With the Covid threat winding down, gyms such as Equinox Fitness and Lucille Roberts are starting to open back their doors. But if you’re stuck at home, you may think that you’re unable to exercise without the gym barbells and the fancy treadmills.
That’s not really true. You can still build up your strength using your own body weight, and target your upper body, core, and legs. Start with these exercises:
For Upper Body
- Begin by standing with your feet apart by the width of your hip.
- Bend down to place your hands in front of your feet.
- Immediately jump your feet back to a high plank position, while you drop your chest to the ground.
- Keep your hips up, in line with your heels and shoulders.
- Push your back up without arching your back, while you jump your feet back towards your hands.
- Jump and stand up, then repeat.
- Begin in the high plank position. Your body should be straight from heels to your head. The arms should be straight, with the wrists right under your shoulders.
- Bend your right elbow to lower your right forearm to the floor
- Follow that up right away with your left elbow and left forearm.
- Then extend the right arm, followed by the left arm, to get back to your original position.
- Repeat, while alternating which arm to start with first.
Crawl Out to Pushup
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
- Reach down to your toes until your hands reach the floor.
- “Walk” your hands forward until you get to a high plank position.
- Do a pushup by bending your elbows at an angle of 45 degrees, while you lower your chest to the floor.
- Push back up to the high plank position.
- Walk your hands back towards your feet.
- Get back to your original standing position.
For Your Core
- Lie face down to the floor, with your legs straight and your arms forming a T with your body while your thumbs are pointing to the ceiling.
- Bend your left leg over your right leg, as if you’re trying to get your heel to your right hand. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor as you do this.
- Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds, then bring your left leg back to the original position.
- Do the same thing with your right leg.
- Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight and arms extended forward in the Superman position, except you hold your palms as if you’re chopping a brick.
- Lift your arms, legs, and chest off the floor, while you contract your legs, glutes, and back.
- Hold this position while you lift your legs and arms up and down, one side at a time. The motion should resemble swimming.
- Do this for about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Get down on all fours. Your wrists should be directly under your shoulders, while your knees are under your hips.
- Extend your right arm and left leg straight out, while you keep your back straight.
- Then draw back your right elbow and left knee towards each other, so that they’re both just over the floor.
- Do this about 10 to 15 times, then switch to your left arm and right leg.
For Your Legs
Eccentric Calf Raise
- For this, you’ll need a step, or a box that can hold your weight.
- Step on your toes on the edge of the box, with your feet hip-width apart.
- Slowly and deliberately, lower your heels below the level of the box.
- Hold for just a second.
- Just as slowly, lift your heels back up to the starting position.
- Again, you’ll need a box or a step for this exercise.
- Step on the box, with your left foot forward. Your right foot should be back, with the right heel hanging out from the edge of the box.
- Bend your left knee, lowering the right heel to below the edge of the box.
- Straighten your left knee to press your right heel back up.
- Do this for 10 to 15 reps, and then do the same with the other leg.
- This time, lie on the floor face up, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your arms down by your sides.
- Now, contract your glutes and lift your hips up towards the ceiling, as high as you can.
- As you do this, clasp your hands together under your hips.
- Lower your back down to the floor as you unclasp your hands.
Try to do at least 3 of these exercises at least 3 times each week. That means 3 sets with 10 to 15 reps for each set. You can do 1 of each for a full body workout, or 3 exercises to focus on your upper body, core, or legs.