What if I told you that you could get fit without entering a gym? It's true! While I'm all for breaking out a sweat in a fitness class or on the treadmill, sometimes a busy schedule or lack of time just doesn't allow it. Here are five exercises to keep fit at home, work – wherever you are!
1. Chair Squats
Probably one of the most effective exercises, squatting has become a universal fitness move that anyone of any age can do. Squats help build leg muscles and keep the legs and buttocks lean, tight and firm (and who wouldn’t want that, right?). To benefit from this exercise use a chair (preferably armless) and stand in front, facing away as if you were going to sit down. Slowly, begin to form the sitting motion by starting to bend your knees while keeping your core tight, back straight and you’re both arms in front held at shoulder length. Once your knees are parallel to your feet and before your buttocks touches the seat, rise up using your arms as support, and stand tall slightly pushing your pelvis forward. Follow with 10 – 20 repetitions for five minutes.
2. Stair Lunges
Sure, you knew climbing stairs was good to keep your heart active and healthy but did you know they also make great lunging ‘equipment’. Lunges help tone your buttocks, legs and assist in balance skills. You only need one step or two, depending how deep you want the stretch to be. To get into lunge mode place your hands on your hips, keep your body tall and send one leg the back and the other positioned in the front, as if to form an open triangle with your legs. Then, as if someone where pushing you down in a straight line slowly bend the front and back knees in unison to form a 90 degree angle with the front leg while the back leg is parallel. To complete the move rise up slowly returning both legs to their original stance. Repeat with the same leg for ten repetitions and then switch to opposite leg.
3. Couch Sit-ups
Don't let the phrase "couch potato" become true and use this comfy seat to help tone your lower and upper abs. To do the crunch movement use your couch to prop your knees up while you slowly lift your back up and off the floor. The support from the couch will keep your legs stable and allow you to focus on toning your core – and the best part about this is that you can do them during long commercial breaks!
4. Plank (with added accessories)
You will never, I repeat, never appreciate the effectiveness of the plank unless you have tried it. An exercise based on literally using all of your upper (and some lower strength), this simple yet very hard stance can be done just about anywhere – including at work, if given the space. Whether you want to do a simple plank or a side plank, the choice is yours. Just remember: push forward on your heels – not back – and transfer your weight evenly. To add intensity, place phone books to prop up your feet and add elevation.
5. Wall Sits
If you need an exercise that works your triceps, arms and upper body strength all in one this is your go-to move. This move really just requires you crossing placing your legs in front slightly bent, propping your body on the back of hard surface, like a wall, and using your hands to help keep you firm as you slowly lower your body up and down. Remember to keep your back straight against the surface as you move in order to get results. If you feel like it’s too much, simply just extend your legs out for more support.
Related Video: Easy Core Workout for Women