I get asked all the time “What are some good exercises I can do at home to start getting in better shape“.
There are dozens of exercises you can choose from, but I’m going to carve it down to just three different exercises in this post.
The goal of these three exercises is to involve as many muscles in your body at the same time as possible. This not only burns more calories it also allows you to do fewer exercises (although more reps and sets) to get great results.
You can do all three of these exercises with absolutely no equipment.
BODY WEIGHT SQUATS
Squats are great. You don’t need any equipment nor do you need any special space. You can do them inside, outside in your living room, bedroom or just about anywhere else.
As with all exercises, it’s important that you have the right form to reduce any chance of injury.
Proper form when doing a squat is:
- Feet a little wider than shoulder width apart
- Point your toes out just a bit
- As you drop down push your knees out to the side
- Roll your toes up just a bit, to ensure you’re holding your weight in your heels
- Drop your butt down between your legs
- Push up through your heels
Another fantastic body weight exercise that has two levels of difficulty for you to try. The key to a good push up is when you’re placing your hands down on the ground ensure they are approximately shoulder width apart and place your hands directly under your shoulders (see the video below for an example).
Plank is one of those exercises that seems easy until it’s not.
The key is engaging your core as much as you can and then pulling up with either your kegel muscle if you’re a woman or your PC muscle if you’re a man.
For positioning, you want your elbows under your shoulders and your body nice and flat and you’re going to come up just a little bit with your butt (see video below for example). Coming up slightly in the middle allows you to squeeze your core in extra tight.
When you’re down in plant position suck your belly button in and hold your core in tight. You should be holding your core tight enough that it’s difficult to talk normally. If you are speaking with ease you can pull that belly button in tighter!
CREATING A SIMPLE AT HOME CIRCUIT
With these three easy bodyweight exercises, you can start creating your own home workout routine. Here’s a suggested starting point.
- 10-15 bodyweight squats
- 10-15 push-ups (from toes or knees, where ever you feel comfortable)
- Hold plan for 20 to 60 seconds
Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat that circuit. How many times should you repeat it? Well use your own judgement here, but I’d start with two to three times and see if you can work up to five or six. This will depend a lot on your current fitness level, so go easy when first starting out.
Another tip is not to stare directly down at the ground. Choose a spot about 8″ to 10″ out in front of you and keep your chin up. There’s nothing to see staring down at the ground or underneath your chest. Keeping your chin up promotes good form.
If you find doing push-ups off your toes to be difficult try coming off your knees first. It’s more important that you get proper form to reduce the chance of injury.