In a perfect world, I’d be up at 5am to go for a 12 mile run or other intense workout first thing, after which I take a great post-workout shower, do a full face of makeup, put on a super stylish outfit, read scriptures and pray and meditate and am ready and waiting in the kitchen at 7am with a freshly baked batch of healthy muffins for the kids and hubs.
In reality, most days my soggy-bottomed babies are in my bed at 8:30am, climbing all over my sleep-deprived face and prying my eyelids open asking if they can have leftover ice cream for breakfast. I’m really hoping this scenario sounds familiar to at least some of you…
Because of this, I’ve taken to doing a couple quick exercises in the bathroom to get some blood flow moving before I hop into a warm shower. Sometimes it’s just a few push-ups on the floor and sometimes it’s a whole routine…but it makes me sweat and helps me feel a tiny bit better for staying up too late with Netflix and the sewing machine. Give it a go yourself; I hope this quick workout helps you get moving on those sorts of days!
In my opinion, the best way to start my day is by opening up some blood vessels, raising my body temperature and heart rate and feeling some tired muscles. It just sets me up for success! So any daily routine that includes some exercise right off the bat is a great way to make me more productive.
**Note: Obviously these could be dangerous if done in a wet and slippery shower…make sure the floor is dry and do them before turning on the water! Can you imagine a worse nightmare than having a firetruck full of hot paramedics come to rescue you naked in the shower because you slipped doing squats??
Download and print the printable HERE! Laminate it and stick it right in your bathroom to make it easy to refer to these shower exercises.
I’ve include some exercises that target the upper body as well as the lower body so that you can feel some sore muscles from head to toe! A bonus? You can even do them naked so you don’t have to worry about peeling off sweaty clothes afterwards!
Ladder Sit: I love doing this exercise over my shower seat (I stop just short of sitting down completely) but you can do it even if your shower doesn’t have a seat…just try to get your quads almost at a 90 degree angle. I aim for 8-10 reps.
- Squat a few inches down from standing and hold for 3 seconds (1)
- Lower yourself another few inches and hold for 5 seconds (2)
- Lower your bottom again and hold for 7 seconds (3)
- Squat a bit more until you’re almost sitting on your seat and count to 9 seconds (4)
- Now repeat going back up! Raise your bum back to step (3) and hold for 7 seconds, step (2) and hold for 5, then step (1) and hold for 3.
Stand up completely and repeat!
Vertical Push-Ups: The trick to making these work is the angle of your body compared to the wall. You want to stand far enough back that gravity offers some resistance, but the first few reps should be fairly easy. I stay on the balls of my feet, and hold my hands pressed together on the wall with my thumbs and index fingers forming a diamond shape. Aim for 10-15 reps.
1. With arms held straight, gradually bend your elbows directly out to the side of you and lower your face to the wall.
2. Get your face as close to the wall as you can, then push yourself back into an incline with your elbows straight. Be sure to tighten your core and bum during this exercise. You should feel these incline pushups in your chest and triceps!
Plié Relevé: (pronounced pl-ee-ay re-le-vay) This is one of my favorite fitness hacks from my ballet days. Be sure to keep your toes pointed out to the sides, your bum tucked under and your spine tall and straight. Aim for 15 reps.
1. Standing with your feet about 10 inches apart, raise yourself up onto the balls of your feet, tightening all your leg and butt muscles.
2. Squat down, with your heels still raised, for a deep knee bend. I like to keep one hand on the shower door, but the less you can hold onto, the better the workout!
3. Lower your heels (still in the squat position), and raise back up to a stand.
**You can actually perform this exercise in any order. Sometimes I go right to step 3 from step 1 or do the plié before the relevé. Your choice!
Tricep Dips: This a pretty standard exercise that you’ve probably seen before. My only caution is, you might want to skip it if you have weak wrists. This can also be done on a (closed!) toilet. Try to do 8-10 reps.
1. With your back facing the shower seat, rest the palms of your hands on the edge of the seat and extend your legs out in front of you. Be sure to keep your legs straight so that they don’t take up the slack when your arms get tired!
2. Slowly lower your bottom down towards the floor, bending your elbows straight out behind you. Try to get your triceps to form a 90 degree angle with your forearms. Slowly lift yourself back up and repeat.
** If you haven’t done these in a while, they can be pretty difficult when first starting out! But keep it up and you’ll get better really quickly!
Leg Extensions: Another ballet-inspired move! Keep your standing leg really firm and tight and your hips square, facing the wall. Aim for 10-12 reps each leg.
1. Facing the wall, and holding onto it for support, lift yourself onto the balls of your feet and extend one leg behind you, with your bum and hamstring flexed and your knee bent.
2. Extend your bent leg farther back behind you until your knee is straight; hold for 3-5 seconds.
3. Bring your leg back towards the wall in front of you, with the knee bent and facing forward.
4. Repeat! Don’t forget to switch to the other leg when you’re done.
That’s it! If this was easy for you, then repeat it from the beginning and try to do the entire circuit 3 or 4 times. Depending on how many children are banging down your bathroom door at this point, you may or may not make it.
Lastly, have a little fun and GET DOWN. (Don’t forget to get the cheat sheet here!) Aim to add these (and any other exercises you can come up with) to your daily shower 3 times a week and you’ll see improvement in muscle tone and strength in under a month. If you feel significant muscle soreness after your first couple workouts, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out that lactic acid buildup.
Regular exercise can have a significant effect on our overall health including our immune response, stress level, ability to focus and more. Be sure to try some of these before your next hot shower!