You don't need a fancy gym membership or expensive exercise equipment to get you in amazing shape. The best workouts can oftentimes be done right in your home and use your bodyweight to work practically every muscle in the body. Whether you set up an exercise mat and resistance bands in the corner of your bedroom or have a larger area to break a sweat, you don't need much space or equipment to get moving.
But regular exercise isn't just about looking good and building strength; it's also beneficial for immunity and can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Plus, staying active is necessary to maintaining a healthy mindset, especially is you are working remotely. "If you're working from home, it's important to stay consistent with your workouts to help maximize productivity and keep a routine," says certified personal trainer Alix Turoff, MS, RD, CDN, CPT.
For people who have a home gym, working out can be simple, but for those of us used to training in a studio, we have to get a little creative. "If you're home without any equipment, your body is your own machine! Work it," says corrective exercise specialist Tatiana Lampa, ACSM CPT, NASM CES and founder of the Training with T App.
Certified Personal Trainer Rachael DeVaux, RD, CPT, PES, suggests grabbing anything that resembles dumbbells like: laundry detergent, bags of produce, or milk jugs, for your own makeshift gym. "Investing in some resistance bands from Amazon can offer a huge variety of different exercises as well," she adds.
Tip: If you're not used to working out at home, Elise Young, CPT, FMS, of Elise's Body Shop, says it's important to designate a spot in the house that feels like a good fit for some movement. "This is a stressful time and we must adjust to the place we are currently in. Lay out a mat or towel and make that your spot."
Below, we've rounded up several of our trainers' favorite at-home work out movements to try and incorporate into your routine. DeVaux suggests choosing six exercises, breaking them up into two circuits, and completing each exercise for 12-14 reps, three rounds through each circuit.
Legs and Glutes Workouts
Try air squats, side step squats, sumo squats, jump squats, and even weighted squats. You can even try holding a large bottle of detergent to get some added resistance with your squats, just make sure the lid is on tight.
Front lunges, back lunges, and even side-to-side lunges are an excellent exercise for targeting the large muscles of the lower body. For an advanced movement, try jump lunges to get your heart rate up.
This is a great bodyweight exercise to help warm-up the glutes and several muscles prior to incorporating more range of motion and any weights. You can enhance a glute bridge with resistance bands, and really make sure that you engage your core in addition to your glutes. Start with a regular glute bridge and work your way up to the single-leg bridge, which is very effective because it targets your hamstrings, glutes, and core.
Look for a durable box or sturdy bench to bang out some low-impact step ups. This move is great for balance, stabilization, and building strength. Hold some weights or detergent bottles on either side of the body for extra resistance.
Perfect this movement with your bodyweight and then grab a weight for extra resistance, engaging the glutes the entire time. Change things up by focusing on timing; lower down on a slow three-count, then squeeze the glutes as you return back up to standing position on a one-count.
Turoff says this effective and simple exercise activates your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Try a 1:1 approach by working for 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds, then repeating 3-4 times until you feel the burn.
Abs and Arms Workouts
A fantastic full-body workout, push-ups work almost every muscle with a huge emphasis on upper body and core strength. Even if you can't do a regular one, consider dropping to your knees or doing them against a countertop to make the transition easier. Try DeVaux's push-up progression here.
"Couches and chairs are a great alternative to a bench and allow for a ton of different movements," says Young. This makes for the perfect solution when doing dips to target the tricep muscles.
Probably the most effective core workout, planks really do benefit the entire body and require a ton of stabilization throughout your core. Try planks on your forearms, and work up building strength in a side plank if possible.
While you're holding a strong plank, consider incorporating shoulder taps to build stability and strength. Shoulder taps work you transverse abdominals and obliques as well.
Grab a weight or detergent bottle for added resistance, and pick your feet up off the floor for an even harder challenge.
Full Body Workouts
This high-intensity, plyometric exercise is perfect for getting your heart rate up and is a fantastic finisher to any workout. Try doing burpees tabata style: push for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat four to eight times for a full-body endurance workout!
Build strength, endurance, and cardiovascular stamina with mountain climbers. Try them at different paces; go fast if you want to get your heart rate up, or slow down and engage your core for some awesome ab work.
Turoff loves this full-body move as an effective way to build strength in the lower back, something that is often neglected when exercising. Try to hold for 15-30 seconds and keep working your way up to a minute.
It doesn't take much experience or space to start jumping rope. This total-body workout boosts both cardio and strength. Plus, a jump rope is an affordable and compact piece of exercise equipment.
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