Do you often fall short of time to hit the gym but want to get started with active exercising sessions? Then this blog is for you. It is interesting to note how you can use your bodyweight alone for a full body workout. No equipment is required but just some clear space in your living room, 15 - 20 minutes and your will. Try to complete 2 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise with a minute long break in between
Here is how you can go about it -
This will help in activation of your core and posterior region. Consider this as the warmup.
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your arms are extended by your sides. In this position, push through your feet, brace your core and raise your butts till they are fully extended. Try to squeeze your glutes while being in the raised posture. To enhance the effect of this exercise, hold the pose for a few seconds and breathe. Slowly transit into the initial position and repeat.
Get your quads, hamstrings and glutes working(crying) with static lunges. They also help in toning the body while imparting mobility and stability to it.
Stand upright and split your legs apart front and back ways. Plant your right foot flat on the floor and your left leg on its toes. Bend, go down till your right thigh comes parallel to the floor. It might take a while to perfect and a great deal of effort to get this posture right, but the key is to not give up. Spring back to the starting position by pushing up through your right foot. Repeat this for a number of times and then switch to the other leg.
PLANK TO DOWNWARD DOG
This one is for the upper body and engages the core while strengthening it.
Settle into a high plank position with your palms on the floor right beneath your shoulders and feet together. Without moving your hands, cut your back in and make a triangle with your body. A lot of you know might also know this pose by the name of parvatsasana. Get into a high plank position, with your hands stacked underneath your shoulders and your feet close together. Do not guide the neck and direct your vision towards your feet. As a coping mechanism, your body will raise the heels. This may seem difficult at first but keep your heels firm on the ground. Repeat this shift for a couple of times.
This one is low on efforts but high on balance and stability and will therefore require you to focus.
Get down on all fours. Plant your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Keep your neck neutral, extend your left leg and right arm outward. Hold the position for a few seconds and go back to the starting position. Repeat for a couple of times and move to the other combination.
Squats help you strengthen your legs and core. It will prep you for the bigger movements. At an initial level, a chair can get the posture right but do not consider this as a long term plan.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart in front of the chair with the toes pointed outward. Push your hips and bend your knees until your butt touches the chair. Stretch your arms out. Shift your body behind if you find yourself going ahead of your feet while squatting. This is a good way to check your posture. Use the push from your heels to go up. Repeat this for a number of times and gradually increase the reps.
KNEE PUSH UP
Consider this as an introduction to push ups. This will help in building strength for both your upper and lower body. Once you ace this movement, try attempting a standard push up.
Set yourself in a high plank position with hands right below your shoulders and your knees and feet on the floor. Make sure your head and knees are aligned in a straight line. In this posture, bend your elbows to lower down your body towards the floor and then pull up. Repeat this movement for a couple of times. Keep it mind that you will eventually have to lift up your knees as well.
Your abs should not feel left out and bicycle crunches are just the right way. They will help pump up fat burn and increase your heart rate.
Imagine you are riding a bicycle on the road, but lying down on the floor. Settle yourself on your back and keep your legs raised in a right angle with your calves parallel to the floor. Bend your elbows and place your hands below your head. Now crunch up and bring your right elbow close to your left knee while stretching out the right leg. Now go for the opposite combination. Repeat this movement for a number of reps. When lifting your body to near the knee, focus to lift your back instead on the neck. This will take some determination as well.
Another great movement to get your glutes moving and provide for some stability and toning. This engages your entire body in order to facilitate the balance.
Get down on all fours. Align your shoulder to your arms and knees to your hips. While your back should be straight, push out the left leg with toes pointing towards the floor. Repeat the same for the right leg alternatively.
Plank in any form and of any type is one such exercise that gets your entire body sweaty and moving with a dedicated effect on the core. Read more about planks and their benefits here.
Get your feet together and raise your body rested on your forearms. Most importantly, keep your head and spine aligned in a straight line and do not drop your hips. Remember this, because your body will cope up with the stress caused by this movement by demanding your hips to lift up. But stay put to maximise the benefit of this movement. And remember to breathe. Start by 30 seconds and slowly increase the duration.
SIDE LYING HIP ABDUCTION
An excellent movement for the office goers. Hip movements will ease out the back pain and provide the necessary mobility in the lower body.
Lie down on your left side with one right left on top of the left one. Rest your left hand below your head and and right hand on the floor in front of your stomach. Now lift your right leg as much as possible. Repeat this for a number of times and then change sides.
The only way to stick to this routine is to channel your thoughts and determination. Being a beginner, you may experience muscle pulls and difficulty in movement but continuous efforts will show colours. Remember to eat healthy and keep yourself hydrated.