Mini-Workout: Indoor Sports

You'll only need a soccer ball, basketball, or a soft 12" ball to play with these activities.  Try them out the next time your kids or pets need to burn some energy and want to play with you, or you're waiting through the commercials of a sports show.
  • Soccer Bump:  Holding the ball at your chest, bring one knee up and let the ball drop to bump your knee, then catch the ball as your leg returns to the ground.  Bring up the other knee to bump the ball, then lower your leg as you catch the ball again.  Alternate knee bumps 8 times; repeat faster.
    • Harder:  Don't catch the ball, but alternate knees fast enough to keep the ball in the air between knee bumps.  Also take the ball away and jump between knee-ups to increase your heart rate.
    • Focus:  Coordination, Balance, Reflexes
  • Basketball Catch/Shoot:  Holding a ball at your waist, step out to the right side with your right foot and pretend to catch the ball coming at you from the right.  Bring your legs back together, bring the ball back your waist, then reach the ball straight overhead and pretend to shoot it into a net.  Repeat stepping out to the left reaching left to catch the ball, then bring in your legs and shoot the ball overhead, arm high.  Repeat 5 times each side.
    • Harder:  Increase your speed and range/reach to the right and left, then jump in the center as you reach to shoot the ball.  Land softly on soft ankles/knees/hips with your abdominals engaged to absorb the impact of your jumps.
    • Focus:  Tummy/Back, Upper Thighs/Butt, Shoulders.  Range of Motion and Agility (a bit of everything!)
  • Football Shuffle:  You'll need a long hallway or galley kitchen for this cardio drill.  Starting at one end, step out to the side with your left foot and bring your right foot together with the left.  Repeat stepping out-left/in-right until you gain speed.  When you reach the end of your space, return by stepping out on the right, bring the left foot in, shuffling in the opposite direction.  Repeat for one minute, gaining speed on each shuffle.
    • Harder:  Lower your stance (hips and shoulders lower) into a small squat and increase your speed by racing a partner or pet.  Keep the ball away from the direction you are headed, so the ball is under your right arm as you shuffle left, then pass it to your left arm as you shuffle right.
    • Focus:  Improving your circulation and oxygen use, as well as ankle/knee/hip stability.
If you finish all the drills with ease, repeat!

Coming up: Fun Fit Games for TV Watching, Mini-Workout at Your Office, Toys for Fitness
Later this month: Planning Your Resolutions for Success