It is no secret that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It will not only keep your body functioning at its best, but it will also give you more energy and make you feel better about yourself.
The problem? Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be difficult when we don’t have access to the same equipment as someone who works out in a gym or fitness center. That’s why I want to share some easy-to-use exercises that anyone can do from home!
Top exercises to do at home
1) Push-ups – This exercise targets your chest, shoulders and arm muscles. All you need to do is place both of your hands on the floor or an elevated surface (like chair seats). Aim for 10 pushups per set, and do as many sets as you can.
2) Tricep dips – This exercise is a great way to tone and strengthen your triceps muscle. All you need is a chair or bench. Put two hands at the edge of the seat under your body then lift yourself up by straightening out both arms until they are both straight.
3) Bulgarian split squat – This exercise targets your thighs, glutes and hamstrings. Place one leg in front of the other with your back heel elevated on a sturdy surface (like a block or stair). Bend both knees to lower yourself towards the floor before pushing up to the starting position. Alternate legs with each repetition. Aim for 12-16 repetitions per set.
4) Side planks – This exercise works your core, hips and shoulders. Start by lying with your legs straight on top of each other, then prop yourself up onto your elbow while keeping the other arm parallel to the ground. Lift your body so that weight is balanced between both elbows and toes and keeps your hips high, hold for 30 seconds before switching sides.
5) Wall sit – This is a great exercise for your glutes and thighs. Stand with back flat against the wall then slide yourself down until your knees are at 90 degree angles (like sitting on an imaginary chair). Hold this pose as long as possible before slowly sliding up to standing again.
6) Bridges – This exercise targets your glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Lie on the ground with your knees bent and then tighten up your abdominal muscles to lift your hips off of the floor (like a bridge). Hold for a few seconds before slowly lowering yourself down again. Aim for 15-20 repetitions per set.
7) Burpees – This is a great exercise for improving your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Start by standing with feet hip-width apart then quickly lower yourself into a forward bend (like you’re about to touch the floor in front of you). Jump back up again, jump straight up as high as possible before landing softly on ground in starting position. Repeat this motion.
8) Clap press-up – This is a more challenging variation of the traditional press-up. Start in standard press-up position then lower yourself down before explosively pushing up so that your hands leave the floor. As you land, clap your hands together above your head. Try to do as many as possible in 30 seconds before resting for 30 seconds. Repeat cycle.
9) Ab cycles – This is a great exercise for targeting your obliques and abs. Lie with knees bent then slowly lift both legs off of the floor so that they are in line with hips. As you do this, rotate torso to one side until body is horizontal (like riding on an invisible bike). Rotate back down towards starting position before rotating up.
10) Side star planks – This exercise targets your obliques and abs. Start in standard plank position then lift one arm and leg off of the floor so they are both in line with shoulder and hip respectively. Aim for 5 reps before switching sides.
11) Supermans – This is a great exercise for improving your abdominal and lower back strength. Lie with arms flat on the ground next to sides of body then slowly raise one arm and opposite leg at same time so that they are both in line with shoulder and hip respectively (like Superman flying). Hold briefly before lowering again, repeat reps until fatigued.
12) Pilates roll-ups – This exercise targets your abs, obliques and lower back. Lie flat on the ground with legs together then slowly raise them until they are perpendicular to the floor. Bring hands up towards toes then curl body up until you reach your feet (like a crunch). Hold for a few seconds before lowering yourself down again.
These are just a few examples of exercises that can be done from home with little to no equipment! Be sure to mix up your routine often and challenge yourself by gradually adding more repetitions or weight as you get stronger. And most importantly, have fun! Fitness should be enjoyable so find activities that you enjoy and stick with them.
Tips for starting
To begin with use the top few exercises, these are a good place to start before you progress onto the more challenging exercises. Also, build up slowly, don’t try to do too many exercises at once – zero to 100 is by far the easiest way of causing an injury to yourself.
Remember, it’s important that you find an exercise routine that you can stick with so find something that is enjoyable for you! And be sure to vary up your routine often to keep things interesting.
Tips for staying motivated
Where possible try to exercise with a friend or family member, this can make the experience more enjoyable and help to keep you motivated. Alternatively, try listening to music while you work out – anything that will help take your mind off of the fact that you’re exercising!
If you find yourself struggling to stick with your routine, try setting small goals rather than focusing on the overall goal – as suggested by Sport Science Insider. For example, aim to do five press-ups today rather than 50. This will make it feel more achievable and you can gradually increase the number of reps as you get stronger.
Most importantly, be patient! Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t see results overnight – but if you keep at it, you will notice a difference!