You wake up. You go to work. You come home — and then probably cherish the hours in the evening that you can spend doing whatever you want. If you’re anything like us, heading out again to go to the gym is the last thing on your mind. So how do you motivate yourself to work out when you don’t want to leave the house?
The answer is simple: you don’t leave the house. Home workout routines are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Using the internet, you can get a full-body sweat on and keep in shape from the comfort of your own living room. To help you on your way, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite home exercises using only your body weight that you can add to your evening routine. So, throw on your workout gear and let’s get started.
- Arabesque plank
We’ve all heard of the humble plank, whether from the gym or the dance craze of yesteryear. Planking can tighten up and strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture, making it a killer move to add to your home workout regime.
However, the ballet-inspired arabesque plank is one level up, infusing dance training elements with the classic pose. Ballerina and personal trainer Naturally Sassy explains that ballet routines work by “helping tone the body without adding bulk”, while a focus on form and alignment “increases metabolism to burn calories quicker”. Here’s what we recommend.
- Begin in the traditional plank position. Balance your body weight on your toes and palms of your hands, forming a straight line from your heels to your head. Your shoulders should be aligned with your wrists and your arms extended straight toward the ground.
- Lift one foot slightly off of the floor, maintaining a straight leg. Then, pull your knee up towards the opposite shoulder, gently twisting your hips in the direction of the motion.
- Re-extend your leg back to its starting position, then lift it towards the ceiling, while dipping your head low toward the ground.
- Your head, trunk and elevated leg should now form a diagonal line pointing towards the ceiling. Once you’ve achieved the pose, return to the starting position.
- Repeat steps four more times with the same leg, then switch to the opposite side.
- Forward lunge
Gym buffs will tell you to never skip leg day, and even if you’re not regularly going to the gym, the same applies to your at-home workouts. Target your quads, hamstrings, hips, thighs and glutes with a standard lunge. These can help to develop lower-body strength and build endurance, as well as improve balance and flexibility.
Just in case all this isn’t enough, they’re also the perfect leg warmup so that you don’t put a strain on your joints — this might come in handy for the next exercise on our list, which is slightly more intensive. This is how you do a forward lunge.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and put your hands on your hips, facing forward. Engage your core in this standing position.
- Take a large step forward with one of your legs, shifting your weight towards your heel as you make contact with the ground. Keep your back straight as you move forward.
- Lower your body until the thigh of your extended leg is parallel to the floor, and your shin is at a right angle.
- Tap the floor with your other knee if your flexibility allows for it, without bringing the knee of your extended leg past your toes.
- Push back upwards through the front foot to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite leg and perform ten reps on each.
The burpee is an energetic calisthenics move that aims to get the heart pumping and improve metabolism. Targeting muscle groups across the upper and lower body alike, burpees will strengthen your body and build endurance.
Essentially, the exercise comprises a combination of a squat, jump, plank and push-up. They’re typically performed in rapid succession, training your shoulder muscles, abdominals, quads, glutes and triceps. By targeting so many different muscle groups, burpees are a surefire way to lose fat, and you could burn upwards of 15 calories in just one minute of exercise. Here’s how they’re done.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with your head in line with your heels. Dip down with wide knees and hop up off the ground. Land with knees still slightly bent.
- From the landing position, drop into a squat, lowering until your thighs are nearly parallel with the ground and your head is kept aligned with your back.
- In the squat position, place your palms to the floor and hop your feet back to get into a plank, aligning your shoulders with your wrists and pressing your toes to the ground. Your back should form a straight line from head to heel.
- Once you’re in the plank position, perform a push-up. Lower your torso down so that your chest nearly touches the ground, then push yourself up again to re-form the straight line with your back.
- Hop your feet forwards again with your knees on the outside of your elbows, and stand up once more to resume the starting pose.
- Repeat the burpee for ten reps, or adjust according to fitness level.