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Best At-Home Exercises

Can’t make it to the gym! Don’t worry you can get a powerful workout at home and break it up to fit your schedule. These exercises rely primarily on body weight, and the only equipment you need is the wall or chair in your home.

Instead of doing a set number of repetitions, Mark Hoeft, a personal trainer, recommends doing as many reps as possible. Write that number down, and the next time you do the exercise, try to do just a few more. If you have time, Hoeft also recommends mixing up the exercises from day to day by picking one from each category. For example, you can do squats, pushups and bird dogs today, and then try wall sits, Supermans and burpees tomorrow.

Leg exercises

Start with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your hips, or extend your arms out in front. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower yourself into a squatting position. Don’t let your knees go past your toes. Pause and push back up.

Stand with feet hip width apart and with your hands on your hips. Step forward and lower your body until your knee is bent 90 degrees, and again, don’t let your knee go over your toes. Pause and push back up, and repeat with the other leg.

Wall sits
Stand about two feet in front of a wall and lean back so your back is against the wall, but not your legs. Slide down until your knees are bent 90 degrees and hold the position, keeping your abs and core tight while feeling the burn in your legs.

Upper body exercises

Lay flat on the floor and come up onto your hands and toes. Hands are slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows 90 degrees to lower to your body to the floor. Pause and push back up to complete the rep. You can do pushups from your knees to make them easier.

Pike Pushups
Lay flat on the floor and come up onto your hands and toes. Feet should be slightly apart and not together. Walk up into a pike position. Your body will form an A-frame house with your legs, upper body and floor being the three sides of the triangle (or, if you do yoga, you’ll be in downward facing dog position). Walk back into the starting position and do a regular pushup to complete the rep.

Back exercises

Lay flat on the floor on your stomach with your arms straight ahead. Reach up and out with your arms and lift your legs off the ground, using your back to lift your limbs and look like Superman flying through the air. Hold the position for as long as you can, remembering to breathe and not hold your breath. To work your shoulders, hold arms in a “touchdown” position by bending your elbows 90 degrees while squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Balance exercises

Bird dogs
Start down on your hands and knees. Reach forward with your right hand and reach backward with your left foot. Slowly bring your arm and leg back to the starting position without touching the ground. Either hover your hand and knee over the ground or lightly tap it. Then, extend them again to repeat. Do as many as you can, and then switch to your left hand and right foot and do as many as you can on that side.

Single leg balance reach
Stand on your right leg and let your left leg hover slightly off the ground. Slowly lift your left leg forward and then bring it back to center, still hovering on the ground. Slowly lift your left leg to the side without rotating and then bring it back to center. Slowly reach your left leg back and then bring it back to center. Focus on slow, controlled movements and try not to lean in any direction, keeping spine neutral. Repeat the same movements with the right leg to complete the rep.

Cardio exercises

Start in a “frog” position, squatting low to the ground with your hands touching the ground like a frog poised to hop. Jump into the air, reaching up with your arms, and return to the frog position. Then, with hands on the ground, jump into the pushup position, kicking both legs backward simultaneously, and then jump back into the frog position. You can do a pushup before you jump back into the frog position to make it a little harder. Do as many as you can without going too slow so you can get your heart rate up.

Jumping jacks
Start standing with feet together and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet apart and bring your hands above your head, lifting them from your sides and not in front of you. Jump back into the starting position.

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