6 Laid-Back Workouts That Are Effective but Don't Leave You Drenched in Sweat
While toning up and maintaining some level of fitness is important to me, so is staying cool in the August heat. In NYC, everyone glistens with perspiration just walking down the street. As a normal human, I'd rather skip the sweaty workout and hole up in my newly air-conditioned apartment. However, as a beauty editor interested in wellness, I know it's best that I move my body at least a little bit.
As such, I reached out to a few fitness experts and asked them to tell me their favorite workout moves that are both effective and sweat-free. This way, I can tone up without having to wash my dry, curly hair as often as I hit the gym (or ruin a blowout if I happen to have one). Below, find six easy-to-master moves that won't require deodorant and a face towel.
1. The booty sculpter
"I highly recommend tai chi, yoga, or pPlates," says Michelle Goldberg, a personal trainer at Equinox. But if you can't catch a class, grab a mini loop band—they're travel-friendly and give you a big burn. "Place the loop band above the knees and come to all fours. Extend one leg back, point the toe and lift until it's slightly lower than hip height. Pulse your leg with control 20 times. Then, bend the knee at 90 degrees, bring the knee to your chest and lift it right back up 10 times, just like a donkey kick. Now, try the fire hydrant. Keep your leg bent under your chest and lift out to the side 20 times (and switch sides). This targets your glutes, hamstrings, and outer thighs—but won't make you sweat."
2. The Demi-Plié
"Try a first position demi-plié with arms moving between first and fifth position," says Lauren Kleban of Lekfit. "This move engages your core, arms, back, glutes, and inner-thighs as you begin to warm-up. Start with your heels together and feet turned out—rotating from your hips with your belly to your spine, chest up, shoulders down, and arms rounded with finger tips directly in front of your navel. As you bend your knees slightly over your toes, lift your arms to your forehead. As you straighten your legs, your arms return to start. Try two sets of 10 reps."
3. The Plank Pendulum
"Start in an upper push-up position, with your hands directly stacked under your shoulders, with your elbows hugging in," explains Athleta brand ambassador and trainer Jen Dapper. "Keep your upper back flat with your legs fully extended and ﬁrm. Lower your abdominals, drawing up, and pull your right knee to the right tricep (while still drawing up abdominals). Then, cross to the left side and return to start position. Repeat for the other side and try for 10 reps on each side. If properly executed you, will build stability in the shoulders and strength in the arms, back, and core."
4. The Sexy Back
"Come to standing with the loop band around your wrists," says Goldberg. "Reach your arms up to the ceiling, keeping tension on the loop band. Squeeze your shoulder blades, drive your arms down and wide while keeping the band in front of your face and ending at chin height. Extend your arms back up to the ceiling while maintaining tension and repeat for 10 reps. This targets your latimus dorsi muscles on the back," Goldberg explains.
5. The Reverse Pushup
"This move works because it is a compound movement that require focus and control, but doesn't necessarily make you sweat," explains celebrity trainer Astrid Swan. "Start in top push-up position with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Lift your hips in the air so you look like an inverted V. Lower your shoulders toward the floor, and before your chin or chest hits the floor, swoop your body forward so that your chest ends up facing forward, your back arched, head up and arms straight—similar to a yoga move. Do your best to reverse the entire move back to starting position. If that is too advanced, lower knees and reset back to push-up position and do 10 reps."
6. The Dead Bug
"Begin on your back with your arms and legs ﬁrm, fully extended to the ceiling," explains Dapper. "Perform a pelvic tilt to press the small of your back ﬂat into the mat, keeping your belly tight. Slowly extend the opposite arm and leg parallel with the ﬂoor, then exhale and return to start position. Repeat this move 10 times and make sure the small of your back is ﬂat on the ﬂoor for the duration of the exercise. It'll strengthen deep abdominal muscles and stabilizes your lower spine to build strength and reduce back pain."