Getting to the gym can be half the battle when it comes to working out. Setting aside the time to get there amidst the dozens of other things we have to do every day can often deter us from going at all. With help from Oprah and Protein2o, here are some exercises that are easy enough that we can them do right from home!
This easy, equipment-less workout is a great way to tighten your core and work on defining your abs. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms out to your sides at a 45-degree angle, your palms facing up. Now try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold it that way—this gives you a tight core—while breathing normally. That’s the starting position [A]. Keeping your core tight, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause for five seconds—squeezing your glutes tightly the entire time—then lower body back to the starting position [B]. Do 10 repetitions.
Using your own bodyweight, squats are an easy, at-home way to tone your legs and lower body. Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level, so that your arms parallel to the floor [A]. Keep your torso as upright as you can for the entire movement, with your lower back slightly arched. Brace your abs, and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees [B]. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one repetition. Do 15 to 20 repetitions.
Everyone’s (least) favorite exercise! Side planks are definitely a challenge but will prove to be essential in working on your core muscles. To do side planks, lie on your right side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body on your right elbow and forearm, which should be directly below your right shoulder. Place your left hand on your left hip. Try to make your tummy as skinny as possible and hold it that way—this gives you a tight core—while breathing normally. Then raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. With your core tight, hold this position for 30 seconds. Roll onto your other side and repeat.
If these pose too much of a challenge, you can go ahead and try modified side planks, which are the same thing but with your knees bent and on the ground. (See photo 2)
Get ready to show off those guns, cause when you add push-ups to your workout routine, you will notice some positive changes in your arm muscles. To do incline push-ups, assume a push-up position, but place your hands placed on a raised surface—such as a box, bench, ottoman or one of the steps of your stairs—instead of the floor. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head [A]. Keeping your body rigid, lower your body until your upper arms dip below your elbows. Pause, and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible [B]. (The higher the surface on which you place your hands, the easier the exercise becomes—you can even lean against a wall if you need to.) If the incline push-up is too easy, do it the old-fashioned way, with your hands on the floor. Do 12 to 15 repetitions.
While you might have to leave the house for this one, running is something you can do anywhere. Running will help work almost every muscle in your body—from your legs, which are propelling you forward, to your arms, which helps stabilize the body. Plug in your headphones and listen to some of your favorite music to help pass the time and, if you keep up with consistent running, you’ll notice strength and progress each day!