Our busy lifestyles don’t always allow for an hour at the gym. With the recent pandemic, we have also seen that even when we do have time, going to the gym may not always be an option. Whether it is illness or work, having a home routine that encourages both strength and endurance is a necessity. These five workouts will not only keep you fit, but they will also reduce injury when you have the opportunity to jump back into your gym routine.
It is necessary to increase your heart rate before exercising, but a home environment may not be appropriate for jumping jacks or running in place. Scissor kicks or “bicycles” are perfect for raising your heart rate and strengthening your core in confined spaces. From your back, lift your feet at a 45-degree angle and either move your legs in a scissoring motion or as if you are pedaling a bicycle. Keep the 45-degree angle both for maximum benefit and to prevent strain on your lower back.
Every home has a wall, and a wall sit will develop the area from the abdomen to the upper part of the legs. Start off standing with your back flat against a wall, and begin slowly sliding down to a sitting position. Keep your feet in place and only extend your knees forward. Never lower your hips beyond the height of your knees.
A plank is a great stationary exercise to develop the area from your core to your upper chest and shoulders. This can also be done in the same limited space as a scissor kick. A plank looks like a push-up, but your elbows and forearms will be in place of where the hands would normally be. The area between the tailbone and the neck should be in one line. Do not arch your back or let your stomach sag. Hold this position for as long as possible.
A push-up can be used either before or after doing a plank to add more difficulty to the exercise. While the push-up defines the same general area from the core to the upper body, the push-up will provide better definition to the area of your biceps and triceps. Keep the same spinal alignment as the plank, while performing the exercise. In order to reduce strain in the upper ligaments of the body, do not extend your hands beyond your shoulder width when conducting the exercise.
Stairs or Toe Lifts
The final part of a complete home workout is developing the area of your core to your lower legs. Since running and jumping most likely isn’t an option, again, it is necessary to accomplish this in a confined space. Use a step, or something you can step up on, for this exercise. Place your foot flat on the object, and use your leg to lift yourself straight up. Do not jump, bounce or use your other leg to lift yourself. Concentrate on transferring the energy from the middle of your foot to your core as you step up.
With all exercises, start with 60 seconds for the first set and work yourself down from there. This will help in properly increasing and decreasing your heart rate.