Written by Penelope Farthing
It’s January, meaning that we are at the height of “new year, new me” season. Getting in shape is chief among New Year Resolutions. But between working and commuting and existing, it can be hard to get to the gym (but if you can, you should!). Not to mention, there will be an inevitable surge in gym attendance this month, which can be unpleasant for a brand new gym goer.
So, to avoid the crowds and still keep that resolution, here are some easy at-home, equipment-free exercises to try in 2019!
Simply put, burpees are hard. A burpee (also known as a squat thrust) is an aerobic 4-part exercise that works the whole body and burns calories like no other. To do one, start in a standing position, and then move into a squat, but with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet out into a plank with your arms extended, then move your feet back to the squat position, stand up again. Aaaand, repeat.
There are all sorts of variations of burpees, too. For an added challenge you could incorporate a tricep push up in the middle and a jump at the end (à la Crossfit burpees). Or, you could switch jumping up to jumping forward (a long jump burpee). Regardless of what style of burpee you choose, you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat!
A lunge is a simple exercise that is pretty common in daily life. If you’ve had to tie a shoelace, or have done anything balancing on one knee, you’ve done a lunge. Start out by standing tall, hands on hips, then step one leg forward and lower your hips until both knees are at 90°. Alternate legs and repeat!
Variations on the lunge can include holding weights or reverse lunging – kicking your alternating legs back instead of forward.
Planks are my favorite bodyweight exercise by far. They work your core and improve posture, especially important for my fellow desk-workers. To do a straight-arm plank, get on all fours with your arms straight out, and then straighten your legs out behind you, and move on to your toes. For a forearm-plank, the posture is the same, but instead of balancing on your hands, you use your forearms as the name suggests.
Though not technically at home, running is a great (and free) way to get into a fitness regimen. Whether you choose to briskly walk around your neighborhood or venture out into a local park for a jog, get those games going! Programs like Couch-to-5k are geared at newcomers to exercise, with a goal of turning couch potatoes into runners in just 9 weeks.
Once you get into the swing of things, you can challenge yourself further by signing up for fun-runs like Inflatable 5ks (my personal favorite). Or, you could attend more routine 5ks like the Parkrun, a weekly, free, timed 5km race held all over the world!
Ultimately, one of the best things you can do for yourself this year is getting in shape. No matter what shape you’re currently in, it’s never too late to start. Before starting a new regimen, consult your physician with any concerns you might have.
Do you have a favorite fitness move you do at home? Let us know in the comments!