How much do you love your workout? We get it, it’s not always the most fun thing to do. But working out lets us move, play, and look and feel the best we can. And exercise doesn’t have to be complicated – simple bodyweight exercises can help us all get stronger, happier and healthier. With a few simple motions, you can improve your cardio and build strength!
Ah push-ups: the classic workhorse of upper body exercises. It works all the muscles in your chest, shoulders and arms while building core strength. They can be easier on your joints, since you don’t have to worry about weights. Start with your feet together and your hands against the floor, then push up and down without locking your elbows. As your strength grows, add variations and range of motion, like incline and decline push-ups, or move your feet farther apart.
Squats might not seem exactly exciting, but it’s one of the best exercises you can do for your lower body. It works your muscle in your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. To do it, stand with your feet a bit wider than hip-width and your toes slightly pointed out. Engage your core, and slowly lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then, press your feet into the floor and stand right back up. For an easier version, try a wall squat with your back against a wall and feet shoulder-width apart.
Lunges are great for strengthening your hips and thighs, and for giving a good stretch to your quads. We generally start with reverse lunges, since this one is a bit easier on the body. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart, then take a big step back with one foot. Then, lower your hips till your front thigh is parallel to the floor and your spine remains straight. Push against the floor, step forward and switch to the opposite side.
Planks are awesome because they’re scientifically proven to engage all the muscles in your body. Your core, lats and all the muscles in your arms must work overtime to stay steady. To do it, set up in a push-up position and plant your hands directly under your shoulders. Curl your toes into the floor and engage your core to keep your spine straight. Stay here for 30 to 45 seconds, rest, and repeat.
If you’re just getting into working out, start small and work your way up. Track your progress and experiment with other bodyweight exercises – whatever works for you. Don’t forget to take breaks when needed and have fun!