Knowing a few easy exercises to do at home can help support your health and fitness levels. Let’s face it: sometimes, it’s just easier to get in a daily workout without heading to a gym. Master these moves, and work out in the comfort of your own home.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of doing at-home workouts, some moves to master for better results, and a few tips on creating consistency for more success. Just make sure to get your doctor’s approval before giving any new exercise a try.
Why Work Out At Home?
Regular exercise offers a lot of potential health benefits. An exercise program may help support weight loss goals, strong bones and joints, and better balance and flexibility.1
With all these positive effects on your overall well-being, it’s clear that achieving consistency in exercising is a must. But a busy lifestyle doesn’t always lend itself to regular exercise sessions. Finding the time for physical activity can be a challenge. Exercising at home may help you:
- Save time and effort you would have otherwise spent traveling to the gym and waiting for your turn on common-use machines;
- Save money on gym membership fees. You can even cut costs on pricey equipment if you do simple bodyweight exercises;
- Enjoy more privacy and less pressure since you’re exercising on your own, without worrying about proximity to strangers. You can go at your own pace.2
What Are Some At-Home Workout Moves You Can Do?
The following moves require little more than your body weight and your willingness to learn. These are all great at helping raise your heart rate and stimulate your muscles. They’re also simple enough for beginners to learn, while helping work out your entire body.
If you’re new to exercise, start slowly (and first get your doctor’s approval) — try five reps of each exercise at first, and then gradually build up to 10-15 reps.
- Stand tall, feet about shoulder width apart, weight evenly distributed between your heels. This is your starting position.
- Slowly bend at the hip, sitting your butt far back (as if sitting on a chair behind you). Simultaneously bend your knees, and stop before your knees go past your toes.
- Hold the squat position for a beat. Stand up again by driving through your heels and keeping your core and rear end engaged.3
Side Lying Hip Abduction (Lateral Leg Raises)
- Lie on your side, legs extended, head supported by your arm.
- Gently lift your leg to about a 45-degree angle. Hold for a beat before lowering slowly back to your starting position.
- Variations to try before flipping and doing the other side: Toes flexed, toes pointed, and toe pointed towards the ceiling when you lift your leg.4
- For stationary lunges, start by standing tall. You may opt to put your hands on your hips.
- Step forward on one leg and lower your upper body until your front leg makes a 90-degree angle to the ground. Make sure your rear leg is parallel to the ground and that your front knee never goes past your toes.
- Lift or step back and return to a standing position. You may do your desired number of repetitions per leg, or alternate legs.5
- Lie prone, with your stomach and chest flat against the floor or exercise mat. Keep legs extended straight, and press your palms against the floor on either side of your chest.
- Simultaneously press up from the ground using your hands and toes, lifting your legs, torso, and chest from the ground. Hold for a beat, keeping your core tight.
- Slowly lower your body back to the starting position.6
- Lie flat on your back, arms at your sides. Bring your knees up, and place your feet flat on the ground or exercise mat.
- In one movement, lift your hips off the ground, creating a clean line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds, keeping both butt and core engaged.
- Slowly lower your hips back to the ground before doing another rep.7
- Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart. Do a simple squat, then place your hands on the floor just inside your feet.
- Swiftly jump your legs back and land in a plank position (similar to a push-up) — weight evenly distributed between your hands and toes, body in a straight line, and core and thigh muscles engaged to keep you stable.
- Hold for a beat, then jump feet back to their original position right outside your hands. Complete the burpee by dynamically swinging your arms up in the air and jumping up into the air.8
- Get on all fours on a comfortable surface. Distribute your weight evenly between your hands placed shoulder-width apart and your knees placed hip-width apart.
- In one motion, extend your left arm straight forward while kicking your right leg straight back. Use your core muscles to stabilize your body and hold the position for a beat. Your shoulder and back should stay straight and strong.
- Return to your starting position before repeating on the other side (right arm, left leg).9
How To Create A Consistent Home Workout Routine
The key to a successful at-home exercise routine is consistency. Here are some simple tips that can help you achieve visible results.
- Make a home program that works for you. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise weekly. Try each of the workout moves above each day to help you meet this goal.
- Keep it fun. Try warming up by dancing along to your favorite music videos. If the weather’s nice, take your workout out into the fresh air of your yard or porch. Switching things up often can keep you engaged and interested in exercising.
- Know what you need to get in the zone. If you’re feeling a little sluggish, try scheduling a small but energizing snack before working out. Find the best time of day with the least amount of distractions. If you feel you’ll commit more if you had an exercise buddy, consider starting a fitness challenge with a friend.
- Rest and recover. Give yourself at least one day each week to physically recover. On these “rest” days, try some low-intensity exercises — like yoga or stretching.10
Before You Begin
It’s always best to consult with a doctor before you start any new workout routine. It also pays to take full advantage of free but reputable fitness resources online, so you can learn the correct ways to do certain exercises at home. Read up, or watch instructional videos. Ultimately, your health and fitness is truly in your hands, and working out at home is just one of the smart ways for you to reach your fitness goals.
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