Kitchen Exercises: 8 Ways to Keep Fit While You Cook Slideshow

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Burn calories, not dinner
Stove Squat

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Counter-Top Push Ups

Counter-Top Push Ups

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Due to the mysterious stains that exist on many kitchen floors, doing push-ups on them isn’t very appealing. A more convenient and cleaner workout option is the counter-top push up, which hits a variety of muscle groups including the triceps, chest, and upper back. To do the exercise properly, face the countertop and place hands on the edge, around shoulder-width apart. Next, step your feet backward and lift your heels up so your body is in a plank position. Slowly lower your chest toward the counter, keeping your forearms parallel to each other. Press your body back to the starting position and repeat.

Click here for 11 ways to clean your kitchen.

Stove Squats

Stove Squats

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There are few greater joys than watching a pale, lifeless pile of dough evolve into a golden-brown loaf of bread, but burn some calories and work those quads as you check the transformation. To do a proper stove squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, interlace your fingers behind your head, and keep your elbows wide and chest high. Lower into the squat position, bending your knees to as close to a 90-degree angle as possible. Rise back up and repeat.  

Frying Pan Lateral Raises

Frying Pan Lateral Raises

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In the kitchen, frying pans are the perfect substitute for dumb bells. Grab your heaviest pan — anything made of cast iron will do just fine — and hold it at your side with your palm facing your leg. Slowly raise the pan outward until your arm is aligned with your shoulder. To hit your lateral deltoids, try lifting the frying pan out in front of you instead. Switch hands after each set.

Click here for 10 tools for a well-stocked kitchen.

Kitchen Lunges

Kitchen Lunges

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Even without weights, these kitchen lunges give your quads and glutes a serious burn. This exercise takes up very little space and doesn’t require you to get down and dirty on the floor. To do a proper lunge, keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and relaxed, and tighten your core. Step forward with one leg, lowering hips until both knees are bent at an approximate 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and is not extended too far out. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back to starting position and alternate legs after each repetition.

Click here for the side-lunge sweeper.

Forearm Plate Lifts

Forearm Plate Lifts

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Strengthening your forearm muscles improves your grip and your handshake, and it’s easy to work your forearms while cooking dinner. Simply hold a small plate in one hand, raise your arm out to the side so that it’s aligned with your shoulder, and bend at the elbow, making an L shape. While holding the plate, move your wrist up and down. Then, switch hands. If you feel a burning sensation in your forearms after a few reps, you’re doing it right.  

Calf Lifts

Calf Lifts

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When waiting for that package of chicken to defrost in the microwave try working out those calf muscles with some simple calf lifts. Ideally, this exercise is done on the edge of a step or on an elevated platform, but it is still effective on a flat surface. Simply stand tall with abdominal muscles pulled in and raise your heels a few inches above the ground so that you’re on your tip toes. Return to the starting position and repeat. 

Seated Shoulder Lift

Seated Shoulder Lift

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Pull up a chair and do some seated arm lifts as your waiting for those potatoes to bake in the oven. Sit in a chair and extend your arms to either side until they are shoulder level. With palms facing forward, slowly raise your arms until they are over your head. Do your best to keep your arms even with your ears, and hold this position for five seconds. Spend another five seconds slowly returning your arms to their starting position.  

Microwave Wall Sits

Microwave Wall Sits

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Find a smooth wall, or even a refrigerator, and feel the burn of some wall sits. This exercise targets the quads, but it also engages other lower body muscle groups like the glutes, calves, and hamstrings. Start with your back against a wall with your feet shoulder width apart, about two feet from the wall. In a controlled fashion, slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold the position for between 20 and 60 seconds, or as long as you can tolerate the burn. Use the microwave as a convenient kitchen timer. 

Click here for seven surprising things you can make in the microwave.