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Home Exercises

Looking for the best way to exercise at home and still stay in shape? Not everyone has the time or money to join a gym, so being able to do effective exercises at home has never been more important. Good home exercises should target all the main muscle groups and put the full body through its paces.

Home Exercises

WorkoutBox contains great home exercises that will keep you in shape and save the hassle of leaving the house. Incorporate these exercises into your weekly routine and you’ll start to reap the benefits – so get moving!

Ab Exercise Muscles

See Also » Home Workouts

Leg Raises, Lying

Beginner
Leg Raises, Lying
The lying leg raise works all the major abdominal muscles, obliques, hip flexors and also the front of the thighs. It helps to develop a strong midsection along with balance and coordination.
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Crunch

Beginner
Crunch
The standard abdominal crunch exercise targets the stomach muscles. The crunch is a safe and effective exercise that is great for beginners to help develop strong abdominal muscles.
Targets : Abdominals View Exercise

Plank, Elbow

Intermediate
Plank, Elbow
The elbow plank is an effective exercise for developing the abs, and is performed by holding a plank pose for a prolonged period. If your goal is to achieve six pack abs, then the plank exercise is definitely  
more...
Targets : Abdominals View Exercise

Plank, Straight Arm

Advanced
Plank, Straight Arm
The straight arm plank is a variation of the plank. Performing the exercise with straight arms further challenges the core, arms, chest and shoulders to increase the intensity of the exercise by offering less s 
more...
Targets : Core View Exercise

Push Up

Intermediate
Push Up
The push up (also known as press up) is an excellent exercise for working the chest muscles and arms. Also because of the position you have to maintain to do this exercise correctly, it also works the core, abd 
more...
Targets : Chest View Exercise

Pull Ups, Underhand Grip

Advanced
Pull Ups, Underhand Grip
Pull ups (also known as chin ups) are the classic bodyweight exercise and are often used by exercisers as a measure of personal fitness. It's a difficult exercise to do and requires a large amount of upper bod 
more...
Targets : Lats View Exercise

Push Up, Declined

Intermediate
Push Up, Declined
This exercise is excellent for adding a progressive element to a normal push up. It also focuses on the upper part of the chest (pectoral muscle) in the same way as an inclined chest press exercise. So if you d 
more...
Targets : Upper Chest View Exercise

Squats Jump

Advanced
Squats Jump
Squat jumps require a good level of aerobic fitness as well as strength and technique. They will add an extra dimension to your training when looking to improve strength in the lower body. As they are aerobic  
more...
Targets : Buttocks View Exercise

Split Squat, Prisoner

Beginner
Split Squat, Prisoner
The prisoner split squat is an effective exercise for developing the quads and glutes, and is performed by performing a squat with the feet staggered. The split squat is also known as the static lunge and is a  
more...
Targets : Buttocks View Exercise

Push Ups, Tricep, Diamond

Advanced
Push Ups, Tricep, Diamond
The diamond push up is also known as the tricep push up because the position of the hands, it focuses more on the triceps and shoulders, rather than the chest like the conventional push up. It's a challenging  
more...
Targets : Triceps View Exercise

V Sit Ups

Intermediate
V Sit Ups
The v sit up is an effective exercise for developing the abs, and is performed by extending the arms and legs, then crunching up to bring them all together. It can be quite challenging for beginners as it requ 
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Crunches, Reverse

Intermediate
Crunches, Reverse
The reverse crunch is a good alternative to the standard crunch, instead of crunching your upper body towards your legs, you crunch the legs up towards your chest and your upper body remains stationary. This ex 
more...
Targets : Upper Abs View Exercise

Superman

Beginner
Superman
The superman is an effective exercise for strengthening the lower back. It is relatively straight forward to master and can be performed by beginners. It's a complimentary exercise to the abdominal crunch as it 
more...
Targets : Lower Back View Exercise

Push Up, Inclined

Beginner
Push Up, Inclined
The inclined push up is another variation to the standard push up, but it targets the lower part of the chest muscle. Beginners might find it slightly easier than the standard push up as the elevated angle make 
more...
Targets : Lower Chest View Exercise

Lunges, Forward

Intermediate
Lunges, Forward
Lunges are a great bodyweight exercise for working the legs and lower body. They can also be performed with weights to increase the challenge and build muscle and strength in those areas. They do require quite  
more...
Targets : Buttocks View Exercise

Push Up, Twisting

Advanced
Push Up, Twisting
The push up with rotation adds another element to the standard push up which makes it much more challenging. It's not necessarily that difficult but it will challenge balance & coordination in addition to worki 
more...
Targets : Chest View Exercise

Walking Lunges

Beginner
Walking Lunges
Lunges are a great exercise for strengthening and toning the thighs and buttocks. The walking lunge increases the intensity by adding a CV element into the exercises. It helps to promote good balance and coordi 
more...
Targets : Buttocks View Exercise

Split Squat, Jump

Advanced
Split Squat, Jump
The jumping split squat is an effective exercise for developing the quads and glutes, and is performed by performing a squat with the feet staggered, jumping between reps. Incorporating a jump whilst alternatin 
more...
Targets : Buttocks View Exercise

Side Lunges

Intermediate
Side Lunges
The standard lunge focuses on the buttocks and upper leg muscles so taking the movement out to the side works the outer thighs (abductors). This also helps to develop the flexibility of the inner thigh which is 
more...
Targets : Buttocks View Exercise

Bicycle Crunch

Intermediate
Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle crunch develops strong abdominal muscles along with balance and coordination. A very challenging exercise which requires a reasonable level of core strength and balance.
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Plyometric Pushups, Lateral

Advanced
Plyometric Pushups, Lateral
This version of the plyometric pushup will improve power and reflex by utilising explosive movements to the sides. The Lateral Plyometric Pushup is quite a challenging exercise and requires a certain level of f 
more...
Targets : Chest View Exercise

Burpee

Intermediate
Burpee
The Burpee is an exercise that combines multiple movements together in one exercise. There are at least 3 variations of the burpee, each one increases the challenge by adding another move to the exercise. This  
more...
Targets : Buttocks View Exercise

Some Home Workouts you should try

Home Muscle Building Workout for Beginners
Home Muscle Building Workout for Beginners
Level : Beginner
» View Workout
Bodyweight Circuit or Warm-up Routine
Bodyweight Circuit or Warm-up Routine
Level : Beginner
» View Workout
Killer Home Chest Workout
Killer Home Chest Workout
Level : Intermediate
» View Workout
20 Minute Workout with no Equipment
20 Minute Workout with no Equipment
Level : Intermediate
» View Workout
At Home Chest Workout
At Home Chest Workout
Level : Advanced
» View Workout

FEATURE ARTICLE

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Exercising at Home

Exercising at Home is Fun, Cheap and Rewarding

Exercising at home has countless advantages. It not only helps you save money, but it could also be a great opportunity to bond with other family members as well. Depending on the placement of your home, whether it’s an apartment or a house with a back yard, your possibilities are countless. From regularly skipping the chord in your tiny downtown apartment, to taking adventurous quad trips through your big house domain, all movement is effective, despite any location criteria.

Exercising is normality, not an obligation

Keep in mind the fact that working out in your own home can be tricky sometimes, as the perspective of watching a movie on a rainy Friday evening can be more inviting than a 50 minute workout. Your mind-set is what you must constantly program in order to stick to your plan. But this is not difficult at all once you’ve been on this productive routine for a couple of times. Your body will be asking for it, and there will be nothing more for you to do in order to keep working. In other words, exercising should become normality, not an obligation. Your strength must be inner in the first place.

Set long term goals in order to see the quick results

Another important thing that also applies once you decide to take up working out in your own home as well is to never set short-term goals. The goal is not to make tremendous sacrifices in order to get your fastest time in next month's race and get 3 gold medals. The goal is to be faster next year than you are today. And to become faster two years from now than you will be next year. Moreover, stop acting like living a healthy life is a big deal. The great thing is that when you commit to being consistent over the long term, you end up seeing remarkable results in the short term.Sport is just like therapy against stress and restlessness that will cure you from any strange syndrome you may be suffering from. And the one you love will see you in a whole new light. In a nutshell, your life will change forever, and you’re the one calling the shots. Big changes begin with baby steps, don’t forget that.

Don’t find excuses

Working out at home can be trickier, because you don’t feel compelled to go to the gym just because you paid money for that in advance. If your house is your training court, don’t let that talk you into skipping practice.

For instance, my father has always been one of the busiest people I know. But twice a week he plays tennis in a friend’s back yard. This guy had a tennis court built there in order to never find excuses and also spend some quality time with his friends. And my father is one of them.During those hours, nothing is more important than sticking to that routine.

He won’t even answer the phone. Despite arguments with my mother who never understands his stubbornness regarding his playing tennis all the time, family matters are always scheduled depending on those four tennis hours per week. This is not called selfishness, it’s self-respect. He’s far from being young, but tennis has kept him fit and optimistic. So don’t find excuses. Let your schedule govern your actions, not your level of motivation.

A workout instructor in your home.Or not…

The first piece of advice any rookie can give is to never exercise without an expert. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actually hire one, but it does imply your exercising while watching a fitness program. Our site, workoutbox.com, is piled with movies personalised on your needs. But there are other routines that can get you going as well, such as Tracy Anderson’s workouts, or Billy Blank’s Tae Bo routine. Once you understand what works for you and what doesn’t, you will be perfectly capable of creating your own personalized routine. But not from the beginning.Remember, results are hard to come by, but they are not impossible. Sometimes we need a little tweak to our routines to make them work. Fitness is different for everyone. What works for one may not work for the other. It is up to you to find what does work for you and run with it. Make workouts become your own. This is one of the best-hidden advantages of training at home.

How long until actual results are noticeable

At a physiological and hormonal level, changes start to occur in the body instantly after a workout, but most people will start actually seeing results within the first month or two of making regular workouts part of their weekly routine, depending on how often you exercise and the intensity of your workouts. These results will start small but will improve and become more noticeable as time goes on.

While that seems like a long time, there are other signs that show your exercise routine is working, such as climbing a flight of stairs without feeling totally winded.

Some Home Workout Training Routine Alternatives

This following list is not trying to convince you of anything, or suggest extreme alternatives for both the beginners and the advanced who chose to commit to workouts at home. They are undoubtedly the most famous routines anyone can perform in the comfort of their own home. But the following routines are famous for good reasons: they are conducted by fitness trainers who know what they are doing and who won’t ruin your knees or your back while forcing you to follow unexplainably strange moves.

The Tracy Anderson alternative

The Tracy Anderson part of the workout equation has been pretty difficult to avoid in the past few years. Best known as Gwyneth Palthrow's trainer, she's released dozens of workout DVDs, and is the literal definition of a pint-sized powerhouse. That’s because the woman is 5'0" and all muscle, not to mention a mom to a 15-year-old boy and a 22-month-old girl.

Tracy Anderson's most notorious program for the public is called Metamorphosis, as you may already know. It’s basically a 90-day program with 9 discs of toning exercises designed for specific body types, a cardio DVD, and Tracy's recommended eating plan. The body types include Omni-centric for those who gain weight all over; Hip-centric for those with a small waist, big hips and big thighs; Ab-centric if you gain weight in the midsection or have a thick waist or Glute-centric for those of us with, as Tracy says, a droopy, shapeless behind.

Some experts claim Anderson’s routine is a bit over-rated. Following her dance routines isn’t really a piece of cake at first, as they don’t seem to follow any logical pattern. It’s jumping around, watching her little body do those unpredictable moves and trying to keep up with that as accurate as possible. But nevertheless it’s really fun. It unleashes you somehow.

As far as I am concerned, a potential flaw might come from the fact that not being able to see yourself from the outside, you may get some of the moves completely wrong, and then just question yourself regarding the lack of results. So a group routine would probably work better, as you can easily correct one another. Not to mention the fact that seeing your friends or family jumping around the house can make you feel 16 again in an instant.

Billy Blank’s Tae-Bo

A Tae-Bo workout definitely combines hip-hop, ballet, and modern dance with martial arts kicks and boxing punches. All moves are accompanied by music, which not only sets the pace of the routine, but inspires and motivates participants to push a little harder as well. For a total body workout, Tae-Bo is the perfect fit to any weight loss exercise regime. It’s probably the most entertaining one. It’s suited for all levels of experience. Despite being a rather high intensity workout, it is fun and engaging. Unlike many other aerobic workout routines, Tae-Bo exercises the whole body, using the body's own resistance to help strengthen and tone.

Billy is a great instructor always telling you things to keep you motivated throughout the workout, trying to help you go further and do more each time. The name tae-bo is derived from tae kwon do and boxing. It is also an acronym standing for: Total commitment-Awareness-Excellence-Body-Obedience.

Once you become comfortable with the moves involved in the Blanks Tae-bo workouts, the benefits can be significant. A Tae-bo exercise can burn about forty percent more calories than a traditional aerobics routine and provide the additional benefits of building strength, flexibility, balance, and mental focus. Even though it’s not for the beginner, it’s an excellent way to build a stronger heart as well as a better body. Moreover, due to the high-energy aerobic nature of Tae-bo, the exercise program burns calories during the routine, which should translate into weight loss.

Before you try the workout, check out thispreview on YouTube.

Jillian Michaels – The 30 Day Shred

If you haven’t heard of Jillian Michaels, you’ve probably been living under a rock. She’s one of America’s most talented and famous fitness instructors and famous for training the contestants in the popular TV Show The Biggest Loser. In this workout, Jillian makes sure to squeeze every single benefit out of working out and she teaches you a series of exercises that are meant to help you become thinner, stronger and healthier. You will not need more than 20 minutes/day, some weights (you can just fill up some plastic bottles with sand or water) and a lot of willpower. However this is an extremely intense workout and you will not want to hurt yourself. Other than that, do remember to always listen to Jillian’s comments and to follow the movements with exactness, since it is highly important that you get the right posture in order not to hurt yourself and to increase the efficiency of the workout as well.

Probably this is why I’ve mentioned it third in our list, as this training program is far from being easy. So in case you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s probably better not to start with this one.

While the program works undoubtedly, I am not too confident in recommending it since I have found a better and more complete program from the same creator, which garnered more positive reviews among actual users. You may also want to try out Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution workout program which will take you a bit more (around 30 minutes each day), but it is supposedly more beneficial for you especially because it is structured in 4 phases and because it lasts for 90 days (which is enough to make an actual change in your life and to pick up exercising as a habit).

Some recommend the Weider Principles, a list of weightlifting truisms gathered and honed by the father of bodybuilding Joe Weider, but this routine belongs to a totally different approach, that’s why we won’t take care of it in this article.But all the systems mentioned above, including Weider are worth investing in at some point.

Some tips and tricks of maintaining a healthy fitness diet

Because of the fact that you have decided to take up working out in your own house, this means your spending more time inside, and therefore being more tempted to have a quick unhealthy snack after another, hoping that no one notices anything. In other words you’ll have calories piled up in your stomach in no time. Here are some weight-loss/weight management tips that come straight from Jillian Michael and are definitely worth taking a look at.

·         Eat citrus every day, especially in the morning.Vitamin C inhibits the production of cortisol, a hormone that essentially tells your body, to store fat. Eat grapefruit slices with breakfast.

·         Drink plenty of water. Hydration can curb hunger and boost your metabolism by up to 3 percent! Drink water until your pee looks like lemonade.

·         Say yes to dark chocolate and no to guilty pleasures such as muffins.It's got antioxidants. Anyone can get away with calling it a health food. Well, serve it in moderation.

·         Clean out your pantry. Dump everything you have that contains trans fats, artificial sweeteners, dextrose and high-fructose corn syrup. Try to start drinking your coffee or tea in their pure form, without adding splenda or cream, or milk.

·         Spotlight healthy food. Put the healthiest things on display: fruits on the countertop, the healthiest things in the fridge at eye level, and the best snacks at the front of your cupboard so you'll see those first, and hopefully you’ll forget all about the chips hidden somewhere behind the counter. And you’ll also forget about the flabby tummy you once had.

·         Diversify your workout. When you work multiple muscles at the same time, you're getting your cardiovascular exercise in while you strength-train. You're not only saving time, but you're burning more calories while you're doing it.

·         Get your sleep. Sleep is a cornerstone of weight management because of the impact it has on your hormones that control how you burn fat, how you store fat, and how you're maintaining muscle. The better your hormone balance, the better your weight management.

·         Kick the salt habit. Salt is a big contributor to weight gain and often a reason why the numbers on the scale aren't going down. The average American consumes twice the amount of salt they should have each day, leading to weight gain, bloating, and the inability to lose stubborn pounds. Salt can also make you feel hungrier and thirstier, so check the nutrition labels for high sodium levels and choose fresh over packaged or restaurant foods. You'll see a puffy face and belly go down quickly just by cutting back on your sodium intake and choosing more natural foods.

·         Spice up your food. Adding hot spices to your meals can help curb hunger, according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Need another reason to add some heat? Scientists at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that capsaicin (a compound found in chilies) triggers your brain to release feel-good endorphins.

·         Take your time. Rapid eaters are often heavier than slow eaters, according to research from The University of Rhode Island. It takes 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that you have eaten enough and are satisfied. If you rush your meal and eat rapidly, your body's satiety cues won't be tuned in to those feelings of fullness yet and it's easier to overeat. Try slowing down by chewing each bite at least 10 times, putting your fork down in between bites.

·         Celebrate healthy talk. Instead of using words like "fat," say "fit"; change "can't" to "can"; "weak" to "strong"; "unhealthy" to "healthy." It takes practice but it can start to rewire how you think about your health and weight goals. Spending more time at home due to various reasons should not be an impediment when you want to lose weight. This advice definitely applies more to women than men, as they are more tempted by cravings than men in general.

Essential items for a home gym

It's easy to get overwhelmed with the amazing array of fitness equipment available today. You could end up not only blowing your budget, but moving your bedroom into the kitchen just to make room for your new gear as well.

Experts from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) advise anyone thinking about creating a home gym to consider not only their particular fitness needs, but also their available space, their budget, and how much time they are able to devote to at-home workouts.

Moreover, you needn’t change your furniture around or install complicated stuff such as ballet bare or a Bowflex PR1000 device. All of these take up too much space, especially if you’re living in a small apartment.

N.B. Take care not to buy the same type of equipment, like all cardio or all strength training. So in other words, while buying an exercise bike, treadmill and ski machine may seem like you're covering all your bases, you're really only preparing for one type of workout.

Home workout tools:

Resistance Bands

Exercise bands are useful for beginners and advanced exercisers alike. They come in different resistance levels, which are usually represented by different colors, so you can choose what you need depending on your ability and what type of moves you’re doing. Rubberized resistance helps you build muscle just like hand weights, and these bands are easy to store and handy for traveling. To start, choose a medium-strength resistance band. Increase the resistance by folding it lengthwise or shortening the band by holding it closer to the anchor. Make it easier by attaching one end to an anchor point instead of folding it, and hold the other end in your hand. (An anchor point is a sturdy place that holds the center or one end of the band.) The resistance band is designed to target the entire body and offers complete diversity in the types of exercises you can do.

Stability Ball

Exercise balls can be used alone for ab workouts, stability ball exercises, and stretches, or used in conjunction with hand weights as a balance-challenging weight bench. When you sit on or lie across a stability ball, you engage all the muscles in your core to keep yourself supported. A proper fit will help you work your way to a toned body with better posture, more-defined abs, and a healthy spine with less back pain. Here’s a guide:

Your Height/Proper Sizing:

-          under 4' 6" -12" ball

-          5' 1" to 5'7" - 22" ball

-          5' 8" to 6' 2" - 26" ball

-          Over 6' 2" - 30" ball

Kettlebell

It basically looks like a cannonball with a handle, but that ungainly design is exactly why it's so effective. Unlike a dumbbell, a kettlebell's center of gravity shifts during an exercise, increasing the challenge and building coordination. And because it's intended for total-body moves, it adds a cardio element to what is already an intense strength workout.

ViPR

This is one of the best fitness tools you probably never knew existed. Lift it. Drag it. Throw it. Flip it. Swing it. The ViPR is designed for active, total-body exercises that build balance, agility, and rock-solid core strength. It's also constructed of solid rubber, which means it's practically indestructible.

Yoga Mat

This is a home workout must. An exercise mat (they're not just for yoga) will cushion you from a hard floor and give more support than a carpet when doing ab workouts, floor exercises, and warm-up stretches. You can also use them for relaxation, or for building your own chill-out corner, as they are non-slip and a great lumbar support to lie over on the floor after a stressful day.

Core Stix

Inspired by the demands of farm work, the Core Stix trainer provides one of the best total-body workouts on our lineup. An NHL strength and conditioning coach and a former space shuttle engineer designed it, and its flexible rods offer resistance in multiple planes of motion and an almost unlimited number of exercise choices. Core Stix consists of a base platform with three arc supports—providing 53-rod anchor points—and a pair of light, medium, and heavy rods for varying levels of resistance. An exercise chart on the base illustrates basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises and the rod positions recommended for each. But while the concept may appear simple, the engineering behind it is rocket science. They come along with a useful handout, so don’t worry you’ll have to figure all your options out by yourself.

Nevertheless they may exceed your budget, as they cost something between $850 and $1,800.

Workout DVDs

If you like taking exercise classes, invest in a workout DVD and get moving. They’re a fun way to liven up your home workout and try something new, like Zumba or kickboxing. There are DVDs for all levels and interests.

Dumbbells

As you can see, I haven’t included dumbbells on top of the list, because they can easily be replaced with small water bottles filled with liquid. Or even with sand, for an increased weight. Nevertheless if are more advanced, maybe getting some real ones would be worth it. Dumbbells, or hand weights, are great for building muscle and sculpting your body. One pair each of 3-pound and -5 pound weights will be enough to get you going on a beginning strength-training regimen. As your strength improves, add 8-pound and 10-pound weights. Keep in mind that these are the perfect tools you can work with while pregnant, as there are plenty of dumbbell exercises fot this delicate period in a woman’s life.

Examples of basic exercises that require the tools listed above

Basic exercises that use a resistance band

·         Chest Pull with Band - 15 reps

Sit tall in a chair with your abs engaged. Fold your resistance band in half and grip each end in front of your chest, elbows bent. Pull the band, bringing it closer to your chest and straightening your arms, and then slowly release it back to the start position. Exhale as you pull and inhale as you release.

·         Bent Over Row with Band - 15 reps

Place the resistance band under your feet and grasp each handle. Engage your abs and bend forward from the waist until your back is parallel to the floor, releasing your arms down toward the ground. Pull the handles upward, drawing your shoulder blades together and your elbows toward the ceiling and slowly release back down to the start position.

Keep your abs engaged to protect your lower back. Move your feet closer to the handles to make it harder or closer to the center of the band to make it easier. Exhale as you pull up and inhale as you release.

·         Shoulder Raises with Band - 15 reps

Place the resistance band under your feet and grasp each handle. Sit tall with your abs engaged and arms slightly bent at the elbows.  Lift the arms up to shoulder level and slowly release back down to the start position. Keep your wrists in line with the forearms, not bent. Move your feet closer to the handles to make it harder; closer to the center of the band to make it easier. Exhale as you pull up and inhale as you release.

·         Biceps Curls with Band – 15 reps

Place the resistance band under your feet and grasp each handle. Sit tall with your abs engaged and your elbows tucked to the sides of your waist.  Curl the hands up towards the shoulders and slowly release back down to the start position.  Keep your wrists in line with the forearms, not bent. Move your feet closer to the handles to make it harder; closer to the center of the band to make it easier. Exhale as you lift up and inhale as you release.

·         Lower Back Extensions with Band – 15 reps

Place the resistance band under your feet and grasp each handle. Engage your abs and bend forward from the waist until your back is parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows bend and tucked in to the sides of the waist.  Keeping your spine perfectly straight, hinge from the waist to sit back up and then slowly lower back down to the start position. Keep your abs and you spine lengthened. Move your feet closer to the handles to make it harder or closer to the center of the band to make it easier. Exhale as you sit up and inhale as you release.

·         Calf Raises with Band - 15 reps

Place the band around your left foot, holding the handles securely with your elbows at your sides. Extend your leg. Point the toes forward and then slowly release them back. Keep the band tight and think about flexing and pointing the toes. Exhale as you point the toes and inhale as you flex the foot. Repeat on the opposite side.

 

Some super effective stability ball exercises

1. Core

·         V-sit with ball – 6-10 reps

Lie face up on the ground with ankles resting on the top of the stability ball. With arms pointing towards the feet, roll the torso up so the body forms a V with the hips on the ground. Hold for five counts (long enough for a serious case of the ab-shakes) and slowly roll back down to the ground.

·         Ball jog – 2-5 minutes

For this blood-pumping move, sit tall on the ball with abs engaged and feet firmly on the floor. Lift the knees up and down to bounce as high as possible on the ball.

·         Hand off - 6-10 reps

Lie face up on the ground with arms and legs extended. Grab the ball overhead with both hands. In one smooth motion, lift the arms and legs in the air, transferring the ball from the hands to the feet (in between the ankles to be exact). At this point, only the hips and buttocks should be touching the ground. Lower arms and legs and have the ball placed between them on the ground. (This move will also work your lat and pec muscles really well).

2. Upper body

·         Standing plank – 5 reps

Using a wobbly stability ball gives the shoulders and arms an extra-tough workout. With one leg extended behind, rest the elbows and forearms on the ball (for a really tough challenge, try this with straight arms). Step the other leg back so the feet are together. Hold the position as long as possible, working up to 30 seconds per set.

·         Roll out – 10 reps

Kneel behind the ball, with palms down on top. Slowly use the hands to push the ball forward until the triceps are resting on top of the ball and the legs are almost all the way extended with the knees on the ground. Remember: A tight core will keep the body moving straight ahead. Are you feeling pressure on the knees? Place a towel or yoga mat under them.

·         Back extensions – 5-8 reps

Start with the stomach and hips on the ball, legs extended straight behind (toes resting on the ground). Hold onto the ball with the hands for balance. If this position is difficult to maintain due to slippery shoes, try placing the feet against a wall. Raise the chest high, bringing the hands to the back of the head. Hold for a beat or two, and return to a relaxed position.

3. Lower body

·         Squat and reach – 10-15 reps

Hold the ball with straight arms, so it’s about level with the face. Squat down, bringing the ball all the way to the left side, just above the left foot. Hang tight in this position for three slow breaths, and then untwist the torso and return to standing before repeating on the other side. For the best results, keep that butt down in the squats and hold arms straight out in front of the torso. In this way your glute muscles will get the best workout.

·         Standing ball squeeze

Stand upright and place the ball between the legs, so the center is about even with the knees (it should not be touching the floor). Squat down until knees form 90-degree angles, squeezing the ball to stay balanced. Hold the position as long as possible, working up to 30-45 seconds per set. Note: For this move, consider using a ball that’s not the perfect fit. A larger ball makes this move more difficult, while a smaller ball is a little easier on the thighs. Beginners can also use a chair or wall for help with balance.

·         Reverse extension – 12-15 reps

Start with your chest on the ball, with fingertips and toes resting on the floor. Roll forward so hands are under shoulders and hips are directly touching the ball. With the feet together and the core engaged, lift the legs straight from the floor until they are in line with the torso. Hold for a beat and then repeat.

Effective Kettlebell Exercises

·         Swing

Begin with your feet hip distance apart, both hands on the handle. Bend your knees and hinge from your hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs. Straighten your legs and swing the kettlebell to chin height. Repeat for 90 seconds, creating momentum in the swing. (Let your gluteals and the hamstrings, including their extremity, not your shoulders, do the work.)

·         Push press

Begin in rack position, with the bell in your right hand. Place your left hand on top of your right. Lower into a squat, bending your knees to 90 degrees. Straighten your legs and press your right arm overhead, releasing your left hand from the bell; rotate your wrist to turn your palm forward. Return to rack position. Repeat for 30 seconds, and then switch sides.

·         Lateral Lunge and Biceps curl

Stand with your feet together. Hold the kettlebell with your right hand, arm down at your side, palm facing you.Step your left leg to the side in a lunge as you hinge forward and lower the kettlebell to shin height.Curl the kettlebell up, keeping your wrist straight. Lower the kettlebell back down, and then step your left leg back to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, and then switch sides (right leg lunging and left arm curling). This is a good training for your rotator cuff as well.

Some starting ViPN exercises

·         Ticktock

Stand with feet hip-width apart, ViPR upright on floor in front of you; hold top of tube with right hand. Shuffle three steps to left, squat and lower top of ViPR to left. Stand and shuffle to right, grabbing top of ViPR with left hand, then squat and lower top of ViPR to right. Continue for 30 seconds.

·         Turn it up

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees soft. Hold inside of ViPR handle with left hand, right end with right hand, at thighs. Pivot on right foot as you rotate left and swing ViPR up and left, keeping arms straight (as shown). Return to start. Continue for 15 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

·         Booty Drop

Stand with feet hip-width apart; hold ViPR upright outside center handle with both hands at chest, elbows bent. Squat,and then press ViPR straight out. Reverse to return to start. Continue for 30 seconds.

·         Thread the needle

Stand with feet hip-width apart; hold ViPR handles with both hands at thighs. Bend at hips and rotate ViPR to bring right end between thighs. Stand, raising ViPR overhead, then rotate ViPR and bend forward again, bringing left end between thighs. Continue for 30 seconds.

Core stix and the world of possibilities it unveils

Core stix come with a whole book of exercises according to the area of the body that you are interested in working out. But as far as this amazing exercising tool is concerned, doing is believing and understanding what it’s all about. It’s just meant to help a wide variety of people. Anyone from an Olympic athlete to an elderly man to an individual fresh out of rehab could use this tool. It’s a little hard to explain; but how it works is you stand on a board and then insert sticks of varying resistance into the different slots. From there the options are endless – you can do squats, lunges, chest presses, elliptical-inspired movements, anything really, and it all works the core.  

Tone your arms in 10 minutes using dumbbells and a yoga mat

After a month of these easy exercises, you'll be on your way to show-off arms. 

Perform the routine 2 or 3 times a week on nonconsecutive days. Begin with a 5-minute dynamic warm-up. March in place while scissoring arms overhead (like jumping jacks). For each exercise, do 2 sets of 10 to 12 reps (or 10 on each side, if appropriate). Rest 30 seconds in between sets.

After that lie face-up on floor, knees bent, feet flat, and arms extended overhead with a light dumbbell in each hand. Contract abs and slowly curl up, lifting head, shoulders, and back off floor. Simultaneously bring arms forward in an arc toward knees. Hold for a second, and then slowly reverse to start. If it's too difficult, keep your head on the floor as you raise dumbbells in an arc and bring them down to floor so arms rest at sides. Reverse to start.

The yoga mat and the workout DVDs are self-explanatory. You are free to use them however you prefer and whenever you find it appropriate.

Bottom line, as you have probably noticed, a medicinal bike isn’t included in our list of must-haves. In most cases people end up using it as clothes stand. This is the way it is with these kinds of machines with no multi-purpose use. Riding bikes has always been an outdoor activity per se, so there’s no point in including it in your house furniture. Nobody can deny the fact that it works for some people, but usually it’s far from being the most effective way of building up muscles and burning calories. Since bikes have come up, it’s good to keep in mind the fact that another option is the recumbent bicycle, as it is way more confortable.

And remember to dance every now and then. It’s more effective than any cross-fit training. It’s the best cardio exercise and the best therapy you’ll ever find. And the funny thing is that it costs nothing. Also be patient. And never forget to smile more often than once in a while. Working out at home may become an occupational therapy that will eventually bring you countless surprising remedies.

 

 

 


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