In this article we have provided some examples of exercises to perform at home and require no equipment. This weekend in particular would be a great time to implement these movements because you will have a lot of down time during the Super Bowl commercials! Needless to say, any time you are watching TV throughout the year and a commercial comes on try to stick to this routine, or add your own twist, to create a healthy habit!
The video above demonstrates eight different exercises that target the whole body. On the right hand side of the screen you can follow along with Jody Miller, M.A., RCEP, for a less intense workout. Danielle Scheinman is on the left hand side of the screen performing slightly more intense versions of the same exercises. If you can follow along with the video that’s great! But, if you need a little more direction keep reading for some detailed descriptions on each movement.
LOW INTENSITY EXERCISES
- Marching: stand in place and lift your knees up to your waistline. Make sure to keep your core tight so that you avoid moving around too much. An easy way to make sure your hips aren’t dropping from side to side is to keep your hands on your hips so that you can feel any movement.
- Chair Squat: find your nearest chair and situate yourself far enough away from it so that when you sit down your back doesn’t touch the back of the chair. Instead, you want your buttocks to land in the front half of the chair. Without using the armrests, (if there are any) go from a seated to standing position by driving the force through your heels.
- Wall Push-Up: this push-up is done exactly the same way as any other one you’ve done in the past. By propping yourself against a wall you decrease the amount of gravity you are working against to bring your body back up. Therefore, the further away your feet are from the wall (i.e. the more parallel your body is to the ground) the more difficult the push-up. Spread your arms so that they are around shoulder-width apart, and lower your body until a right angle forms between your forearm and upper arm.
- Standing Twist: standing with your arms bent, hands facing forward, slowly twist to your right side. Come back to face center before going to the left side. By doing this exercise at an unhurried pace you allow your abdominals to engage.
- Straight Arm Push Back: put your hand down at your sides with your palms facing back. Tighten the back of your arms so that you feel rigid. Then, gently pulse your arms back and forth, but do not let your arms come in front of you at all.
- Lo Jack: this is a modified version of the usual jumping jack. Individually extend one leg out to each side while simultaneously moving your arms up and down over your head.
- Seated March: situate yourself on the front half of a chair or couch and place your hands on your hips. One at a time lift your leg up towards your chest while tightening your core
- Modified Plank: place your forearms against the wall with your feet far enough away so that your back is flat. Similar to the modified push-up, placing your hands lower down on the wall and your feet further away will require you to engage your abdominals more. Squeeze your core to help keep your back straight. If you start to feel your lower back hurt, you likely are not flexing your abs hard enough, thereby letting your back sag.
HIGH INTENSITY EXERCISES
- High Knees: run in place. Make sure to keep your arms moving to help raise your knees as high as possible
- Squats: keeping your back flat, lower yourself into a squat with your weight kept over your heels. To prevent you from bending over, pick a spot on the ceiling to look at. Lifting your arms in front of you while squatting down will counter the weight in back and help hinder falling backwards.
- Push-Up: to perform a traditional push-up prop yourself up on your hands a feet in the shape of a triangle. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and feet close together behind you. Engage your core to keep your back flat, and lower your buttocks so that it is not raised into the air. Lower yourself while keeping this position until your arms are bent at 90 degrees.
- Oblique Twists: place both hands on the floor under your chest and your feet behind you. Slowly remove one hand from the floor and turn to the same side while lifting your arm up towards the ceiling. Try to stop yourself once your hand is pointing straight at the ceiling. Lower your arm back down the same way and switch to the other arm.
- Tricep Dip: place your hands at the end of a chair with your hands facing forward. With your feet comfortably in front of you so that your knees are bent, lower yourself towards the floor so that your elbows come to a 90-degree angle. Then, raise yourself back up until your arms are straight, and repeat.
- Jumping Jack: start with your arms by your side and feet together. Then, at the same time, lift your arms above your head while jumping and widening the base of your feet. Bring yourself back to the starting position by jumping back to how you started.
- Sit-up: lay with your feet and back flat on the floor (tucking your stomach in), and your arms folded across your chest or behind your neck. Lift your body towards the ceiling so that your shoulder blades just come off the floor. Be sure to keep your chin up and your eyes locked on the ceiling
- Plank: place your elbows and forearms flat on the floor and feet together behind you. Hold up your body by tightening your core and keeping your back flat from head to toe.