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4 Best Beginner Exercises To Do At Home

4 Best Beginner Exercises To Do At Home

You can start getting fit today! Here are four easy beginner exercises you can do at home and continue to do as your fitness level advances. While this is directed toward beginners, these exercises are good for anyone — especially busy people. When you can’t make it to the gym or you are traveling, all you need is a little space to expend maximum effort. You don’t need to let a lack of time be an excuse for neglecting your fitness.

Taking that first step toward a strong body needn’t be hard. Here are some simple beginner exercises that can begin to strengthen and build your body.

Take this challenge. Do each of these exercises three to four days a week for a month. You will be amazed at how much stronger your entire body feels, and you will be ready to take on new fitness challenges. I won a few fitness awards as a US Marine, and I always found that consistency and simplicity won the day. Overdoing it, complicated routines, etc. always seemed to get in my way. But when I was consistent and simple, I stuck with it and continually improved. You can experience the same results.

Whether you have 10 minutes or an hour, use the time you have three to four days a week and you will see results. These results will motivate you to increase your effort and expand your knowledge, breadth, and level of fitness.

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Pushups

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    Health Benefits: Chest, biceps, and core strength. Beginner to advanced.

    Simple Steps: Start with your hands facing forward on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and chest a few inches above the ground. Keep your body straight, resting on your toes and hands. Push up to a full arm extension then release back down to a few inches above the ground. Repeat. Keep your head looking down or slightly forward. Do at least 3 sets. If necessary, you can rest your weight on your knees instead of your toes to make it easier. Start with 5 to 10 repetitions for each set and build up from there.

    Planks

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    Sports woman doing plank exercise in fitness gym

      Health Benefits: Core strength. Beginner to advanced.

      Simple steps: Place your elbows under your shoulders with your hands directly out. Keep your head looking down or slightly forward and your body straight. Hold for as long as you can, until you can’t keep your body straight, then stop. Do this 3 times. You might start with only 15 to 30 seconds. Work your way up to 2 minutes or longer.

      Burpees

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        Health Benefits: Total body exercise, strength, and cardiovascular. Beginner to advanced.

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        Simple steps: Start from a standing position with arms at your sides. Bend your knees and lower to the ground until your hands are touching. Kick your legs back and move into a pushup position, then kick your legs forward and jump up. Repeat. Start slowly and do for a minute. Increase your speed and the amount of time as you advance. Shoot for 5 to 10 minutes of burpees.

        Jumping Rope

        fitness, sport, people, exercising and lifestyle concept - man and woman skipping with jump rope outdoors

          Health benefits: Cardiovascular, core strength, arm strength, leg strength, overall body fitness.

          Simple steps: Buy a jump rope, go to back to your childhood skills and jump! Keep your head looking forward and your hands about waste height. Start with small goals, say a minute without stopping, then build up to 10 minutes or more.

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          Fitness starts today!

          Exercise is addictive once you make it a habit. Building the habit is more important than what you do or how long you do it. Most habits take three months to establish, so if you are beginner, start your habit by committing yourself to three to four days a week. The amount of time doesn’t matter — do whatever you can fit in, even if it is only five minutes of the above exercises. Once you build this routine into a habit and you begin to feel the results, increasing the amount and type of exercises you do will be easy. And if even these simple exercises seem overwhelming, remember the simplest thing that is guaranteed to get your fitness moving forward: go outside for a walk!

          For more simple exercises that you can even do at your office, check out this link!

          Featured photo credit: vadymvdrobot via stock.adobe.com

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          Published on July 18, 2019

          11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

          11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

          No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

          Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

          The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

          While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

          Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

          1. Planks

          Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

          Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

          Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

          For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

          2. Side Planks

          To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

          From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

          Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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          Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

          3. Reverse Crunches

          The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

          When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

          The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

          Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

          Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

          4. Flutter Kicks

          The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

          If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

          Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

          It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

          5. Arms High Sit-Ups

          Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

          Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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          Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

          Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

          6. L-Sits

          The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

          To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

          Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

          Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

          7. Stomach Vacuums

          And now for something different!

          It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

          This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

          To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

          Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

          You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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          8. Star Planks

          Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

          The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

          From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

          Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

          9. Boat Pose

          Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

          Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

          Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

          Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

          10. Mountain Climbers

          Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

          Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

          Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

          It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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          11. Russian Twists

          Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

          Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

          You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

          For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

          The Bottom Line

          The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

          However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

          If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

          Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

          Give them a shot!

          Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

          Reference

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