Struggling to find time to fit in exercise? We’ve all been there before. Instead of feeling guilty about not making the gym, rescheduling your pilates class or missing a walk or run, try incorporating these easy and time efficient exercises into your daily routine. They are simple yet impactful, and will help to raise your heart rate and tone your muscles.
1. The Squat
The king of body weight exercises. I have written about this before but suffice to say, that the squat is the ultimate functional movement. Important for everybody, but especially if you like to run or play any sport that involves jumping and landing. Download the squat exercise sheet.
2. Bird Dog
A great introduction to lumbar stability exercises, the Bird Dog if often used as a simple home exercise. Start on all fours, with a neutral spine. Draw in your lower abs and extend one leg behind you, maintaining this neutral position for your spine. Then reach the opposite arm forward. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side, and try for 10 lots of ten-second holds, before sitting back on your heels to rest. Download the bird dog exercise sheet.
3. Modified Side Plank
Many of us are weak along the muscles of our side, simply because we do not work them often enough. Think about your gym program – do any exercises challenge or train this area? The muscles along the side, particularly the Gluteus Medius are important for all activities involving single leg stance or change of direction. A full Side Plank is very hard for most people, and ends up with the hanging in a position that does not really work the GM, but the outer thigh and lower back instead. For better results, try this modified version, with the lower leg bent. Download the modified side plank exercise sheet.
A classic upper body exercise, but too heavy for many people to do correctly. Try kneeling, or using a foam roller across your thighs to reduce difficulty. You can also lean against a wall or use a park bench or fence railing to make the push-up easier.
5. The Plank
The plank can be a great exercise to build strength around the muscles of the abdomen. It also helps develop strength in the shoulders, arms, and glutes. The plank is a simple, safe and effective core exercise if done correctly. Read more.
A simple exercise for the glutes, but make sure you ‘drive’ the movement through your hips. Don’t over-arch your back at the top of the movement. Download the bridge exercise sheet.