If you can’t make it into the gym, there is still a lot you can do from the comfort of your own home…right in front of the TV! Without taking up too much space, and without the use of any equipment, these ten body-weight exercises will keep you in great shape. Throw in a 20 or 30 minute jog or walk, and you’ve got a perfect workout.
- Push Ups
Whether on your hands or knees, this exercise works just about all the big muscles in the upper body. With your hands just outside of shoulder-width, drop down, then get moving into your push ups.
With your feet about hip-width apart, place your hands on your hips and step forward into a lunge with one foot and hold it there. Bending both knees, keep your front knee over your toes and your back knee an inch or two from the ground. Keep your back as straight as possible (don’t lean forward). Come back up to standing and repeat about 15 times on each leg.
- Arm Circles
This simple exercise is a convenient, but effective way to work the deltoid muscles of the shoulder. Sitting or standing, open your arms out to the side. With your back straight and abs engaged, begin moving your arms in a small circular motion. After you finish 30 circles in one direction, repeat another 30 in the opposite direction.
Planks are a great isometric exercise! As you slowly but surely build stamina with this exercise (holding longer) they become a great testament of your core fitness. Simply rest your forearms on the ground with the palms of your hands facing down, or together in prayer position. With your legs completely straight, rest on your toes drawing your belly button into your spine and raise your body off the ground. Hold.
- The Hundreds
Lying flat on your back, raise your legs to a 45 degree angle, and place your arms straight down. Lift your head and shoulders, tucking your chin toward your chest. Begin pumping your arms quickly down to the ground. Pump your arms 100 times, and you’re done! If you’re feeling no pain in your low back, or if you’re a regular to this exercise, extend your legs out with no bend in your knee.
With your arms extended out in front of you, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Drop down into a seated position keeping your knees right over your toes. Stand back up. Not too hard, right? Now try 100 of these, maintaining the same form. Go down for one second, and up for one second, continue repeating with no pause until you’re done.
- Mountain Climbers
Start down on the ground in a push up position. Keep your back straight and shoulder blades pulled down. Bring your right knee up and in toward your left elbow. Return your right foot back to the starting position. Now repeat by bringing your left knee to your right elbow. Concentrate on keeping your abs drawn in. This is a great whole body workout – especially honing in on the abs. Continue to repeat, alternating legs 40 times.
- Plié Squat w/ Calf Raise
A plié squat is really just a squat, but with your feet a little further apart and your toes pointed out (at about 45 degrees). Knees continue to track over your toes and you back should stay as straight as possible. Drop down into a squat position and HOLD. Now lift your heels up and down, working the calf muscles of the leg as you remain in this modified squat position. Repeat this about 30 times and you’ll really feel the burn of your muscles getting stronger!
Start standing feet shoulder-width apart, drop down to a squat, then to a push up position by placing your hands on the ground and kicking your legs out. Pull your legs back in (looks like you’re back to a squatting position), jump up and land with your feet planted. If this feels too easy, add another ten.
- Squat Jumps
Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, jump up as high while reaching your arms up overhead. As soon as you land, return to a squatting position. Don’t lock your knees on the way down. Repeat moving from a squatting position to a jump.
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