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Workout With A Pillow

by Sárka-Jonae Miller
See more articles by Sárka-Jonae Miller

(The Best Years in Life) Increase your core strength, add difficulty, and improve your balance in the comfort of your home using just a pillow. Try this three-move routine for a total-body workout. All you need is a little space and a pillow or two, making this the perfect routine to try in your bedroom or hotel room.

Pillow Chop with Squat

Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart. Hold the pillow above your head, with one hand on each side of it. To complete the move, drop into a squat as you swing the pillow down and to your right. At the end of the move, you should be in full squat position with the pillow beside your right hip. Reverse the move and return to the starting position by swinging the pillow back up above your head as you straighten out of the squat position.

Repeat the move, this time swinging the pillow to your left hip as you complete the squat. Continue the move, alternating sides with each chop. Count one repetition when each time you chop and aim for 10 to 20.

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Arm & Leg Clock

This move focuses on balance, which works your core. Begin by standing on your pillow and tighten your abs. Keep your abs contracted throughout the entire move. Shift your weight to stand on your left leg, with your right leg in front of you at least an inch off the floor, and your right arm extended towards the ceiling. This is the 12 o’clock position.

 

Next, move your right leg out to the side as you drop your right arm to shoulder height pointing at the wall for 3 o’clock. Finally, sweep your right leg behind you and drop your right arm to your side, making it 6 o’clock. Repeat on the left side. Do the same number of reps on each side. Work up to 10.

Pillow Crunches

Performed like a traditional crunch, this move increases difficulty and range of motion with the use of a pillow. Begin lying flat on your back with your pillow under the small of your back. Place your hands behind your neck for stability, and contract your abs as you crunch forward. Hold the position at the top of the move for a few seconds before lowering yourself back into the starting position.

You can advance this move by folding your pillow in half or adding additional pillows. Doing so increases your range of motion and adds even more of a stability challenge, both of which make your muscles work even harder. Depending on your strength, aim for 10 to 20 reps.

This workout will likely tire you out with two to three sets. But never rely on one routine for too long. Most exercises that can be done with a Bosu Ball or similar gym device can be done with a pillow instead, so experiment with some of those moves and keep shocking your body. Just make sure you get the okay from a doctor before beginning any new routine.


 

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See also:

Anaerobic Cardio Workout

Having a Ball with a Bosu Series – Cardio Workout

Upper Body Kettle Bell Workout - Beginner/Intermediate

References:

http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2014/10/cross-training/best-abs-ever-8-exercises_31441/8
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ss/slideshow-off-balance-core-moves
http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/bosu-ball-crunch

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About the Author

Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

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