Many people are looking for new ways to work up a sweat and keep fit within the confines of their own home. Personal trainer Angie Lewis from PureSunshine Personal Training Birdwood says there are basic body-weight exercises you can do which, when combined, will give you a full body workout.
“Just because you don’t have the fancy equipment, doesn’t mean you can’t keep fit,” Angie said. “In fact, body-weight training can build a strong body in just the same way as weights at the gym.”
Here are six easy and effective exercises you can do at home.
Lying on your stomach, place your forearms on the floor alongside your upper chest. Hands can either be flat on the floor, or if this bothers your wrists, then clasp hands together. Lift your body so you are balancing between your forearms and your toes. Keep your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold for 20 seconds, relax for 5-10 seconds, then repeat for 3-6 sets.
As you get more comfortable with the move, hold the plank for as long as possible without compromising your form or breathing.
Lying face down on the floor, place the toes and heels of your feet together. Move your hands so they are a little wider apart than your shoulders. Arms should be directly under the shoulders with soft elbows.
Pushing through the palms of your hands and keeping a neutral position, lift your body off the ground. Keep your back straight as if an imaginary broomstick is running from the back of your head, along your spine and over your bottom. Gently lower your body by bending the elbows until your chest is almost on the floor. Repeat three times in sets of 10-20.
Sit on the edge of a stable chair or bench. Place your hands on either side of your thighs, and grip the edge of the seat. Extend your legs out in front, balancing on your heels with your feet positioned hip-width apart. Look straight ahead with your chin up. Lift your body and slide forward so your bottom just clears the edge of the chair. Lower yourself until your elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Slowly push yourself back up to the starting position. Repeat three times in sets of 10-20.
Begin in a standing position, with your head facing forwards and chest held up and out. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms out in front of you for balance. Bend your knees and sit back and down as if sitting in an imaginary chair. Continue lowering your body until your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Come back up, pushing through the heels until you are in the starting position. Repeat three times in sets of 10-20.
With your back flat against the wall, stand with your feet positioned around 60cm from the wall, shoulder-width apart. Slowly slide down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Adjust your feet so your knees are directly above your ankles (not your toes). Keep your back flat against the wall. Hold the position for 20-60 seconds, then slide back up the wall into a standing position. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat the exercise three times.
Lying on your back with your feet together and your hands alongside your body, gently lift your feet and legs until they are around 30cm off the ground. Hold for 10-30 seconds, then gently lower back to the ground. Repeat three times in sets of 10-20.
There are many free online fitness coaches who offer workouts and exercise instructions via their own websites or YouTube channels. These can be helpful to maintain motivation, as well as for demonstrating exercises which you may not be familiar with. Some sites to check out include:
You may also find that your existing gym has some online workout options available. Contact them for details.