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Exercices

Five Easy Exercises : Your Gym at Home

One of our Spa Eastman kinesiologists, Philippe Viger, has designed a series of five sequential exercises, that can be done in the comfort of your own home.  The 30-minute workout has many benefits. It will improve your muscle tone, help you to manage your weight and lower your blood pressure (among other things). You can keep fit, without having to go to a gym!  

Everyday objects

These easy-to-follow exercises require no specialized equipment. Everyday objects will do the trick. This list of things, typically found around your own home, will help you keep in shape:  

  • A backpack filled with tin cans
  • Tin cans
  • Containers filled with any kind of liquid (vinegar, detergent, water etc.)
  • Your staircase
  • A ball

A short demonstration of the exercises

Exercise 1:
Sumo
squat

Starting position
  • Standing upright, your feet placed wider than your hips at a 45-degree angle (like a duck).
  • Abdominal muscles (abs) contracted and head aligned with your spine.
  • Shoulders back and relaxed.
Instructions
  • INHALE
    Bend your knees and push your buttocks back, as if you are going to sit down on a very low seat.
  • Align your knees with your 2nd toe (long toe) to open up your hips.
  • Place your weight on your heels, making sure your knees are not sticking out beyond your toes.
  • Keep your abs contracted and your back straight.
  • EXHALE
    Push down into your heels, while keeping your knees at an angle.
Supplementaries
  • Backpack filled with tin cans
  • Containers filled with liquid
  • Free weights (dumbbells)

Exercise 2:
Single leg hip raise

Starting position
  • Lying on your back, knees bent and lower limbs a hip width apart.
  • Head resting on the ground and arms in a slightly open position on either side of your body.
  • Abs contracted.  
Instructions
  • INHALE as you begin.
  • EXHALE
    Push your heels down and raise your pelvis while squeezing your glutes (buttock muscles), making a nice, diagonal line with your trunk. (DO NOT curve  your back.)
  • INHALE 
    Lower your body slowly in a controlled manner without touching the ground.
Options
  • Hold the raised position for 2-10 seconds.
  • In the raised position, raise one leg, then alternate.
  • This exercise can also be conducted with your feet placed on the bottom step of your staircase or on a Swiss Ball (exercise ball) placed against a wall.

Exercise 3:
Push
ups

Starting position
  • Standing upright, feet aligned with your hips.
  • Your abs contracted and your head straight – in line with your spine.
  • Shoulders back and relaxed.
  • Your hands placed in a position slightly wider than your shoulders (this applies whether on the ground, on a bench or against a wall).
  • AGAINST THE WALL
    Your hands at chest height or slightly below if that’s more comfortable.
Instructions
  • INHALE
    as you bend your elbows and bring your chest to a fist-sized space on the floor or against the wall.
  • DO NOT let your head drop but open up your rib cage as wide as you can.
  • EXHALE
    Push into the palms of your hands and straighten your arms.

Exercise 4:
Bent-over row

Starting position
  • Standing upright, feet in line with your hips.
  • Abs contracted and head aligned with your spine.
  • Trunk tilted slightly forward.
  • Shoulders back and relaxed.
  • Arms straight and pointing to the floor.
Instructions
  • INHALE to begin.
  • EXHALE as you push your elbows out, as high as you can, towards the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together to open up your chest.
  • INHALE as you slowly return to the start position, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
Supplementaries
  • Tin cans
  • Containers filled with liquid
  • Free weights (dumbbells)

Exercise 5:
Abdominal plank

Starting position
  • In the plank position, toes tucked under your heels, forearms resting on the exercise mat.
  • Elbows aligned with your shoulders and forearms in a parallel position.
  • Pelvis aligned with your trunk in a straight line to the top of your head, gazing at the exercise mat.
Instructions
  • INHALE
    Raise your left leg.
  • EXHALE
    As you breathe out, lower your left leg to the start position.
  • INHALE
    Raise your right leg.
  • EXHALE
    As you breathe out, lower your right leg to the start position.
  • Repeat 10 times with each leg.
  • Always keep your abs tight.
  • AVOID lifting your legs too high in the air and arching your back.
Options
  • To make the exercise more (or less) challenging, try it on your staircase.
  • Raise your trunk to decrease and raise your feet to increase.
  • This exercise can also be done on your knees.

Enjoy your keep fit regime – at home!