If you have a gym membership that might as well be collecting dust on your key ring, you’re not alone. Or, if you’re watching the monthly Y automatic withdrawal fees fly out of your checking account, but you haven’t seen the inside of a Y in, well, you can’t even remember, we hear you.
Every one of us, when we consider getting back on the lose-weight-get-in-shape-bandwagon, has (more than likely) considered (if not actually chosen to do so) a gym membership.
No doubt most of us let those memberships eat up our finances while the pounds and flab keep right on hanging around.
So, when gym endeavors elude us, what is there to do? Learn to exercise at home! And here are some great ideas on how to exercise at home!
Let’s face it, we weigh a lot and therefore, using body weight as a strength building mechanism can actually be effective.
Squats are a great (and definitely muscle building) exercise to do at home. You can even do them in front of the couch.
Squat to a barely touching the seat position and then raise yourself back up. We recommend that you do these in 4-12 reps.; you can always increase them as they become easier.
Don’t forget, muscle building will definitely aid in fat burning!
There are a number of different kinds of squats too. There’s the basic bum to cushion one, but you can always add in an arms up position.
Or, if you’re feeling extra burn desirous, use the wall instead of the couch (back against the wall and then slide into a squat position and hold).
You can try some squat jumps too if you’re safe to do so!
2. Push Ups
You knew we were going to say it, and you were probably dreading the moment the push up would appear. So, we figured we’d get it out of the way right up front.
Look, the push up is a time honored, body-weight utilizing, strength-building maneuver. You can feel all sorts of muscles changing shape when you get these doozies into your work out regime.
Like squats, there are a number of push up styles. We know you’re probably going to start out doing what we all affectionately call “girl” push-ups (you know the kind, knees on the floor), but if you’re serious about weight loss and getting in shape you’ll progress to the more challenging versions.
One incredible core building additive is known as the T push up. When you’re coming up, lift one arm off the ground and twist to form a T with your body. Hold that position and then slowly come back down (with both arms). Try this on each side!
Yep, we know your mom taught you not to run in the house, but she doesn’t live with you now (or does she?) so this one will be “ok.”
Running in place is a great cardio workout in the midst of utilizing body weight for strength building.
There are a number of ways to accomplish this task. Obviously you can just plug in the iPod and jam out while you ridiculously run in one spot in your living room. However, there are more challenging methods to consider.
Indeed, try doing a high leg version, basically lifting your knees up as high as you can in the midst of continuing to jog.
Or, if that’s too simple (yeah right) try the butt kick, make your heels hit your rear as you run. Keep in mind, you should be doing these as fast you can to work on your heart rate as well as muscle definition.
What list of household exercising ideas could be complete without the infamous plank? Certainly not this one!
The plank is a core builder that adds a number of benefits to arms and legs in the midst of really wearing out your abs! As with the previously discussed exercises there are variations on the plank as well.
Try the normal version and increase your length of time in the hold position. Then, once you’ve mastered that, feel free to experiment with doing leg lifts at the same time (keep your balance too).
Moving on up, you can add a push up in the midst, or turn your body so that you are doing a side plank. These little gems are really going to make a difference (you’ll feel it for sure).
5. Calf Development and Stepping
Really we couldn’t come up with a better description so, here’s the thing, stand near the wall (if you need it for balance) and then raise yourself up onto the balls of your feet (some would say tip toe, but we’re not ballerinas and that would really hurt without pointed shoes).
You’ll feel the calf muscles contract if you’re doing it right. This is another great body weight utilizing exercise.
In other news, try stepping up onto a chair if you can, or else get a little step stool. This will focus more on your thighs and rear but you’ll definitely notice the strain in a day or so.
Obviously, if you are lucky enough to have stairs in your house, use them to your advantage.
However, since this one involves somewhat dangerous activities (standing on chairs and all), make sure you pay close attention to safety and technique.
This happens to be our personal favorite as the gut is always a sore spot. We particularly like the heat these exercises produce and after diligently adhering to a crunch regime we are certain you’ll see results.
Lie flat on your back and engage your abdominal muscles to pull your body toward your knees (these can be up on couch, our personal favorite, or positioned as if you were doing sit ups).
There are extras to throw into your crunch repertoire. You can move your legs while alternating elbow to knee (which engages the external obliques- your side muscles).
This is a particularly useful exercise for thinning out that muffin top and the love handles associated therein.
The only thing we’d really like to point out here is that you need to be mindful of your back in the midst of doing crunches. Make sure it’s something that’s ok for you.
7. Dance Away the Pounds
Yes, you don’t have to join a Zumba class to be able to achieve weight loss success with dancing. Just choose music you love – that way you will enjoy the dancing and it wouldn’t feel like you are exercising at all.
You can even dance with your kids, to make it more fun.
8. Couch Kicks and Laundry Lifts
We felt the urge to add a little humor to our exercise advice. Imagine using your couch as an exercise tool.
Place your hands on the arms of the couch and use it to sustain your body weight as you get yourself into a kind of push up position (head down), then kick your leg up (backward) so your foot is parallel to that popcorn ceiling you so love (ha ha ha).
Once you’ve laughed yourself silly with that method, try lifting your laundry basket. Seriously, use it as a weight (kind of like a medicine ball, or a kettle ball).