Workout

Exercise Moves You Can Do Anywhere

It’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise. You should be strengthening and toning your muscles, and getting regular cardio. With busy lives and desk-prone jobs, finding the time and feeling motivated to exercise can be difficult. Whether you travel a lot, have a hectic schedule, or prefer to workout at home, there are tons of exercise moves that don’t require a gym pass or hours of your time.

A bonus to exercises that only require your own body weight and regular surroundings is that they can be just as challenging and beneficial–sometimes more so–as using expensive workout equipment. So skip your usual excuses and try these 10 exercise moves you can do anywhere…

Tuck Jumps

There are several variations of the tuck jump depending on your skill level. The basics are to stand with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Squat slightly and jump straight up into the air, pulling your knees into your chest (or as close as you can) while wrapping your arms around them quickly and releasing on the way down.

Land with your legs slightly bent to cushion your fall. Your next rep will be right from this position. Repeat 10-20 times. The tuck jump will get your blood pumping and legs burning, but be sure to do it on a carpeted or soft area to lessen the impact on your joints.


Plank

Oh, the dreaded plank. The plank is known for being challenging, but it’s also one of the best ways to tone, strengthen, and stabilize your core. To do it properly, it’s easiest to start by getting into the push-up position. Lower your forearms to the ground with your elbows directly below your shoulders, creating a 90 degree angle.

Your palms should be flat on the floor and your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels. Keeping your abs and glutes squeezed, hold the position for 30 seconds or until it really burns. If you’re just starting out and find it difficult, you can move your forearms 45 degrees and hold your hands together.

Burpees

Burpees are a full body exercise that will tire you out–in a good way. They work so many of your muscles and will provide some great cardio.

Starting in squat position, move your arms forward and place your hands on the ground in front of you, just outside your feet. Kick your legs out behind you to land in full push up position. Do one push up then keep your hands on the floor as you push off your toes and jump your feet forward towards your hands. From this position, jump straight up in the air with your arms above your head and land in a slight squat to absorb the impact. Repeat 10-20 times.

Straight Line Side Lifts

Belly fat can be really hard to get rid of, but it isn’t impossible. With straight line side lifts, you can tackle your belly fat and outer thigh area.

To get into position, lie completely straight on your side with your legs stacked and your head resting on the arm that’s on the ground. Point that arm straight above your head. Your other arm can be bent at a 90 degree angle at your waist with your palm resting on the ground to keep balanced. As you inhale, lift both legs toward the ceiling until they’re about an inch off the ground, and exhale on the way down. Do 10 reps on each side and repeat 2-3 times.

Prisoner Squats

The prisoner squat is a simple, but effective move that works more than your hamstrings; you’ll also feel it in your abs, core, glutes, calves, and quads.

Standing straight with your feet shoulder width apart, lift your arms and put your fingers on the back of your head, like you would if were getting arrested (hence the name). Bend your knees and lower your body straight down, as far you can go. After a pause, push back up the starting position. Try doing 30, but push for 50. Tip: Make sure you don’t lean forward much and that your core remains tight and straight as you lower yourself.

Boat Pose

The boat pose is a well-known yoga move that tackles the annoying lower belly fat or pouch. Sit with your knees bent, feet together and hands flat beside you. Slowly lean your upper body back, making sure your core is tight and straight. At the same time, extend your legs so your back and legs make a V. Palms facing in, move your arms forward towards your knees. Your lower abs and inner thighs should be contracted and your shoulders should be relaxed. Hold for 3-5 deep breaths and repeat 3 times.

Opposite Arm and Leg Lift

Another great core exercise is the opposite arm and leg lift. Doing this move regularly will give you fantastic balance and core strength.

Getting on your hands and knees, keep your back straight and tighten your core. Slowly lift your right arm until it’s straight and in line with your back, while at the same time lifting your left leg and making it straight and in line with your back too. Hold for 3-5 seconds and lower to your starting position. Repeat on the other side to complete one set. Do 10 sets. This exercise can be done anywhere and will tone your shoulders and glutes, as well as your core.

Caterpillar Walk

The caterpillar walk tones your arms and upper body. Standing with your feet together, place your hands on the ground in front of you. Slowly walk your hands forward until you’re in a push up position. With your hands in line with your shoulders, do one push up then slowly walk your feet forward to your hands, so you end up in the same position you started in.

Stand up and repeat 10 times. Make sure your core is engaged to avoid straining your lower back. If you can’t touch your toes, you can modify the move by starting with your body bent in a V position and only walk your feet until your body makes a V again.

Tricep Dips

Tricep dips will target the back of your arms, a common trouble area. While tricep dips can be done off of a sturdy chair, couch, or bench, you can also do this move without using anything. Sitting on the floor with your legs together and extended straight in front of you, place your hands slightly behind you with your fingers pointed towards your feet. Press into your feet and lift your butt off the ground while you engage your core and hamstrings.

Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe. Bend your elbows to lower yourself towards the floor without touching, pause, and then push back up. Make sure you don’t lock your elbows. Repeat 10-12 times.

Calf Raises

An exercise you can truly do from anywhere are calf raises. Start by standing straight; lift up onto your tiptoes with your heels completely off the ground. Your body should stay completely straight. Hold for 3-5 seconds and slowly lower back down to the ground. Repeat 10-20 times.

If you want to get a better stretch, you can do the raises off a step by placing the balls of your feet on the step while your heels hang off. Push onto your tiptoes and when you come down; allow your heels to dip below the edge of the step for a good calf stretch. Though simple to do, your calves will be beautifully toned in no time.

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Lauren MacDonald

Lauren is a freelance writer with experience researching and writing about a wide range of topics, from healthy living and exercise to environmental trends and advocacy. She is a huge yoga enthusiast and has a love of healthy cooking.

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