If you’ve been questionable about going to a gym because of germs, restrictions, or just a busy schedule, you might be struggling to keep up with a regular exercise routine. Working out at home might sound appealing, but many people feel limited because of how expensive and space-consuming all that equipment can be. However, you honestly don’t need to have anything around except your own body (and a little motivation) to successfully work out at home.
Here are some exercise ideas that use nothing but your own bodyweight to help you get inspired and ready to work out in some fun new ways.
Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises
In addition to not having to invest in a lot of pricey equipment, there are many other benefits to centering your workouts on bodyweight exercises. Here are some of the perks you have to look forward to:
- Increased stability and balance
- Better mobility and flexibility
- Uncomplicated movements to learn
- Great for all body types of levels of fitness
- Doesn’t take a lot of time to do
- Build muscle and improve cardiovascular health
- Do from the safety and comfort of your own home
Squats are excellent exercises for the legs, back, and glutes. Stand up with your feet parallel and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your heels on the ground at all times, and then raise back up to a standing position. Start with sets of 10 for this exercise, and as you master it over time, you can even hold dumbbells in your hands for an extra challenge.
To work a different part of your legs and entire lower body, add lateral leg raises to your bodyweight workout routine at home. For this exercise, lie on your side with your legs extended out. Then lift your top leg about 45 degrees and slowly lower it back to the ground with your toe flexed. Do 10 on each side and then then flip around to do the other side next.
Moving your arms in circles might not sound like much of a workout, but you can really “feel the burn” within just a few seconds of doing this exercise. Extend your arms out to each side and then make circles about one foot in diameter going clockwise. Continue this for about 30 seconds. Then reverse the motion by going counterclockwise for 30 seconds.
Pushups are classic bodyweight exercises that might make you think of P.E. class or military training. But there’s a reason this exercise has withstood the test of time. Pushups are great for the upper body and the core for building strength and creating muscle tone. To try pushups, get down on your hands and toes – hands shoulder-width apart and feet at hip-distance apart. Tighten your core, bend your elbows while keeping them close to your body, and lower down until your chest hovers just off the floor. Then raise back up and try sets of 10 to start.
Lying-Down Overhead Crunches
There are lots of different exercises that you can do to work your core, but a good place to start is the good ole’ crunch. You can make standard crunches a bit more challenging by raising your arms overhead instead of crossing them over your chest. Just make sure that the power is coming from your abs and not from the movement of your arms to get the full effect of this exercise. While crunching, keep your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and then contract your abs to pull your shoulders off the floor for each repetition.
Standing Oblique Crunches
To work the sides of your core, oblique exercises are an excellent choice. Get up off the floor and stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands behind your head with elbows wide. Lift one knee at a time to the same-side elbow as you bend your torso up and over to that side. After doing 10 on one side, switch to the other side and keep track of how many you can do.
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