Guest contributor: Healing Lifestyles & Spas

Get your brooms ready, because it’s time to sweep yourself into shape. Here is the plan: choose one of these exercises each day and do it for 5 minutes over a period of 5 days, and get fantastic results.

1. Marching squat – This will give you a burn that you love and a bum to go with it. You take a broom or a mop and stand it up in front of you at arms length. Squat down so that you have a diagonal line from your tailbone to your grip on the top of the broom. You are positioned like the chair pose in yoga, except your feet are shoulder width apart. Pull your ab muscles toward your spine and MAINTAIN your position. Start marching by lifting your feet about two inches off the ground, keeping your starting position stable. If you are a superstar, you can maintain this mini march for 5 minutes, if you are star, do it in 2 sets of 2.5 minutes.

Play your favorite two songs in a row to get through this beautiful, butt-lifting and quad tightening burn!

2. 5 Stage Plank– 1st stage- Get in plank position- your body is parallel to the floor, wrists under shoulders, hips at shoulder level, buttocks tight, neutral spine. Hold for 1 minute. – Rest 10 seconds. 2nd and 3rd stage- Go back to plank and extend right arm forward and left leg back. The foot will be slightly higher than butt level. Hold for 1 minute. Rest 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. 4th stage- Return to plank but this time, contract the abs and bend your knees until they are about 2 inches away from the floor- hold one minute, then rest 10 seconds. Final stage- go to plank on your elbows with, palms facing down and focus on your fingertips. This great routine will work your whole body by lifting just a little more than a finger.

3. Running Biceps  – Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, abs pulled to spine. Hold 3 to 5 pound hand weights at your side with palms facing inward. Begin doing alternating bicep curls, keeping your elbows at the waist being careful not to fully extend your arms. Increase the speed of your curls until you feel like you are sprinting with your arms. Do not let elbows move away from the waist and be careful not to move your shoulders side to side. Do this 5 times for 1 minute each and you arms will be faster than your legs!

4. Lateral leg lifts- Dust off your old broom and put it in front of you standing up vertically. Walk your feet back so that your spine is nearly parallel to the floor. Bend your knees slightly. Lift the right leg out to the side and hold it with your foot parallel to the floor for 2 straight minutes. After the hold pulse it up and down for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Try to maintain the shoulders level and even with the hips, think in geometric angles. Body at 90 degrees, Leg should extend at a range fro 45 to 90 degrees out to the side. This exercise gives a whole new meaning to getting in shape.


5. Dead Bug- Lie on you back with your arms and legs extended toward the ceiling. Hold 3 pound weights in your hands with your palms facing inward. Keeping the arms straight, extend them backwards towards your ears about 8 inches from the floor. Keep legs extended to the ceiling and point the toes and lower the legs about 6 to 8 inches depending on your flexibility. Keep the lower spine in contact with the floor. Hold this position for 5 sets of 1-minute intervals. Your triceps may start burning and your legs may shake, but breathe through it and remember…you are just Five minutes to Fabulous.

Courtesy of Tiffany Rothe, Center 8 Studio in Playa Del Carmen, MX. Photos by Cedra Stokes Photography

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