Remember elementary school when your gym teacher taught you the basics—pushups, sit-ups, squats? Those simple exercises can be done at home (almost anywhere, really) on your own time, and easy moves like these use your own body weight and resistance to help turn fat into muscle and lead to better muscle tone.
If you’re already in great shape, these simple at-home exercises can also be used as a supplement to daily workouts outside the home.
Try to do 36, three sets of 6-12 with 10-second rests in between, every other day.
If you cannot do full pushups from the floor, try doing them elevated with your hands on your kitchen countertop or other sturdy piece of furniture that won’t slide. As you get stronger, drop your hands on your couch or other lower object to make it more challenging. Gradually work your way down to pushups from the floor.
If pushups from the floor are too easy, raise your feet up on a step or bench. Steps are great because as you get stronger, you can put your feet up on higher and higher steps.
Planking works all the muscles in your core, helping to improve your core strength. And all you need for this exercise is a flat surface! Facing the floor with your feet in a pushup position, rest your weight on your forearms rather than using the palms of your hands to hold yourself up. Keep your elbows aligned with your shoulders at shoulder-width apart and maintain a tight core. The challenge of the plank is to keep your body parallel to the ground for as long as your forearms can hold this position.
Begin with your feet slightly apart and sit while pressing your buttocks back. Be sure your knees are not going over your toes at any point. Do two to three sets of 12 repeated squats or try to hold your squat position for 30 seconds, repeating that hold two or three times.
Once you’ve mastered regular squats, try one-leg squats. While pressing your buttocks back, bend one leg while lifting up and down with the other. Do two to three sets of 12 repeated one-legged squats. Switch legs and repeat.
4. Mountain Climbers
Mountain Climbers are great for your abdominal muscles and also offer cardio benefits. Start in a plank position, arms out and supporting your body. Quickly bring your knees into your chest, alternating knees. Do this repeatedly and quickly. Complete two to three sets for 30 seconds.
Once you master mountain climbers, upgrade to cross body climbers. These require the same movement as during mountain climbers, but instead of just going up and down, you cross your left knee to the right side of your chest and vice versa when you come up. Complete two to three sets of cross body climbers at 30 seconds each.
5. One-legged Romanian Deadlifts
One-legged Romanian deadlifts target your glutes and hamstring muscles while helping you improve your balance. Begin by standing straight and lifting one foot so it’s slightly above the ground. Keep your core tight with arms straight out and spine neutral, and lean forward until your fingertips brush the floor with one leg extended behind you aligned with your back. Keeping your extended leg straight, bring your body back into the upright position. Aim for 12 reps on each leg.
Eventually, you’ll want to switch some of these simple exercises out for other easy at-home exercises. Cause and Effects Fitness can help you determine alternative exercises for the muscle groups targeted by these listed exercises.
If you have areas of your body you would like to focus on, contact Cause and Effects Fitness to help get a workout program in place that can help you reach your fitness goals.