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Exercise is hard. Getting into a routine is hard. And we all know that trying to create new habits is even harder.
If exercising is on your bucket list, you don’t have to invest in a ton of equipment, join an exercise class or take up running. All you need is a little floor space and something to binge-watch.
Working out at home is extremely effective, builds muscles and burns just as many calories and fat as a gym workout. And when there are fewer roadblocks, you are more likely to stick to it.
Here are exercises you can do in front of the television:
Planks are one of the best ways to strengthen your core and arms. It especially targets those triceps and biceps. With legs straight out behind you, keep your hands or elbows on the floor directly under your shoulders and hold for as long as you can. You can also set a timer and try a 30-second hold and build from there.
Squats are a great way to tone and strengthen your legs and glutes. You can add weights (anything from a gallon of milk to a barbell) for more resistance, but you certainly don’t need it. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend at the knees while keeping your glutes tucked in. Going slow into the squat increases the burn. Try for sets of 15 to 20.
3. Jumping Jacks
Get your heart rate up while watching your favorite movie or series. Jumping jacks are a classic exercise and will get your blood pumping fast. Try doing 50 jumping jacks between your squats, lunges, planks and other exercises. It actually makes the workout go by faster and gives you a cardio workout as you build muscle and strength.
Lunges tap into almost every muscle in your lower body and help beef up your strength training. Stand in a split stance with one foot a few feet in front of the other. Keep your upper body straight and shoulders back and down. Rest your hands on your hips or in a prayer position in front of you — whichever is more comfortable. Then bend both knees, lowering your body until your back knee is as close to the floor as you can get it. Your front thigh should be parallel to the ground. Push back up and repeat, trying for 15 to 20 reps with each leg. You can also alternate lunges by switching which leg is in front.
There are lots of sit-up variations out there, so find the one you like best. Lie on the floor with your hands supporting the back of your head and your knees bent. Keep your back pressed to the floor. Bring your torso up as close to your legs as you can. Lower back down in a slow, controlled motion. For extra resistance, try straightening your legs out in front of you and lifting them off the floor a few inches. Try for sets of 10 to 20.
6. Side Leg Raises
Not only are side leg lifts great for your muscles, but they also strengthen your hip and knee joints. Lie on one side with your hip on the floor. Support your body with your elbow and raise your upper leg. The key is not to use momentum by going too fast. Leg lifts are much more effective when you use slow, controlled movements. Bring your leg as high as you comfortably can and lower it back down. You can add resistance by strapping on ankle weights or using exercise bands. Try for sets of 10 to 20 on each side.
7. Sofa Squats
This squat variation can be a little more difficult because it forces you to squat lower than normal. It’s a great exercise for your legs and glutes. Stand about six inches in front of a sofa or chair with your feet about a foot apart. Arms can be at your sides, on your hips, or in front of you in a prayer position — whatever feels right. Lower yourself down, but don’t put all your weight on the furniture, just tap it with your glutes before standing back up. For a killer burn, hold extra weight in your hands or rest something on your back. Try sets of 10 to 20.
All you need is a favorite movie or show and a little motivation to get started, and soon, you’ll be on your way to feeling better and stronger in the comfort of your home.
Do you do planks or any of the other exercises above? Let us know in the comments below.