Let’s face it, there are times when we just can’t get to our local gym. Whether it’s those long hours at the office, a busy family life, or you’re simply stuck at home, exercising just doesn’t feel high on your list of priorities.
Luckily, there’s a solution. You can stay in shape with just a few simple moves, right from the comfort of your living room. We’ve teamed up with Healthy Chef Steph (@stephelswood) to rustle up this quick and easy home workout for you to try.
Give this workout a go while you’re watching TV, listening to your favourite podcast, or merely taking a break from home working. Let’s get moving…
We’ve asked our PT and writer Chris Appleton to explain the benefits of each exercise and the tips you'll need to perfect your technique.
Yoga Ball Ab Rollout
“This exercise strengthens your core, shoulders and upper back muscles by using a stability ball.”
How to do:
- Start in a high kneeling position with ball placed in front of you.
- Keep spine neutral and abdominals engaged, press hands into the ball and roll out in front of you until forearms are on the ball and your body is at a 45-degree angle.
- Interlock your hands at the top of the ball. Use your forearms to pull back slowly and return to start position and keep the motion nice and controlled
Mountain Climbers to Russian Twists
“Mountain climbers are a great exercise for your whole body that also provides a great cardio workout. Russian Twists are perfect for strengthening and toning your core and hips, and a popular exercise with athletes due to their twisting motion.”
How to do:
- Start in a top press-up position, supporting your weight on your hands and toes, with your arms straight and your legs extended.
- Keeping your core braced and your shoulders, hips and feet in a straight line, bring one knee towards your chest it to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement with your other leg, and continue alternating legs throughout.
- Once you’ve finished the mountain climbers, sit on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
- Lean back so your upper body is at a 45-degree angle and keep your back straight throughout.
- Link your hands together in front of your chest, bracing your core and raising your legs off the ground.
- Rotate your arms over to one side, before repeating in the other direction.
“This two-in-one move will target your obliques, hip flexors, and rectus abdominis.”
How to do:
- Begin lying on your back stretched head-to-toe.
- Engage your core and keep your arms and legs slightly off the floor.
- Bring the knees and chest together simultaneously, in a hugging motion, and bring your arms to the side of your legs.
- Keeping the motion-controlled, return to the lying position and repeat.
The Dead Bug
“This is a great way to strengthen your abs and core without putting much strain on your lower back.”
How to do:
- Lie flat on your back, with your arms held out in front of you, reaching for the sky.
- Bring your legs up so your knees are bent at 90-degree angles.
- Start by lowering your right arm and left leg at the same time, exhaling as you go.
- Keep going until your right arm and left leg are slightly above the floor.
- Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite limbs.
Yoga Ball Tucks to Pike
“The pike is going to target your abs and core. It requires shoulder, pelvic stability, and lots of abdominal control to create the inverted v-position. While the knee tucks help to strengthen your abdominals, lower back, legs and arms all at the same time. It’s perfect for targeting the smaller stabilizing muscles that help to improve your balance.”
How to do:
- Start in a feet elevated press-up position on the ball.
- Slowly bend your knees in towards your chest allowing the ball to roll forward.
- Tuck your knees under your torso as your hips raise upwards.
- Slowly return your legs over the ball and roll them out to the starting position.
- After returning to the start position in one controlled movement, use your abdominal muscles to pull your hips up into a pike position (inverted V)
- Your hips should be bent, legs straight, and arms extended to the floor.
You can play around with the sets and reps, however, a structured circuit of 4 to 5 sets of 15-20 reps is a fun yet challenging start.
Take Home Message
It’s easier to add physical activity into daily life than you think. The gym isn't the only place you can keep fit, with home workouts every bit as effective as your usual gym routine.
The easiest workouts can be done at home with nothing but your body weight, gravity, and a little resistance.
Don't waste your time at home doing nothing — get up, get active, and keep healthy.