You want to get in shape and stick to your New Year’s resolutions, but the thought of returning to a gym makes you feel uneasy. Did you know that you can get an intense workout at home without investing in an app or a personal trainer?
The answer to your fitness dilemma might be plyometrics. These easy-to-master moves bring on the sweat and the muscle-building benefits without any equipment. Master these top 10 easy plyometric exercises to feel the burn in your living room.
Box jumps work your legs and build explosive power. All you need is a box or crate that stands approximately 10-12 inches off the ground. Start from a stationary standing position and jump up on top.
“But wait,” you say. “I thought I didn’t need any equipment.” Do you have a set of stairs? If you do, you have a box.
Split lunges are anything but easy, but they will get your lower body in crazy shape. The most comfortable way to execute this move is to start with a standard forward lunge. When you step forward, make sure your knee stays in line with your ankle and doesn’t shoot out past it, creating a “V” shape.
Add explosive power by hopping instead of stepping when you switch legs. As few as 10 repetitions can leave you dripping sweat.
If anyone is in fantastic shape, it’s Olympic speed skaters. You can imitate their motion to get your cardio and work your inner and outer thighs.
Begin by stepping side to side, and then add a hop. Swing your arms like the way competitors do on TV. Be careful not to perform this exercise in socks on a tile or hardwood floor — you could slide into your television and bring it down with a crash.
Do you remember doing the broad jump as part of the physical fitness test you took each year at school? You can still do this to get in fabulous shape.
Stand stationary with your feet shoulder-width apart, then jump forward as far as you can. Don’t worry if you only go 2 or 3 feet at first — you will improve over time. Use strips of painter’s tape to mark your progress.
If you want impressive legs, jump like a cheerleader. Tuck jumps share much in common with box jumps — except the landing.
Instead of hopping atop an object, you leap as high as you can, pulling your knees toward your chest. This movement will get your heart pumping quickly — it only takes a few to leave you panting.
What do you get when you blend plyometrics with a plank? A total-body movement that works your arms and core, that’s what.
To begin, get into a plank position with your feet spread about 12 inches apart. Start hopping forward for a count of five, and then reverse. Will you feel awkward? Yes. Will you also strengthen your core and get an amazing upper-body burn? You bet.
Some people don’t like ordinary pushups because they hurt their wrists. If supporting your body weight on your arms proves challenging, find a wall.
Stand about 2 feet away and lean forward, placing your hands on the wall and bending your elbows — as if performing a pushup while standing. When returning to upright, push yourself away so your hands leave the surface. Are you feeling extra strong? Do these on the floor in the traditional style and add a clap in between.
You can jog in place nearly anytime, anywhere — so how do you give the movement more oomph? Think like a boxer.
Extend your arms out in front of you at slightly higher than waist level. Alternately lift each leg until your knee touches your hand. To make this move plyometric, add a hop.
Thrusters are another full-body movement that you can make more vigorous by adding weights. If you don’t have dumbbells, grab a pair of soup cans or milk cartons.
To begin, perform a squat. As you rise to stand, lift on your toes and extend your arms overhead. If you have light weights — or cans — elevate them as if you are performing a military press.
Burpees combine the fun of planks, squats and jumps. Start by performing a squat while placing your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump back into a plank position, letting your elbows bend slightly to absorb the impact.
Return to your squat by leaping your feet forward — you can step if you get tired. Then, when you rise to stand, add another jump as you reach for the sky.
You can perform these 10 easy plyometric exercises in your living room while you stream your favorite Netflix show. Say yes to free fitness and get in your best shape yet.