Ah, spring. Hibernation ends, the world emerges, and life is in full bloom. Even the golden promise of summer is rearing its head around the corner, and perhaps with it, that itsy-bitsy, teeny, weeny swimsuit you hung up last fall.
Now may be the time that most people are on the hunt for “fast tips and tricks to a bikini-ready bod,” but what if you already let that gym membership lapse?
That’s okay, says fitness expert Sean Miller, otherwise known as the “Travel Trainer on 30A.” Miller’s holistic approach to performance coaching began with both a collegiate and professional soccer career that eventually had his players and friends asking him for advice on staying in shape. What’s evolved since is a mobile personal training business that combines healthy movement with nutrition, mindset, and support. He encourages his clients to ask themselves, “How can I become the most versatile, resilient person that I can be?”
Of course, reaching a goal like that certainly doesn’t happen overnight. But you’ve got to start with the basics.
Here are 5 simple exercises just about anyone can do. The best part? No equipment needed.
Though it sounds fairly easy, squats are often done incorrectly with speed and poor technique. Sean’s advice? Don’t overthink it. Slow it down and use proper form. The simplest way to do it right is a box squat. Act as if you’re sitting in a chair or on top of a box. Activate your glutes and hamstrings and remember to engage your core.
Open your adductors (a.k.a. your inner thighs) by stepping to your side, right and left, and bending the knee you’re stepping with. Keep the toes forward and your opposite leg straight. You can also try pushing your hands forward as you sidestep to open up your back as well.
With daily lives overrun by sitting, texting, and computer-ing, here’s the Travel Trainer’s fix. Begin by placing your hands behind your head and pulling laterally on the fingers to stretch the posterior neck and back muscles. From here, extend the arms and circle them forward and backward. Bring them to a 90-degree angle to activate the rotator cuff muscles, then move one hand down by your pocket and the other towards the sky. Then alternate. Next, crisscross the arms with your hands facing each other, facing the sky, and facing the ground. Finish by bringing the arms down by your side and then as if you’re throwing something over your head to get a full reach. Repeat as needed.
Yes, the push-up. The dreaded push-up. Maintaining wide hands and wide feet will reduce strain to your lower back. Be sure to open your chest as a lot of us have what Sean calls “tech neck,” where our anterior shoulders and chest can become rounded, leading to poor posture.
Engage it all! Core, elbows and toes especially. Keep your elbows at 90 degrees with your palms down on the floor and feet about hip-width apart.
• Look to cover all planes of the body for functional movement that will generate more mobility, flexibility, and improved range of motion.
• Change your tempo for additional benefits.
• There are many variations to all these exercises. The important thing is to keep it simple and have fun with it.
• Breathe! As Sean says, it’s the foundation to everything. Breathe through the exercise or stretch, and for an added bonus, count out loud. (It lets you know you’re breathing.)
• The most important thing, he says? Just show up.