Get Fit at Home
You don’t need machines at the gym to get fit. Your own body weight and gravity can do the job, and you’ll work them with these 15 moves. Not active now? Check in with your doctor first, and if something hurts, stop. You’re on your way to getting into your best shape!
Your whole upper body gets a muscle-ripping workout here, including the abs. Start with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Attach a band overhead and grab it over the shoulder, trunk angled toward the band. Pull down to the opposite hip, rotating slightly. Slowly return.
Standing Tubing Row
This move hits all the muscles used in a pull-up, as well as all your core muscles. Grasp the handles with straight arms and tubing taut. Pull the handles towards you and lean back a little. Focus on bringing your shoulder blades back and together. Pause and slowly straighten arms back to the starting position without bending forward.
For safety reasons, do not lean back. Should the band break or come loose, there is high risk of fall.
Circuit Train to Burn Fat
Want to burn fat quickly? Rapid-fire circuits turn strength moves into calorie-torching, cardio work. “If your goal is weight loss, use light weights and low reps,” says exercise physiologist Pete McCall, of the American Council on Exercise. A circuit may include push-ups, pull-ups, and crunches followed by a two-minute run. Repeat or alternate with another circuit of biceps curls, dips, and shoulder presses to target smaller muscles.
Pull-ups work arm and back muscles, giving you great bang for your buck. Having the palms facing you works not just the back, but also targets the biceps. Grasp the chin-up bar and cross your legs to keep the lower body stable. Slowly pull your body up, bending your elbows, until your chin is level with the bar. Pause, then slowly return to your starting position. Repeat.
Wide Grip Push-up
A wide grip makes the chest muscles work a little harder. Place your hands outside the shoulders. You should engage your core, thigh, and glutes to get the most out of this or any push-up. As you lift, “Think about gripping the ground with your hands to engage the large muscles of the pectoralis major,” McCall says.
This challenging push-up can kick your shoulder strength up a couple notches. Get into a standard push-up: hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, fingers facing forward, elbows slightly bent, and eyes on the floor. Then place feet behind you on a stair, chair, or bench. Keep your body in a straight line, engage the abs, bend your elbows, and lower your chest towards the floor. Push back to starting position.
Jump Train for Power
Pro athletes train with jumping jacks and other explosive moves to increase muscle power. It helps basketball players jump higher and tennis players get to the ball faster. Jump training is also called plyometrics, and it’s not for beginners or for those with joint issues. But if you have good strength and balance, it can ramp up your game. Try adding plyometric moves to your workout once or twice a week.
Shift your hips back and down until your heels start to lift off the floor. Explode up, swinging the arms overhead as you straighten your legs. Create a straight line from toes to fingers, with your back flat. Land softly on the middle of your foot and sink back into a squat to help absorb the impact.
Try this advanced move on grass or another soft surface. Sink into a lunge position with left leg forward, right leg back, and both knees bent to 90 degrees. Swing your arms behind you for greater power as you jump up, using your arms to assist as needed. Keep your back straight, eyes facing forward, and use your abs. Switch legs in the air and land softly, returning to the lunge position. Rest after each set.