at-home exercises

Temperatures are in the single digits. You had a long day at the office. You’re just getting over a cold. Sometimes, life just gets in the way of you going to the gym. Don’t let that turn into an excuse to slack on your routine. Below you’ll find 15 at-home exercises you can do on your own time, without any equipment.

Combine 4-5 of the movements to create your very own full-body workout, or if you’re more advanced, try all 15!

Pushups – Lie on the floor, face down, and place your hands about 3 ft. apart, holding your torso up at arm’s length. As you inhale, lower yourself downward until your chest almost touches the floor. Next, breathe out and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest. After a brief pause at the top of the contracted position, lower yourself downward again. For more of a challenge, place your feet on an elevated surface, such as your stairs or a chair.

Plank – Get in a pushup position, but rest on your forearms rather than your hands. Make sure your back is straight and tense your abs and glutes. Hold without allowing your hips to sag, 30-60 seconds.

Triceps Dips – For this exercise you will need to place a chair against a wall to keep it steady. Stand facing away from the chair and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the seat, fingers facing forward. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle, or straight out in front of you. This is your starting position. Slowly lower your body as you inhale by bending at the elbows until you lower yourself far enough to the point that there is an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees between the upper arm and the forearm. Keep the elbows as close to your body as possible through the movement. Your forearms should always be pointing down. Using your triceps to bring your torso up again, lift yourself to the starting position and exhale.

Bicycle Crunches – Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. For this exercise, you will need to put your hands behind your head, but do not interlock your fingers. Also, be careful not to strain the neck. Lift your shoulders into a crunch position. Bring knees up until they are perpendicular to the floor, with your lower legs parallel to the floor. This will be your starting position. Now simultaneously, go through a slow cycle pedal motion, kicking forward with the right leg and bringing in the knee of the left leg. Bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side as you breathe out. Go back to the initial position as you breathe in. Crunch to the opposite side as you cycle your legs and bring your left elbow to your right knee and exhale. Continue alternating in this manner.

Jump Squats – With your head up and your back straight, position your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight and chest up, squat down as you inhale until your upper thighs are parallel to the floor, or lower. Now pressing mainly with the ball of your feet, jump straight up in the air as high as possible, using the thighs like springs. Exhale during this portion of the movement. When you touch the floor again, immediately squat down and jump again.

Burpees – Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the floor and kick your legs back so you end up with your stomach and thighs on the floor. Your elbows should be bent. From this position, press up like you’re doing a pushup and push your hips up. Jump your feet under your hips and stand. Finish the movement by jumping in the air with your hands over your head.

High Knees – Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be bent and at your sides. Lift your right knee up until it reaches your waist. Your left arm should swing forward while your right arm swings back. Return your right foot to the ground as you lift your left knee. Swing your right arm forward and your left arm back.

Standing Calf Raises – Stand facing a wall, arm’s distance away. Use the wall for balance, if necessary. Position both feet directly under your hips, toes facing forward. Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position about a second. Return slowly back to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels and bending the ankles until the calves are stretched.

Mountain Climbers – Begin in a pushup position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes. Flexing the knee and hip, bring one leg up towards your upper body until the knee is approximately under the hip. This will be your starting position. Explosively reverse the positions of your legs, extending the bent leg until the leg is straight and supported by the toe, and bringing the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed. Repeat in an alternating fashion.

at-home crunches

Crunches – Lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the ground at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands lightly on each side of your head, without interlocking your fingers, keeping your elbows in. While pushing the small of your back down into the floor to better isolate your abdominal muscles, begin to roll your shoulders off the floor. Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back as you contract your abs and exhale. Your shoulders should only come up about four inches off the floor, and your lower back should remain on the floor. At the top of the movement, contract your abs hard and keep the contraction for a second. Focus on slow, controlled movement – don’t cheat yourself by using momentum. After the one-second contraction, begin to slowly lower yourself to the starting position as you inhale.

Bodyweight 1 ¼ Squat – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Perform a full bodyweight squat, come up ¼ of the way, drop back down to full depth, and come all the way back up. That’s one rep.

Walking Lunge – Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg, flexing the knees to drop your hips. Descend until your rear knee nearly touches the ground. Your posture should remain upright and your front knee should stay above the front foot. Drive through the heel of your lead foot and extend both knees to raise yourself back up. Step forward with your rear foot, repeating the lunge on the opposite leg.

Lying Glute Bridge – Begin lying on your back on the ground, knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Driving through your heels, extend your hips vertically. Your weight should be supported by your upper back and the heels of your feet. Extend as far as possible, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

Leg Curl with Towel – Lie face up on the floor, knees bent and both heels on a towel. Lift your hips until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders. Slide your heels away from you as far as you can without dropping your hips. Pause, then return to start.

Superman Press – Lie face down on the floor, chest lifted. Hold a towel taut between your hands, in front of your shoulders, elbows bent. Press the towel away from you until your arms are straight. Return to start.

Use these 15 at-home exercises on any day you’re lacking the motivation to get up and go. Remember, consistency is key! Stick to your training and nutrition regimen and you WILL see results.

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