift and open your chest, and lift your arms to be in line with your shoulders, framing your legs. Balance on your sit bones and keep your back long and straight by engaging your core. As an extra challenge, straighten your legs to turn your body into a V shape. Stay in the pose for five breaths, and repeat three times.

Feeling ambitious? Sophia also recommends plank and V-ups for other ab favorites.



GLUTES

Maybe you’re looking to strengthen and tone your glutes for your next TikTok booty pop, or maybe you have hip pain and want to work your glutes to alleviate the pressure…either way, strong glutes support so many day-to-day activities like carrying or holding objects, walking up stairs, and your posture as you sit.

Sophia’s no-equipment glute workout includes:


SQUATS

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. With a strong core (activated belly), bend your knees and lower into a squat. With your torso upright and straight, make sure that your knees do not go past your toes by sticking your butt out. Stand up by putting weight in your heels.
HOW MANY: 12 squats, 3 sets


CURTSY LUNGES

HOW TO DO IT: Start with your feet hip distance apart. Lift your right foot and draw a semi-circle clockwise until it crosses behind your right foot. With your right toe still tucked, clasp your hands together and lunge down, keeping your right knee above the floor. Return to standing and repeat on the other side.
HOW MANY: 8-10 lunges on each side, 3 sets.


WALL SITS

HOW TO DO IT: Find a wall in your home where you can easily sit up against it with room around it for your legs. Place your back flush up against the wall and place your feet shoulder width apart, two feet away from the wall. Engage your core and slide your back down the wall, being your legs until they reach a 90 degree angle. Hold your hands out in front of you at shoulder-level. Make sure to keep your ribs and back against the wall and keep your core on! Your knees should come directly over your ankles, not over them. Hold for 20 seconds.

NOTE: If it is uncomfortable for you to squat to 90 degrees, don’t go down as far, try 45 degrees.

Can’t get enough? Sophia also recommends: single leg hip thrusts.



ARMS

So far we’ve covered abs and glutes, both in the mid and lower area of our body. But we want you to be able to fully flex (pun intended) your fitness self-care practice. A strong upper body can support your heart health and will help you feel strong for the rest of your workout. Using your body as its own resistance, you can do all of these exercises at home and reap the rewards.

Sophia’s favorite arm exercises are:

PUSH UPS
We know. You’ve been doing them since you were in middle school gym class. But there’s a reason: they really work. If you’re not ready to go all-in on a full push up, start with a modification and keep your legs on the floor. Set a goal and as you get stronger, work toward doing a full push-up. For push ups to be effective, you must engage your core so your back doesn’t collapse!
HOW MANY: Start with 1 set of 10 push ups, gradually increasing to 2-3 sets as you get stronger.

CHAIR DIPS

HOW TO DO IT: Grab a sturdy chair from your house, and stand in front of the chair, facing away from it. Sit down on the very edge of the seat with your hands slightly behind your hips, shoulder width apart, on the edge of the seat. With your hands secure on the chair, lift up your butt and walk your feet forward, with your knees still bent. Keep your chest elevated and your head looking straight. With your hands gripping the edge of your seat, slowly lower your body downward. Your elbows should not go past 90 degrees. Raise your body upward by extending your arms, keeping your feet firmly planted and booty off the chair the whole time.
HOW MANY: 3 sets, 6-8 reps


STRETCH IT OUT

Finally, to round out your workout, make sure you add in time for stretching. Stretching helps your recovery after a workout, and long-term helps your flexibility, mobility, and is also just really relaxing.

Incorporate downward dog, cobra, chest and shoulder stretches, and butterfly stretches.

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