I’ve heard from some readers that the free online fitness classes being streamed during the pandemic are a bit too advanced for them… or require equipment they don’t have at home.
Folks, exercise doesn’t have to be difficult.
There are plenty of exercises you can do at home without fancy equipment.
Here are a few:
Now, you probably know all workouts should begin with a warm-up.
You don’t want to start exercising with cold, stiff muscles because that can lead to injury.
If you have steps in your home, get your muscles warmed up by taking a few flights up and down.
No steps? Take a 5-minute walk through your house.
After your warmup, it’s time to stretch.
Stretching improves your flexibility… and helps reduce your risk of injury.
Now, if done properly, you should feel a mild pulling on your muscles, but a stretch shouldn’t be painful.
Stabbing pain means you’ve pulled too far.
Despite what some of us may have learned when we were younger, stretching shouldn’t involve bouncing.
Instead, the movement should be slow and steady, holding a stretch for about 30 seconds, and breathing through the movement.
Stretch your muscles from head to toe. Start with your neck, shoulders, back, arms, hips, legs, and then ankles.
Now that you’re warmed up and stretched out, it’s time to get going.
Some people like to do “leg days” and “arm days,” while others mix it up with some exercises for both.
There’s no set rule on this. Really, whichever you prefer works.
To work your lower body, grab a chair.
First up, squats.
Squats help build strength in your buns, legs, core, and lower back… and help you maintain balance.
Start by standing in front of a chair. While keeping your back upright, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body to the chair. Pause. Then, return to a standing position. Repeat the movement until you complete a set of 10 squats.
When you’ve finished your squats, let’s move on to knee extensions and lifts.
Leg lifts are great for building balance and strengthening your legs.
Sit in your chair, back straight, knees bent. Slowly extend one leg out in front of you. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your leg back to the starting position. Repeat with each leg for 10 repetitions.
Another lower body exercise that’s great for balance is toe lifts.
Stand behind your chair and slowly rise up on your tiptoes. Only use the chair for support, as needed. Lower your body back down. Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Ready to work your arms?
Let’s start with wall push ups.
Wall push ups help to strengthen your arms and chest.
Stand about 2 feet in front of a wall and place your hands on the wall at shoulder height.
Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows to your sides, bringing your chest close to the wall while your heels come off the floor. Press back to straighten your elbows and repeat for 10 repetitions.
Arm raises are another exercise that helps strengthen your arms. This exercise can be done from a standing or seated position.
Grab a couple of cans of equal size and weight.
Stand or sit with your feet flat on the floor. Holding your cans at shoulder height with your palms facing forward, lift the cans over your head and then back down to your starting position. Your motion should be slow. This isn’t a race. Aim for two sets of 10 repetitions.
I’ll be the first to admit that exercising at home can be a drag.
But, during these difficult times, you have to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt.
A few squats and wall push ups are far better than just laying around on the couch all day… or going out and putting yourself at risk.