Exercising. It sure as heck is not easy. Now that the cooler weather is approaching us it may be difficult to stick with your regular routine when it comes to exercising especially if you are doing a lot outdoors.
Going to the gym can be quite a hassle because it is always crowded, sometimes you have to wait for a machine you would want to use, sometimes it is uncomfortable to workout in front of other people, and mainly it can be quite costly.
I personally found that doing “at home” workouts can be more beneficial than actually going to the gym, especially during the cooler months. I say this because by the end of the work day I do not feel like driving to the gym to try to find parking and only hoping that there is a machine to use. I have tried many different workout guides and have searched for “at home” workouts endlessly until I was able to come up with a list that worked best for me.
I do want to remind that everyone is different and everyone’s body works differently so please be patient when it comes to wanting to see results. I have learned in health class that it takes about three months for yourself to notice the differences in your body from working out, and it takes about six months for others (meaning friends, family members, etc.) to notice your results. I have put together a low-impact exercise list below that can be a substitute when it comes to skipping the gym. These workouts are totally safe, and I also want to remind you that working out does not always mean cardio!
If you are unsure on how to do a squat, here are directions from POPSUGAR:
- Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. You can also bend the elbows or clasp the fingers.
- Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
- Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
- Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
If you are unsure on how to do walking lunges, here are directions from POPSUGAR:
- Stand upright, feet together, and take a controlled step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. The back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over the ankle.
- Press your right heel into the ground, and push off with your left foot to bring your left leg forward, stepping with control into a lunge on the other side. This completes two reps.
If you are unsure on how to do knee ups, here are directions from LIVESTRONG:
- Stand in place with your feet hip-width apart.
- Drive your right knee toward your chest and place it back on the ground.
- Follow immediately by driving your left knee toward your chest.
- Continue to alternate knees.
If you are unsure on how to do burpees, here are directions from Wikipedia:
- Begin in a standing position.
- Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground. (count 1)
- Kick your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended. (count 2)
- Immediately return your feet to the squat position. (count 3)
- Stand up from the squat position (count 4)
If you are unsure on how to do step ups, here are directions from Spark People:
- Stand in front of a step, bench or stair with back, legs and arms straight, feet hip-distance apart, and weights in each hand (palms facing the body).
- EXHALE: With right leg, step onto the center of the bench and straighten your right leg at the top. Opposite leg should remain behind you for counter balance.
- INHALE: Slowly bend right knee and step back down with left and then right foot to complete one rep.
- Complete all reps on one leg before switching sides.
Jump Rope in Place
If you are unsure on how to jump rope in place, here are directions:
- Stand in place with a jump rope (or pretend to have one-that is what I do!) and hold it out in front of your body.
- Swing (or fake swing) the jump rope in a forward motion using your elbows and arms with enough power that you are basically forced to jump over the rope without it hitting your feet.
- Do this continuously without stopping.
Upper Body and Abs
If you are unsure on how to do a push-up, here are directions from Mercola Peak Fitness:
- Slow down your movement, and use a three-second contraction. Try to really feel the muscle groups you’re targeting.
- Do a full range of motion. Lower your body all the way down, allowing your sternum to gently touch the floor, and push all the way up. Your arms should be straight, without locking your elbows.
- Pay attention to the alignment of your elbows. The ideal angle from your sides is about 45 degrees. This allows you to effectively work your chest muscles and prevent injuries from overextension.
- Keep your body stiff and straight as a plank, including your head. Pay careful attention and make sure you don’t drop your head forward; it needs to be in line with your back.
- Breathe in on the way down; breathe out on the way up, through your nose, not your mouth.
If you are unsure on how to do tricep dips, here are directions from POPSUAGR:
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.
- Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you.
- Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
- Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.
- Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise.
If you are unsure on how to do ab bikes, here are directions from Real Simple:
- Lie on your back with fingertips behind ears, legs in the air, and knees pulled toward chest (top illustration).
- Target your sides and entire ab area by contracting as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg at a 45-degree angle and rotate your upper body to the left, bringing the right elbow toward the left knee (bottom illustration).
- Switch sides by straightening your left leg, bending your right leg, and bringing the left elbow to the right knee.
- Alternate sides in a pedaling motion
If you are unsure on how to do sit-ups, here are directions from LIVESTRONG:
- Lie on your back on an exercise mat. Bend your knees and plant your feet about hip-distance apart. Place your hands on the back of your head, where it attaches to your neck. Point your elbows to the sides of the room.
- Exhale and pull your belly button in toward your spine as you gently raise your torso by bending your hips and waist. Lift up until your torso is just inches from your thighs
- Inhale and control your return to the start position to complete one repetition.
If you are unsure on how to do mountain climbers, here are directions from GET HEALTHY U:
- Start in a plank position with arms and legs long. Beginning in a solid plank is the key to proper form and good results in the Mountain Climber. At its heart, the Mountain Climber is a form of plank. Keep your abs pulled in and your body straight. Squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders away from your ears
- Pull your right knee into your chest. As the knee draws to the chest, pull your abs in even tighter to be sure your body doesn’t sag or come out of its plank position.
- Quickly switch and pull the left knee in. At the same time you push your right leg back, pull your left knee in to the chest using the same form.
- Continue to switch knees. Pull the knees in right, left, right, left—always switching simultaneously so that you are using a “running” motion. As you begin to move more quickly be in constant awareness of your body position and be sure to keep a straight line in your spine and don’t let your head droop. Core body stability is crucial.
If you are unsure on how to do a plank, here are directions from Greatist:
- Plant the hands directly under the shoulders (slightly wider than shoulder-width apart) like you’re about to do a push-up.
- Ground the toes into the floor and squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Your legs should be working in the move too; careful not to lock or hyperextend your knees.
- Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.
- Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.
If you are unsure on how to do leg raises, here are directions from the New York Times:
- Lie on your back, legs straight and together.
- Keep your legs straight and lift them all the way up to the ceiling until your butt comes off the floor.
- Slowly lower your legs back down till they’re just above the floor. Hold for a moment.
- Raise your legs back up. Repeat.
It is extremely important to know that stretching before and after exercising prevents injury and muscle aches. Another important thing to know is that it is not always about how fast you are going- but how precise your formation is. Your body will benefit from these exercises more if you take your time and your form is correct rather than going super fast and having the wrong formation.
Please feel free to comment and leave tips or give advice on anything that we may have missed!
Disclaimer: This information is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. The use of any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.