GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) — The New Year is a great time to start fresh. Everything feels like it resets and you can be the best version of you possible! Exercising is pivotal in feeling and looking your greatest. Not only is it good for your body and blood flow, but it puts you in a happier mindset to take on life’s challenges. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a gym membership or pricey home workout equipment. I am a person who exercises moderately, 3 to 4 days a week.
I enjoy the workout classes I go to, but I also work all week, love to eat (especially burgers and Hopcat crack fries), and try to balance friends and family. So a lot of the time, exercise and health are not my top priorities. I’ve been doing these home exercise moves on days I haven’t made it to the gym and they’ve been totally manageable and doable.
They are difficult, but also convenient enough to do while watching tv. I’m no fitness pro or model of wellness, but I am an average, working woman who deserves to spend a little more time on myself and my health. With a little creativity and self-motivation, there are tons of ways to amp up your workout with items in your home. Stick with these effective exercises every day to promote muscle strengthening. Keep it up, you are definitely worth it!
Sculpt the back of your arms with tricep dips. Pictured above I am using the foot of a bed, but this move also works with a coffee table or chair. Keep in mind, the farther away your feet are, the more difficult this move is. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself! The best way to see results and train yourself is to work through fatigue. Once your arms tell you to stop, do 5 more. Arms tone up the fastest of any part of the body, so you may start seeing results here first. I personally like this move because you can really feel the tricep working, so it’s like instant satisfaction. Plus, your arm will stop wiggling when you wave (just kidding, but seriously).
Calf raises look simple, but they are so effective in shaping and toning your calf muscles. Use a step in your home near a supporting wall or railing. Hang your feet off the step (making sure not to lock your knees) and raise up on your toes and back down. These seem mindless and maybe even silly, but it’s great for your lower legs. At first, you think these are no problem, then you’ll feel the burn. Stick with them and you’ll notice a nice pop of muscle next time you wear heels.
Plank to push up with raised feet
This move is great for abs, arms, and chest. By putting your feet up on a couch or sturdy table, this adds intensity to a simple straight arm plank. Try to keep your hips up and your body in a straight line during the plank and hold for at least 30 seconds. Add a push up to work your arms and chest. Simply bend your arms and keep your core tight. I’m not going to lie, both these moves are tough! Keep breathing steadily through the entirety of your plank. I repeatedly scream in my head “You can do this! You can do this!” which seems to ease the pain. Start with holding for 30 seconds and then a minutes and so on. Don’t wait until it gets easy to add time, continually challenge yourself. Plank until you can’t anymore, it sucks but it’s how to get stronger. If you decide to do push ups with your feet up, good for you! These are killers. If you can’t go into a full push up, do little bend and presses until you build up your strength.
Use detergent bottles, heavy cans, or anything else you can think to do bicep curls at home. The heavier the weight the harder it will be! Stand feet hip distance apart with your knees slightly bent and your belly button tucked towards your spine (keep your core tight). Bend your arms up and down to curl. Mix up the movement by doing rows or flyaways. I like doing these bicep curls because you can walk around, watch tv, or talk on the phone (using speaker) while you do them. Seriously, lift anything you can find even if it feels silly! Like the tricep dips, do these until your arms are screaming, then do 5 more. By pushing through a little discomfort, it will build up your stamina.
Wall sits are simple, super effective, and you can do them on literally any surface. You make think these are just for middle school gym class, but wall sits work your hamstrings, quads, and inner thighs (that’s your whole leg, hello!). Keep your back flat against the wall (make sure there is no gap where your lower back arches), keep knees at a 90-degree angle, and sit as low as you can (it should hurt!). Sit for at least 30 seconds, the longer the better. Do wall sits every day, lengthening your time every day. I’m a huge fan of wall sits. I don’t just do them at home, I force my coworkers to get up in the middle of the day and do them too. It’s a few minutes of the day working your muscles. These burn big time, but keep breathing and stay sitting as long as you can!