By Nelson Morales TPI-Fitness, CAFS, A.C.E.-P.T.
It’s that time of year again: The kids are heading back to school! If you’re a parent, then time works in two ways for you. You’re either getting back some workout time, or you’re now even more creatively trying to find that extra time to devote to yourself. Not a parent? Then no worries. Either way, this is a creative workout that will help with some well-needed posture fixes before or after a long day of work. I even suggest you go grab the kids and make this workout a family affair.
Tools Needed: Your body, a phone for a timer, and a backpack filled with some books for added resistance.
Backpack Plank Pull-through:
First, let’s set that phone timer for 20 seconds. Get on all fours on the floor with the backpack laying right below your left or right hand. With knees still in contact with the floor, slightly bring your hips forward, shifting your weight toward your hands. Grab the bag with the hand opposite to it and pull it directly under your body to the opposite side. Repeat this rhythm both ways for the full 20 seconds. Take a 10-second break and repeat for 8 cycles. Want to take it up a notch? Start with level 2 by extending one leg out for a more challenging base of support. Still not challenging enough? Extend both legs in a full push-up position and give the exercise a go.
Take a shoulder-distance-apart stance with knees slightly bent and hips back. Place the backpack between your feet and a little behind. With both hands, grab the handle. Pretend your arms are numb and motionless. With the hips, thrust the bag as high as possible and let gravity return it down to starting position. Repeat for 20 seconds as quickly as possible but with proper form. Take it up to level 2 for an increased challenge. Use only one arm on the backpack handle and switch arms each cycle.
Row, Row, Row Your Backpack
The number one issue with having a backpack is that shoulders tend to round over to compensate for the weight. Here’s a change to reverse the process. Take a shoulder-width stance, body gingerly bent over. With backpack set at your midline, grab it with one hand at the shoulder strap. Row the bag to one side and then return it back to the starting position. Now, with the opposite hand, grab the other shoulder strap and row to the new side. Challenge needed? Then, for level 2, grab two backpacks and row both at the same time. Remember, exercise time is 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, repeat for 8 cycles.
School’s in session!!! Time to get the backpack and books, find yourself 15 minutes of extra time, and get working on that posture-restoring workout. Trust the process, and the kids will be thanking you later. Consider it “fitness homework,” if you will.