What’s the biggest reason that so many of us skip out on a much-needed workout? Time. You might find it impossible to carve out the time not just for exercise, but for the set up, cool down, and shower. So, what if you changed your approach? Here’s one way to use little moments while you’re making food: a kitchen workout.
As far as I’m concerned, a kitchen workout solves two problems — the impatience of waiting for food to be done, and keeping yourself moving in a healthy way. To create the best routine that works for you, we sought the advice of Gina Newton, Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Personal Trainer, and Fresh Starts Registry Expert.
Why are these moves so great for a kitchen workout?
Why did Newton choose the movements that she did? They all engage your core in one way or another. “I have found that women need more core rebuilding and strengthening, especially if they’ve given birth … but even those who have never experienced pregnancy [will benefit],” she says.
And don’t worry — the rest of your body will get a good workout too, even with your core as the focus. “These exercises work other body parts like legs, glutes, and arms, but the core is always my priority,” Newton adds. “[It’s] what allows us to get out of bed every morning …. Core muscles must be strengthened regularly to avoid lower back pain, tight hips, and knee pain, and to keep our posture upright.”
Follow along with Newton’s video below, or check out her explanations on how to do each move!
Move #1: Squats
“Stand with feet hip distance width apart, engage your core. Meaning: Don’t suck your belly in but rather flex your core muscles,” says Newton. “If this feels hard you’re doing it right!
Bend your knees, drop your bum as close to the floor as you can go, and return to standing. Do as many as you can while you’re waiting! You can start with two sets of five [repetitions] and build from there.”
Move #2: Standing or Walking Lunges
“Stand with your feet together, step your right foot forward, bend your front knee to 90 degrees, and push off that foot and bring that right foot back to your left foot. Repeat on your left side.
“You can do one side at a time or alternate feet. For the walking lunge option, simply follow these instructions — but instead of stepping that right foot back to your left, bring your left foot UP to your right foot so you’re lunging across your kitchen.”
Begin with 10 repetitions (reps) total — that’s five on each side — and increase the number of lunges as you get more comfortable with this routine.
Move #3: Tricep Dips on a Kitchen Chair
“Sit on the kitchen chair with your hands gripping either side of the chair. With your knees bent at 90 degrees, slide your bum off the chair. Then, bend at your elbow and straighten your arms [back up].” That counts as one rep.
Complete eight reps. As you continue to do this workout, increase that number to 10, then 15. You’ll be amazed at how far you can get!
Move #4: Push-ups on the Chair or Kitchen Counter
“Face the chair with hands on either side of the seat and your body in a plank (or a 90 degree position). Bend at the elbow, bringing your body towards the seat, and press back up.” That counts as one repetition. Complete 10 reps.
One word of caution: Make sure your chair is pressed up against a wall or the counter so it can’t move. Otherwise, it might move as you push on it at an angle.
If you are a beginner, try performing your push ups using the kitchen counter instead! It’s less of an extreme angle and will help you practice proper form. Also, Newton says that you should always keep your arms slightly bent, and never lock them.
Try out this kitchen workout for yourself! Before you know it, your food will be ready and you’ll feel a little more accomplished (and stronger).