Easy At Home Workouts You Should Do Every Day
Apr 15, 2020
Most of us have gym or fitness studio memberships and try to go at least a few times a week, even if it’s just under the pressure of having to make monthly payments worth it.
But during a pandemic like COVID-19, when all the fitness facilities are shut down and everyone is stuck at home, it’s easy to slip and skip your sweaty sessions. After all, our city apartments tend to lack exercise equipment.
Good news is home workouts without equipment are possible and could even be a fun change to your regular routine, not to say that all of us absolutely need some mood boosting exercises in these dire times.
So here’s our guide to your new at home full body workout.
How To Exercise At Home
First of all, we need to understand that good at home workouts differ from what we normally do at the gym. For example, your home might not be the place to study the best plyometric exercises that involve lots of jumping (your neighbors will thank you) if you live in a condo or apartment. Additionally home gym workouts should be quick and simple enough to motivate you to establish a new consistent home exercise routine.
As for the structure of your free at home workouts, try to go for HIIT (high-intensity interval training) style, where you time yourself while performing an exercise, time your rest period and move to the next exercise after that. To start, combine about five exercises, do them for 50 seconds each and have a 10-second rest in between. So this one HIIT set will only take five minutes. Not enough? Feel free to do two or three or more sets in your workout or increase the number of exercises in your set, and you’ll really find out why exercise boosts mood and energy.
With all that in mind, here are some of the best exercises to do at home — some will even use your furniture as props. Add your favorite ones on top to mix it up!
One of the most simple exercises to do at home is mountain climbers. So let’s start with that and get your blood flowing quickly. Get into a plank pose, with hands about shoulder width apart. Then bring your knee to your chest. Put your foot back and switch sides. Accelerate. Do them as fast as you can, as if you’re actually running.
Alternative: If it’s too hard to do mountain climbers on the floor, place your hands on a couch or some other elevated surface.
Good ol’ squats
Without a doubt, squats are by far the best exercises for your whole lower body. Stand up with feet just shoulder width apart, toes pointing about 30 degrees out. Bend your knees completely and sit down in a vertically straight trajectory. Keep your back straight too. Knees can go a little over your toes, but not too much. Then stand up and repeat. Your arms can either be crossed on your shoulders or raised straight in front of you.
Alternative: Not sure how low you should squat? Stand with your back to a couch or other piece of furniture just below your knees and squat there. When you feel your glutes touching the surface, stand up.
Knee pushups or tricep dips
If you already can do pushups without knees touching the floor — awesome, do that. For the rest of us: get into a plank pose, but put your knees down on a yoga or fitness mat. Lower your upper body down until your chest almost touches the floor and go back up. Keep your elbows at about a 45-degree angle.
Alternative: To change things up or if pushups don’t work for you for any reason, you can easily substitute them for tricep dips, using a chair or a couch or any bench in your house. Sit on the edge of the couch with your legs straight and feet balancing on your heels. Put your hands on the either side of your body with fingers pointing forward. Lift yourself off the couch using your arms and then lower down to below the edge of the couch, bending your elbows. Go back up, repeat.
One of the most versatile but effective leg exercises is lunges. They work out your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves equally well. For the most basic lunge, stand straight, then step back about three or four feet. Bring your back knee almost down to the ground, hovering. Ideally, your front thigh should be parallel to the floor, with your knee right above your ankle (if not, widen your stance). Repeat the exercise on this side for 25 seconds and switch.
Alternative: When you get used to lunges, try Bulgarian split squats instead. Stand with your back to your couch just one or two feet away. Bend your knee and put your foot on the couch. Sit down in a one-legged squat to parallel. Go for 25 seconds and switch sides.
V-crunches for perfect abs
Time to work out your abs. Lie down on your fitness mat with arms reaching out and legs straight. Now bring your feet and hands together without bending your legs or arms, creating a “V” shape with your body. Recline again until your back almost touches the ground. Repeat quickly.
Alternative: Since abs love variety, mix V-crunches with bicycle crunches, which you can either do on the floor lying down or on your couch. Raise your feet with knees bent at a straight angle and shins parallel to the floor. Now start pedalling vigorously in the air, as if you’re riding a bike. Faster, faster!
Phew! Feel your heart pumping now? And it’s only been five minutes! Feel free to go for another cycle or two and you’ll be happy that you started the day on a high note. We generally like HIIT because it’s one of the easy workouts to do at home and you can certainly find the spot for it in your schedule (even if it’s squeezed between Zoom calls). Alternatively, you can opt in for a morning yoga session instead or gently wake up your body with a stretching routine, or conversely go all in with an intense 20-minute full-body workout. Once done, it’s definitely time for a green smoothie.