DIY: Workout Anywhere

Not everyone has the time or luxury to afford some gym time. Most of the people who come to me for help with their fitness tell me they simply have no time to go to they gym and would like to know if there’s anything they can do from home or the office. The good news is YES there are easy and effective exercise you can do almost anywhere you are.

Plank

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This is one of the best yet simplest exercises you can do for a flat, toned stomach because it engages all the muscles in your core (including what they call the ‘six pack muscles’ or the rectus abdominis), internal and external obliques, hips, and back. Make sure you keep your back straight and your tummy tight. Imagine sucking your belly button in towards your spine to prevent it from sagging down and causing strain on your lower back. You can start with holding the position for 20 to 30 seconds. When you’ve gained more strength later on, you can increase the hold time to 1 minute.

Side Plank

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The side plank can be a little tricky for beginners because executing this well depends hugely on your ability to balance. But with consistent practice, you can definitely get the hang of it and find you might enjoy it a bit. Much like the regular plank, the side plank is great for your core; it engages the core to keep you from sagging. When you do a side plank, you want to maintain a strong, straight line with your body and not let your midsection sag down. This is also good for strengthening your arms, wrists, and your legs. Keep your legs engaged (especially the supporting leg, and don’t lock your knee) and use them to help lift your body so your core isn’t doing all the work. Don’t lock your elbows in or sink into your shoulders. A twist to the side plank is to raise your other arm up to the sky with your eyes upward as well. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.
Push-ups

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Also one of the easiest (yet challenging) exercises you can do, push ups activate nearly every muscle in your body. Your biceps, triceps, anterior deltoids, core muscles and lower body muscle groups all get engaged to support your body while stabilising you movement. While lowering yourself to the floor, your back muscles get stretched and when pushing yourself back up to starting position, your biceps get a good stretch themselves. Stretching is important to lean out muscles and give them a more solid appearance.
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If you cannot do a regular push up on the floor just yet, you can start by doing it on a chair. Taking an angled position helps keep a little of your weight off your arms so that you can start slowly while building up your strength and endurance. Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Tricep Dip
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The triceps aren’t a large muscle group but they still need to be worked out if you want them toned. Flabby, saggy triceps don’t feel nice. My brother and I call them “Bye Byes” because when you wave goodbye, you feel it sagging and flapping underneath. Haha we were silly kids who later grew up feeling what seemed like the humble beginnings of Bye Byes–so we nipped it in the bud and made sure to exercise that muscle group. Now during the tricep dip, the triceps are tasked with straightening your arms and lifting your body weight. You want to start with feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Your bodyweight is supported by your hands as you slide your hips off the chair and dip down. Make sure you keep your back straight and hold a proper form throughout the motion.

If this position no longer feels like a challenge, you can change your footing to increase difficulty. Instead of bent knees and flat feet, you can straighten your legs out and rest your heels on the floor while still executing the same dipping motion. Start with 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Hip Bridges

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This exercise targets the gluteus maximus and quadriceps.  But the main muscle used during this workout is the gluteus maximus muscle, which is the largest muscle in the butt. Bridges help strengthen hip and leg muscles and help firm up and round out your butt. Doing single-leg bridges increase the level of difficulty and help yield better results. This exercise is good to help reduce lower-back pain. You start by laying flat on your back, feet hip-width apart and close to your butt. Lift your butt and hips upwards while contracting your glutes and abs with each lift. Start off with 15 reps and 3 sets.

 

There you have it! Easy exercises you can do at home or in the office without needing a gym. Remember to be mindful of your form so you don’t incur any injuries to your joints, breathe properly, contract and hold the peak poses, and slowly go back to the starting position for maximum muscle activation.

 

 

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