Why You Need to Try These Equipment-Free Exercises Now
Three simple exercises you can do just about anywhere. No gym required.
It’s not always necessary to head to the gym to build an effective fitness regime. Here, three fitness experts offer simple but efficient exercises that you can do just about anywhere you have a little bit of floor space.
Squat, bend and walk
To work the body from head to toe, Karina Vottchal, a Toronto-based trainer with Barry’s Bootcamp recommends a combined squat (or jump squat) with a walkout push-up.
Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and, keeping your back as straight as possible, engage your core then bend your knees as though lowering yourself into a chair (do not let your knees extend past your toes. Then slowly straighten your legs again to a standing position. Follow this by hinging at the hips to bring your hands flat to the ground—bend your knees if needed—and walk your hands out to plank position. Do one push-up, breathing in on the way down and out on the way up. Walk your hands back to your feet, stand up straight and repeat the full sequence for 10 to 12 reps, three times.
Build core strength from the ground up
A strong core is essential to a healthy body, and it involves more than the coveted six pack abdominal muscles; it includes the muscles in the mid and lower back, hips, glutes and hamstrings. To target those lower limb muscles, Chris Roberston, co-founder of the Oakville Naturopathic Wellness Centre and trainer for Weight Watchers Canada suggests single hip lifts. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms alongside your body for support. Extend one leg straight up and, keeping the bend in your other knee, lift your hips upwards, squeezing your glutes at the top before lowering back down. Three sets of 20 reps a leg will help build a strong foundation.
Stand still as a tree trunk
Balance is also integral to a healthy lifestyle, not just for the body but also for the mind. Incorporating even just a couple of yoga postures into your day-to-day can yield positive results and creates an opportunity to reconnect. Toronto yoga instructor Patricia Dominiski is an advocate of balancing positions since they require mental focus to get you out of your head, plus they also build stability and strength in the ankle and foot.
Basic but still challenging, Tree Pose is great for people at any fitness level. Standing on both feet, bring your right foot to rest gently at the left ankle, on the inner calf or the inner thigh (just be sure to avoid the knee joint). Maintaining a steady breath, slowly raise your arms to your chest or above your head, lengthening through the sides of your body and keeping your standing leg engaged. Hold for a few breaths before lowering the arms and leg and repeating on the opposite leg.
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