FITNESS

Easy Home Exercises

The solution for closed gyms? Exercise at home!

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By Maddy Barney

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Working out at home can be challenging for many reasons. It can be so much harder to get motivated, especially if you’re not exactly sure what exercises to do. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do with just your bodyweight or a simple set of beginner’s dumbbells. Here are some easy exercises that you can do at home.

Planks

Planking is absolutely one of the best exercises you can do with your body alone. When done correctly, not only does it work your core but everywhere in the body, including places you might not have thought realized, like your shoulders and legs. There are many different variations that you can do of the plank. Beginners should start with elbows and knees on the ground in a tabletop position. Remember, you want your body to be really flat, so don’t let your lower back drop or your glutes lift up. To maintain good posture, you can pull your shoulders away from your ears and tuck in your hips. Once you’re able to hold the modified knee plank for one full minute, try stretching out your legs straight and going onto your feet until you can hold it for one minute.

Squats

The ultimate leg builder! Squats are excellent because they work most of the major muscles in your legs as well as improving joint mobility in the hips, knees, and ankles. Building the big muscles in your legs will raise your metabolism and help to burn more fat throughout the day. Squats involve standing with your feet comfortably apart and creating tension in the glutes.

To do this, pretend you are ripping a piece of paper apart on the ground by pulling your feet outward. Lower yourself as if you’re sitting on a chair, driving your knees out with that glute tension, and sit down as low as possible. Then stand, continuing to drive your knees outward, and lifting with your glutes.

Need more of a challenge? Try slowing down the movement. Force the lowering portion to last five seconds, pause at the bottom for two seconds, and lift up slowly for another five seconds.

Push Ups

These are a super efficient way to tone your arms and upper body. Beginners can modify the standard push up by getting onto the floor on hands and knees, with your hands placed slightly wider than the shoulders. Keeping your body in alignment, lower your body down until your elbows reach a 90 degree bend. Squeeze that core! Press the floor away from you and return to the starting position. Just like with the modified plank, once you’re able to do 15 reps comfortably from your knees, try doing them from your feet to increase the difficulty level.

Superman

Strengthening your back can improve your posture and also helps to tone the area. Superman exercises are an awesome way to start building foundational back strength to get you ready for gym equipment.

Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you and legs straight straight back. Raise your arms, torso, and legs off the ground, while keeping your lower back firmly down. As you lift, keep your shoulders pulled back and away from your ears to avoid any hunching.

Try to repeat this motion or hold the position. Try holding a pair of light dumbbells if you feel the need to increase the difficulty.

If you’re just getting started with a new exercise routine, combining each of these options can make for an excellent total body workout. Repeat each set three times, and you’ve got yourself a killer session. Have fun!

Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.

Main Photo Credit: Gorodenkoff/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Rusky/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: fizkes/shutterstock.com

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Jun 24, 2020

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