Best Exercises for Beginners to Try at Home
As more and more of the UK population opt to 'self-isolate' and practise 'social distancing' from friends, family and the gym, home workouts are becoming an increasingly common option for those looking to stay fit (and sane).
Of course, you could clear away the coffee table to create space. Sure you could get up 15 minutes earlier, use bodyweight exercises and squeeze in some exercise at home before work.
How to do it: Get down into a press-up position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart and back flat, so a straight line forms from your head to heels, via your glutes. Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms. That's on rep.
Why: This move uses multiple muscle groups for maximum growth and strengthens your shoulder joints. Easily done as an exercise at home, this prepares you for progression to the more demanding shoulder exercises you'll face in a gym, like the incline bench press.
How to do it: From a standing position squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and place your palms on the floor. From there kick your feet back as far as you can while keeping your arms extended. As soon as your feet land jump them back in towards your hands, then jump up into the air. Land and immediately squat down to go into the next rep.
Why: When it comes to burning fat at home, few moves can do better than the burpee. Perfect for frying fat with zero equipment, work these into your home workout routine to ramp up your heart rate or set yourself daily challenges.
How to do it: Get in a press-up position, but rest on your forearms rather than your hands. Make sure your back is straight and tense your abs and glutes. Hold without allowing your hips to sag.
Why: Endless crunches put pressure on your spine and, when done incorrectly, can give you a set of weird, distended abs. Planks are perfect for working your core in a way that keeps you injury-free and builds the flat six-pack you're after.
How to do it: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on either side of your head. Push your lower back into the floor as you lift your shoulders a few inches off the floor – make sure your lower back stays in contact with the ground at all times. Tense your abs hard at the top point of the movement, then return under control to the start position.
Why: The first port of call for any abs workout this is a must-do. By lifting your legs, you place extra weight on the stomach muscles and reduce the momentum that could make this easier.
How to do it: Adopt a fighting stance and bounce on your toes as you shadow box. Dip and weave to your heart's content.
Why: This can help consolidate the rest of your workout as it benefits cardio strength, legs, core and arms. Jog on the spot between low- and high-intensity punching for a HIIT style cardio workout.