Small Space, Big Impact: The Yoga Mat Workout
By Lucy D'Aguilar, Fit & Eats
Mar 14, 2018
Not everyone has a lot of space to work with when it comes to exercise, and that’s OK! You either have toys all over the floor or you live in a small studio apartment with limited floor space. If that is you then look no further. All you need is a yoga mat, which you can place anywhere in your home — bathroom, closet or living room, it doesn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong, this workout will still have a BIG impact even if you only have a SMALL space.
Grab Your Mat And Stopwatch And Follow This Plan:
Option 1 – Beginner: 45 seconds work, 30-60 seconds rest. Repeat the circuit three times.
Option 2 – Intermediate: 60 seconds work, 30 seconds rest. Repeat the circuit three to four times.
Option 3 – Advanced: 90 seconds work, 30 seconds rest. Repeat the circuit four times.
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Use These Yoga Mat Exercises:
Jumping side shuffle: Start on one of the long sides of the yoga mat. Jump one foot forward and one foot backward. As you jump to switch feet, add a little side jump. Work your way along the long edge of the yoga mat and back until the time is up.
Forward/backward jumping squat: Start on one of the short sides of the yoga mat and face the opposite side. Take a small jump forward, keeping your feet hip-width apart, and land softly into a squat. Repeat three to four jumps until you get to the opposite side. When you reach the other end of the mat, jump backwards to get to the beginning or turn around and jump forwards back to the beginning.
Walking squat: Stand with your feet as wide as the short side of the yoga mat. Hinge at the hips (stick your bum back) so you are at the bottom of a squat. (This will look different for everyone depending on your range of motion in a wide squat.) Slowly walk forwards keeping your feet as wide as the yoga mat and your hips low to the ground. Turn around and squat walk back.
Inchworm with leg lift: Start on one of the short sides of the yoga mat and face the opposite side. Your feet should be directly under your hips. Bend down to place your hands on the mat (keeping your legs as straight as possible) then walk them out into a high plank position. When you are in a stable plank, lift one leg straight out behind you. Walk your hands back to your feet and stand up straight (or stand up into a low squat). Repeat action using the other leg. If you struggle holding a high plank, drop your knees to the floor before lifting your leg.
Forward/backward lunge: Start in the middle of the yoga mat, facing a short side. Step one foot forward into a lunge position. Step all the way back into another lunge without resting in the middle. (If you are a beginner, you may step in the middle before stepping into the next lunge.) Half way through the timed interval you will switch the lead leg.
Curtsy lunge: Start in the middle of the yoga mat, facing a long side. Step one leg diagonally backwards, behind the stationary leg. If it is the right leg you will step diagonally left, if it is the left leg you will step diagonally right. Once the foot is planted, bend both knees to lower to the ground and curtsy. Stand back up and step back to the beginning. Alternate legs throughout the timed interval.
The great thing about this workout is you can do as much or as little in the timed interval. Pick your pace and do what feels like the right level for you. Whatever level you choose, have fun — and let your kids join in and make it a family event! Fitness shouldn’t be a chore.
If you are pregnant, newly postpartum or have a prolapse/pelvic floor dysfunction, some of these moves will NOT be right for you. Please check with a trained professional or health care provider before entering into a new fitness routine.