It is crucial to make regular exercise a part of your routine, but some days you’re just feeling too lazy, or you have too much work to do to leave the house. Luckily, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home that don’t take up too much space or time, but will still help you stay toned and flexible. Here are some of our favorite at-home workouts.
For core strength:
Core strength is vital because your abdominal muscles support your spine and help you coordinate movement throughout your entire body. To develop your core strength, traditional crunches are the way to go. Make sure you keep your shoulders down and your stomach held in for the most efficient movement. For something a little more challenging, you can also try a roll-up. Lie down with your arms above your head and your legs out straight. Engage your core and roll up one vertebra at a time until you are touching your toes, then roll back down. This exercise is great because it engages your entire core.
For upper body strength: To keep your arms and shoulders feeling strong and toned, try push-ups and planks. The great thing about both of these exercises is that they can be done in a variety of different positions depending on your skill level. You can put your knees on the ground in a ‘V’ shape to take some stress off of your back, or you can try side push-ups and planks for an added challenge.
For back flexibility and strength: Many people underestimate the importance of keeping your back strong and flexible, but as one of the biggest parts of your body, it is crucial to make sure your back is strong. To develop strength in your back, try ‘supermans’ – lay face down with your arms overhead, then arch your back up as far as you can and hold. Increase the amount of time you hold the pose as you develop strength in your back. To improve flexibility in your back, try the traditional yoga poses of downward dog and cobra. Downward dog lengthens the muscles in the back (as well as the muscles in the back of your legs), and Cobra helps develop your ability to arch backward.
For thigh strength: To strengthen the upper part of your legs, try lunges and squats. You can do these in many different positions, and you can repeat as many times as you need, depending on your level of fitness. These are also great because they stretch out your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles.
For calf strength: Try some calf raises to add some definition to your lower leg muscles. Just five or ten of these each day can make a huge difference, and they are an easy exercise to do while cooking or doing other chores around the house. Just be sure to stretch out the calf muscles after doing this exercise to avoid developing unnecessary muscle tension.