Maintaining your physical health is the key to a healthy mind and body in the long term. However, keeping fit doesn’t mean you have to break the bank paying for gym memberships and expensive workout equipment; there’s a lot that you can do with simple trainers and a yoga mat.
These five simple exercises are tailor-made to facilitate a quick and easy workout that will target every area of your body. Best of all, you can practice in the comfort of your own home and the entire routine will only take up 10 to 15 minutes of your day. You’ll see results within a month.
Here’s a breakdown of the five exercises along with a simple workout routine below.
How to do it: Place your feet shoulder-width apart and spread your weight evenly across your feet. Raise your arms to shoulder height, then slowly lower yourself as though “sitting” in an imaginary chair. Keep your knees above your feet and your back straight; your gaze is forward. Rise slowly, and repeat.
Benefits: Squats will strengthen your core and stimulate a healthy fat burning process. According to Runners World, the squat is also a “multi-joint exercise” that strengthens the hamstrings, hips, quadriceps, and buttocks. Strong legs often equal faster legs, which is helpful for runners.
How to do it: Plank is a static position that relies upon good form. For high plank, get into a pushup position with your palms beneath your shoulders and your toes firmly planted on the ground. Keep your back straight, your core tight, and your elbow creases facing forwards. Make sure you maintain a straight line with your spine as sagging can cause lower back pain.
For a modified version of plank, keep the form as above but lower down onto your forearms. This will slightly reduce the intensity of the posture.
Benefits: Many consider plank a hugely underrated posture. According to Healthline, a plank is an all-encompassing workout and a very efficient way to exercise. The plank can also help to improve your posture.
How to do it: Begin in a high plank position with your palms planted slightly wider than your shoulders. From there, lower yourself slowly with elbows in line with your body. Maintain a straight line through your back, pelvis, and legs. Slowly rise, and repeat.
For a modified version, drop your knees to the ground to ease the pressure on your shoulders and core muscles.
Benefits: Push-ups are a high-intensity muscle strengthener that predominantly benefits the chest, arms, and abdominal muscles. Medical News Today advises that daily push-ups can improve upper body muscle mass and even cardiovascular health.
4. Thigh and Buttock Crunch
How to do it: Kneel on all fours with knees hip-width apart and palms planted beneath your shoulders. Stretch your left leg and right arm out to form a straight line. Slowly bend both, bringing your right elbow to meet your left knee. Straighten, repeat, and change sides after three rounds.
Benefits: Thigh and buttock crunches are great for the core muscles and hip joints. They also benefit the back muscles and buttocks. Verywell Fit advises that this pose helps improve balance, body awareness, and even posture.
How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms stretched above your head. Slowly raise your upper body to touch your toes, if you can, then slowly return to a supine position. Men’s Health advises practitioners that your lower back should not round; the movement should come from your hips and upper back only.
For a modified version, raise your arms to shoulder height only and rise to a sitting position without touching your toes.
Benefits: Sit-ups strengthen the core muscles, massage the digestive organs, and stimulate fat burning.
Here’s how to practice:
Week 1: 1 minute 30 seconds of each with 10 seconds rest between exercises; continue for 6 days, rest for 1 day
Week 2: 3 minutes of each with 15 seconds rest between exercises; continue for 6 days, rest for 1 day
Week 3: Repeat week 1 routine
Week 4: Repeat week 2 routine
However, always seek the advice of a physician if you have an existing injury, and always stop an exercise and seek advice if you experience pain or discomfort. Consider challenging yourself with this easy-to-follow home workout routine for four weeks.