Do you have trouble getting out to the gym but want to keep in shape? It can be a challenge at times to make it out to a gym, whether it be internal or external factors that get in the way.
Being physically active is vital to our overall health and well-being. Regular exercise benefits the heart, brain, bones, and muscles, managing weight and improving your ability to do everyday functions.
So we’ve decided to share some simple exercises that can be done right at home with little to no equipment. You can click on most activity names to pull up a YouTube search for that exercise, where you will find instructional videos.
Cardio Exercises At Home
1. Jump Rope: Jump rope is an amazing way to burn off calories fast and even faster than running.
2. Full-Body Cardio Circuit: This can be done through YouTube videos or an exercise program. There is an extensive selection of training videos available on YouTube, and by simply typing a quick search, you can do exercises that require only a few small pieces of equipment or no equipment.
Activities can range from high knees, jumping jacks, and jumping squats to activities that utilize small weights such as curls, shoulder presses, and triceps extensions worked in with the cardio circuit. You can choose the difficulty level based on where you are in terms of physical ability and take breaks as needed. Having a glass or bottle of water with you is an excellent way to keep up.
3. Burpees: Burpees involve the whole body and burn more calories than running. This exercise can range from mildly to tough based on what you choose to implement. You can start off going into push-ups to a jump. Then to step it up, you can begin to include pull-ups, jump squats, mountain climbers, etc.
1. Squat Jump: Simply going from a squat position into a jump with your hands up in the air, similar to the burpees motion, can be an excellent way to build up strength in your legs.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, and jump as high as possible. Be sure to allow your knees to bend about 45 degrees when you land so as to avoid injury. If you’d like to add some resistance, you can hold some light dumbbells while doing this exercise.
2. Side Lunge: Side Lunges are an excellent way to work your legs and improve stability.
You can stand with your feet spread roughly double your shoulder width apart to do this exercise. Then you simply alternate between sides, moving your hips side to side into a position with one leg bent with your thigh parallel to the floor and the other extended to the side. You can pause for about 2 to 3 seconds once in position before returning to the starting position and doing the other side.
3. Single-Leg Hip Raise: This exercise helps to strengthen your core, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
For this exercise, you can lay on your back with your knees bent at about a 95-degree angle and your feet on the ground close to your glutes. Then you only extend one leg out with your arms rested flat on the ground to your sides with palms facing down to help stabilize yourself. Once in this position, begin to push with the foot that is still placed on the ground to raise your hips up toward the ceiling.
1. Reverse Snow Angels: This is a great exercise to do on a yoga mat that does not require weights.
To do this exercise, you only lay flat on your stomach, your forehead resting on the ground, and begin to move your arms up and down, similar to jumping jacks in a slow and steady motion.
2. Superman: This exercise serves as a great way to strengthen your lower back without using weights.
To do this exercise, only lay flat on your stomach, ideally on a yoga mat, with your arms extended out in front of you. Then simply raise your arms, chest, and legs off of the ground as you arch your back into a bow shape. You can do this repeatedly and return to a relaxed position between reps.
3. Hip Hinge/Good Mornings: This exercise also does not require weights and helps to strengthen your lower back and glutes.
To do this exercise, you simply stand with your feet spread slightly wider than your hips, place your hands on your hips, and lean your upper body forward while pushing your hips and butt back to maintain balance. Then simply stand back up into an upright position.
1. Spiderman Plank Crunch: This exercise helps to build up strength in your abs and obliques
Start off in a standard plank position; forearms placed on the ground and your body in a perfectly straight position. Then alternate between sides, bringing your knee up and touching it to your elbow. Doing both the left and right sides counts as one rep.
2. Bicycle Crunch: This exercise helps build up great strength in your abs and lower back.
Start laying down with your hands behind your head and your legs raised at a 90-degree bend. Alternate between sides just as you would with spiderman plank crunch. Accept this time you bring your elbow toward the opposite knee, such as your right elbow to your left knee.
3. Standard Crunches: Let’s not miss the essential starting point. Standard crunches serve as a great ab exercise as well.
Simply lay on your stomach with your hands behind your head or chest, and pull your ribs toward your hips, flexing your abs as you bring your head closer to your knees. You do not need to sit up fully into an upright position. It is best to go into a contracted position and lay back again to start your next rep with a little easing of the tension on your abs.
Let’s start with the beginner-level exercises
1. Wall Push-Ups: This is a great starting point when you cannot yet lift a lot of weight due to personal health or an injury.
Stand at a wall and lean slightly forward at about a 30-degree angle with your hands placed on the wall to support you. Then lean your weight into a push-up and push back out to your starting position.
2. Counter or Chair Push-ups: Standing at a counter or knelt in front of a chair or bench, lean your body forward at about a 30 to 90-degree angle if you have your feet out to support you, and use your hands to support your upper body. Then only go down into a push-up and back out to the starting position.
3. Knee Push-ups: Get into position as you would for standard push-ups, except place your knees on the ground to reduce the weight load. Then simply do your standard push-ups. This is an excellent way to build up the strength to ease into standard push-ups. You can even do some standard push-ups and go into knee push-ups when you run out of strength but have more reps to complete.
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And that wraps it up for this at-home exercise guide!