6 Exercises to Do At Home (When the Gym Is Crazy Crowded)
All you need is a sturdy surface, like the back of a chair or couch. The exercises are simple enough that you don't even have to change into workout clothes. Plus, you can sprinkle them into your day—squeezing in a few minutes here and there. Complete the entire routine three to four times a week, and you should start seeing results in about a month.
Heel to Toe Sumo Squats
Works: glutes, legs
A. Start standing just in front of a chair with feet wider than hips and legs slightly turned out. Shift weight to heels and lift toes. Bend knees, lowering hips to a squat so they hover just above the chair. Keep chest high.
B. Quickly straighten legs and come onto balls of feet. At the same time, extend arms overhead. That's one rep. Do 20 reps.
Works: abs, arms, back
A. Start in a plank position with hands on a countertop or the back of a sofa, arms straight, feet back about two feet and heels lifted. Bend elbows and lower to a push-up. Lift chest to a small back bend as you straighten your elbows again.
B. Reach hips back so arms are straight and chest is parallel to floor. Lift heels and roll up to start position. That's one rep. Do 10 reps.
Tip: Keep core firm and press palms firmly down when in straight arm plank and in the narrow push-up.
Narrow Athletic V With a Twist
Works: quads, glutes, obliques
A. Stand with heels together and toes 3 to 4 inches apart. Lift heels 1 to 2 inches off ground and bend knees. Chest is up and heels are squeezing together. Elbows are bent by sides.
B. Keeping lower body still, cross right arm to low left diagonal; twist upper body left. Return through center. Repeat to the ride for one rep. Do 20 reps.
Tip: Lower your seat a few more inches to engage the leg muscles even more as you twist.
Horse Pose With a Lift and Twist
Works: quads, hamstrings, glutes, obliques
A. Start standing next to a countertop or the back of a sofa with left hand on top and feet open wide. Bend knees and draw right elbow toward right hip.
B. Straighten left leg, lifting right leg up and back. At the same time, sweep right arm forward and across body, turning palm down. Return to start position for one rep. Do 15 reps then repeat to left.
Tip: Focus on the reach of the lifted leg to target the back of the seat.
A. Start sitting at the edge of a sturdy couch, chair, or coffee table with hands down and fingertips pointing forward. Lift hips and walk feet 6 to 12 inches forward.
B. Bend elbows back, lowering hips 3 to 5 inches. Straighten arms for one rep. Do 20 reps.
Incline Core Knee Catches
Works: abs, obliques
A. Start lying on the floor with a small pillow under hips and hands crossed behind head. Straighten legs toward ceiling; reach legs a few inches away from head so abs are working. If you feel this in your lower back, lift legs higher.
B. Bend right knee slightly, drawing right foot to inside of left ankle. Return to start position. Repeat to left side for one rep. Do 30 reps.
Tip: If you are experiencing any low back discomfort, work with legs higher.