Every New Year brings new resolutions. Most of us say that we want to live a healthier lifestyle and get back into our exercise routine. Being that most people have the same resolutions, at the start of the New Year the gym is always super crowded. With our busy schedules, it is hard to find time to make it to the gym each day. Instead of worrying about lugging all of your things out the door and finding an open elliptical, why not just exercise from the comfort of your living room? Here are some of our favorite at-home exercises to help us get back in shape for the New Year.
Plank exercises strengthen your abdominal muscles and the muscles supporting your back. You can start by holding a plank for 15-30 seconds, and gradually increase your time as you feel your muscles getting stronger.
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent over your hips. Once in position, contract your core and slowly raise your hips off the mat. After briefly holding this upward position, slowly lower your spine back towards the mat and return to the original position.
This exercise targets the entire core region and sculpts your stomach.
Squats work the major muscles in your lower body and firmly shape the glutes and thighs. When properly squatting, your hips should sink behind you as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair.
Once you have mastered the traditional squat, you can progress to more complex variations. Adding a jump to this exercise can give it an additional intensity and increase your heart rate.
Starting in a plank position, bend and lower your elbows down towards the ground. During this exercise, it is important to keep your head and torso aligned with your spine. To modify the intensity of this workout, play around with your hand placement.
As far as how many reps to start with, begin small and gradually increase as your body gets stronger.
Practicing these 4 exercises will give you a full body workout without having to leave the house. Just remember – be careful when executing these movements, because you don't want to start out the New Year on a broken foot!
Photos courtesy of the American Council on Exercise