Moving Day is just a few weeks away. If the most exercise you’ve done lately is 12-oz. curls, it’s not too late to get in shape.
Of course exercising will offer longer lasting benefits than just moving day, but if you want to make moving your stuff into storage a piece of cake, start by training your muscles with these top exercises to prepare for moving day.
You don’t have to join a gym to properly train your muscles. You don’t even have to break a sweat. In fact, all it takes is about 5 minutes.
Great news if you’re already used to doing those 12-oz. curls! You already know how to do arm curls. Take any weighted object in your home. Even if you don’t have dumbbells, you can use a gallon of milk (preferably full, not empty; no cheating!). You can even use rocks from your garden or paperweights or bookends, anything that you can comfortably hold.
Moving your furniture requires repeated contractions of the biceps muscles. So try performing 15-20 repetitions of arm curls to strengthen your biceps. But rather than simply lowering and raising your arms (remember to breathe while doing so!), practice holding the weight mid-lift. This action mimics how your biceps are going to feel while lifting and transferring your furniture into your storage.
You don’t have to lift until your arms feel like jello. But do try and build up to 2-3 sets of 20 repetitions.
Your shoulder muscles also undergo repeated stress while moving. Take the same weights you’re using for the arm curls and when you have recovered from the curls, try placing your arms at a 90-degree angle like a cactus. Press the weights overhead but don’t completely lock out your elbows. Again, work up to 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps with a weight that is challenging at the end.
Learn how to properly pick something off the floor by keeping your back flat and bending your knees. Basically, to properly do a deadlift, stick your booty way out, keep your back flat and your knees wide. Perfect the deadlift and your moving day will be a breeze!
If you want to prevent getting injured from having to move your furniture and other stuff, try strengthening your core with these exercises:
- The Micro-Crunch: Lying down on the floor or on an exercise ball, start with your shoulder blades on the ground but with your head off the ground (or ball). Gently support the back of your neck with clasped hands. Micro crunch at most one inch up and hold for a few seconds as you breathe out. You should feel your core engaged. You might even be shaking. That’s a good thing. It means your core muscles are activated. If you’re doing this correctly, you should only be able to do 10 reps or under. Remember, try not to let your head rest on the ground so that you are continuously activating your core.
- Alternate hip/shoulder extension: You’ve probably seen this exercise before…it’s an oldie but a goodie. Lying face down on the floor, rest your forehead on the top of one of your hands. Your other arm should be straight out at a 45-degree angle. Raise this straight arm and simultaneously raise the opposite-side leg. Repeat 10-15 times on each side. For extra challenge, don’t let your arm or leg touch the ground. Switch sides.
- Leg lifts: Lying face up, place a light object between your feet that you can squeeze, or, if nothing’s available, that’s fine, you can do it without anything. Place your hands palms down under your tailbone area to support yourself. Keeping your legs straight, slowly raise your legs about 6 inches and then hold them for a few seconds. Then, slowly lower them. For added challenge, lower your legs an inch or two off the ground before raising them again. You shouldn’t be able to do very many until you really start feeling it.
Perform these exercises a few times a week and in no time, your core will be strong and ready for moving day!