Nine out of ten dentists recommend Crest toothpaste… and calf raises?… and squats?… and single leg balances? OK, so maybe they don’t believe that a good brushing can lead to better leg fitness, but here at hipfit, we’re all in. The bathroom sink is one of the most practical spots in the house to get some good work in. There’s a counter to hold your balance, great lighting and a really big mirror right in front of you to admire the hard work you’re putting in with this fun micro-workout.
Here are three of our favorite leg exercises that you can perform as you stand at the bathroom sink, brushing your teeth. Improve your balance with single leg forefoot balance while you scrub your pearly whites. Tone your calves with heel raises; we’ll show you how. While you’re at it, finish up with a set of squats before you turn out the lights.
Toothbrush Calf Raises
What’s in it for me: Calf raises play an important role in developing your lower leg muscle tone and overall leg symmetry. Can we agree that well-shaped calf muscles make you look great in your running shorts? How about with that cocktail dress and those new heels? As important as it is to look great, calf raises actually strengthen the muscles that help maintain your skeleton’s proper alignment. Take a couple minutes while you brush your teeth and give this micro-workout a try.
How to do it: The movements in this exercise are subtle. The exercise only engages a small muscle group, so you may think you’re not doing much, but your calves will tell you otherwise. Stand square in front of the mirror with your feet flat on the floor and your tailbone tucked in. You can place one hand on the counter if you need to for balance. Lift your heels off the floor; stand on your tippy toes. Stand tall for two seconds before lowering your heels back to the floor. After several repetitions, you’ll feel your calf muscles stretching comfortably.
Single Leg Forefoot Balance
What’s in it for me: We often take for granted our body’s ability to remain upright and balanced. In fact, achieving and maintaining equilibrium is a complicated beast. Balance is the ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support. Balance is achieved when sight, touch, motion and spacial orientation are synched. When it’s working properly we see clearly, orient to our surroundings, determine movement, make adjustments and maintain stability in varying conditions. When it’s not- we fall over. Practice balance with this simple exercise a little bit each day.
How to do it: Hold the counter with one hand. To increase difficulty, just balance on one or two fingers, or go big, and use no hands at all. Place both feet flat on the floor and align your pelvis with your spine by standing tall. Choose one leg to lift and bend at a 90 degree angle and hold it in that position for up to one minute. If you’re curious about your ability to balance, remove your hand from the counter and test your balance. Lower the leg and repeat the exercise with the other leg. This is not a strength exercise, so you shouldn’t feel fatigue, pain or discomfort.
What’s in it for me: Well, for starters you’ll have really clean teeth. We’re talking about squats here, so it’s a bit of a stretch to think we can make them fun. But we’re hipfit, and we’re up to the challenge. Don’t believe it? Try this. If you’re anything like us, brushing your teeth was just…fun, when you were a kid. Wet, sloppy, bubble-blowing, goopy fun. So, channel your inner-child and play peek-a-boo with yourself in front of the mirror with every repetition. Every time you come up out of the squat and see yourself in the mirror, say “Peekaboo.” Try it, it’s good for a laugh. We guarantee it.
How to do it: Now for the serious stuff. Hold the counter with one hand. Stand with your feet turned slightly outward under your hips. Squeeze your buttocks. Now, slowly bend your knees to lower your trunk just a few inches and keep your feet flat on the floor. Don’t drop too far down; a few inches will do it. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds and slowly, carefully raise back up. Repeat for a set of 5, increasing only when you feel ready.
We’ve had a little fun with this set of exercises but that’s what it’s all about, right? The bathroom sink- as it turns out- is the perfect setting for a leg workout, while brushing your teeth. We showed you how to improve your balance, tone those muscles and perform personal hygiene all at once. Micro-workouts in the bathroom are serious business, even when you call on your inner child to get you through the squats.