5 Great Workout Ideas for Exercising in the Comfort of Your Home
Time and money are two things most of us could argue that we can never get enough of. As the warm weather begins to sneak up on us this spring, you may squirm a bit regarding all those workouts you essentially “skipped” this winter due to lack of time. Or maybe you took the money you had set aside for buying some yoga and Pilates classes to Barney’s, Saks, or Nordstrom Rack (you get the idea) by mistake. While this article will not miraculously get you your money back from the shopping spree you may or may not have done a couple months ago, it will give you some new workout ideas you can do at home when you don’t have a studio or equipment available to you.
Start by simply clearing a space on the floor that is large enough for you to lie down and extend your arms out from your sides without bumping into anything. Make sure to place a couple of towels or blankets down so that you aren’t uncomfortable on your back or on your hands and knees. That should serve as a new workout space!
The ideas below are simple but effective, and if you complete all of them, you can expect to get some upper body, lower body, and core work completed. If you are looking for that extra cardio kick, simply add a power walk or jog outside following the workout.
Start on your back with your feet hip-width apart, arms extended at your sides and head down. Take a deep breath and exhale to lift your hips up towards the ceiling, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. Pause for two or three seconds before slowly lowering back to your start position. You should feel your hamstrings, glutes, and core engage as you do these. Perform ten reps.
Start on your back with your arms extended to the ceiling, legs at a tabletop position (knees over hips) but separated hip-width apart. (Essentially you resemble a dead bug.) Keeping your belly button and core pressed into the floor, extend the right arm behind the head as the left leg reaches forward to a 45-degree angle and then return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. You should feel your core engage as you do each stretch. Perform eight to ten reps on each side.
Start with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips at an even distance, so you have a nice rectangle. Make sure that your shoulder blades are pulling away from your ears and your core is tight. Pick up your right knee and extend behind you until leg is straight and toes are pointed to floor. You should feel arms, core, hips and glutes as you do these. Perform ten extensions on each side.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed forward. Think about pushing your hips back and extend your arms forward to shoulder height for support until your knees are even with your hips. Exhale as you press the hips forward and return to standing position with arms relaxed at sides. You should feel glutes, hamstrings, and quads as you do these. Perform 15 repetitions.
The most important part of this exercise is the set up! Start by lying down on your stomach. Line your wrists up with your chest and about six inches away from your torso. Bend your knees and then straighten your arms so that there is a straight line from the top of your head down to your knees. From there inhale to bend the elbows out wide and exhale to straighten them. If you are comfortable, start on your toes instead of your knees. You should feel your chest, arms, and core as you do these. Perform ten repetitions.
In order to get the maximum benefit, I recommend completing the exercises 2-3 times per week. Think of it like flossing or taking out the trash, or even doing the dishes! Expect the workout to take around 10-15 minutes. Throw on some good music (or if you prefer quiet, use it as a time for some zen in your home), take a deep breath, and do something just for you! Just like any other big project at work, the little things add up. Take a big step forward this spring, and get your body moving with this fabulous mini workout!8