Want to get in shape without joining a gym and without the expense of purchasing exercise equipment for your home? No problem. Here are 10 home exercise routines that require no equipment.
1. Jumping Jacks – Yes, good old fashioned jumping jacks-the same exercise we did as kids. They are an excellent warm-up exercise to start your routine with and provide good cardio benefits if done at a high intensity.
2. Walking – If the weather is nice, this is a great outdoor activity. Find a nice place to walk and take advantage of the fresh air, sunshine and scenery. This keeps it much more interesting and fun than walking on a treadmill in your basement.
If the weather outside is not fit for walking, you can stay indoors and do stair climbs instead. This exercise is more of a challenge and can really get your heart pumping if you keep the pace high and rest periods short. Try going up the stairs at a brisk pace and walk back down at your normal speed. Do several sets and you will feel the burn in your legs.
3. Running in place – If you can not go outside and have no steps at home try running in place. This can be done while watching TV or listening to your MP3 player or radio. Try to maintain a brisk pace for maximum benefits.
4. Step exercises – These can provide good cardio benefits as well as toning your legs. Just stand in front of the bottom step on a set of stairs or any other solid surface that is the same height. Step up with one foot and then the other, then step back down with one foot and then the other. Increase the pace for a higher intensity workout.
5. Pushups – Pushups are great for developing arm, shoulder and chest muscles. If you find them to be too difficult at first, try doing them on your knees instead of with your legs straight out. When you feel that they have become too easy, try them with your legs straight for a more challenging workout.
To really take pushups to the next level, perform them with your legs straight out and your feet elevated on a chair. This method really works the shoulders and chest muscles.
6. Leg Raises – These are good for toning the abdominal muscles. Simply lie flat on your back and raise your legs about 12 inches off the ground and hold them for 10-15 seconds. If you can not hold them for this long, try doing them with your legs bent.
7. Crunches – These are another good exercise for toning the midsection. To perform crunches correctly, lie on your back with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms across your chest and curl your upper body up while tucking your chin into your chest. Lift up about 18 inches and press your lower back into the floor. When you feel your abdominal muscles contracting you know you are doing them correctly.
8. Squats – This is a great exercise for your legs and glutes. To do them properly, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground then slowly stand up again. Be sure to keep your back straight and your head up through the entire movement.
9. Leg / Arm Raises -This exercise strengthens your core muscles and tones your shoulders and glutes. Start on your hands and knees. Raise your left arm straight out in front of you and your right leg out straight behind you at the same time and hold for 2-3 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Alternate from side to side.
10. Dancing – Dancing can be a great aerobic exercise if done at high intensity. The really great thing about dancing is that you can have a good workout and have a lot of fun at the same time.
These home exercise routines will keep you in great shape without the expense of purchasing a gym membership, expensive exercise equipment or weights. Just be sure to stick to your program and have fun getting in shape!