Fitting in an hour of exercise every day is a challenge, and not always realistic. We’re feeling motivated to start the year off on a healthy note, so we asked our friend Erin O’Leary Stewart the co-founder of DEFINE body & mind for pointers on how to get a quick, effective workout in at home — either before, after, or during work! Follow her 6 simple moves below for a total body workout designed to help create long, lengthened muscles and keep your mind in a positive state throughout the day!

Step 1: Wide Second

Step into a Wide Second position with your toes turned out 45-degrees. Then bend your knees to lower hips right around knee-level. Start to lower hips down an inch and up an inch, accenting the downward movement.  Do 3 sets of 10.

This move strengthens and elongates the quadriceps group and develops long lean thighs and calves. This small movement also works the gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius, hip abductors and adductors.

Step 2: Lunges

Step one foot forward into a lunge. Lower the back knee towards the floor, keeping the front knee in line with the front ankle. Raise arms overhead and engage your core to support a neutral spine. Start to lower hips down an inch and up an inch. Do 10 reps on each leg.

*Challenge: You can alternate between Wide Second and Lunges, performing one set of 10 in Wide Second, then moving into Lunge on the right leg for one set, rotating back to Wide Second for the second set, then Lunge on the left leg, and so forth. The goal is to keep your hips low for a total lower body and cardio blast!

Lunges strengthen and elongate the quadriceps and the gluteal, develops long lean thighs and calves. They help to stabilize the ankle and knee joints and strengthen inner and outer thighs, adding muscle density to the largest muscle group in the body, which increases caloric usage and boots metabolism.

Step 3: Thigh Dancing

Come down to a kneeling position on your mat with your knees apart and toes touching, hovering hips two inches above the heels. Maintaining your position, start to alternate punches with your arms and move to fun music. You can even add some hip shaking and dancing, just be sure to stay off of your heels! Maintain this fun move for a 2-3 minute song.

This exercise works the quadriceps, gluteal muscles and abdominals and gets your heart rate up! The abdominals work to move the hips so be sure to have fun and shake it out.

Side Plank

Step 4: Forearm Plank Series

From your Thigh Dancing exercise come right out onto your forearms, tuck your toes and straighten your legs so your shoulders, hips and heels are in a straight line. Be sure your forearms are parallel to each other, elbows beneath your shoulders.  Hold this position for 3 full breaths, engaging your core at every exhale. Begin to alternate bending right knee, then left knee, picking up the tempo for one set of 10.

Move into your Side Plank by turning your right hand towards your left elbow, rotating over onto your right side plank. Stack your hips and shoulders and raise your left arm towards the sky. Hold this position or begin to lift hips up towards the sky for one set of 10, exhaling on the lift. Rotate back towards both forearms and then repeat on the other side.

This is a comprehensive core and body exercise that strengthens and stabilizes the entire trunk of the body.  All major muscle groups are working, however the following muscles are targeted: Transversus Abdominis, Internal/External Obliques, Rectus Abdominus, Serratus anterior and posterior, Erector Spinae.

Side Foldover

Step 5:  Floor Work Glute Series

Find an All Fours position by placing your wrists directly under shoulders, knees under hips. Lengthen your left leg along the mat, engage your glute to raise your leg, and point the toe. Lift and lower your leg, up toward the ceiling and back to hip level, maintaining a neural spine (no arching). Do 3 sets of 10, then move into your Side Foldover on the same leg.

Find your Side Foldover by placing your right forearm on the mat, turning to the left, stacking your hips (see image above). Left leg extends long to the side, connecting with your gluteus medius and side body. Lift leg towards the sky, then lower to touch the mat 10 times.

Repeat the whole series on the other side.

These exercises strengthen and shape the entire gluteal group and hamstrings, and stabilizes the shoulder girdle. Core strength is enhanced and balance is challenged.

Step 6: Stretch + Breathe!

Be sure to finish by stretching the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. A few chest openers and taking a moment of stillness after getting your heart rate up is the best thing you can do for yourself before moving on with your day. Sit and take three deep breathes in and out with intention; take in everything you just gave yourself so that you can carry on your day as your absolute best self.

Do you have any follow up questions for Erin about how to maximize your at-home workouts? Feel free to drop her a question in the comments below!

Today’s post is by HoH contributor Erin O’Leary Stewart, Co-Owner of DEFINE body & mind. DEFINE body & mind is a contemporary, body-mind concept leading the market in movement, meditation and mindfulness. Erin joined the company in 2011 as co-owner, playing a vital role in expanding the brand with its third location, developing new class programs and products, as well as creating DEFINE foods; a program dedicated to educating on the importance of whole foods health with a product line of next-level snacks, juices and tea. Erin’s background in the movement arts, kinesiology and dance profession with extensive teaching experience in Pilates, barre, dance and fitness classes coupled with a culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, perfectly aligns with her role in and contribution to the success of DEFINE. In 2013, Erin transitioned to work on the implementation of the franchise program, with the ultimate goal of bringing DEFINE to every viable community, and she continues to instruct movement and culinary classes changing the way the world sees health and wellbeing. Consultations are available