Getting the recommended amount of exercise can be tough, especially if you don’t have time to make it to the gym. Here, Brian Lewis, Head of Product Development at gym equipment and fitness supplies retailer Powerhouse Fitness, shares how you can…
5 simple exercises you can try at home.
The British government recommends that all adults between the ages of 19 and 64 should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. But, as many of us lead busy and increasingly sedentary lives, finding the time to get active this often can be a challenge.
If you want to get in shape but don’t have the time or cash to get to the gym, you can still get fit at home. This workout includes a combination of cardio, strengthening, and toning moves, which should get your heart rate up and the endorphins flowing without the inconvenience of going to the gym. Just read on to find out more.
1. Jumping jacks
A simple but effective classic, you might remember these P.E. lesson staples from school. Perfect for warming up the body and getting your heart pumping, jumping jacks are a great way to kickstart your workout. To perform a jumping jack, start standing upright on your mat with your feet hip distance apart. Jump up and out with both feet and, at the same time, bring your arms up over your head as high as you can manage. Then return to the starting position, before repeating the process again. Try jumping for one minute with thirty seconds of recovery, and repeat three times.
While this may be a playground favourite, don’t assume it’s not an effective exercise: skipping is a tried-and-tested way to keep fit. Popular with boxers, skipping with a rope is a great cardio exercise that tests your stamina, as well as your balance and co-ordination.
If you’re new to skipping, simply hold the ends of the rope firmly in each hand and move your wrists in a quick up and down motion to turn the rope. Stay on the balls of your feet, and don’t jump too high off the ground — this move is supposed to test your stamina, rather than how high you can jump. For this workout, try skipping for three minutes, going as fast as you can manage.
3. Plank with shoulder touches
When performed properly, this infamous ab-burner will work your core and back muscles, as well as your shoulders, chest, legs and glutes. For an added challenge, this modified plank also involves shoulder taps. But be warned: it’s a killer move
Start on all fours on your mat, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Then step one foot back, followed by the other. You’ll want to keep your arms straight, and your back and legs flat and strong, with your stomach muscles engaged. This is called plank position. Once you have your balance, lift one hand and tap it to your opposite shoulder, then bring it back to the floor. Then do the same with the alternate hand.
If you’re struggling, try breathing in through your nose and out though your mouth, which should help you to keep your stomach muscles engaged. Try doing five shoulder taps with each hand in plank position before slowly lowering your body back down onto the floor for fifteen seconds of recovery, and repeat for four sets.
Burpees are great all-rounders that will push your cardio, test your agility, and challenge your arms, legs, glutes and core muscles.
To perform a burpee, start by standing tall with your feet hip distance apart. Bend both knees slightly and then jump as high as you can manage, swinging your arms up over your head to help give you some momentum. As soon as you land, bend your knees again and squat down, placing your hands on the floor in front of you.
Resting your weight on your palms, jump your feet back behind you, so you end up in a push-up position with your arms straight and strong. Perform one push-up, before jumping back in to a squatting position. Then jump back up, ready to repeat the move again. Do as many reps as you can for one minute, and then allow thirty seconds of recovery, and repeat this process twice. Burpees are supposed to be done as quickly as possible, so challenge yourself!
5. Dumbbell thruster
You’ll need a couple of small dumbbells for this move. If you’re just getting started, opt for two three-pound weights. As you progress, you can gradually incorporate heavier dumbbells into this part of your routine.
Begin in a standing position with your feet just wider than hip distance apart, holding your dumbbells just in front of your shoulders, with your elbows bent. Keeping your arms in the same position, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then stand up and extend your arms up over your head, before lowering them and returning to the starting position.
Unlike burpees, dumbbell thrusters are supposed to be done slowly and with control, so don’t go too quickly. Repeat this move for five sets of five reps, allowing recovery time between sets if you need it.
This thirty-minute routine should fit into the busiest of schedules. Perform our simple but effective workout five days a week, allowing two days of rest to let your body recover, and you’ll be hitting the recommended 150-minute weekly target before you know it.