Don’t fear, exercise doesn’t have to mean absolutely flogging yourself. Doing simple movements every day for even 10-15 minutes can lead to great benefits throughout your whole body. In this blog, we are going to be letting you in on some of our favorite simple, no-equipment-required exercises that you can do whilst watching TV, with the kids or when you wake up to get your day started positively!
Exercise is an extremely powerful way to not only keep your body physically healthy but more importantly at a time like this, your mind healthy too. Moving your body releases chemicals like endorphins to the brain that improve your mood dramatically. Below we have 9 great exercises, 3 for your abs and core, 3 for the upper body and 3 for your lower body.
Abs & Core
Simply place your arms behind your head and crunch your body up slowly, lifting your upper back and shoulders off the ground. Keep your elbows out wide to make sure you are not pulling on your neck. You can do crunches with either your legs on the ground or you can lift your feet with bent knees in a tabletop position for more of a challenge. This exercise targets the upper core. To add further intensity you can pull your knees in towards your chest as you crunch up to perform a double crunch exercise.
With a crisscross movement, bring one elbow to the opposite knee as you extend out the lower leg then alternate sides. This twisting exercise targets the muscles in your core known as your obliques.
Lie flat on your back with your legs up at 45 degrees. Move your straight legs in and out with an alternating crossover in the centre, in a scissors motion. This exercise really engages your lower abdominals. To add intensity, lower the legs and perform the movement closer to the floor.
Push-ups can be done on your toes or your knees depending on your ability. Come to a plank position, with a flat back and your hands outside chest width. Press yourself up and control your lowering on the way down.
This exercise works many muscles, but particularly your chest, shoulders and triceps. Keep your belly button tucked in to work your core at the same time!
Lie flat on your stomach, with your arms extended next to your head and your face to the mat. Slowly bring your upper body and head off the floor and hold for a few seconds. To simplify the exercise you can alternate lifting each arm independently. To advance the exercise you can squeeze your glutes and extend your legs up from the floor to increase the intensity and work even more muscles. This is a great exercise to work your back and muscles that important for good posture.
Find a chair, coffee table or something similar you are able to put your body weight into. Place your hands on the front of the surface and your legs out in front of you, either bent or straight depending on your level. Then slowly bend your elbows, lowering yourself down. This is an excellent exercise to target the back of the arms, your triceps.
These are included in this video below with the lovely Vanessa, along with a few other awesome and effective exercises, including a couple mentioned above, that you can do with a chair! Winning!
Standing up move one leg back and bend both knees down to lunge, making sure that your front knee isn’t tracking too far over your toes. You can either stay stationary and perform a set on one leg at a time or you can alternate your lunges. This exercise works your glutes and legs. To add intensity, place your back leg on a higher surface like a couch, or add weights.
Squats can be done in many ways, depending upon the particular part of your leg you want to target. Narrow squats done with your legs closer together target your quads, whereas a wider squat, targets your glutes and side of your thighs more so. You can also do squat pulses or holds to fire them up more. Add some weights for added intensity, as well.
Side-Lying Leg Raises
Another exercise that can be done in a whole bunch of different variations, these are simple movements that can really burn! Lie on your side, keeping your spine as neutral and straight as possible and lift your leg up and down. You could do pulses, move the leg from the front to the back of the leg on the ground and so on. You can also do similar movements standing up and simply, moving your leg up and down from the floor to above 45 degrees to the side. This targets your outer thigh and glutes.
The lovely Vanessa demonstrates a few in the video below, that you can do just lying in front of the TV! You are sure to feel the burn.
We hope these exercises inspire you and help you keep healthy throughout isolation. Always listen to your body and what it needs and wants. For plenty more exercises, you can find them in our members weekly program from Shannan Ponton. And never fear, here you can find out the answer to one of our most common questions, ‘can you exercise on a fast day?’
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