5 Simple At-Home Exercises To Stay in the Best Shape
Baby, it's cold outside, and you simply don't want to leave the house. We understand the need to keep it cozy during the chillier months (or year-round, to be honest), which is why we're revealing five simple at-home exercises to stay in the best shape. After all, you don't want those holiday chocolate mint crinkles and snowball cookies to give you a Santa belly!
Aside from keeping belly fat at bay during such a tasty holiday treat season, there are many health benefits to staying active in the winter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), engaging in physical activity can decrease your chance of developing type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and high blood pressure. It also helps you think more clearly, sleep better, and feel better overall. By exercising, you can maintain a healthy weight (or shed some pounds) and even improve your immune system. Besides, you don't want to undo all the goodness you've done the rest of the year!
Spending more time indoors as the temps cool down doesn't mean your workout routine has to suffer. The fitness experts at Breaking Muscle hand-selected five of the most productive exercises you can do without leaving home, sweet home. Keep reading to learn more about them.
Kick off your at-home fitness routine with Pushups. This exercise works your shoulders, arms, and chest. Another perk of the Pushup? It helps keep your shoulders and lower back safe while boosting your flexibility skills.
If you're a beginner, start with Wall Pushups. Stand about an arm's distance away from a wall, keeping your feet hip distance apart. Place your hands on the wall parallel to your shoulders, keeping your fingers pointed up to the ceiling. Then, lean toward the wall with your elbows bent just a bit until your nose is almost touching the wall. Keep your back straight and elbows bent at a 45-degree angle.
When you're ready to kick things up a notch, Floor Pushups should be next on deck. To begin, position yourself on the ground while keeping your torso supported with your hands and toes. Your hands should be placed just a bit outside your shoulder span. While keeping your body in a straight line all the way from your head to your toes, bend both elbows as you lower your body, and then press back up.
Perform 10 reps to start, then decrease the rep count for every set until you get down to one, doing a total of 10 sets.
Bird Dog Holds
Soothe any pain in your lower back while at the same time strengthening your back muscles with Bird Dog Holds. You'll really work your glutes and core with this upper and lower body motion.
To set up, get into an all-fours position on the floor with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Activate your core while keeping a straight back. Raise your left arm until it reaches shoulder height, and completely extend your right leg. Remain in this position for at least five seconds, then change over to your left leg and right arm. Complete three sets of 8 to 12 reps on each side.
Next up, we have Air Squats. The fitness pros at Breaking Muscle dub this move an ultra-productive exercise for beginners that activates your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and thighs.
To set up, place your feet a bit wider than shoulder width. Lower down into a squat, making sure your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your hands should remain close to your heart's center as you keep your upper body straight. Then, rise back up to the position you started in. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
We're not going to lie, a Squat Hold can be pretty difficult, but it's a great exercise you shouldn't skip. Not only will it strengthen your lower body and core, but it will also enhance your balance.
Begin by raising your hands to the height of your chest, and assume a deep squat. Keep your thighs parallel to the floor, and try to go as low as possible. Dig your feet into the ground while activating your core and glutes. Make sure your body stays straight, and hold this position for 20 seconds. If you feel the total-body burn, you're acing this exercise. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps, making sure each rep is held for 20 seconds.
This next exercise is stellar if you want to build strength. It puts your quads, hamstrings, hips, and glutes to work.
To get started, put your feet a bit wider than your shoulder span. Then, head down into a slight squat. Lower both hands to your sides, and lift your arms to the height of your chest as you stand up quickly and jump. Come down gently, forming another squat, then move into the next rep. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 reps.