9 Easy Exercises That You Can Do at Home
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Did you let your gym membership lapse during the pandemic lockdowns? Are you looking for exercises that you can do at home? Perhaps you still feel a bit uncertain about sweating it up near other people.
Guess what? You don’t have to leave your living room to get a fantastic full-body workout. Here are nine easy exercises that you can do at home, no equipment necessary.
Pushups engage your arms, chest and back — your entire upper body. Best of all, you can modify them to meet your fitness level.
A standard pushup has you begin in plank position. Bend your elbows to lower your chest until it almost touches the floor, then return to the starting position.
If you need an easier variation, bring both knees to the ground instead of remaining on your toes. Feeling strong? Try lifting one leg or doing a one-armed version.
Planks engage your transverse abdominal muscles, which form a natural girdle around your waist. You can do this exercise on your palms or your elbows.
Your goal is to create one straight line from the top of your head to your heels. You can begin in a pushup position or bring your elbows to the ground, using a mat for cushioning. As you hold this isometric exercise, pull your abdominal muscles up like you are trying to squeeze into a tight pair of jeans.
3. Side Planks
Do you want to whittle your waistline? Side planks help you tone the sides of your abs, creating that beautiful hourglass or V-shape.
Begin this move in plank position. Slowly shift your weight until you’re balancing on one arm, extending the opposite one toward the ceiling. Your hips should be perpendicular to the floor, and you should look like you’re forming the letter “T” on its side.
You can place one leg in front or lower the bottom knee to the ground for a less strenuous variation. Want to ramp things up a notch? Try stacking your feet or lifting the top leg to make a starfish shape with your body.
4. Triceps Dips
You don’t want your underarm to continue wagging when you wave goodbye. Tone the back of your arms with triceps dips. Begin by sitting with your knees bent, then elevate your body into a reverse tabletop position. Bend your elbows, bringing your glutes closer to the floor, then extend, using the back of your arms to lift you.
You can make this move harder by extending your legs straight. If you want an even bigger challenge, use your staircase to increase the elevation.
Your lower body muscles are the largest in your body, meaning they do double duty. They elevate your heart rate while toning your lower half.
Squats are the ultimate lower-body exercise, and you don’t need any equipment. Lower yourself down as if you were going to sit in a chair, bending at the knees. Glance down — you should be able to see the tips of your sneakers in front of your knees.
You can increase the intensity by adding weights. Another option is to do squat jumps, where you leap as you rise from a bent-knee position.
Lunges work your entire leg while elevating your heart rate. To perform this movement correctly, step forward enough so that your front leg bends at a 90-degree angle. Lower yourself so that your back knee almost touches the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.
You can perform a walking variation of this movement, propelling yourself forward with each lunge. Another option is adding hand weights to increase the intensity.
Burpees are the movement everyone loves to hate, but they’re one of the best exercises that you can do at home. If you practice Ashtanga yoga, you’ll notice many similarities to some of the postures in a classic sun salutation in this movement.
Begin standing. Drop down to a pushup position, by either stepping or hopping back while you bring your palms to the earth. Complete a pushup, then hop or step your feet back to your hands. Finish by returning to the standing starting position — or add a leap for extra intensity.
8. Jump Rope
You can do this cardiovascular exercise with no equipment at all. Simply pretend you have a rope as you swivel your wrists and hop. If jumping is a no-go for you due to arthritis or injury, you can simply raise on your toes and bend your knees slightly. You’ll still elevate your heart rate.
If you do have a rope, feel free to get fancy. You can alternate single and double-legged hops, even make like a boxer by twirling the rope at the end.
This exercise doesn’t refer to the wheeled versions with pedals. Instead, you’ll work your entire abdominal area.
Lie on your back on the floor, bringing your knees to your chest, with your fingertips resting against your ears. Extend one leg as you twist toward the opposite knee, bringing the elbow to touch. Switch sides, and repeat as often as you can before getting tired.
Exercises That You Can Do at Home
You don’t have to return to the gym to get your fitness groove back on post-quarantine. Do these nine easy exercises at home to work your whole body.