5 Easy Strength Exercises You Can Do At Home
Everyone has a different motivation for exercise. Some work out to get more movement into their day, while others want to achieve larger fitness goals. For those aiming for a strong body, there are several simple toning workouts that require no equipment. With more people at home due to the ongoing pandemic, now is a great time to forgo the weight machines and reliance on gyms and incorporate strength exercises into your at-home routine.
1. Plank: The plank is a standard exercise that works the core and targets the hips, back and glutes. Assume a push-up position and bend elbows at a 90-degree angle, so both forearms rest on the floor. Tighten your core and glutes, ensuring your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet. Work your way to holding a plank for one minute. If one minute is too difficult, drop your knees or shift your body forward and back using your toes. Other variations include the side plank and leg-lift plank.
2. Push-ups: Push-ups are beneficial for building upper body strength and engaging the lower back, core, legs and hips. Position your hands directly under your shoulders and place your feet hip-width apart. Be sure to keep your elbows close to your body as you lower and keep your neck in line with your shoulders. Gradually increase the number of reps or have someone apply pressure to your upper back area for more resistance.
3. Bridge: Bridges are a great way to strengthen your core and the lower half of your body, especially your hamstrings. To do a bridge pose, lay on your back, spread your knees hip-distance apart and lift your bottom. Over time, make bridge more challenging by lifting a leg. This pose is simple enough for a beginner, yet challenging enough that you will surely feel the benefits after your workout.
4. Yoga: Practicing yoga helps build strength and flexibility and engages you in cardio exercises that increase your heart rate. Yoga poses like boat pose, tree pose and warrior tone the abdominal muscles and strengthen the lower back. To practice boat pose, sit on the ground, balance on your sit bones and straighten your legs to a 45-degree angel without losing your posture. Straighten your arms in front of you with palms facing up. Build up to holding each strengthening yoga pose for one to two minutes.
5. Squats: Squats are a great strength training exercise that works all of the body’s muscle groups. Position your feet shoulder-width apart with your arms down at your sides, lower your knees and hips to the ground while keeping your back straight. As you lower your body, lift your arms in front of you so they’re parallel to the ground. Squats can be made more challenging by squatting deeper, adding weights or moving slowly to engage muscles.