January is the month in which new year resolutions are made or broken. Most people start the New Year with the intention of looking after their bodies but struggle to follow through, even more so now that gyms are closed in many parts of the world.
If you recognize yourself in the paragraph above, here are some simple but effective exercises that you can start doing right now, from the comfort of your home, to begin building the habit of regular exercise.
Full videos and explanations are on my Instagram page, just click on the link on the top right corner of the home page and you'll be taken there.
The push up is an incredible exercise that works your chest, shoulders and abs and helps to increase overall upper body strength.
Starting in a high plank position, you’ll place your hands shoulder-width apart, or a little bit wider. As you bend your elbows and lower toward the floor, your elbows should be at about a 45-degree angle to your body.
When your chest touches the floor you’ll press your body upward, focusing on pushing the floor away from you and keeping your core tight. When your elbows are fully extended, and your body is back in a high plank position, you’ve completed your rep.
Perform 4 to 5 sets of as many reps as possible. Keep track of it as it will be very motivational to see you how far you have come a few weeks from now.
If you are not able to perform a standard push-up yet, start with your knees bent and on the floor. This way the resistance will be less and you can slowly work your away to a full regular push up.
The wall walk is a popular movement amongst gymnasts/crossfitters as it is fundamental for progressing to a handstand. It works the shoulders, the upper chest, the core and the triceps. Is an extremely good exercise for strengthening the core, improve balance and build muscles.
Begin in a high plank position with the feet against the wall.
Start to walk your feet up the wall while, at the same time, walking your hands backwards. Make sure to always maintain three-point of contacts to avoid losing your balance.
Keep going until you can. Your goal is to be flat against the wall, keeping the core tight and the back straight.
Once you have reached the top position, start walking your hands away from the wall and your feet down on the wall until you are back in the high plank position.
Perform 3 or 4 sets of enough repetition to make it challenging but don't push to failure. Losing your balance may result in a painful fall.
BACK EXTENSIONS (Superman)
Back extensions are a great, simple exercise that works your entire posterior chain.
Hamstrings, glutes, lower back and rear delts are all highly recruited into this movement.
Lie face down on a mat, with your legs straight and your arms outstretched in front of you. Raise both your arms and legs at the same time so that they are 10-15cm off the floor, forming a bowl shape with your body. Push your hands backwards to engage rear delts and mid traps. Hold this position for a few seconds, then lower back to the starting position. You should feel your lower back, glutes and hamstrings working in the hold position.
You should aim for 20 quality reps, it is very important o slow down this movement and really feel the contraction during the hold.
Step-ups is a very functional movement that works the glutes, the hamstrings and the quads.
Find a platform or box, for example, a chair will do just fine.
With your hands at your sides and feet pointed straight ahead about hip-distance, simply “step-up” onto the box with the right foot, lift your body up onto the platform, by tightening your glutes and your abdominal muscles.
End by placing the left foot next to the right foot on the box. Keep your posture erect and do not let your knee go past your ankle when elevating yourself up onto the box.
Step down with the right foot and follow with the left foot back to the starting position. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps on each side and perform 4 to 5 sets.
We conclude this list with another leg exercise. Jumping lunges are great not only at working your quads, hamstring, glutes and calves but also at recruiting your cardiovascular system.
Starting standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Jump your left leg forward and your right leg back into a lunge, with both knees at 90 degrees. Jump up and switch your legs in midair so that you land in a lunge with your right leg in front. Continue jumping back and forth, pausing as little as possible.
Perform this exercise for a set amount of time and not for reps. For example, you could do it Tabata style (20 seconds of work-10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times).
Hope you are gonna have fun playing around with these exercises. If you have any doubts or question don't hesitate to leave a comment, I'll get back to you asap!!