Nutrition isn't everything, exercise has a paramount place in health and fitness, but short and simply is best. These 5 easy exercises, along with a bit of dedication, will get you in great shape in no time.
Exercise comes in countless different forms, from power lifting and cross fit to yoga and Pilates. It is essential that we engage in some type of exercise several times a week, as moving the body in certain ways is a contributing factor to maintaining a healthy weight and lowering the risk of certain diseases. We evolved to move, and doing so stimulates the bodies genes in extremely positive ways. Exercise has also been proven to boost glutathione levels, a powerful internal antioxidant capable of defending against disease.
The great thing is, exercise does not have to be complex or dreaded. It can be easy, enjoyable and doesn't have to take up time from your daily routine. Here are 5 exercises you can perform from the comfort of your own home that, when combined with correct nutrition, will enhance your health and physical appearance.
The humble push up is an easy and highly effective exercise with many different variations. It can be done in your living room, bedroom or garden without any equipment needed, other than your own body weight of course. Push ups target several muscles groups present in the arms, shoulders, triceps, back, chest and neck. They can be described as full body exercises and specifically build strength in the upper body and contribute to a solid core.
- Come onto the hands and knees and press the palms of the hands into the floor, positioned underneath the shoulders. Step both legs back until they are both straight and dig the toes into the floor, reaching a plank-like position.
- Ensure your body is in alignment with a flat back and tucked pelvis. Keep the shoulder blades drawn back and elbows close to the body. Keep your head and neck in alignment with the body, gazing a few inches ahead.
- Begin to bend the elbows and lower the body towards the ground, maintaining a straight spine and tucked tail bone.
- When the chest is almost at the ground start to straighten the elbows once again until the arms are fully extended, reaching the top of the push up.
Push out as many reps and sets as you can handle. For a high intensity session, try to perform 20 push ups on the minute for 15-20 minutes.
Squats are a lower body exercise that train muscles and even mobility and translate well into many other forms of exercise and sporting activity. Squats are known as compound movements and use both the hip and knee joints. They are super easy to get the hang of and can be done at home with zero equipment. Squats activate many different muscle groups and the movement covers the legs, hips, back and core. Overtime and with dedication they will increase knee and hip strength and reduce the risk of injury in these areas.
- Stand straight with a neutral spine with feet about shoulder width apart.
- Keep gaze forward and start to flex the hip and lower down.
- Ensure the knees are over the ankles/feet and keep knees turned out to keep a stable position.
- Feet should be pointing forwards or slightly turned outwards to create stability.
- Arms can be folded or held outwards, parallel to the floor.
- Once the thighs have reached a 90 degree angle, begin standing back up into the neutral position.
Lunges are a great lower body exercise that primarily worked the quadriceps in the leg, along with the glutes, hamstrings and calves. Lunges are yet another exercise that can be performed easily at home with no equipment required.
- Stand straight in a neutral position with feet around shoulder width apart.
- Step one leg forward by around 2-3 feet.
- Bend the front leg up to 90 degrees, keeping the knee over the foot.
- Drop the back leg into a 90 degree angle, keeping the knee just above the floor.
- Step the front leg back into neutral.
- Repeat on the other leg.
Pulls up are an excellent calisthenic exercise that work the lats, biceps and middle back. All that is need is a bar parallel to the floor and ones own body.
- Grasp the bar at a grip equal the the width of the shoulders, with palms facing forwards.
- Hang from the bar with arms extended.
- Flex the arms and begin the pull the body up towards the bar, keeping the legs crossed over each other and the tail bone tucked.
- Attempt to bring the chest all the way up to the bar to perform the full range of movement.
- Begin the lower the body in a controlled manner until back into the hanging position.
The plank is a great home workout exercise that isolates and strengthens the abdominals.
- Lay on the floor, stomach down in a prone position
- Place the forearms on the floor, applying the weight of the body on the forearms and closed fists, as well as the toes.
- Keep the body straight and aligned and hold the position until failure.