5 Exercises You Can Do At Home That Will Change Your Life
Exercise is one of the two most important things you can do to live a healthy lifestyle (the other is how you eat), and not surprisingly, it is also the one thing you can do to lose weight the fastest. The big myth about exercise is that you need access to a gym or expensive specialty equipment.
This is absolutely not true, and I will list 5 simple exercises below that you can do from the comfort of your own home with very little equipment. As a matter of fact, all of the exercises but one require nothing at all.
You will need 1 set of dumbbells that you can pick up from your local sporting goods store for about $20. Make sure to pick a weight that is comfortable for you, and if you can’t decide pick a lighter weight than what you think you need.
My goal for this guide is to make it simple to follow without using too many words that you have to filter through so if you are confused about any of the exercises, please leave me a comment below, and I will respond with clarification!
Before we begin, I want to make sure that you understand the vocabulary for the instructions listed below. There are only two words that some people may not be familiar with, and I have listed them below.
Repetitions are the amount of times you do any 1 exercise. For example, if you do 10 push ups you have just done 10 repetitions of push ups.
A set is the a full completion of repetitions for a specific exercise. For example, if you do 10 push ups and then stop to rest before moving on to more exercise, you have just done 1 set of push ups. If you then go back and do 10 more push ups and rest, you have done 2 sets of push ups.
Using this knowledge, you should perform 1 set of 15 repetitions of each exercise with 30 seconds of rest in between to start out.
After week 1, you can do 1 set of each, rest for 60 seconds, then start over and do another set of each.
For Week 2 and beyond, do 3 sets of each with 60 seconds of rest in between each exercise.
Now let’s get started!
The 5 exercises below are designed to work multiple muscle groups in your body. If you perform each of these, you will basically be getting a full body workout.
Lie on the floor face down and place your hands about 36 inches apart while holding your torso up at arms length.
Next, lower yourself downward until your chest almost touches the floor as you inhale.
Now breathe out and press your upper body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest.
After a brief pause at the top contracted position, you can begin to lower yourself downward again for as many repetitions as needed.
If you are new at this exercise and do not have the strength to perform it, you can either bend your legs at the knees to take off resistance or perform the exercise against the wall instead of the floor.
For the most advanced lifters, you can place your feet at a high surface such as a bench in order to increase the resistance and to target the upper chest more.
Butt Lift (Bridges)
Lie flat on the floor on your back with the hands by your side and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. This will be your starting position.
Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second.
Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
You can perform this exercise one leg at a time.
Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides. This will be your starting position.
Step forward with your right leg around 2 feet or so from the foot being left stationary behind and lower your upper body down, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance. Inhale as you go down.Note: As in the other exercises, do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint. Make sure that you keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground.
Using mainly the heel of your foot, push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale.
Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions and then perform with the left leg.
Caution: This is a movement that requires a great deal of balance so if you suffer from balance problems you may wish to either avoid it or just use your own bodyweight while holding on to a fixed object. Definitely never perform with a barbell on your back if you suffer from balance issues.
Variations: There are several ways to perform the exercise.
One way is to alternate each leg. For instance do one repetition with the right, then the left, then the right and so on.
The other way is to do what I call a static lunge where your starting position is with one of your feet already forward. In this case, you just go up and down from that starting position until you are done with the recommended amount of repetitions. Then you switch legs and do the same.
A more challenging version is the walking lunges where you walk across the room but in a lunging fashion. For walking lunges the leg being left back has to be brought forward after the lunging action has happened in order to continue moving ahead. This version is reserved for the most advanced athletes.
Lunges can be performed with dumbbells as described above or with a barbell on the back, though the barbell variety is better suited for the advanced athletes who have mastered the exercise and no longer have balance issues
Get into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms. Your arms are bent and directly below the shoulder.
Keep your body straight at all times, and hold this position as long as possible. To increase difficulty, an arm or leg can be raised.
Remain in this position for a count of 30.
Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. For this exercise, you will need to put your hands beside your head. Be careful however to not strain with the neck as you perform it. Now lift your shoulders into the crunch position.
Bring knees up to where they are perpendicular to the floor, with your lower legs parallel to the floor. This will be your starting position.
Now simultaneously, slowly go through a cycle pedal motion kicking forward with the right leg and bringing in the knee of the left leg. Bring your right elbow close to your left knee by crunching to the side, as you breathe out.
Go back to the initial position as you breathe in.
Crunch to the opposite side as you cycle your legs and bring closer your left elbow to your right knee and exhale.
Continue alternating in this manner until all of the recommended repetitions for each side have been completed.
Notes: While you cannot add resistance to this exercise you can concentrate on perfect execution and slow speed.
There you have it. You now have the exercise plan that will allow you to lose 15 pounds or more within 30 days. All you have to do is make the commitment to follow this plan and exercise 3 times per week.
Make sure to check out the Slim down challenge meal plan here.