If you prefer to work out at home or find yourself unable to make it to the gym, there are many exercises you can do right at your own home. From your upper body to your core to your lower body, NEBH athletic trainers put together a full body workout that you can do anywhere-with no equipment necessary.
As with any new exercise program, if you have any health concerns you might want to consult with your doctor before beginning. Keep in mind that when you start any new exercises, you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness, which usually sets in 24-48 hours after you do the exercises and is a normal outcome.
Squats are excellent exercises that work your glutes, hips and thighs and core.
- Stand with your feet about hip and shoulder width apart.
- Bend your trunk slightly forward.
- Bend your knees allowing your weight to shift through your heels-think like you are sitting down on a chair.
- Go only as low as you feel safe and pain free.
- To come up, use your quadriceps and buttocks to return to a standing position.
- Repeat 10-20 times
The knee extension exercise can help to restore knee mobility and strength by working the quadriceps. If you find using your own body weight for this exercise is too easy, consider using ankle weights.
- Start sitting with your legs hanging off a chair, bed or couch.
- Using the quadriceps muscles in the front of your thigh; kick your foot up until your knee is straight.
- Hold for 2 seconds, then, lower your foot down for a 3 second count.
- Complete 1-2 sets of 10
Bridges engage your core, glutes, hips and lower back.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your arms at your sides, your knees bent, and your feet flat on the floor.
- Tighten your lower abdominal and gluteal muscles and lift your pelvis so that your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
- Hold this position for 15 seconds. (Don’t forget to breathe!)
- Variations include marching your knees up while holding the bridge, or try single leg bridging
- Slowly return to the start position and repeat.
- Repeat 20-30 times
Abdominal crunches strengthen your core, which can help to improve balance and prevent lower back pain and muscle injury.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and hands at the back of your head with your elbows open wide.
- Find something on the ceiling to look at in order to keep your neck stable.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulder blades off of the floor.
- Keep your lower back flat to the floor and hold for 2 seconds.
- Try oblique crunches as well by rotating your elbow towards your opposite knee. (they don’t need to touch)
- Slowly lower and repeat.
- Repeat 10-15 times
Wall push-ups are great for beginners or people with back issues. Try these to develop strength in the chest, shoulders and triceps.
- Start by standing a few feet in front of a bare wall, lift arms to shoulder level and place palms on wall slightly wider than shoulders.
- Back feet away from wall so elbows are bent as you lean in.
- Inhale, and exhale as you push off wall. Inhale as you return to start position.
- Slowing the pace will increase the level of difficulty.
- Never arch lower back, or lock arms totally straight, keep flexible bend at elbows at all times.
- Aim for 20 push-ups.
Arm circles are a great all around exercise for shoulder stability and strength.
- Start by standing up with plenty of room around you.
- Lift arms to shoulder level, straight out to the side.
- Create small circles with both arms, alternate in clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
- Aim for 20 circles in each direction.
- To vary this exercise, you may create larger circles or vary speed.
- Try holding one arm out straight either forward, or to the side while the other is circling.
Chair dips are a great way to build arm strength and shoulder mobility.
- While sitting in a chair, place your hands on the sides of the seat right next to your hips.
- Move your buttocks off the edge of the seat so your hands are just slightly behind you
- Keep your feet flat and your knees bent to around 90 degrees.
- Slowly lower yourself down below the chair to a comfortable depth. Then use your triceps to push yourself up until your elbows are straight.
- Use your feet to control the difficulty of the exercise. The closer your feet are toward the chair the easier the exercise. Conversely, if you move your feet away from the chair the dips will become more difficult.
- Perform 1-2 sets of 10