Due to current recommendations regarding social distancing, most gyms across the country are closed. If you’re used to visiting the gym to get your workout in, this might be affecting your ability to keep up with healthy habits. But don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to get a good workout at home using little to no equipment, without having to hit the gym treadmill.
Benefits to Home Workouts
Home workouts don’t need to be complicated. Using just your body weight or very simple equipment, you can target various muscles everywhere. Your workout can be as easy or as challenging as you make it.
You can also work out almost anywhere — your living room, bedroom, porch, garage, etc. Go someplace that gives you enough space to move and helps you focus on yourself.
Scratch the old thought of exercising as lifting weights and using a treadmill from your mind. It may change the way you think of working out forever!
Upper Body Home Workouts
The All for One, One for All Push-up:
This push-up has two points of contact: hands and feet. Start by standing close to a wall and place your hands on it at shoulder height. You should be parallel to the wall with arms parallel to the floor.
Take a small step back and place your feet hips-width apart. Keeping your stomach tight, lower your upper body toward the wall, bending at the elbow until you’re close to touching the wall with your face. Push yourself up while keeping your stomach tight and body in a straight line.
Once this becomes easy, step backwards and adjust the angle of your push-up to use more of your body weight.
Find a stable chair in your home and place it against a wall so it doesn’t slide. Using the same form as the wall push-up, place your hands at the edge of the chair, shoulder-width apart. Your legs should be away from the chair and arms shoulder-width apart, directly in line with the shoulders. The angle of an exercise equals its intensity. If the angle you’re at is too challenging, place your knees on the ground for support.
Find a comfy spot on the ground. Place your feet flat and back flat on the ground with your knees bent. If you don’t have dumbbells, use canned goods. Begin the exercise with a 90-degree angle at the elbows and press your hands and arms upwards until your arms are fully extended, lightly locking the elbows. Slowly lower your arms toward your body. Once your elbows are in a 90-degree angle, repeat the exercise.
Lower Body Home Workouts
When performing both a squat and a dead-lift, concentrate on lengthening your spine. Tuck in your rear and rid your lower back from its natural arch. Also, tighten your abdominal muscles and begin the squat by pushing your pelvis or hips out, as if you were about to sit down.
Once you have initiated the pelvic hip-tilt backwards, go into squat position. By beginning a squat with the pelvic-hip tilt backwards, added pressure is taken off the hip and knee joint – allowing for proper joint stability and for the muscles to work at their maximal capacity. The knees should not move in front of the toes, and your weight should be shifted into your heals.
Important: A squat doesn’t always mean go as low as you can go, since everyone has a different skeletal and muscular build. Some builds can actually hinder the angle of the squat, but if you move within your physical limits, an effective squat can be achieved.
A good way to gauge the depth of your squat is to use a chair. Lower your body into the squat position and only tap your rear to the chair and come up. After you have progressed into deeper angles of a body weight squat for one month, change it up by adding weight. Start off with canned goods in each hand and progress to a PVC pipe with reusable grocery bags filled with households items, placed on each side.
Laying down with your feet and back flat on the ground with your knees bent, place two Frisbees or a hand towel underneath your feet. This exercise is best performed on a slick surface (i.e. tile or hardwood floors). Tightening your glutes and hamstrings, slide your feet against the surface, drawing your feet closer to your rear. Then extend your legs outward, pushing your feet away from your body. It’s amazing how simple and effective this move is!
Helpful Household Items
Instead of using equipment you would normally find at the gym, a variety of household objects can help you with the home workouts mentioned above.
- Milk jugs or water gallons
- PVC pipe with reusable grocery bags on both ends
- Resistance bands
- Inflatable bouncy ball or Yoga ball
- Chair or bench
- Towel or Frisbee
For more suggestions on doing home workouts, CLICK HERE to read an article published by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).