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4 at-home exercises to try in 2017

January 2, 2017

Hi, folks. Happy New Year! Throughout 2016, I shared several posts about finding the right “new” pant size for me and embracing my weight gain. The truth is my metabolism has slowed down and it’s about time I start working out. Living in New York City I consider walking and going up a flight of stairs in the subway as my cardio. But that isn’t enough. So, I met up with fitness instructor, Mabel Marquez from SoulCycle, to teach us a few simple at-home exercises.

Marquez says she’s all about high intensity workouts: squats, lunges, burpees and a lot of planks. Workouts you can do in 15-20 minutes.

Squats for the butt and thighs. Squat down almost like you’re sitting and squeeze the glutes. Your knees go over your toes but not too far forward. Drop it down and come back up. Marquez says she does four sets of 20 a day!

Planks are recommended for the entire body. “Planks are going to get the core, the lovehandles and everything else,” says Marquez. Start with a forward plank, move on over to the side, and place a hand over your head. If you have more experience, you can pulse it up side-to-side and squeeze the core for a stronger workout.

Or, if you’re like me and can’t hold your own body weight, Marquez says you can hold the postion in place with your hand on your hip for 30 seconds at a time.

planks fitness

How about arm fat? “Again, a high intensity and full body workout is key,” says Marquez. “If I could work out my booty, my arms and my core at once… That’s golden! So what I like to do is a burpee.”

Burpees are good for the full body: arms, core, legs and butt. You want to jump straight up and drop down to a plank, push yourself up, jump up – almost like a squat – and bring your arms up again. (This was my least favorite workout but I can see why it works!)

Crunches for the obliques. Just like a regular crunch, lay flat and put your hands behind your head. To activate the side obliques, cross over to the opposite side and reach for your toes with your hand. If you want, you can sit up all the way as you come up. To start off slow, you can come up half way instead. Remember to keep the core tight.

If you saw the video (on top) you may have noticed I barley kept up with Mabel. I asked her what can someone like me do to build upper-body strength. “Definitely the plank,” says Marquez. “If you can do that between two or three times a week, holding it for about 30 seconds to a minute – alternating. Use a timer. Even if takes you about 15 seconds a time. You can pause the timer and jump back in. You will see results and it will help you build strength.”

Many thanks to Mabel Marquez for her tips. You can find Mabel at SoulCycle in Manhattan and Long Island.

What are some of your favorite workouts?

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Mercedes Sanchez

Mercedes Sanchez is an on-air style and beauty expert, spokesperson, and the founder of — a lifestyle blog covering fashion, beauty, and travel. She's offered style and beauty tips on NBC, CBS, BET, HuffPo, Telemundo and Univision. Contact: mercedes[at]bechicmag[dot]com.

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