Most people’s workout routines have taken a big hit over the past year, between quarantining, social distancing rules and gym and athletic centers still offering limited hours and programs. Add to that working from home, which has ultimately led some to become less active, and you’ve got a perfect storm for weight loss struggles.
It doesn’t have to be this way. With a little time and effort, weight loss and better overall health are within reach. According to Stack, which specializes in fitness-related information, exercising just 10 minutes a day can improve cardiovascular fitness, activate and enhance all major muscle groups, improve flexibility and even boost brain function.
There are many workouts and exercises that even the busiest people can benefit from. Self.com offers some that are pretty effective and geared toward all body types and activity levels, including a full-body, no-equipment workout (self.com/gallery/full-body-bodyweight-cardio-workout)…
Frogger: Start in a low, wide squat position with your feet wider than hip-width apart and your hands planted on the floor in front of you. This position should be similar to a Malasana (yoga) squat pose. From here, jump your feet back to come into a high plank position with your wrists directly under your shoulders, core engaged, hips level and legs straight behind you. Pause for a moment in the high plank, then jump your feet forward and wide again to return to your low-squat starting position. Lift both hands fully off the floor so all of your weight is on your feet. Place your hands back on the floor, and jump your feet back to start the next rep.
Side Plank Twist: Start in a forearm side plank by propping your body up on your left forearm, with your elbow stacked underneath your shoulder and your hand in front of your body. Extend your legs and stack your right foot on top of your left, then squeeze your core and glutes to lift your hips off the floor. Extend your right arm to the ceiling. Rotate your torso toward the floor, wrapping your right hand underneath your torso. Don’t let your hips drop — the movement should just come from your core. Re-extend your arm toward the ceiling to complete the movement. Do all of the reps on one side, then repeat on the other.
Squat Pulse: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged. Do a squat by sending your hips back, bending both knees and dropping until your thighs are parallel to the floor. From this position, pulse by lifting slightly and then lowering again to the lowest point in your squat. Try to stay low and not stand up entirely for the full amount of time.
Tuck-Up: Lie faceup with legs extended and arms overhead. Engage your core and lift both arms and legs a few inches off the floor to come into a hollow hold position. Next, crunch up, bringing your knees to your chest and wrapping your hands lightly around your shins. Keep your core tight to balance on your sits bone — do not grip your shins or hug your knees to achieve balance. Lower to return to hollow hold position and repeat.
Body Saw: Start in a forearm plank with your forearms on the floor, elbows directly underneath your shoulders, hands facing forward so that your arms are parallel, and legs extended behind you. Tuck your tailbone and engage your core, butt and quads. Rock forward on your forearms so your shoulders are in front of your elbows, and you come to the very tips of your toes. Focus on moving as far forward as you can without piking your hips or losing your core engagement. Now push in the other direction, rocking as far back as possible and straightening your forearms slightly, and rolling onto the balls of your feet. Again, focus on maintaining core engagement and not piking your hips.
Inchworm: Stand with your feet together, core engaged, and hands at your sides. Bend forward at your hips to place your hands on the floor in front of you. You can bend your knees a little if you need to. Walk your hands forward until you’re in a high plank, with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended and core engaged. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder while engaging your core and glutes to keep your hips as still as possible. Try not to rock at the hips. Do the same thing with your left hand to right shoulder. Walk your hands back toward your feet and stand up to return to the starting position.
Blast-off Push-ups: Start in a high plank position with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged. Bend your knees and push your butt back toward your heels, and then explode from that position back to a high plank and immediately bend your elbows and bring your chest toward the ground to do a push-up. As you bend your elbows and lower toward the ground, your elbows should be at about a 45-degree angle to your body (though you can make adjustments based on what feels best for your shoulders). Push back up to high plank, maintaining a strong core and flat back. (If this is too challenging, feel free to modify by dropping to your knees when you push your butt back toward your heels.)