In the wake of Covid-19 many gym-goers were rendered inactive due to imposed lock-downs and curfews by governments. This led individuals to seek alternative ways to stay fit that mostly included working out from home. This led to the rise of virtual fitness instructors and apps as well. As there are limited weights at home, the body becomes your most powerful tool. Lifting your own body weight is sufficient for staying fit and getting in-shape unless you are a professional body builder. Flexibility, convenience and affordability of give home workouts an edge over gym exercises. This article shall cover the home workouts you should try.
You should consider starting home workouts with a short warm activity. Warm-Ups prepare your muscles and joints for intense activity. It is important for you to have sufficient warm-up activity to avoid instant stress to your muscles thus reducing the risk of injury. Here is a short 5-minute warm up exercise for you. Have five second rests between each activity. Have Fun!!!
Clockwise Extended Arm Circles(25 seconds)
How To: Keep your back straight and stretch out your arms palms facing downwards. Move them in a small circular motion clockwise (Forwards).
Reverse Clock Extended Arm Circles (25 seconds)
How To: Keep your back straight and stretch out your arms palms facing downwards. Move them in a small circular motion anticlockwise (backwards).
Bridges (30 seconds)
How To: Lie on your back in while placing your feet in line with your hips. Keeping your shoulders down, activate your glutes and hips while moving in an up and down. Keep your back straight without resting in the bottom position.
Toe Touch Walk (30 seconds)
How To: While standing with your back straight, touch the toe of your leg with the opposite hand by lifting up your leg. Alternate this movement as fast as you can without compromising the technique.
Windmill (30 seconds)
How To: Stand upright with legs slightly apart and your back straight with arms fully stretched out. Bend down and touch the right toe with the left arm, move back to the starting position and touch your left toe with your right arm. Do this continuously.
Supine Marching (30 seconds)
How To: Lie down on your back in a Supine position with arms firmly pressed on the floor. Lift your left and right legs in alternating patterns. Squeeze your abdominal muscles. Keep your legs completely extended. Relax the shoulders and the neck muscles.
Side to Side Reach (30 seconds)
How To: Stand up right with legs slightly apart. Stretch your arms and tilt from side to side (from left to right).
Twisted Mountain Climber (30 seconds)
How To: While in the push up position, move your left leg toward your right hand and return it to the starting position. Does the same for your right leg. Continue this alternate movement for 30 seconds
This is by far the most common exercise. It may be your first ever workout to do. Doing push-ups benefits your shoulders and arm and gives you strength. It prevents your lower back from injury as well.
How to: Start in a standard push-up position, with your feet together or no more than 12 inches apart, hands flat on the ground below your shoulders, and arms straight. Breathe in as you bend your elbows—keep them tracking back alongside your body—to lower your chest to slightly below the level of your bent elbow, and then breathe out as you push back up to the starting position for one repetition.
b. Mountain Climbers
This is an intense exercise and involves almost all muscles. It is a compound exercise involving the core, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and quads not forgetting the gastrocnemius.
How to: Move your knees as high as you can. The head should be straight with the waist in a steady horizontal position. Hands should be firm on the floor with the biceps facing forward. Move one knee at a time.
c. Jumping Jacks (Star Jumps)
During physical education (P. E) this was the common exercise. It is by far the easiest. However, do not under estimate star jumps as they are compound exercises involving the whole body. You need to balance and stay in position.
How to: Keep your knees and toes pointing slightly outwards as you jump. Land with soft knees on the balls of your feet to protect your knees. Go as fast as you can without losing control.
d. Wall Sit
The idea of sitting against the wall seems fun and easy until it’s 10 seconds and your thighs are shaking. It’s like doing planks, time slows down. This exercise helps your back and your thigh muscles. It also works your glutes and leg muscles. It will also help you improve your sitting position and reduce back pains.
How to: Start with your back against a wall with your feet shoulder width and about 2 feet from the wall. Engage your abdominal muscles and slowly slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Adjust your feet so your knees are directly above your ankles (rather than over your toes). Keep your back flat against the wall.
e. Crunches (Sit-Ups)
Sit-ups work your core muscles and will play a part in growing your six pack.
How to: Gently draw your belly in and tighten your abs as you curl up and forwards slowly. Keep your lower back pressed towards the floor throughout the movement. Maintain a fist size distance between your chin and chest.
How do you slow time down? Lying on your arms like a plank of wood and supporting your body involves your core, back and legs for balance. Your shoulders support your upper body weight and give you stability. Its all fun and games until you start shaking and the clock reads 10 seconds.
How to: Squeeze your shoulder blades and engage your core as you maintain a straight lie with your whole body. Engage your buttocks and push your heels back as you stand on your toes. Elbows under your shoulders for stability with hands pointing forwards.
Squats may be among the earliest learnt exercises. This is the basic manoeuvre when one wants to poop. Squatting will improve your lower back muscle, your pelvic floor and gluteus muscle as well.
How to: Stand with feet a little wider than hip width, toes facing front. Drive your hips back—bending at the knees and ankles and pressing your knees slightly open. Sit into a squat position while still keeping your heels and toes on the ground, chest up and shoulders back. Strive to eventually reach parallel, meaning knees are bent to a 90-degree angle. Press into your heels and straighten legs to return to a standing upright position.
So, you want big legs, why don’t you step-up to the challenge? Step-ups are like going up a flight of stairs. Build bigger legs by using home furniture like your chair. It may look simple but it is beneficial.
How to: Step-up with one leg at a time onto a sturdy chair, bench or other item nearby. Engage your core and keep your body straight throughout the exercise. Knees should always stay behind your toes. Alternate the leg you first step up with.
As the name suggests, cool down exercises reduce tension in your muscles and prevent soreness after intense active. Perform a few static stretches to cool you down.
Side Neck Stretch(40 seconds)
How To: Sit in an upright position with the back straight and legs crossed. Actively pull the opposite shoulder and arm down. Switch after 20 seconds to the opposite side. Stretch as far as you can without feeling any pain. Don’t overstretch.
Wide Leg Bend (30 seconds)
How To: Sit on the floor/mat with your back straight and legs apart. Place your hand between your legs and fold forward through the hips. Keep your spine long and straight. Feel the stretch in your inner thighs. Stretch as far as you can without feeling any pain. Don’t overstretch.
Front Neck Stretch (40 seconds)
How To: Sit in an upright position with the back straight and legs crossed. Pull both shoulders down and place stretch your neck to the right while placing your hands on your chest. Switch after 20 seconds.
Tricep Stretch (30 seconds)
How To: Sit in an upright position with the back straight and legs crossed. Keep your back straight and keep your core tight all the time. Place left arm over your head touching the right shoulder at the back. Stretch it with your right hand at the elbow. Hold it then repeat for 20 seconds. Do this for the right hand after 20 seconds.
Forward Shoulder Rotations (30 seconds)
How To: Stand upright with your back straight with arms parallel to your body. Move your shoulders forwards in a clockwise manner while engaging your back and shoulder muscles.
Reverse Shoulder Rotations (30 seconds)
How To: Stand upright with your back straight with arms parallel to your body. Move your shoulders backwards in an anticlockwise manner while engaging your back and shoulder muscles.
Forward Fold (30 seconds)
How To: Align your feet in parallel. Fold forward through the hips while keeping your back and legs straight. Keep your arms straight and move to touch your heels. Observe your body limits and don’t force the whole range of motion.
Yoga Backbend (30 seconds)
How To: Stand up straight and keep your back straight and core tight all the time. Tilt backwards and stretch your arms back as much as possible.