Whilst we know exercise isn’t essential to help you lose weight (I wrote an article about that losing weight on Slimming World and that here) it can be a great extra. If you are anything like me though you don’t really have the confidence for classes or maybe just cant commit the time. Don’t panic though, here are some easy but useful exercises you can do at home without loads of space or any equipment. I know they are easy enough because I have tried them before I wrote this post! There is not a plank or tin of beans in sight just simple exercises and the parts of the body they help.
Faye from Faye’s Fitness PT near Liverpool sent them to me to share with you because she knows not everyone has the confidence for the Gym. Faye runs one to one sessions and also a full or half day retreat to help people like us if you are in the Liverpool area check her website for more information. For those of us that aren’t in the area though these exercises are a great start and well worth giving them a try. As you don’t need any equipment you can squeeze them in anytime and no one need know.
Stair Jumps: The home equivalent to a step aerobics class! Stand in a squat position, with your feet shoulder width apart on the ground at a comfortable distance from the lowest step. When you’re ready to jump, drop quickly into a quarter squat, then extend your hips, swing your arms, and push your feet through the floor to jump onto the first step. Then either step back down or jump back into a squat position and repeat this. Try and get a rhythm going so this becomes quite fast and your heart rate rises. 10-15 reps and 4-5 sets is a good aim. Or you could even time yourself on this one and do as many as you can in 30 seconds or more.
Step ups into reverse lunge. Almost everyone will have a chair at home, so grab one and make sure it’s nice and sturdy. Stand in front of the chair with back, legs and arms straight, feet hip-distance apart. With your right leg, step onto the chair and straighten your right leg at the top. Bring your left leg up to 90 degrees and before straightening. Stand down and get ready to reverse lunge. Reverse Lunge by stepping backward, planting your foot, and then bend your front leg until it reaches about a 90 degree angle. The knee of your rear leg should also flex until it almost touches the floor. Aim for 10-15 reps before repeating for the opposite leg.
Dips are brilliant for targeting triceps (the dreaded bingo wings) and again, all you need is solid chair. Hold on to the chair on its edge with your arms fully extended, separated at shoulder width. Your legs should be extended forward, bent at the knees. Inhaling as you do so, slowly lower your body bending at the elbows until you lower yourself far enough that there is an angle slightly smaller than 90 degrees between the upper arm and the forearm. Keep the elbows as close as possible throughout the movement. Using your triceps, lift yourself back to the starting position. Repeat for around 20 reps/ 4-5x through. To make this harder put your legs our straight rather than bending them at the knee.
Dead Bug. Don’t let the name put you off here as the Dead Bug exercise is one of the best exercises for tightening your tummy muscles. Start lying on your back with your arms pointing towards the ceiling and your legs at a 90 degree angle. Then gradually take your arms back as you lower one leg. Return arms and legs back to starting position and repeat for the other leg. Aim for 20 reps, 4-5x.
Couch Squats: Couch Squats are a brilliant exercise to do when you’re watching the TV! Stand up from the sofa with your feet shoulder width apart, you can place your hands together in front of you. Begin the movement by ﬂexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips. Continue down to full depth if you are able and sit on the couch, then quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position adding in a jump at the top. As you squat, keep your head and chest up and push your knees out. I would go with around 15-20 reps, and 4-5 sets. As you get more experienced, you could add a tuck jump at the top, adding that extra burn to the movement.
Glute Bridge: The one part of the body that everyone wants to improve is their bum and the Glute Bridge is the exercise to do it. Best of all, the only thing you need is your sofa! Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the couch. Keep your arms at your sides with your palms down. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glutes (aka your bottom!) hard and keep your abs engaged so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise. Hold your bridge position for a couple of seconds before easing back down. Go for 20 reps and do this 5x.
So, what do you think? Are these things you think you could do? I know they sound reasonable to me and I am going to try and do them sometimes. It seems easy enough to build up to gradually and of course in the privacy of your own home no one knows if you struggle or let off gas at the same time! Thanks to Faye for the ideas and photos it makes it sound much more realistic than some workouts I have seen!
If you are unsure about the exercises in relation to any health conditions please remember to consult your doctor for advise.
If you would like to book in with Faye she has offered a 10% discount to my readers just use code/mention Just Average Jen. Valid on new bookings made by 1st July 2018