As promised – here are some exercises you can easily do at home to begin your journey. All you need is a mat/towel, a chair and your body weight! If you have time to watch TV, you have time to work out! Try this: during commercials, do a set of at least one exercise below (10 repetitions = 1 set) – repeat this pattern until you have completed 1 set of each exercise.
These weight training exercises should be done at least twice a week – with one or two days rest in between (don’t do them two days in a row). For now, aim for the minimum of two days – remember, we want to begin slow and steady. Do this during your favourite TV show this week or put on an upbeat playlist of your favourite tunes! (Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Glee?)
First thing first – warm up! Elevate your body temperature by doing some cardio exercises that last at least 5 minutes: march on the spot, do jumping jacks, dance, etc.
Before we get started, there’s a couple of points to remember throughout: breathe – never hold your breath; pull in your abdominals – that keeps your core working out throughout AND protects your low back.
Exercise your legs and butt – Squat it!
Use a chair to support you. Either sit on it and stand up hands free – or just hover over the chair as depicted above. You can also stand behind the chair to hold on for support as you squat. The deeper you lower your bottom, the more challenging the exercise. Don’t go too deep. Don’t let your knees pass your toes.
Exercise your legs and butt – take the Glute Bridge!
Lie on your back as depicted below, knees bent, arms at your side and palms down. With the pressure coming from your heels – lift your hips off the ground, as high as comfortable. Squeeze your glutes/butt, pause, then slowly lower to repeat.
Exercise your chest – Push up!
Select the option you’re able to comfortably execute. If you can’t put too much pressure on your knees, for example, as depicted by the first image –
– do the wall push up!
Lower your chest towards the floor/wall, then push away. At the wall – the further your feet are from the wall, the more difficult the push up. Your fingers are pointing forward, hands wider than shoulder with apart, palms in line with shoulders.
Exercise your core – do a Back Extension!
On the floor, on all fours, keep your palms directly below your shoulder and your hips and knees are aligned. Look down, keeping a neutral neck, then extend opposite arm and leg, pause, then return to repeat with the other side.
If you’re uncomfortable doing this on your knees, you can do it standing at a wall or behind a chair.
Exercise your core – Heel Dip it!
Lie on your back, arms out as depicted above. Bend your knees, keep one leg on the floor throughout or raise both heels in the air. While maintaining engaged abdominals, alternate lowering your heels to the floor. If you’re keeping your core engaged throughout, you should begin to feel a burning sensation in your abdominal region! Don’t forget to breathe!
Exercise your core – Plank it!
Resting on your forearm and knees, maintain a straight line from your knee to the top of your head. Look down at your hands, maintaining a long neck. Keep your abdominals tight – let’s see how long you can hold this position for – keep breathing, don’t hold your breath!!
All done? Alright, it’s time to cool it down!
Stretch all muscles worked. Each stretch should be held for at least 15 seconds – but if that’s too uncomfortable in the beginning, hold for 8 and work your way up to the minimum. If you experience pain or shaking – you have gone too far – back off. Stretching should feel good, this is your muscles reward for a job well done. Put on a relaxing tune and enjoy your stretch!
Now, if you plan to invest in any economical fitness equipment for the home – these three are more than enough!
Dumbbells (image source)
Stability Balls (image source):