Strength And Stability: The 4 Best Exercises For Your Home Workout Routine
Lockdowns and increased working from home have interrupted our routines, and often resulted in diminishing activity. Whether you’re missing your walk to work or the gym on the way home, finding a home workout can build strength and fitness as well as take your mind off the stresses of the day.
These four bodyweight exercises are easy to learn and don’t require any complicated kit. Roll out the yoga mat and check them out.
1) Drop It Like It’s Squat
Squats are a fantastic home workout to roll into your routine. When you perform squats with good form, you’ll be working your lower body – expect to feel it most prominently in your quadriceps (quads) and glutes – but your core muscles will also be working to keep the drop controlled. They’ll burn calories, boost your metabolism and get you sweating in no time.
One thing that puts us off squats is the impact on our knees. Our knees take a right old beating in our lives and are often the source of aches and pains. Although it’s true that squats are often felt through the knees and upper thigh muscles, squatting can actually be beneficial to your knee strength, and often offers relief from the daily aches we associate with this fragile joint. That’s because squatting strengthens the muscles and tendons around the knee, meaning that you’re better supported for walking around. It also promotes ankle flexibility and general lower bodily health.
Find perfect squatting form, squeezing your abdominal muscles, keeping your spine straight and lowering until your thighs come parallel to the floor. Start with five squats and do this five times every morning – you’ll feel the benefit in no time.
2) Lunging Into Life
Lunges are a sister exercise to the squat and work some of the same muscles – your quads and core – whilst introducing a deep hip stretch and elements of balance and coordination. They’re a great all-rounder that will help to keep you limber!
“Find your stance, with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips,” guides Kimberly Griffith, a writer at Write My X and 1Day2Write. “Step your right leg forward, landing with the weight in your heel so you can dip your left knee to the ground. Sink into the classic lunge position, and if you’re comfortable, hold it for a few seconds to feel the stretch in your hip. Then step up and repeat on the other side!”
Lunges can be done static on your yoga mat, stepping back into a standing position – but if the weather’s good, take them out to the garden. A sequence of lunges, long strides through the morning air, will benefit body, mind and soul.
3) Walk The Plank
Planks are a really popular exercise because there’s a variation for everyone, no matter what level of strength you’re starting from. The plank is focused on strengthening your core muscles, and this will impact your overall fitness as well as your performance in just about any sport you choose to partake, from tennis to a morning’s jog.
The archetypal plank takes place at the top of a push-up, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your feet up on tiptoes. In this position, lift your hips, engage your core and… breath. “This is often a challenging place to start, so make it easier on yourself with a few adjustments,” says Bernice Lee, health blogger at Nextcoursework and Britstudent. “A forearm plank is perfect for beginners and distributes your weight more generously across your arm. It also takes the strain of fussy wrists whilst keeping the challenge in the core.” Find a strong plank position that works for you and hold it for 30 seconds, breathing slowly all the way.
4) Perfecting The Push-Up
The push-up is a classic body weight exercise and it’s favored by calisthenics experts all over the world. Don’t let that put you off, however, as this exercise can be tweaked for all abilities and it’s so good for building strength and toning muscles in your shoulders and arms.
For the perfect push-up, find a plank position but stay up on your palms. Then drop your knees to the floor – this will take some weight off your arms and allow you to crank out some solid reps. Try working your way up from sets of five to ten, and then you can graduate off your knees into solid plank push-ups.
Work It Out
Building a home workout into your routine takes time – be gentle with your body and listen out for signs that you’re pushing yourself too hard. You don’t have to do everything, every day – try and find the time for one of these exercises at first and build up slowly into a powerful routine.
Regina Wheeler is a lifestyle writer at Write My Assignment and Thesis Writing Service. She has a passion for promoting health, nutrition and fitness through her writing and believes everyone can improve their life by making small, day to day changes. She also writes for Coursework Help.