Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Both mentally and physically, your body just cannot run at its full potential if you are out of shape.
Unfortunately, many of us cannot make it to the gym on any regular basis. We are either unwilling or unable to make the trek four to six times a week and so we just let out physical health go by the wayside. By association, mental health takes a serious hit as well.
The answer, of course, is to develop a home workout routine. Most of us are not physical trainers, though, and cannot determine what kinds of home exercises are good for overall strength and general well-being.
To help you with this situation, here are 10 of our favorite at-home workouts to make you healthier and happier, no equipment required.
Squats are a great warm-up exercise for strength workouts because they don’t strain your muscles too hard but still stretch a broad range of muscles.
To be specific, they work your quadriceps, your hamstrings, and your calf muscles.
To begin with, you should stand with your legs spread a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Then bend your knees and thrust your hips back, as if you are preparing to sit gently on a chair behind you. Make sure you keep your shoulders back, not bent forwards.
When your legs are bent at roughly 90 degrees, stop lowering yourself. Hold the sitting position you’re in for a second. Then press into your heels to return to your original standing position.
After five squats, try holding a little bit of weight while you’re doing the exercise. Then after a few more, add a bit more weight. Keep gradually adding weight until you feel you are getting a good workout.
Push-ups are easy to do anywhere at a moment’s notice, and they’re very useful in working all the muscles in your arms and back — the pectorals, triceps, deltoids, abdominals, and serratus anterior. Like squats, they don’t work your muscles too hard, which makes them an excellent upper body strength warm-up.
To do push-ups with proper form, position your hands on the ground just barely wider than shoulder-width apart. Do not lock your elbows.
Slowly bend your elbows so that your upper body is lowered towards the ground. One of your elbows is at a 45-degree angle to your body, begin to raise yourself again. Once you are back at your original position, repeat. Again, never lock your elbows.
Try to make your movement during the push-up fluid throughout. You are lowering yourself slowly rather than dropping your body aids with muscle control. This is a common theme for most home workouts.
Lunges are super easy to do, and they work important muscles that most other home workouts can’t get to.
Namely, the quads in your thighs and the glutes in your hips and butt.
Here is instruction on proper lunge form from personal trainer Greg Nieratka:
“First, Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Engage your core.
“Second, take a big step forward with your right leg. Start to shift your weight forward, so your heel hits the floor first.
“Third, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical. It’s okay if your knee shifts forward a little as long as it doesn’t go past the right toe. If mobility allows, lightly tap your left knee to the floor while keeping weight in your right heel.
“Fourth, press into your right heel to drive back up to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.”
One-Armed Dumbbell Rows
For these “dumbbell” rows, you’ll be using a five-pound object you find lying around like a full carton of liquid or a heavy ornament.
You’ll also need to find a flat elevated surface that you can comfortably put your knee on while keeping your other foot planted on the ground.
To prepare for the exercise, hold the weight in the hand opposite the knee you put up. Your setup should look something like this:
[INSERT HOME DUMBBELL ROWS SETUP]
The exercise’s execution is simple. In a smooth motion, raise the weight until your elbow is at slightly less than a 45-degree angle. Then smoothly return to your starting position. Remember never to lock or 100% release your elbow muscle.
Switch sides after a while, and repeat.
This exercise is not a warm-up. It’s fairly strenuous on your arm, ab, and back muscles, and it helps improve balance, too, if that is not your strong point. The point is, do one or two less strenuous arm and back exercises first to warm up before attempting this one.
Honestly, it would be unhealthy for a couple not to have fights at all.
Fights aren’t necessarily bad things. They’re a chance for both sides of a couple to get their opinions out on the table. It’s important you both remember that.
Even in fights where one side is acting illogically, they’re always doing it for a reason.
Every time you get in a fight with your partner, make sure you glean at least one piece of knowledge from it that will help change your actions in the future and help secure further harmony in the relationship.
Try and make sure your partner knows this, too, because it’s an essential piece of a relationship. Bring it up when you’re not fighting, though.
Jumping jacks are such a classic because they work out pretty much the whole body — biceps, triceps, glutes, adductors, hamstrings, calves, quads, chest muscles, core, lats, and more.
They’re also supremely easy to do. Jump from a standing position, and scissor together your hands above your head while spreading your legs while you’re in the air. Then jump again and return to the starting position. Repeat as many times as you feel are necessary, and modify your speed to adjust the intensity of the workout.
While effective, jumping jacks are not too strenuous. This makes them a good exercise for warming up or cooling down.
These are a few of the best exercises to include in your home workout. It’s best to spread out your reps for each of these exercises. In other words, do a certain amount of reps of one, then do another, another, then go back to the first one, and then the second, and so on.
In case you get tired of these six exercises, here’s a fitness enthusiast and Instagram influencer Pamela Reif to lead you through a 20-minute workout with different exercises.
DO YOU AGREE WITH OUR FAVORITE AT-HOME EXERCISES? WHICH ARE YOUR GO-TOS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!