The ongoing pandemic hasn’t just come in the way of social celebrations but daily fitness as well. A lot of people are continuing to work from home, increasing the time they spent sitting. With no office space to walk to or outside the movement, exercising at home has become all the more important.
From adding a bout of cardio to toning up your muscles, here we bring you some of the best at-home workouts to keep you fit and healthy.
1. Cycling in the air
As children, cycling through the streets as part of the fun. However, this exercise also has numerous benefits for the body. No doubt as adults you’ve been upping the intensity of the spin cycle, but with gyms best avoided these days, we bring you an easy at-home workout to replicate the benefits without the equipment.
To do this exercise, lie on your back and bend your knees while lifting your feet in the air. For support, keep your palms flat under your hips. Now, start pumping your legs like you would on a bicycle in a forward motion. Start at a slow tempo and build it up to a faster tempo. You can even alternate the speed as per your comfort. Start with as much as you can and build it to 10 minutes.
You can enhance this exercise by following it with a reverse cycling motion. This time pump your legs inwards for a complete workout. This exercise works out your abdominal and oblique muscles, and hips. To avoid cramps, be sure to stretch after exercise.
2. Climb stairs
For those of you with stairs at home or in the apartment building, you can try a quick and effective workout. Stairs are a whole-body cardio workout that strengthens the muscles in the lower half of your body. Try increasing the number of times you can climb stairs at a go. You can also add some variations to keep it interesting and challenging. Try stair hops – by jumping two stairs at a time or climb stairs sideways like a grapevine. Be sure to face the railing and hold on for support if needed. Stairs climbing is one of the best home exercises but try any variations only if you have a good balance.
3. Spot jogging
One of the biggest things people miss is the adrenalin high from jogging in the park or running on the treadmill. While both seem difficult right now, we have the perfect cardio solution for you – spot jogging. Simply put on your running shoes and a peppy playlist and start jogging in place. Remember to start slow and build up your speed. Maintain a consistent speed for 10-15 mins before you cool down. As you keep exercising, you will be able to build your stamina. You can also try lifting your knees high while jogging for a couple of minutes in between to enhance the impact of the exercise.
Along with boosting your metabolism and heart rate, this quick and simple workout at home will leave you refreshed.
4. Jumping Jacks
This move is sure to remind you of school but is actually one of the best home exercises for the whole body. In this exercise, you have to jump in the air while widening your legs and lifting your arms above your head. You have to then bring your arms down and get legs together as you come to a still. This exercise looks simple but it is sure to leave you panting soon. Try and keep it up consistently for a minute and you’re sure to break out a sweat.
Time to get your heart rate up. Making sure to raise your hands over your head each time, and keep the cardio going for at least one minute. For beginners, start with 5 jumping jacks and try to build it to 25 at a time. As you improve your stamina you can increase the number of reps.
One of the best at-home workouts, burpees combine a push up and a jump for a massive cardio boost. To do this exercise begin in a squat position, bring down your hands to a floor and move into a push up. Be sure to maintain a correct posture and keep your back straight. Complete a push up and bring your legs next to your hands to return to a squat-like position followed by a jump in the air. Repeat these steps 4-5 times initially. Slowly build up to 10 and then 20 burpees at a time to boost heart rate, strengthen and tone muscles along with building stamina.
Give your calves and glutes a perfect workout with lunges. To do front lunges, stand on a mat with your feet together. Take a long stride forward with your right foot and let your left knee come closer to the floor. Be sure to not let your knee go ahead of the toes in your right leg. Keep your hands on your hips or hold out on the side for balance. Hold for 5 seconds and bring back your right leg to standing position. Do this 10 times on the right and then repeat on the left.
Another variation that also works wonders for inner thigh fat is the side lunge. Follow the same steps but instead of stepping out in the front, take a step on the side for an easy at-home workout.
One of the most recommended exercises, be it at the gym or at home, squats are a must in every workout routine. To do this, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and back straight. Drop your hips towards the floor like sitting in a chair while bending your knees. Make sure to keep your back straight and not hunched. Keep your knees behind your toes at all times. Hold this position for a few seconds, then straighten and repeat. You can start with a set of 10 squats and can eventually build it up to 25 reps.
This full-body exercise can make 1-minute feel like 10. Simply drop to your elbows and toes in a straight position and hold for 1 minute. It may sound easy, but it takes practice. This simple workout at home engages your entire core and strengthens the shoulders, arms and glutes. When doing a plank, be sure to keep your elbows directly below your shoulders. Also, your back, hips and head should be in one straight line. If you feel any body part get uncomfortably stressed, take a break and start again.
This workout can be done even while watching TV. Simply sit on the edge of the couch or bed and place your hands firmly on the edges of the bed. Now push off your hips from the bed, resting your weight on your hands. Lower your body to the floor and raise it back again – do not sit but keep your weight suspended. Start with 10 reps and build to 25. This exercise helps strengthen the abs, arms, shoulders and hips.
The classic home exercise, push-ups are a great way to energise yourself at home and strengthen your upper body. To do the traditional push-up, lie on the floor with your weight resting on your hands and toes. Bend your elbows and lower your head to the floor and come back up. Start with 10 reps and build to 30. For beginners, try keeping your knees on the floor initially and build up to the traditional style.