3 Strength-Building At-Home Workouts From Australia’s Leading Female Weightlifter

DIY home exercise is becoming a daunting reality. But what if you could get all the bone-strengthening exercise you need in just 14 minutes?

By Kiana Elliott

For most people, it’s hard to know where to start! There are so many exercise programs online and everyone is an expert. While we like to think we know it all, doing repetitions incorrectly can have serious impacts on our health and bones, leaving us out of the exercise game for longer.

Since I first started weightlifting at 15, I have explored the adaptability of my body. This year I hope to represent Australia in the women’s 64kg pool at the 2020 Olympics in July. I have also been working with The Bone Health Foundation, based in my hometown of Adelaide. Through working with the team, I have learned about the power of healthy bones in preventing musculoskeletal issues later in life. Regular load-bearing exercise coupled with calcium from our diets and Vitamin D, give our bodies all the tools needed to build and maintain healthy bones.

As we retreat indoors, maintaining this balance will be hard. While you mightn’t be aiming to join me at the Olympics, I have devised three 14-minute bone-loving exercises. The best part it’s free! No equipment, no confusing online program, no credit cards!

Remember to go steady during the ‘work’ periods to start with. If you’re finding the exercise easy you can aim to move faster and increase the intensity of the workout.

Routine #1 – Let’s Get Legless

This routine focuses on the things we don’t use when we are sitting down all day… our legs! Working from the glutes to the pinkie toe, this routine will get your two biggest limbs pumping and help strengthen the femur, fibula and tibia.

Exercise #1 – Alternating lunge

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step forward with your right leg into a lunge, aim for your back knee to gently touch the floor. Keep your torso upright throughout the movement. Step back to the start position. Alternate left and right legs.

60 seconds rest

Exercise #2 – Squat jumps

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

Get those legs FIRING with these burners! Squat with your feet shoulder width apart and jump up as high as you can. I am talking the heights you would go for toilet paper.

60 seconds rest

Exercise #3 – Step Up (like the dance off but better)

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

For this one, you can use a set of stairs or a bench if you have one. The higher the step, the harder this will be. The clue is in the name, all you need to do is step up with one leg and then the other. Be sure to build some speed as you go. 

Routine #2 – Full Body Pump

Sometimes you just need to sweat it out. This full body attack cuts the over-indulgent gym talk and gets back to basics. Proving that all you need for a full body work out is yourself!

Exercise #1 – Push ups 

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

An oldie but definitely a goodie. Push ups target your upper body and core with no equipment necessary. If you haven’t done one in a while, start on your knees on something cushy below them. Be sure that your hands are directly underneath your shoulders. The bend your arms until your nose just above the floor, then rise up. Avoid becoming a turtle and throbbing your neck back and forth.

60 seconds rest

Exercise #2 – Jumping Jacks

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

This high impact exercise is great for building leg strength and balance. Lunge with one leg forward, then jump up high and switch your legs in the air so you land with the other leg forward. Keep going till it starts to burn!

60 seconds rest

Exercise #3 – Rest, then SQUAT 

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

While you might start seated in a chair for this one, don’t get to comfortable. With your feet flat to the floor, stand up with a vertical torso. Try not to get lazy and use momentum by leaning forward to get up. Squat back down until you touch the chair and stand again.

Routine #3 – 14 Minutes of Fun!  

Exercise and movement is meant to be fun! l thrive off the release and relief I get from weightlifting, but I love to sprinkle my training with pops of fun like you’ll see below. When struggling to find motivation, a great way to build up the courage for working out is to practice things you actually like doing! 

Exercise #1 – Thrusters

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

No this is not what you are thinking, well kind of not anyway. Get creative and add a weight to this exercise (think a coffee table book, or two large water bottles). Hold the object high above your head with both hands and then start to squat.

60 seconds rest

Exercise #2 – Burpees

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

Hold your moaning, burpees are the ultimate endorphin booster, especially when you have spent the WHOLE day inside. Start standing. Squat down until you can place your palms on the ground. Shift your weight forward then launch back into a plank. Do a push-up (with knees if needed), then jump back to standing reaching your hands over head. You’ll thank me later.

60 seconds rest

Exercise #3 – My personal favourite – the Skipping Rope  

20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times.

With so much more free time, why not pick up a new hobby? I love skipping, so I have included this in my Funky Time regime. Skipping is a great exercise for bone strengthening and stamina maintenance. Kids love this exercise too.  Instead of skipping you could try running on the spot, mountain climbers, star jumps or anything that gets your heart rate pumping.

So, there you have it! While we might all be locked up in doors, there are still simple, costless ways to sneak some exercise into your isolation.

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