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Health and Fitness News

No Gym? No Problem

This bodyweight workout will help keep you fit and strong.

Whether due to a worldwide pandemic or something less frightening, you may be stuck at home or your gym may be closed for a time. Instead of losing your fitness gains or regaining lost pounds, stay active at home with a simple bodyweight workout. The constant movement of these exercises provides a cardio workout in addition to strength training. As part of a strength-training routine, bodyweight exercises take advantage of the resistance of your own bodyweight to keep your body healthy and firm.

Not sure where to start with bodyweight exercises? Give these a try. You may be surprised at how easy and effective they are. Spend half an hour a day going at it, or divide your workout into three 10-minute sessions. Regardless of when you work out, go for 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps for each exercise.

Up and Down Plank

Any variety of plank provides a great core workout. With the up and down plank you’re raising and lowering your plank, which challenges your arms and shoulders. Start in a high plank position on the floor by supporting your body on your hands and toes. Your hands should be directly beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line. Now, bend your left arm and rest your left forearm on the floor. Bend your right arm and rest your right forearm on the floor. Next, place your left hand on the floor and then your right hand and raise back up to a high plank. Repeat. To lessen the intensity, do your plank with your knees on the floor. Increase the intensity by moving faster.

Burpee

Burpees are a full-body workout that can get your heart racing. From a standing position, squat with your legs, place your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders, and jump your feet back behind you so you land in a high plank position. Bend your arms, lower your body to the floor, then use your arms to push back up. Finally, jump your feet back toward your hands and explosively jump straight upward. Repeat. Reduce the intensity by skipping the jumping. Increase the intensity by increasing the speed.

V-Ups

A variation of the sit-up, V-ups are a great way to work your core. Lie on your back on a mat or carpet. Extend your legs and straighten your arms over your head. Now, tighten your abs as you lift your legs and torso up toward each other into a V-shape, reaching your arms toward your toes. Avoid rounding your shoulders forward. Hold the V-shape position for a few seconds, lie back down, and repeat. Decrease the intensity by bending your knees as you lift them. Increase the intensity by holding the V-shape position for a longer amount of time.

Hand-Release Push-Ups

Hand-release push-ups target your triceps, chest, and shoulders. As opposed to standard push-ups, hand-release push-ups increase power and prevent you from doing shallow reps. From a high plank position and with your feet placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, lower your body to the floor. Lift your hands off the floor, quickly catch yourself, and then press your palms on the floor to push your body back up into a high plank position.

Side Lunges

All varieties of squats and lunges are great bodyweight leg exercises. The side lunge is one example. To do a side lunge, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your left foot out to the side, bend your left knee and keep your right leg straight as you lower your body down as if to sit in a chair. Push up off your left foot to standing position, raising your left knee toward your chest, and repeat. Switch sides.