We’d all love to have beach-ready bodies, but who has the energy or the time after work? Getting packed for the gym, driving there, working out, coming home, taking a shower—all of that seems utterly exhausting after a day at the office. The only thing you want to do is cuddle the kids and hit the couch for some serious downtime.
The good news is that taking care of your health and getting into shape doesn’t have to mean a significant time commitment. It doesn’t even mean you have to join a gym. You can look—and feel—your best with a few simple exercises you can do at home.
Start with body weight squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed directly in front of you. Sink down into a low squat with your hips pushed far behind you and your knees positioned over your toes.
Try to get into a 90 degree angle, with your thighs parallel to the floor. Return to a standing position and push your hips forward with a controlled clench of the gluteus maximus.
Modify this simple movement to add variety and resistance. It is recommended to step to one side for a side-squat. Sink into the squat and then jump up for a jump squat. Squat and then power up into a full jump with both knees tucked in towards your chest for a dynamic and very challenging squat and jump tuck.
Skip the sit-ups and crunches altogether and start with a simple but effective movement called a get-up. Simply lie on your back and then, by sitting up and gathering your feet under you, stand. Lie back down and repeat. Turn these into prisoner get-ups by locking your hands behind your head for the entire motion.
For another exercise, focus on your lower abs by sitting on the edge of a bench, coffee table or stair riser. Stretch your legs out in front of you, lean your upper body back and bring your knees towards your chest. Keep your feet elevated during the entire movement for an extra challenge.
One of the most effective upper body exercises known to man is a chin-up. Of course, they’re also one of the most challenging. Start with baby steps. Use a chin-up bar or horizontal tree branch with a chair beneath you and slightly forward. Rest the toes of one foot on the chair while you pull yourself up. Assist with your foot as needed.
Pushups are also very effective. Perform them from your knees until you gain the strength to do them from your toes. Increase the challenge over time by elevating your feet and changing your hand position. Pull-ups and push-ups will exercise your chest, arms, back and abs.
Follow up with Stretching
Whether you work out in a gym, at home, professionally or just for fun, you need to incorporate stretching into your routine. Stretch your arms, legs and torso. Take your time and be sure to use proper form. If you struggle with mobility or experience joint pain, consider visiting a professional from places like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, PC, who can evaluate your current state of physical health and steer you in the right direction with your exercise plan.
Don’t let limited time prevent you from working out and getting into great shape. Create a 10-minute routine with the movements outlined above and you’ll start noticing results!