Housework doesn’t just make your home look great, it can have a fabulous aesthetic effect on your body, too. Vigorous cleaning chores such as hoovering, dusting and mopping are in fact a whole body workout – where do you think Mr Muscle got his name?!
Now we’re not saying having a clean up after dinner means you can forgo the gym completely, but it is a great way to supplement your regular workouts whilst simultaneously ticking the chores off your list – effectively, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone and, in this age of time constraints, that’s never a bad thing…
Here’s our guide to making those cleaning muscles work for you:
Biceps: For bulging biceps (and sparkling kitchen tops) work extra hard and fast when scrubbing the surfaces. Use quick circular motions to realty get into the bicep muscle and don’t be surprised if you start to feel the burn. Who needs endless curls?!
Abs: Every woman wants toned tanned abs to flaunt on the beach, and often crunches and sit-ups a couple of times a week just won’t cut it. Incorporate your ab work into your cleaning chores and you’ll be engaging them for long periods of time without even noticing; try tensing your entire core whilst running the vac around, or reaching up to dust a top shelf – this also aids flexibility – bonus!
Quads: Work your quads and legs by running up and down the stairs and from room to room whilst cleaning. One tip is to leave all the cleaning products upstairs – that way you’re forced to run up and down to get them one by one; this is a great cardio workout for your heart whilst working your leg muscles simultaneously.
Calves: Calves are a muscle that are often forgotten and neglected; why not show them some love by doing a simple set of calf raises next time you’re washing dishes? Boasting strong calves is likely to improve your strength and stamina in sport – especially sprinting and athletics.
Glutes: The first rule of health and safety is to bend your knees when lifting, so drop it like a squat and protect your back when lifting heavy laundry baskets.
When sorting through dirty clothes for the wash, you could even hold the squat position or pulse it, taking care to keep your back straight and bum pushed backwards as if you’re sitting on a chair. Another tip is to keep the laundry basket on the floor when you’re ironing (rather than on a raised surface like a table). That way you’ll constantly have to bend and stretch to reach the clothes.
Biceps/triceps: If you’re having an all-out spring clean you’ll probably want to leave no stone unturned and no surface uncleaned; this will mean getting yourself some furniture polish and working up a sweat! Use a wax polish in a tin rather than a spray – you’ll need to rub much harder to get a nice shine on your furniture.
Filip, owner of cleaning company Busy Clean says ‘the average British woman spends more than 16 hours a week cleaning her home according to a recent survey done by the discovery channel – that’s the equivalent of 2 hours and 23 minutes a day!’
As evidenced above, housework is a great way to burn calories and work different muscle groups, and you’re guaranteed a good workout as long as you’re putting in sufficient effort and not just going through the motions.
Don’t fancy Zumba tonight? No problem. Swap your sweat bands for rubber gloves and you’ll get just as good, if not a better workout, without even having to leave the house.
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