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No gym? No equipment? No excuses. Get back to basics with these simple moves recommended by Equinox personal trainers. This step-by-step workout walks you through each movement, and includes tips for modifying moves and avoiding injury.
Start with feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower your body as if you are going to sit on a chair. Be sure drive your knees out and keep your chest up, and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or lower!). Stand up squeezing your butt and finish in the start position. Make sure your heels keep in contact with the ground throughout the motion.
Take an exaggerated step forward and bend both your front and back knee, until your front knee is bent to 90 degrees and your back knee is an inch from the floor. Make sure to lean forward slightly with your torso, but make sure your back is straight—this ensures maximal glute activity. Repeat as if you are following points on a compass, with your moving leg aiming north, east, south, and west.
Whether tackling a classic push-up on your toes, a modified push-up on your knees, or getting fancy and adding other equipment, the most important thing is to keep your torso completely straight. In the “up” position, squeeze both your glutes and your abs, and make sure your wrists are below your shoulders. As you lower, make sure your elbows don’t flare out too much; either keep them tight into your side (for your triceps) or at a 45-degree angle (for your chest). Inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up, keeping your shoulders engaged and never letting your upper back sag down.
Keeping the same straight back as the pushup, lie with your elbows bent and forearms resting on the floor. Squeeze everything—your abs, glutes and thighs, and keep your upper back active (no sagging!). If you feel your upper or lower back starting to ache, rest, reset and try again.
Lie completely flat on your back. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Then, cross your arms over your chest, squeeze your butt, and raise your butt and back off the floor. Only your head, shoulders and feet should be touching the floor. To prevent overextension, make sure you squeeze your abs at the top. The finish point should be a completely straight line. If this feels too easy, rest your shoulders on the edge of a bed and try the same. Your butt should drop down as far as you can, and finish with your knees at 90 degrees and your body parallel to the floor.