20 workouts you can do at home5 minute
Being quarantined at home does not have to stand in the way of you and achieving whatever goal you set out for your body. Let's explore the 20 workouts you can do at home (According to your fitness goals):
“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”
While Bobak may not have intended for his line to target a fitness regime, it sure does sound right to butt it in here. Mainly because people are the most uncomfortable during a workout. But at least it’s the kind of discomfort that gives you a rush of endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid - all of which are chemicals associated with feeling happy, confident, capable, and even in less physical pain. So in a way a comforting discomfort, if you will.
It's ironic how not many considered working out as a mandatory checkbox on their daily task lists when gyms and parks were open, when going for a jog around the neighbourhood didn’t require you to wear something resembling a helmet and schools persuaded students to take P.E. more seriously, but now that the world is at a halt, the feeling of running at full speed seems to be playing on repeat in all of our minds. Whether it’s to build immunity, smash a long due fitness goal or simply begin to start working out — I’m here to tell you that
- Running on a treadmill is not a prerequisite to lose weight, contrary to the popular belief, and;
- Being quarantined at home does not have to stand in the way of you and achieving whatever goal you set out for your body.
20 workouts you can do at home (According to your fitness goals):
Full Body Workouts for Beginners
If you’re new to working out, make sure you don’t overdo it. Pick a set of exercises that target the whole body and repeat this circuit about 3 to 4 times a week to break a good sweat. As you get better, you can increase the number of sets or repetitions and begin to challenge yourself with each new month.
This is (close to) what a good full-body circuit for a beginner would look like:
Upper body exercises: Pushups (you can start off with wall or knee push-ups if you’ve never done a pushup before), dips and deltoid rotations
Lower body exercises: Front and back Lunge, Squats, standing leg raises
Core exercises: Plank hold, elbow plank, side plank, crunches
You can start adding more intense exercises to your circuit after 3-4 weeks of working out. Burpees, jumping jacks and side-to-side shuffles are great cardio additions to get that heart rate up.
Animal Flow Workout
Animal Flow has been on top of everyone’s list of novel “must-try” workouts that can be done at home with zero equipment for quite some time now. For those of you who are alien to this form of exercise, animal flow consists of bodyweight movements that combine ground-based movement with elements of various other body-weight training disciplines to create a fun, challenging flow that emphasizes the fluidity of the body.
All animal flow movements place the body in a four-pillar position with your hands and feet touching the floor. By using animal forms of exercise, you’re going to be able to experience a whole multi-planar movement - which makes this exercise more fluid rather than compartmentalized.
Animal flow has been the toast of every fitness town for a while now because its benefits are plenty. It takes into consideration the evolution of homo sapiens from hunter-gatherers to desk workers and hence boasts of mobility, flexibility, core stability, muscle power and improved neuromuscular communication as its key benefits - which is what makes it ideal for former fitness addicts to adopt in this current work from home scenario.
Ab Workouts at Home
Abs are made in the kitchen but ab definition is most definitely built on the mat.
More than targeting the mere size of your waist, core workouts are essential for building overall body strength and balance.
Your core is your support system. We unknowingly rely on this star muscle group for most of our day-to-day work including getting out of bed, bending over to pick up things and more importantly- standing back upright. Working on your midsection at least 2-3 times a week is hence important for better balance and posture.
How to build a strong core?
A good core circuit comprises of exercises for a) Lower abs b) Upper abs and c) Core and Obliques. The following list will help you pick out 2-3 movements from each and form your own core circuit.
Exercises for Lower Abs:
- Flutter Kicks
- Frog Crunch
- Mountain Climbers
- Lying Crunch
- Scissor Kick
- Toe Touch
- Bird Dog
- Standing Knee Drive
Exercises for Upper Abs:
- Basic Crunch
- Sprinter Situp
- Bicycle Crunch
- Plank to toe touch
- Plank Knee-to-nose
- Jackknife Pullover
Exercises for Core and Obliques:
- Bicycle Crunch
- Seated Russian Twist
- Rotating Side Plank
- Spiderman Push-up
- Cross-Body Mountain Climber
Make your own core circuit by including at least 2 exercises targeting each region of your midsection. A good practice to adopt is to continue each exercise variation for 50 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeating the whole circuit 2-3 times to feel a solid burn. Everybody is a bikini body, only hidden momentarily.
Leg Workouts at Home
Everyone dreads “Leg Day” - that feeling of numbness as your wobbly legs barely make it from the gym to your car without wanting to collapse a couple of times in between. But we all know it’s worth it. Strong legs can take you far. They literally carry you through life and that’s why we all need at least one dedicated “leg day” every week to pay tribute to the biggest muscle group in our bodies.
What we don't realise is that oftentimes the most simple exercises at home are indeed the most effective ones. Whether your goal is to tone, strengthen or build lean muscle in your lower body, these exercises are proven to be some of the most effective ones:
Body Weight Exercises for lean, toned legs:
Reverse Lunges With Knee Lifts
Plié Squat Calf Raises
High Knee Toe Taps
Single-Leg Calf Raises
Side Leg Raises
Inner Thigh Leg Raises
Single-Leg Glute Bridges
Arm Workouts at Home
I personally know of women who are terrified to wear something that exposes their upper arms just because they tend to have accumulated arm fat. And while this is very normal for women - that little flab that hangs from our arms or sticks out from our bras - it can tend to be a sore spot for most women that make them conscious of their entire bodies.
But here’s what's important to note: Women (thanks to our high estrogen levels) tend to store more fat than men. On average, we carry about 6-11% more body fat than men do - and for good reason. Women require a certain amount of fat to be healthy (a minimum of 12%). So instead of beating yourself up for not doing enough about those arm rolls, embrace your body because the fat is only doing you good.
Now that that’s cleared out, what are some simple exercises you can use to tone your arms and give them that extra definition that not only makes them stronger and leaner - but even helps reduce some of that stubborn arm fat?
Body Weight Exercises for lean, toned arms:
- Tricep Push-up
- Plank to push-up
- Tricep Dips
- Tricep Dips with single leg extension
Dumbbell Exercises for lean, toned arms:
- Dumbbell shoulder press
- Hammer Curl
- Bicep Curl
- Lateral raise
- Overhead extension
- Dumbbell kickback
- Dumbbell Punch
Cardio Workouts that Beat Running
When you’re short of time and still want to burn off excess fat with a quick workout, the first thought that pops in your head is to get on a treadmill and allow the machine to do all the work. Now, there’s no place to sprint inside your room, running outdoors is risky and running with a mask on is simply suffocating.
But did you know that most Hollywood personal trainers don't think that running is necessarily the most effective form of cardio when it comes to burning calories?
Here are some alternative cardio exercises that you can do at home and that are proven to provide the same (if not better) results than running:
Do you still relate skipping to an exercise for children in the playground? Well, it’s time to debunk this notion. Skipping burns up to a 1000 calories an hour - almost twice as much as running does, so it’s a great way to get in a quick yet super effective workout in a limited time period. Skipping also engages your whole body including your arms, legs and core so you can say hello to a lean, athletic physique within no time after adopting (a few minutes of) this miracle workout in your daily routine.
Running the Staircase
People pay thousands to enrol themselves into a step aerobics class or rent out an aerobic stepper when they could just as easily utilize the stairs at home to get a great stair running workout. (provided you have stairs nearby, of course). Apart from being an exceptional calorie burner, this cardio exercise gets your heart rate pumping and strengthens the muscles in your lower body as well. You could challenge yourself by alternating between regular stair runs and sideway runs to break a swear quicker.
In place Jogging
Something you don’t hear often is that while running outside or hitting the treadmill is great for cardiovascular endurance, so is jogging in place - and almost as much, too. It might be boring at first, to jog on the spot for long, but you can always pair in-place jogging with a few functional training exercises or even cardio exercises to design an excellent program.
At home Exercises for Weight Loss
While people often simplify the process of weight loss with the equation of “calories in minus calories out”, the science of it can oftentimes be more complex than that. Losing weight depends on a number of factors and exercise plays a crucial role in one’s weight loss journey. It increases metabolism, enhances your mood and also makes you stronger and more agile - all of which then have a positive impact on your weight.
A bunch of exercises you can do at home for weight loss include:
- Burpees (burns over 100 calories in 10 minutes)
- Jump rope (burns approx. 120 calories in 10 minutes)
- Jumping Jacks (burns approx 100 calories in 10 minutes)
- Squat Jumps
Perform a combination of 3 or more of these exercises to get a great weight loss-cardio session.
At home Exercises for Fat Loss
It's important to note that burning fat requires a combination of full-body strength training along with cardio, so in case time isn’t something that's on your side, you can resort to HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts that use short bursts of very intense moves to amp up your metabolism, burn fat, and build lean muscle to some extent - most of which require no equipment at all. (besides a floor mat of course)
Some exercises that burn the most fat include burpees, jumping lunges, lunges with leg raises, jackknife crunches, jumping squats, push-ups, side plank with leg raises, lateral jumps and mountain climbers.
On some days you do a whole push-up-deadlift-burpees circuit and on some, you just want to let loose and do something fun. A workout doesn’t necessarily have to be an arduous task - and definitely not with the current (sometimes stressful) global pandemic. Dancing lets you vibe to your favourite playlists and brings you a kind of unmatched energy - all that can be transferred into a great sweaty workout called Zumba. Although Zumba was originally recognised as a Latin dance workout routine with repetitive/monotonous beats, you now find this popular workout concept localised according to different music preferences - there are Kpop dance workouts, BollyZumba and a lot more fun workout videos available that you can just play on loud with your hair tied up and your best foot front to achieve a massive calorie burn. Trust me, it’ll feel like a mini-party. A really sweaty party.
A fun but intense form of aerobic exercise you can do at home is a staircase workout - with resistance. Did you know that climbing stairs not only helps strengthen your lower body but also keeps your leg’s arteries flexible, allowing blood to move more freely? And everyone knows that better blood flow in your legs equals a healthier heart and body. Besides, research shows that climbing stairs might even do a better job to wake you up than a small cup of coffee.
Step up (quite literally) your workout routine by incorporating the following staircase exercises:
How to perform the exercise:
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-distance apart in front of a step. Tighten your core and place your left foot on the step while keeping your spine straight. Shift your body weight onto your left foot. Breathe out, and press through the left heel, moving your body up onto the step. Place your right foot entirely on the step. Breathe in, and slowly lower your left foot onto the floor. Return your right foot to the floor to come back to your standing position. Continue leading with the left leg until you've completed your desired number of repetitions, then repeat the same on the opposite side.
How to perform the exercise:
Facing the opposite side from the stairs, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Move your left leg back to rest it on a step. Inhale, bend your knees, and then lower your body. Exhale, extend your legs, and return to standing upright. Your front knee should be exactly above the centre of your front foot. Don't let your knee bend beyond your foot. (this will cause pressure on your knee, and be quite counter-productive)
How to perform the exercise:
Start at the bottom of the staircase, on all fours. Your arms must be under your shoulders, knees below hips, and your feet resting on the ground. Slowly come up on your toes, lifting both your knees off the floor. Keep your spine in a neutral position. Begin to crawl up the staircase by moving your opposite arm and leg forward at the once to the next step. Keep alternating between this cross-body pattern till you feel like you’ve got a good number of repetitions.
How to perform the exercise:
These are basically mini-squats. Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart on the first step. Face towards the bottom of the stairs. Lower your hips and back by bending at your knees. Be sure to engage your core muscles while doing so. Jump forward onto the front step with both feet. As you land, bend your knees to try and distribute your weight on the ball of your foot. Work on landing softly. You can try to stabilize your balance by swinging your arms forward. Don't allow your knees to collapse inward as you land - this might cause a knee injury.
How to perform the exercise:
Begin at the top of your staircase. Sit at the top of the stairs with both your feet 2 steps below you and about shoulder-distance apart. Bring your arms behind you and place your hands on the step above. Slowly raise your hips off the ground aiming to tighten glute (thigh and butt) muscles while you do so. Press your hands into the step to prevent your shoulders from rising upward. Begin to slowly crawl down the steps by moving your opposite arm and leg forward at the same time onto the next step. Alternate this crossbody crab walk down the stairs to get in the desired number of repetitions.
Yoga Poses (Especially Good For those Working From Home)
Practising yoga even once every week has countless benefits to both your body and mind. Apart from increasing flexibility, yoga also helps increase muscle strength and tone, improves respiration, brings up your energy levels and maintains a balanced metabolism. Besides, working from home has caused a lot of us to be more prone to back and neck aches and in some cases even serious spinal injuries.
10 Yoga Poses To Undo The Damage Caused by Your Desk Job:
- Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
- Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
- Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
- Cat & Cow Pose (Marjaryasana & Bitilasana)
- Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- Half Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
- Child's Pose (Balasana)
- Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
Working from home can also sometimes impact your sleep timings and disrupt a good sleep cycle. You can practice yoga for many reasons including Yoga to cure insomnia.
You can find other means to cure insomnia or help eradicate its symptoms faster, naturally too. Click here to read our article on 5 Natural Remedies For Insomnia You Can't Afford To Miss
A list of some of our favourite Influencers/Channels you could follow to get your timely workout inspiration and even help bust some of those myths surrounding women workouts:
1. Shweta Rathore – @ishwetarathore
2. Yasmin Karachiwala –@yasminkarachiwala
3. Gurbani Judge (A.K.A Bani J/ VJ Bani) – @banij
4. Namrata Purohit – @namratapurohit
5. Swetha Dev - @sweatyswetha
6. Radhika Bose - @yogasini
7. Sonali Swami - @sonali_swami
Reminder: While fitness might be important to achieve your body goals, improve your health both physically and mentally and de-stress the mind, it’s basically in vain without the right nutrition. The 8-hour sleep and 8 glasses of water a day don’t just compliment your workouts, they make or break them. So eat right, sleep right and with a little sweat and a whole lot of positive thought, you’re sure to reach your fitness goals eventually.
For a healthy self, Heal Thy Self.