For the longest time, I didn’t think a workout really “counted” unless it involved driving somewhere with a locker room and cardio equipment. Then, I had children. Out of convenience and necessity, I started doing home workouts – and fell in love with them.
If you don’t have time to go to the gym or studio, don’t feel defeated. You can still get a good workout with a small circuit of the following exercises. And, the best part: you can do these almost anywhere! (As always, talk with a doctor before making any fitness or exercise changes.)
1. Squats. Squats are one of the most beneficial exercises we can do. Think about how many times during the day we go from a sitting to standing position. It’s a LOT! Try 10-25 squats standing in front of the couch. Tap your booty to the couch and exhale, squeezing your glutes, to rise.
2. Lunges. Lunges are great exercises to do at home because you can travel around the house with walking lunges. It’s an efficient way to work your quads. When you sink down into your lunge, make sure to keep your front knee stacked over your front ankle. Make a wide stance so when you sink down, you’re creating 90-degree angles with both legs. If lunges are too hard on your knees, try a wall sit instead (30 seconds).
3. Planks. Planks are another functional exercise that is easy to implement. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from your head, all the way back through toes (or your knees if you need to modify). If you’re on your toes, press back through your heels, and no matter what, keep your hips in line with your spine. Tilt your chin away from your chest so your neck stays long, and take some nice deep breaths.
If a full plank is too much pressure on your abdomen (your core muscles actively “bulge” out), try placing your hands on the wall or a countertop instead of the floor. Pull your core in and breathe.
4. Leg lifts. Our glute muscles (buttocks) are notoriously weak, which can lead to lower back pain, weak core muscles, and hip pain. Stand in front of a countertop, holding onto it for balance. Tap one foot behind you, and exhale to lift your leg off the floor, squeezing your glutes. Try lifting it 15 times, then holding it at the top and pulse 15 times. Make sure to keep both hips squared to the countertop.
5. Bent-over rows. Our back muscles are often weak, due to our extremely tight chest muscles (from being hunched over our computers…oops… driving, or phones). For a bent-over row, hold onto some dumbbells, or some water bottles for resistance. Stand with your feet just under your hips, with a slight bend at the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat (shoulders pulled back) and core braced. Lifting up from your elbows, bring them in towards your torso, engaging into your rear delts (shoulder muscles). Stop the elbows at torso height before carefully lowering back down. Try 15 of these!