As we’re nearing the end of January, you may be turning the amp up on your fitness regime for the upcoming Carnival festivities, or perhaps trying to keep your New Year’s fitness goals intact. Whether you’re an all-year-round fitness enthusiast or you’re now starting your exercise routine, there’s many ways to stay in shape!
Going to the gym is an excellent way to keep your health in check and be surrounded by like-minded individuals with similar goals. If you prefer to work out in the privacy of your home or you’re looking for ways to switch up your fitness routine, you can easily do so with no equipment- so there’s no excuse! Here are some easy ways to keep in shape and add variety to challenge yourself effectively.
Three (3) Effective Bodyweight Exercises to Do Today
Having the ability to manoeuvre your bodyweight not only tones your body but can also improve your mobility and range of motion. Doing so can increase your body awareness, strengthen your core and even prevent injury. Here are some bodyweight exercise ideas that you can do anywhere at any time for an effective workout. It’s also important to ensure you’re in adequate physical health before trying any bodyweight exercises.
Did you know that planks are an excellent way to work your entire body? While you’re actively engaging your core muscles to hold a plank position, you simultaneously strengthen your arms and legs to actively hold the position. If you like switching it up, planks also have different variations that you can try to challenge yourself.
To hold a forearm plank, lay flat on your stomach and clasp your palms together under your forehead. Place your feet hip-width apart and ensure your elbows are also in line with your shoulders. Engage your core muscles and fold your toes under your feet. Take a deep breath in and lift your body while keeping your forearms and toes on the floor or your mat, keeping your body in a straight line. Exhale when you’re in plank position and remember to keep breathing! A great habit is timing yourself as it will help to track your progress. Start with thirty (30) seconds and work to build your stamina over time, gradually increasing the amount of time you’re holding a plank for.
If you’re new to fitness or just revamping your routine, keeping the plank position may be a bit of a challenge. However, as you build your endurance while maintaining proper form, you’ll have more strength and improve your overall physical health.
Squats are a pivotal movement in the fitness realm and rightly so because of its multiple benefits. They’re a staple exercise to strengthen your entire lower body while also toning your muscles. You can add an extra kick by performing jumping squats which helps to build muscle, burn fat and improve your balance.
To perform a jump squat, start by standing with your feet slightly wider than your shoulder length. Keep your arms to your sides or holding your head with your elbows pointed outwards. Push your hips back and bend your knees, engaging your core muscles as you descend. Ensure your knees don’t go past your toes and keep your thighs parallel to the ground.
As you reach to your lowest squat position, use your legs to propel you into a jump and extend your legs in the air. Land in your squat position and try repeating for ten (10) reps. You’re guaranteed to feel a burn and sweat a little! Try doing jump squats every other day to tone your body, enhance your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health.
Who could forget the push up when thinking about bodyweight exercises? Push-ups are a fantastic way to increase your strength and build your upper body. It’s also great for your cardiovascular health as it burns calories and improves your core strength. Push-ups can be a tough bodyweight exercise to master, especially if you aren’t used to working your upper body muscles or you’ve been inactive for a while. However, you can reap fantastic benefits from push-ups if you add it to your regular exercise regime.
To perform a push-up, start in a straight-arm plank position by placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes curled under your feet at hip-width apart. Engage your core muscles to hold your body up in a straight line. As you descend, keep your focus slightly ahead of you and maintain your body’s straight-line position. Bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle and lower your body as close to the floor as possible and return to your initial position. Do push-ups every other day to keep your upper body toned while also increasing your functional strength.
If you’re still building your strength and find push-ups a bit tough, try doing knee push-ups first. Start in the same plank position described above then drop to your knees, rolling to the top of your knees to protect your knee caps. Once you’re comfortably in this position, bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground, then push off the ground using the palms of your hands to return to the initial position.
Whether you’re short on time or looking for new ways to stay fit, these bodyweight exercises are an excellent addition to your fitness routine that you can do anywhere at any time.