2 Great At-Home Exercises

Can’t face the gym? Then work out at home with our pick of the four best at-home exercises.


1.Mat workout: stretch and strengthen your muscles without breaking into a heavy sweat.

Warm up (5 minutes)
Do a few light stretches, roll your head in slow circles and do a couple of gentle lunges.

Calisthenics (15 minutes) Sit-ups: Lie on your back with one leg straight and one bent, hands behind your head, shoulders wide. Lift your shoulders 7,5-12,5cm off the ground, exhaling as you come up, then slowly lower down. Do 10 sit-ups, then switch legs. Do two to three sets.

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Plank: Turn onto your stomach and lean on your forearms. Straighten your legs and come up on your toes, raising your body off the floor into a plank position. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, pulling your belly button toward your spine. Do this three times.

Hip lifts: Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor and your arms by your sides. Lift your hips upward, supporting your shoulders. Imagine there’s a book on the front of your pelvis. Then slowly come down. Do 10 to 12 repetitions in two to three sets.

Cool down (15 minutes)
Sit with your legs straight out in front, keeping your back straight and reach for your toes. To stretch the triceps, point one elbow to the ceiling and press it back with the opposite hand.

2.Skipping rope: get your heart pumping with spirit-lifting skipping.

Warm up (5 minutes)
Jump without the rope, alternating your feet until you get the rhythm.

Cardio (10 to 15 minutes)
Start slowly. Jumping with both feet, keep your hands next to your waist and your elbows near your sides. To avoid placing stress on your ankles, make sure you bring your heels down when you land. Alternate short bursts of fast jumping with slow, or jump for 30 seconds at a time, then rest for up to 30 seconds to catch your breath. If you have the space, travel around the room as you jump (on alternate feet). Travelling needs extra balance and co-ordination, giving you a better conditioning.

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Cool down (3 to 5 minutes)
Without your rope, jump slowly, one leg at a time. Then put one foot forward and bend over your
leg until you feel a mild stretching in your hamstring. Repeat with the other leg. Next, facing a wall, slightly more than arm’s length away, press your hands against it and lean slightly forward to stretch the backs of your legs. Reach your arms straight out in front of you, clasp your hands and push forward to stretch your shoulders.


Lynn Cardy

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