Words: Charlie Leeves
This lockdown has been hard on all of us, staying indoors all day can affect your mental health and leave you feeling a little sluggish. Experts recommend doing exercise every day to improve your mental health, but this might seem incredibly difficult seeing as all the gyms are closed and you only allowed out once a day. Well fear not, even though you can’t go to the gym we have the perfect exercises you can do at home without any equipment.
The dreaded burpee has a reputation for a reason, it takes any fitness fanatic out of their comfort zone and pushes them to their limit. If you do a burpee correctly you will work out your shoulders, triceps, abs and thighs but you need perfect form.
How to do a burpee
1. First stand with your feet shoulder width apart and have your arms resting by your side.
2. Squat down making sure to engage your core muscles then place your hands shoulder width apart in front of you.
3. Next jump your feet back so you land in a plank position, make sure your butt is not sticking in the air and always maintain a straight line from head to toe.
4. Jump your feet back up to where your hands are and spring yourself into the air bringing your arms above your head.
5. When you land, immediately get back into that squat position in step 2 and repeat the whole process.
Advanced: Burpee with push up
If you have mastered the normal burpee, why not take it up a level? Complete the burpee as instructed above, but when you are in a plank position add in a pish up - keeping good posture and hands shoulder width apart.
Whether you’re doing regular or advanced burpees, try and aim for 3 sets of 10 reps to start with. Too easy? Extend the time and increase your number of reps each round.
2. Glute Bridge
You might be thinking where even are my glutes? Well your glutes are a set of three muscles (gluteus maximus, gluteus minimums and gluteus medius) and these muscles create the shape of your butt. Exercising your glutes helps with hip movement and flexibility and really helps get rid of those pains you can get from sitting all day working.
How to do a glute bridge
1. Lie on the floor with your arms by your side, knees bent and feet flat on the ground
2. Lift your hips off the ground, make sure you are not pushing up with your feet and that the power is coming from your hips.
3. Once your shoulders, hips and knees form a straight-line hold that position for 10 seconds before slowly lowering your body back towards the ground.
Advanced: Glute bridge to sit up
If a basic glute bridge is not pushing you enough, you can add a sit up into the mix as well. To do this perform a glute bridge as instructed above. Once you are on the ground again, use your abs to perform a sit up. When you are back down from a sit go into the glute bridge again and repeat.
3. Forearm plank
This may look easy but when you’re down in a plank it is anything but, however it is an great exercise to try with no equipment. Done properly it will work out your abs, thighs, arms and shoulders and the beauty of a plank is that it can be done anywhere at home!
How to do a plank
1. Whilst lying facedown on a hard surface, put your closed fists next to your head keeping your elbows tucked.
2. Push your body up so that you are resting on feet and on your forearms.
3. Perfect form is essential when doing a plank so make sure that your bum is not sticking into the air and that your body is parallel to the ground. Try and align your heels, shoulders and head.
4. Keep this position held for 30 seconds before resting
Advanced: 60 second full arm plank
If you are feeling adventurous and really want to push yourself, take your plank from your elbows to a full arm posture and hold for 60 seconds.
4. Alternating arm/ leg Superman
This exercise not only will make you feel like a superhero but will make you look like one as well! It is the perfect exercise to build that core strength and should be part of any home exercise.
How to do the Alternating arm/ leg Superman
1. Just like how superman would fly through the air, lie face down on the ground with both arms stretched out in front of you.
2. Now raise alternative arm and legs, so if you raise your right arm lift your left leg, ensuring that you are always keeping your arms and legs straight.
3. Hold this for 5 seconds and then slowly lower them back down to the ground.
4. Repeat this action using your other arms and legs now.
If you have the Alternating arm/leg Superman perfected, then it is time to move onto a bigger challenge – the Superman!
1. Just like before lie face down on the ground with your arms outstretched.
2. Keeping both your arms and legs straight, raise both arms and legs off the ground around 6 inches.
3. Hold this position for at least 5 seconds and then lower them down to the ground slowly.
5. Tricep dips
All you need to complete a tricep dip is a chair or a bench and yourself. This exercise works your triceps but also works out your shoulders as well.
How to do a tricep dip
1. Sit on the edge of your chair or bench with your hands shoulder width apart.
2. With your legs extended out in front of you, slide yourself off the edge of the chair so that you are supporting your bodyweight with your arms.
3. Bend your arms to lower yourself towards the ground making sure your arms are the ones taking the weight not your legs and your back is close to the chair/bench.
4. Once your elbow is at 90 degrees, straighten your arms and push down on the chair or bench to raise your body back up to the starting position.
5. Repeat this multiple times.
Advanced: Tricep dips with left/right leg raised
If a normal tricep dip is too easy for you then you can add in raising one leg whilst you are doing it to add more bodyweight to the exercise.
Try this circuit
• 10 x burpees/ burpees with push up
• 10 x glute bridge/ glute bridge to sit up
• 30 or 60 second forearm plank/ full arm plank
• 5 alternating/ superman reps
• 10 tri cep dips
Repeat the circuit 3 times, or as many round you can fit into 20-30 minutes.
Need some R&R after your workout?
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