Living room workout
Try our living room workout
1. Static lunges
These work all the muscles in your lower body. You should feel the burn as you slowly move through the motion.
How to: Step forward with one leg about 1m in front of the other, ensuring your feet are parallel, and hip-width apart. Raise onto the toes of your back foot and keep your weight in the heel of your front foot (A). Slowly lower until your back knee is just off the ground (B). Pushing through your front heel and back toes, slowly raise back up to standing. Repeat 10 times on each leg.
Want more? On your 10th rep, at the bottom of the movement, perform 5 slow 10cm pulses up and down.
Tip: make sure your knee is directly above your front foot and that you go straight up and down with no forward movement.
Push-ups are a great core and upper-body exercise, perfect for strengthening your arms and shoulders.
How to: Start in a high plank position on your hands and knees, activating your core to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees (A). Slowly lower down as far as you can comfortably go, leading with your chest, keeping your spine straight and core engaged (B). Push back up to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps.
Want more? If you are strong enough to take it to the next level, you can do these on your toes instead of on your knees.
Tip: If you find push-ups hard, start with your hands elevated on a step (or solid coffee table) and as you get stronger, lower the height of the step.
3. Body-weight squats
Squats are a great way to increase your heart rate while working a variety of lower-body muscles. It’s all about how you do them.
How to: Standing with your feet just wider than hip-distance apart, with your weight towards your heels (A), slowly lower until your thighs are as close to parallel to the ground as you can get (B). You may find it easier to raise your arms in front of you to keep your balance. Pause at the bottom, then slowly raise back to standing. Repeat for 20 reps.
Want more? On your last rep, pause at the bottom, where your thighs are parallel to the ground, and see how long you can hold the position for.
Tip: If you come up to almost the top of your squat and then proceed into your next one without a pause, your leg muscles have to work harder.
Think along the lines of the YMCA dance, but instead of standing up, lie face down to work your upper back and arms.
How to: Start by lying face down on the floor and place your arms straight forward past your head with your thumbs pointing up so your body forms a ‘Y’ shape. Then lift your arms and upper chest off the floor (A). Hold for 2 seconds. Then, keeping your chest slightly lifted, move your arms out to the sides into the ‘T’ position (B). Hold for 2 seconds. Now bring your thumbs forward to your shoulders and your elbows closer to your body, to form a ‘W’ shape with your arms (C). Hold for 2 seconds. Finish by bringing your arms straight down by your sides in the ‘I’ position, with your thumbs pointing out and up (D). This is 1 rep. Pause for 2 seconds, then slowly bring your arms out in front of your head and start again. Do 5 reps.
Want more? Try 5 reps, with no rest between each one.
Tip: Focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together throughout the exercise. It’s important to always keep your core engaged when doing these exercises to help prevent injury.
5. Oblique Crossovers
Like the plank, these exercises strengthen your core and add rotational movements that give your sides, arms and legs a great workout.
How to: Start in a high yoga plank position on your hands and toes, with your bellybutton drawn up towards your spine (A). Lift your right foot off the ground and draw your right knee up and across as close as you can to your left elbow (B), squeeze, place the foot back down and repeat on the opposite side. Complete 10 alternate reps on each side.
Want more? When you touch your elbow with your knee, pause for between 2 and 3 seconds before placing your leg back on the floor.
Tip" If you can’t get your knees near your elbows, bring your weight forward onto your hands or put your palms on a step or the base of a chair.