The Carolyn Workout

Parts II & III.

Have you ever just wanted to work out on your own? Maybe the gym is too far a drive, or you hate the music on that new workout DVD you just bought. Or you’ve only got a short amount of time to get in what you want to get in, not what other people want to get in. This happens to me all the time.

Let me welcome you to the Carolyn Workout. It’s  what I do when I don’t want to go anywhere, but I know I still need to workout. I like to customize it each time by giving myself lots of options to make it my own and do what I want without getting bored. So here’s how it works. I got this home workout idea from combining all my different workout experiences including but not limited to the following:

  • Body Pump (wish I could find a class in my area)
  • Body Scuplt
  • Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30
  • Jackie Warner’s Xtreme Timesaver Training

My at-home workout is based on songs which means I can listen to whatever I want. No weird background music over and over like on workout DVDs. Sometimes I choose a set playlist, and other times I turn on Pandora and just work with what plays. The whole concept is sort of like Body Pump in that I focus on one part of the body for a whole song and once that song is over that body part/muscle group is done!

Here’s the order I take at home:

  • Warm Up
  • Squats (Legs 1)
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Lunges (Legs 2)
  • Shoulders
  • Abs
  • Cool down

Firstly, as with any workout, I start with a warm up. For the length of one song I get myself pumped by running in place, jumping jacks, torso twists, and low-weight weight pickups.

Running in place and jumping jacks are self-explanatory. To warm up the torso, I stand with my feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and twist my middle back and forth while keeping my head stationary and looking forward. Low-weight pickups are pretty much just getting a low weight (3lbs) and setting at your feet, then squatting to pick it up.

Since squats are an important part of the next section, let’s go over form. You squat like you’re peeing on a port-o-potty that you don’t want to touch with your cheeks. When you look down, your knees shouldn’t extend over your toes, that puts a lot of strain on your knee joints.

Correct squat form
Correct squat form

So once the first song is over, I work on squats for the length of a song. I vary the counts so it’s not just up-down-up-down-up-down, etc. I go down for three counts, up for one. Or down for two, up for two. Or down in one and up for three. And at least a few times I do an 8 or 16 count pulse at the bottom of the squat. In that, I’m never really getting out of the squat and totally burning up my legs. It kills when you do it, but feels great afterward. Squat as many times as you can, in as many counts as you can, in that song.

For chest, I do a normal chest-press or a chest fly. You can do both of these on a bench/table or just lying on the ground.

Chest press
Chest fly

Next is the back. I do a song’s worth of wide rows and renegade rows. It’s important not to round your back in these or your lower back will take all the strain. In the renegades, try resist the urge to twist your body as you lift each arm so that it’s all in the back and not in the waist/knees.

Wide row
Renegade rows

Stay tuned for Part II of the Carolyn Workout, when I tell you what I do for the rest of my “at home” workout. Or you can just look up moves for each of the body parts listed above and figure out your own at-home workout! And then name it after yourself.

Disclaimer: This is my personal workout that I use for myself. It is not meant to serve as a recommendation for anyone. Please consult your doctor before starting any exercise regimen. I suggest you try group exercise or a personal trainer before you try to work out at home so you can get instruction on proper form to avoid injury.

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