It’s no secret that fitness is a very important aspect of my life. From a very early age, the overwhelming majority of my waking hours were spent in a gym practicing the sport I love. Of course gymnastics felt like playtime while fitness or conditioning was seen as pure work. This idea of drudgery as a child has turned into one of my favorite daily activities as I’ve gotten older. My fitness routines have changed significantly from my gymnastics days, as they usually do throughout the different seasons of our lives, but I still embrace my gymnastics roots and try to incorporate some of my favorite moves into my daily workouts.
So what does my typical workout routine look like?
A workout does not have to take all day. I like to be able to squeeze in a full body workout very quickly! And because cardio is also important, I do my best to get 30-45 minutes, 4-5 times a week. I love swimming and walking and most of you have heard me go on about my Polar Loop that I adore! It makes me feel good to see how much activity I’m actually getting (even when I wasn’t planning a workout). Typically, I walk in the morning with the kids or hop on the elliptical while they are napping or at school. I tend to keep equipment to a minimum, but I do incorporate 2-3 pound hand weights, a fitness mat, a jump rope, and a steady chair for balance on a few exercises.
Now, if you’re up to it (and I know you are) check out the video below and I’ll take you through a great full body workout!
Get Your Body Moving
Beginning each workout with a short walk or even walking in place swinging your arms, helps get the blood flowing before you begin your workout. Preparing your body for the workout ahead also helps prevent injury during your workout. Often I prefer a sun salutation to begin my workout. This brings me focus and lets me take my mind off the stress of my day. Focus on taking deliberate breaths, loosening your muscles, and clearing your mind. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
Begin in mountain pose, standing straight up with your hands at your chest in a prayer position.
Raise your hands overhead, press hips forward, tighten your glutes, open chest, and inhale.
Forward fold, tail bone up, hands next to feet, exhale.
Right foot back to lunge, press heel of back foot, lengthen spine, inhale.
Bring left foot back to plank position, long spine, and hold breath in.
Drag knees chin and chest to floor in a yoga push up. Exhale.
Push your chest up into cobra position, and inhale.
Lift tailbone to downward dog position. Exhale.
Right foot forward to lunge, inhale.
Left foot forward to forward fold, exhale.
Lengthen spine, reaching out and up, press pelvis forward, opening chest, and inhale.
Exhale and release back to mountain.
Fully engage your core. Start off with a 30 second plank and as time progresses, add an extra 5 seconds each week, until you can do a minute or more.
Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope
Get your heart rate up with jumping jacks or jumping rope, if you have a jump rope available. Do this for 1 minute.
Once you are warm, move into this complete body circuit. Do each exercise for 20 reps. On exercises that are side specific, do 20 for each side.
Lunges with bicep curls (use hand weights)
Squats with overhead press (use hand weights)
Repeat this Circuit 2-3 times.
Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope
Finish your workout strong with one more minute of jumping jacks or jump rope!
By incorporating a circuit workout with cardio and stretching, you are giving yourself a complete body workout with a proper warm up and cool down. Utilizing a workout similar to this one will help you to keep seeing results and keep increasing your strength.
Lastly, while it’s important to get your heart rate up and work your muscles, it is equally important to cool down after your workout with 5-10 minutes of stretching. Consider this part of your workout. You’ll feel great, be less sore the next day and it’s a wonderful way to help prevent injury!
About the Author
Shannon Miller is the most decorated American gymnast in history and is the only female athlete inducted into the U.S. Olympics Hall of Fame – twice! Her tally of five medals at the 1992 Olympics was the most won by a U.S. athlete. At the 1996 Games, she led the “Magnificent Seven” to the U.S. Women’s first ever Team Gold and captured Gold on the Balance Beam for the first time for any American gymnast.
Launching her company Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women in 2010, Shannon is now a highly sought-after motivational speaker and advocate for the health and wellness of women and children. As an Olympian, wife, mother and cancer survivor, Shannon is dedicated to helping women make their health a priority. Her memoir It’s Not About Perfect: Competing For My Country and Fighting For My Life published this week! Please visit www.shannonmiller.com for more info on her upcoming book and other projects.
About the author: Shannon Miller
The most decorated American gymnast in history and is the only female athlete inducted into the U.S. Olympics Hall of Fame - twice! Shannon is now a highly sought-after motivational speaker and advocate for the health and wellness of women and children. As an Olympian, wife, mother, and cancer survivor, Shannon is dedicated to helping women make their health a priority.