January. The time for new beginnings. It’s also a time to evaluate where we are in our life and what we want to accomplish in the coming year. Whether it’s eating better, reading more and watching Netflix less or becoming more financially responsible, January is the time to set goals and start making our goals everyday habits.
According to Statistic Brain, one of the most popular 2017 New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more often. We all know the benefits of exercise, but even short bursts of exercise/activity can help keep your confidence up and make you feel less tired or depressed.
With your busy daily schedule, it may seem impossible to make time to workout or hit the gym. But working out from home can have multiple benefits besides just staying in shape. You can exercise whenever you want, have better concentration during your routines to increase overall effectiveness, feel more comfortable, and save time and money.
Below are six simple at home exercises to help keep you in shape this winter and throughout the year.
1. Window Sill/Chair Dips
This is a great workout for your triceps. Using either a window sill or chair, this is an easy exercise you can do whether you’re at home or on the road. Start by sitting on the edge of a chair or window sill, with your hands next to your hips. Slide off the edge and bend your elbows 90 degrees while gripping the edges with your knuckles facing forward. Hold yourself up with your arms and keep your body close to the chair/sill. Lower your body for two full counts as your arms are supporting your weight, not your feet, and push yourself back up.
As one of the most basic and well-known exercises, the sit-up is still a great way to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Lie on your back, planting your feet about hip-distance apart with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing outward. Begin to sit up by pulling your torso up, bending your hips and waist and stopping just before your torso hits your thighs. Then, slowly lower your torso back to the ground and return to your starting position. The key is to do the motion slowly in order to use and strengthen your muscles.
To help increase your core strength and tricep muscles, try a L-sit. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Lift yourself off of the ground with your arms and with your palms on the ground. Hold that position for 7-15 seconds or however long you can go. The key is to have your toes pointed, knees locked, your back straighten and your chest up and out—in order to get the most out of your L-sit.
4. Pistol Squat
The pistol squat is one of the more challenging squats, in that it’s more taxing on your lower-body muscles, core, balance, strength and nervous system. Start in the standing position and raise one foot off the floor. Your back should be straight, with your knees and hips slightly bent. Slowly go down into a squat by flexing your hips and knees. As you squat, extend the raised leg forward and descend as far as you can go while keeping your balance and movement intact. Once you’re down, hold the position briefly and then slowly return to the starting position. Be sure to switch legs during your repetitions.
This exercise pushes your upper, lower and core muscles together which translates into better endurance, coordination and explosiveness. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Then drop down into the squat position with your palms on the ground, push your hips back with your feet on the floor. Next, jump back with your feet so you’re in a push-up plank position with your chest touching the floor. Then return to the plank position by pushing up with your hands. Do a frog jump, that moves your legs towards your arms and then jump upward, ending in the standing position.
Last but not least, before and after your at home exercise routine, it’s important to properly stretch. Your muscles tighten while you exercise, so it’s important to stretch to relieve the tension. Furthermore, stretching leads to better posture, better blood flow and fewer bodily pains. Work to build a stretching routine that is suited to your individual needs.
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