Work and family commitments can make it difficult to find time to join a gym. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy workout routines you can do in the comfort of your own home or office. Many of them come with variations and modifications for beginners and advanced users; meaning anyone can do them, regardless of where you’re at physically.
Exercising comes with tons of health benefits. You will not only improve your physical health but your mental health too. When you exercise, you will begin to feel look better. This physical change will make you feel better about yourself. Just remember the saying: look good, feel good.
Making the first step into starting a routine can be overwhelming. There are so many different exercises out there and guidelines, it can be hard to know where to begin.
We’ve got you covered! Below are some of the best easy workout techniques that you can do anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re on a lunch break at the office, at your kid’s soccer practice, or locked in the bathroom so you can have five seconds of peace, these exercises will always be an option.
Number one on our list is the dreaded burpee. It’s known in the fitness community for being one of the most effective full-body exercises. It’s also the most hated. The reason they are hated so much is that they’re hard to do.
Despite the hate, it’s well regarded for their increase in mobility, strength, endurance, conditioning, and fat burning while building muscle.
Many CrossFitters and workout gurus include this technique because of how well it works. There are beginner modifications that will turn it into an easy workout, though.
How to perform a burpee:
Get into a squat position. Then kick your feet back into the push-up position. Complete one pushup and return to that squat position. Next, you’ll jump straight up into the air and return to that squat position before going back into the push-up position.
Variations of the burpee for beginners vary. Some skip the jumping; others skip both the jump and the squat.
The mountain climber is an effective exercise for your core and abs. You will often see them appear in any ab workout video. But, it’s a full-body workout. In addition to your abs, it works your quads, biceps, triceps, deltoids, hamstrings, and hip abductors.
How to perform a mountain climber:
Start in the long arm and leg plank position. Keep your abs pulled in while your body is straight. Pull your right knee into your chest and be sure to keep your abs tight and a straight body. Quickly switch and pull your left knee in while your right leg pushes back. You’ll repeat these motions and it will look like you are in a “running” motion.
There is a variation to this if you want a slight challenge. It involves the same steps. When it comes to pulling your knees into your chest, you will swing it towards the opposite hand.
For example, your right knee will be pointing towards your left elbow as it gets to the peak of the movement.
Push-ups are the most classic workout move. Almost every workout routine will include it or some variation of it.
It’s most commonly associated with the arm muscles, but it does work the core too. Your pecs, triceps, deltoids, and core are all worked.
As it was mentioned before, many variations range from beginner to advanced. Today we are going to focus on the standard push-up and a beginner’s variation.
How to perform a push-up:
Set your hands slightly shoulder-width apart. Your chest should be directly over your thumbnail. Feet should be should-width apart for better stability. Your body should be a straight line, not sagging downwards or your butt up in the air.
Lastly, your head should be looking slightly ahead of you instead of down at the ground. From there, you will lower your elbows, bring your chest to the ground, and then push up.
The beginner modification has your hands placed on the ground of your shoulders. Your knees should be spread comfortably apart. As you lower your elbows, be sure to bring your chest to the ground and keep your core contracted. Pause in this position for a second or two then push up from the ground.
The plank is one of the best exercises around. It mainly works your core to build strength while improving your posture. It also engages your arms, shoulders, hamstrings, glutes, and back depending on the type of variation you do.
Today we will focus on the three main planks used in most workout routines.
As seen above, this is the simple version you may have seen all over the place.
Place your hands under your shoulders, holding yourself up. Basically, you’re going into a push-up position. Ground your toes while squeezing your glutes to keep you stabilized. Don’t lock or hyperextend your knees. Keep your head aligned with your back. Hold the position as long as you can, then release.
This variation is slightly easier than the standard plank. Place your forearms on the floor. Keep your elbows below the shoulder and your arms parallel to your body at should-width. Ground your toes and squeeze the glutes while holding the position, then release.
This variation will work your obliques. Start by lying on your side with your one leg stacked on the other. Prop your body up with your hand while your feet are stacked. Hold this position as long as possible, then release.
Try to hold planks for at least 10 seconds when starting out and gradually increase as you become stronger and more comfortable with planks.
Tricep dips work your triceps and are great for toning and building strength. This exercise is sometimes overlooked by people into fitness as they tend to run straight for the weights. However, this will give you a great starting point or a boost throughout the day until you can get to a gym.
How to perform a tricep dip:
Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a chair or bench that is secured in place. Slide your butt off the bench or chair and extend your legs out in front of you. Straighten your arms but do keep a slight bend in your elbows to rid tension. Bend your elbows slowly while lowering your body until you’re at a 90-degree angle.
Once you reach 90 degrees, press down into the chair and straighten your elbows until you’re in the starting position.
A Russian twist is often considered one of the toughest abdominal exercises. It works your entire abdomen muscles. It also works to strengthen your core, lower back, and improve your posture and balance.
There is a variation you can do that will make it an easier workout.
How to perform a Russian twist:
Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent and the heels of your feet touching the floor. Lean back until you feel your abdominal muscles engaging. Be sure that your back is straight and not curved. Place your arms in front of you and keep your hands clasped together while leveled with your rib cage.
Make sure your arms aren’t swinging while twisting.
The easier variation of this is, start with your feet planted on the ground while leaning slightly backward. Then as you progress you can start lifting your feet up and even adding weight.
Pistol squats aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re a more advanced type of exercise that’s done by CrossFitters in their routines.
It works your quadriceps, glutes, and activates the core. One of the hardest aspects of this maneuver is ankle stability. Many people suffer from tight and stiff ankles which can lead to poor form and possible injury.
How to perform a pistol squat:
Stand with your arms held out in front of you at shoulder level. Make sure they are parallel to the floor. Raise your preferred leg off the floor in front of you and hold that position. Push your hips back while lowering your body as far as you possibly can. Then, push your body back up to the starting position.
Quadruped Leg Lift
Quadruped leg lifts work to increase the strength and mobility of your shoulders and hips. It will also work with your core and hamstrings.
How to perform a quadruped leg lift:
Get into the hands and knees position on the floor. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart. Your knees should be bent at 90-degrees and hip-width apart.
Tighten your core muscles and extend one leg behind you to hip level. Then, lower your leg back to the starting position.
Step-Up High Knee
Oftentimes you will see women doing this exercise at the gym and it’s for a good reason. Step Up is often thought of as one of the easy workouts but it does engage the body to the point you will be feeling it the next day.
It’s a lower-body exercise that engages the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Also, it builds strength and stability in the hips and core.
How to perform a stand up high knee:
Place a bench, low chair, or a sturdy box in front of you. Step on to it with one foot. As you place your foot, bring your other foot and knee as far as you can. Lower it down and step back onto the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.
The V-up is another advanced exercise. It’s considered one of the most effective core strengthening exercises. It works to target your abdominal muscles like the obliques.
V-ups also strengthen your back, engage your quadriceps, hamstrings, and your entire core. If not done correctly, it can result in injury to your back or pain.
Various modifications can make it more challenging and easy workout. Today we will focus on the easier version.
How to perform a V-up:
Lie flat on the floor with your legs and arms extended. Your hands should be placed on the ground at the hip level. In one swift motion, lift your torso in an upright position while you pull your knees to your chest. Keep your hands planted on the floor for added support and lower your body back to the starting position.
The superman is a bodyweight exercise that’s an alternative to crunches. It’s a popular exercise that you’ll find in most people’s routines and it’s an easy workout. It strengthens your lower back, engages your abs, and tones your glutes.
How to perform a Superman:
Lay face down with your arms stretched in front of you. You’ll want to keep your hands and arms straight throughout the entire exercise. Raise your hands and legs at the same time.
You should raise about 4 or 5 inches off the ground. Hold the position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
Bodyweight squats are one of the fundamental movements that strengthens and tones your lower body. It will improve your hip mobility too. It’s not only popular because it works, but because it’s an exercise that can be done anywhere.
It also has many variations that you can do to challenge yourself.
How to perform a bodyweight squat:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Turn your toes slightly out. Pull your abs in and keep your eyes forward. Bend at the knees slowly. Drop your hips to lower your body while keeping the heels of your feet flat on the ground. When you squat as far as you can, hold the position for a few seconds.
Then, push your body back up quickly to the starting position.
Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat is one of the most underrated leg exercises. It’s also one of the toughest. It will improve your balance while working your quads, calves, hip flexors, and hamstrings. You’ll feel it in your hamstrings, quads, and glutes the most.
How to perform a Bulgarian split squat:
Stand with your back facing the bench or low-level platform. Rest one leg behind you on the platform. Squat with the standing leg until your knee is almost touching the floor. Push through the front of your foot to return to the starting position.
There are some things you want to watch out for. Your position to the platform, letting your knee fall beyond your toes, and pushing through your elevated leg are common mistakes.
Single Calf Raises
Single calf raises are a popular strength training exercise among runners and athletes alike.
They are commonly done with weights for extra resistance. Calf raises will reduce the tension and stress on your tendons, tone your lower legs, and will even allow you to jump higher vertically. This makes it a great exercise for basketball players and track runners.
How to perform single calf raises:
Stand near a wall where you can place your hands for support. Lift one of your feet off the ground and place the ball onto a platform. Your heel should be hanging off it. While using a wall for support, lift your one foot and put it behind the one that’s on the platform. Turn your toes of the support foot outward and flex your calf.
Raise yourself as far as you can and lower yourself down to the starting position. Be sure to make these movements slowly to avoid injury.
Lunges, in general, are a great way to tone your lower body. With one motion, you can engage your hips, thighs, and glutes at the same time.
The reversed lunge is one of the most overlooked modifications of lunges. So why aren’t lunges more popular? One of the complaints people have is that they cause knee pain. The problem is that they aren’t doing the exercise right. This is where reversed lunges come into play, though.
They’re safer than other variations because there’s more focus on the hamstrings, quads, and glutes. With a regular lunge, people usually extend their knees over the toes causing strain.
How to perform a reverse lunge:
Stand tall with your hands on your hips. Take a step backward with your one leg. Lower your hips so your front leg is parallel to the floor with your knee over your ankle. Your back knee should be bent at 90-degrees and pointed towards the floor with your heel lifted. Return to your starting position by pressing your front heel into the floor and bringing your back leg forward.
Working out doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t even have to take up much of your time if that’s something you’re lacking.
Between work and other commitments, you can end up not finding the time to lift weights at a gym. This doesn’t mean you can’t build muscle or get into shape. There are many easy workout techniques that you can do anywhere and at any time.
The best part about it is that it won’t cost you a dime and will improve your overall health and well-being.