Maybe it is the sun, the expensive gym membership, or just our hectic lives – it can be easy to make up an excuse for not exercising at all. Nonetheless, we all need regular exercise, to make sure our cardiovascular fitness levels are at an optimum. As the saying goes, use it or lose it.
What if you could exercise right in the comfort of your own home, at your own time and at your own pace? That's right, you don't need any fancy equipment or sign up for any memberships. You just need the right amount of discipline, clear up some space in your living room or bedroom and voila!
► TRY THESE: 60-second exercises to get you started
Photo: Sport Singapore
Here are a few convenient workout options that you can get started:
1) One-leg stands to strengthen leg muscles and get rid of flabby thighs
What is the one-leg stand exercise?
The one-leg stand exercise is simply what it sounds like; standing on one leg and trying to maintain balance on that one single leg. Injuries can affect your natural balance and leave you feeling unsteady. We may also lose stability as a result of the ageing process.
Benefits of one-leg stand
This exercise engages your glutes and leg muscles while training your balance. The one-leg stand is a very effective exercise for improving balance. Did you know that the ability to stand on one leg is extremely important? When you are walking, you actually spend about 40% of your time with one foot on the ground while the other leg is in motion and taking the next step.
The one-leg stand exercise is a simple way to start improving your balance and it is easy to do so as part of your home exercise regime. It can also be modified to increase the difficulty level as your balance improves with time.
How to execute a one-leg stand?
- Stand in front of the couch. Lift your right knee up towards your chest and clasp it with both hands.
- Now, bend your left knee all the way until you are seated on the couch, while still holding onto your right knee.
- Keep holding on to your right knee, before attempting to stand back up.
- Repeat these steps 10 times before switching legs.
2) Plank your way to a stronger core
What is planking?
Planking is basically an exercise that engages your core and improves your strength, balance, and endurance. It got its name because when done properly, the body is straight and rigid, like a piece of wooden plank. It does not require any fancy equipment and relies purely on our own body weight, making it extremely convenient and easy to execute.
Benefits of planking
Plank exercises help to build up your core muscles, and they only take a couple of minutes each time. The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, while supporting proper posture and improving balance.
How to execute a proper plank?
- Get into a push-up position.
- Keep your arms extended and hold the position for 30 seconds.
- If you are not aching from that, take a break and add an additional 10 seconds for your next set.
Swimming enthusiasts will also be pleased to know that planking is a great complementary exercise to develop muscles that swimming develops.
3) Burpees for a full-body strength training
What is a burpee?
A burpee, or squat thrust, is a full-body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise. The basic movement is carried out in four steps and is commonly known as a four-count burpee.
The exercise was named after American physiologist Royal H. Burpee, who developed the Burpee test in the 1930s. The exercise gained popularity after the United States Armed Services adopted it to assess the fitness level of recruits when the United States got involved in World War II. Consisting of a series of exercises performed in rapid succession, the test was meant to be a measure of agility, coordination, and strength.
Benefits of burpees
- Works most major muscle groups and in a functional way
- Improves cardiovascular fitness which is how much endurance you have when exercising
- Tests balance and coordination, which is the ability to stay upright and move 2 or more body parts under control, smoothly and efficiently
- Improves strength and mobility
How to execute the perfect burpee?
Burpees are one of the most effective full-body workouts around.
- Start in a low squat position and kick back your legs to adopt a push-up position.
- Complete one push-up before you kick your legs back in and jump upwards as high as possible like you’re doing a jumping jack.
- When your feet land on the ground, get back into a push-up position and repeat the cycle.
4) TRX your way to a fitter body
What is TRX?
The TRX System, also known as Total Resistance exercises, is a specialised form of suspension training that uses equipment developed by former U.S. Navy SEAL, Randy Hetrick.
The TRX system is based on the idea of suspension, and while most gyms now have it installed, you can purchase these separately and latch them onto your furniture for a decent workout. The array of possibilities with the TRX is limited only by your endurance - there are TRX push-ups variations, plank knee crunches, and a whole lot of other variations.
TRX or total body resistance training conditions your body with a range of workouts that can be conveniently fitted into any schedule, and done from anywhere.
Benefits of TRX
- Versatility. Just 2 adjustable bands allow you to work out every single muscle on your body.
- Improves cardio and strength
- Suitable for all fitness levels
- Engages the whole body
- Low impact
5) The good old push-up does wonders for your body
What is a push-up?
A push up is a common callisthenics exercise performed in a prone position by raising and lowering the body using the arms. It is also a common basic exercise used in civilian athletic training and physical education. In the past, this movement was called a floor dip.
Benefits of push-ups
- Increase functional strength
- Enhance cardiovascular system
- Increase whole body muscle definition
- Protect shoulders from injury
- Improves posture
- Prevent lower back injuries
- Increase testosterone and reduce osteoporosis development
How to execute a proper push-up?
- Start in a prone position and make sure your hands are slightly wider apart than your shoulder width
- Your feet should be either shoulder-width apart or close together, depending on which feels more comfortable.
- Your head should be looking slightly ahead and not straight down.
- Your arms should be straight and supporting your body weight when you are at the top of your push up.
Time, money, and location are essentially no barriers to a good workout. We hope these tips offer you more ideas on getting into shape and getting fit and healthy from the comfort of your own home.
To find out more about how you can take ownership of your health, sign up for a fitness and health assessment available at the Active Health Labs located island-wide. Guided by Active Health Coaches, you will understand your current status, learn tips to improve your health and wellness and adopt habits that best suit your lifestyle.
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