At Barefoot Junkie we don’t want you to lose your exercise focus over the summer so we’ve put together a bodyweight only workout that you can do at home or while you’re on holiday by the pool.
This workout is perfect for barefoot shoes too as the exercises focus heavily on balance, agility and using supporting muscles like your glutes (in your bum) and your core.
Watch the video below and read the notes so you know what you will need to do in order to do each exercise safely and effectively. We’ve given you a few options too so you can make this workout more or less challenging.
How to do the workout
There are five exercises in this workout (one for each finger). You can put the exercises together like this:
- Do each exercise for 20 seconds between 4 and 6 times with a 10 second rest in between. Make sure you finish all rounds of one exercise before moving on to the next one.
- Make the workout harder by increasing your time from 20 to 30 seconds. So your intervals would be 30/10 x6.
- Try adding in 5 to 10 press ups in between each different exercise.
- Change the order of the exercises. For example Hip Bridge, Hand Reach, Squat, Ice Skater, Mountain Climber
How to do each exercise
What are they good for? This one helps you to activate the muscles in your bum (gluteus maximus). If you sit down a lot, these muscles can become lazy so this is a perfect way to start. With your glute muscles fired up they are more likely to work better in the more complex exercises to follow.
How to do them. Start with your feet and back flat on the floor and your knees bent. Your heels should be close enough to your bum so you can reach them with your fingers.
Lift your hips high off the floor by squeezing tour glute muscles as hard as you can. Then interlace your fingers underneath, push your chest up and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Make sure you don’t arch your back.
Think about how this feels at your feet too. If you are pushing equally through your whole foot your knees will remain above your ankles. This will help you to activate your glutes.
If you feel this exercise in your hamstrings try pushing your bum a little closer to your feet.
The harder version uses your hands on the floor behind you. Make sure you point your fingers away from you and, again, move your hips closer to your knees if you feel this in your hamstrings more than your bum.
What are they good for? This exercise encourages you to push yourself off the floor with your glutes but this time you are using each muscle on its own (rather than all your bum together). At the same time you’ll be stretching the muscles on the inside of the opposite thigh and adding a slight twist to your torso which will start to fire up the muscles in your core.
How to do them. Step out to the side bending one leg and keeping the other straight.
Then reach down towards the floor with the opposite hand towards the foot on your bent leg.
This exercise is more about the bend in your knee than reaching for the floor so get your hips as low as possible. The more you bend the harder your glutes will have to work in order to push you back up. However if you lean forwards too much in order to reach the floor you are more likely to feel this in your lower back.
You can make this exercise a little more aerobic by adding in a jump as you move from one leg to the other.
What are they good for? This exercise is much harder than it looks. It teaches your core to do exactly what it was designed for, stabilising your spine by making you unstable. Your glutes (already nice and warm from the previous exercises) will come in handy here to help keep your hips still.
How to do them. Start facing the floor in a high plank position with your feet wider than your hips and your hands close together. So your limbs form a tripod. Make sure your body is straight from the back of your shoulders to your heels. A good way to check this is with your hands. If they are higher than your shoulders then your bum will be up in the air.
Your toes should be bent too – much easier to do in a pair of Vibram FiveFingers.
Slowly and without moving your hips take one hand off the floor and around to the small of your back, put it back and then repeat with the other hand.
You will need to do all of this without moving your body or twisting your hips. Only your arms should move. If you feel your hips are moving try squeezing your glute muscles as you take one hand off the floor. Your left glute should activate and you lift your left hand and vice versa.
If your hips are still moving you can try taking your feet further apart and slow down your pace. The slower you are the more time you will spend on one hand and the more work your core will have to do.
What are they good for? These are the daddy of functional exercises. Every time you sit down and stand up, you’re squatting. Learning to do this effectively will help protect your back. You’ll be working your thighs here (quads) and core but your glutes too. Probably more than you realise.
How to do them. A full squat is actually lower than knee height. In fact it’s all the way to the ground. However many of us will find this very hard to do because our hamstrings have grown shorter though sitting in chairs.
So get your bum as low as you can while maintaining a straight back. Then squeeze your bum hard to push you back up straight. Make your feet are just beyond hip width apart and keep them on the floor.
Pushing every part of your feet into the floor as you straighten up will help keep you stable, stop your knees from rolling in and help you activate your glutes. This is where having a pair of Vibram FiveFingers on your feet can really come in handy.
Make sure you push through your glutes as you come back up – all the exercises in this workout will use your glutes so by this stage they should be super strong.
What are they good for? This a great, aerobic burst at the end of your workout that uses all of the muscles you’ve fired up through the whole workout. So your shoulders, core, glutes and thighs will all be fired up here.
How to do them. Start in a high plank – hands under your shoulders. With feet at hip distance apart. Start with one leg bent so you are on your toes with your knee as close to your arm as possible without rounding your back. Remember your bum should not be high in the air.
Now Jump away from the floor with your feet and swap the position of your feet mid air so the other leg is bent with your knee close to your arm and the other is straight.
Finally as you land, engage your core to prevent your back from arching as you land.
We hope you enjoy giving this workout a go. Please let us know how you get on. You’ll find this workout will feel much better in a pair of Vibram FiveFingers like the KSO-Evo’s Alison is wearing in our video. Good luck!