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Beginner’s Fitness | 5 Exercises To Start Getting Fit At Home

 
The key to getting in good shape is to have a plan and to stick to it, and that always begins with taking the first step. Here are a few home-exercises to ease your way into beginning your fitness journey.

Note: If you decide to add weights to the following bodyweight workout, always perform 1-2 set warm up with a light weight before you begin your main exercise to ensure the target muscles are working in coordination. This will help prevent muscle strains and injuries in the long run.


#1 Squats

 
The target muscles of this exercise are the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes.

squat

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart (a touch wider is also OK). You should contract your abs and slowly lower yourself so your knees are at a 90 degree angle (thighs parallel with the ground), ensuring your knees remain above your ankles.

  Hold the stance for 1-2 seconds and then begin to raise yourself into a standing position once more.

You can also complete this exercise while holding weights (such as kettlebells) to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps. 


#2 Vertical Pulls

 
The target muscles of this exercise are the ‘Lats’ and the ‘Traps’ (major back muscle groups).

Place your feet on both sides of a vertical structure (such as a door or a large machine in the gym), grab hold of the structure on each side, and lean back until your arms are fully extended.

Then begin to pull your body back towards the door until you are in an upright position. Ensure you keep your elbows close to your body as you pull.

You can also complete this exercise using a towel (wrap around your door handles to allow a greater range of movement) to hold onto the door with to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.


#3 Push ups

 
The target muscles of this exercise are the pectorals and the triceps.

push ups

To start, you should get yourself into a plank position – Place your hands firmly on the ground, directly under shoulders with your legs stretched out behind you and feet on the floor. If you find this position to difficult then place your knees into the floor and lift your feet.

Begin to lower your body into the floor (don’t leave your bum in the air!) and stop once your elbow reaches 90 degrees. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds and then push your body back up to the starting position.

You can also complete this exercise without placing your knees on the floor to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.


#4 Standing Calf Raises

 
As the name of the exercise suggests, the target muscle here is the calf.

Standing calf raises can be completed with one or both feet. Place the balls of your feet on a raised surface (such as a step or bench). This will allow your heel to drop down lower than your toes

You move from this lower position, raising your heels as high as possible (as though you are tiptoeing). You should pause for 1-2 seconds, and then slowly lower your heels to the starting position.

You can also complete this exercise while holding weights (such as kettlebells) to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.


#5 Abdominal Crunches

 
The target muscles of this exercise are the abdominals (time for that 6-pack!)

ab crunches exercises

A crunch begins by lying on your back (preferably on a hard surface) and your feet on the floor with your knees at a 90 degree angle (your knee/bum/heel should make a triangle).

Place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. Push the small of your back into the floor (or the surface you are lay on) and begin to lift your shoulders from the floor. This should begin to engage your abdominal muscles.

Once your shoulders are approximately 6 inches from the floor you should hold this position for 1-2 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.

You can also complete this exercise with a weight placed under your chin (ensure you can still breathe easily) or using a decline bench to increase the difficulty.

Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps.


Cool down stretches

 
Make sure to stretch your muscles after every workout – no matter how light the workout may be!

Hamstring stretchesBeginner's Fitness | 5 Exercises To Start Getting Fit At Home

Hip openers, side stretches, quad stretches

Beginner's Fitness | 5 Exercises To Start Getting Fit At Home


Take Home Message – Progression

 
As you begin to exercise more and more, your body will become stronger, and you should endeavor to increase one or more of the following to continue your progression;

1) The weight being used in the exercise.

2) The number of reps completed.

3) The number of sets completed.

… Enjoy!

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