Staying at home during the coronavirus lockdown? Or maybe you’re after general ways to exercise without having to pay for expensive gym memberships or equipment?
Luckily, there are numerous different workout routines which target the major muscles in your body and require absolutely nothing except your own determination to do!
Are there benefits of exercising without equipment?
While some like the ease of hitting the gym or attending an exercise class, there are many people who prefer to exercise without the use of equipment. The benefits of working out using just your own bodyweight include things such as:1
Unlike many exercise classes, such as spinning or HIIT, which aren’t specifically targeted at beginners, most workout routines which do not use equipment can be altered to match your abilities. Overtime, this allows you to build up your endurance and make your workouts more difficult at a time that suits you.
Without using equipment, you can set the pace of your workouts yourself and make sure you match them to your abilities. There’s also less risk of injury – body builders will know just how much it hurts when you drop a weight on your toes!
Without having to hop in the car or walk to your nearest gym every day, you’re left with no excuse not to do a workout if you’re staying at home! Home exercises can be done in almost any space, meaning you don’t need to skip your usual routine if you go on holiday, either.
Four exercises to incorporate into your home workout routine
Whether you want to tone your abs, build up muscle in your arms or burn off some extra weight around your midriff, there’s an endless range of home workout routines which can improve your fitness and strength. As well as considering an online exercise video, you could also incorporate the following into your regular workouts:2
These are brilliant for strengthening various different leg muscles, including your hamstrings, quads and glutes. To do a lunge you’ll need to:3
- Stand up straight with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
- Take a big step forward on one leg and lower it until your knee is bent and your thigh is parallel with the ceiling. Your back foot should be lengthened.
- Step back to your starting position and repeat on the other side.
- Ideally, repeat on both sides 20 times
The basic version is often a good enough workout in itself, but if you want to up your game, try walking lunges or reverse lunges.
2. Push ups
Push ups are fantastic for your upper body muscles, including the ones in your arms, shoulders and chest. To do a push up:4
- Lie down on your front with your arms stretched out towards the floor and your toes curled beneath you.
- With your palms flat, slowly bend your elbows outwards and lean your body down towards the floor.
- Push back up using your arms and core muscles into your starting position. Repeat 20 times
To make a push up easier, you can bend your knees a little so they’re resting on the ground.
While tough to do initially, squats are an ideal workout for numerous different muscle groups, including your calves and quads. They’re easy to do if you follow these steps:5
- Stand with your legs knee width apart and your feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Hinge at the hips, bend your knees and swing your bum back as if you were about to sit down on a chair. At the same time, swing your arms straight out in front of you.
- Return to your starting position and repeat 20 times
If you find squats particularly tricky, begin by doing chair squats instead. Stand in front of a chair and do the same steps as above yet sit fully down on the chair. Then, use your leg muscles to swing yourself back up to a standing position.
The plank, while grueling, is another fantastic exercise for your core muscles. The basic version allows you to use your knees for support until you build up strength in your abdominals. Here’s how to do it:6
- Lie down flat on your stomach and then prop the front half of your body up on your elbows. Grasp your hands together.
- Bend your knees slightly so they’re resting on the floor and make sure your toes are curled under. Lift your stomach up and flatten your back.
- Hold the position for at least 30 seconds
Once you’re used to the knees-down version of plank, why not try it with your legs straight or attempt a side angle plank?
Before beginning any home workout, make sure you warm up first. This will soften your muscles and lower the risk of achiness or injury. Stretching your muscles out after you exercise is just as important, too.
Last updated: 02 November 2020