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Exercise 101: Effective Exercises You Can Do from Home

Interested in exercising in the comfort of your own home? Don’t “weight” any longer! Whether you prefer the privacy or you simply don’t care for gym fees, here is a list of essential workouts that will help you get fit at home:

1. Push-ups

This exercise will strengthen your Pectoralis Major, or in other words, your chest, biceps, triceps and shoulders.

To begin a push-up, get into a plank position with your palms and toes facing the floor. Lower your torso until your arms are bent about 90-degrees, then push your body up to the starting position. While doing a push-up, make sure to keep your back straight. Align your hands at different widths and angles to add emphasis to different muscles. Place your hands in a diamond shape to activate your triceps and get rid of those flabby arms.

2. Planks

Planks are a great way to strengthen your abs and core, without putting as much stress on your back as traditional sit-ups.

To do a plank, simply hold yourself parallel to the floor with your forearms and toes facing the ground. While holding yourself parallel to the floor, keep your torso and rear as straight as possible. Don’t forget to tighten core muscles to maintain this position.

3. Forward Lunge

No need for an elliptical machine, lunges at home can strengthen quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Stand with your hands either at your sides or on your hips, while also keeping your feet hip-width apart. Take a step forward while lowering your back knee adjacent to the floor, then bend the leg you stepped with to a 90-degree angle. Step back to the original starting position and alternate this motion with the other leg.

4. Bicycle Crunches

This type of crunch is said by some to better activate your abdominal muscles when compared to a number of other exercises.

Start by lying on your back with your fingers pressed gently against the back of your head with your legs at a 90-degree angle. In a fluid motion, use your abdominal muscles to bring your right elbow and left knee to each other, while extending your right leg. Release the crunch back to the starting position, and do this with your left elbow and right knee. When done correctly, your legs should move similar to how they would while riding a bicycle.

5. Squats

This is another leg exercise that targets your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.

Stand up straight, keep your feet flat about shoulder width apart and lower your groin until your knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Keep your knees in-line with the direction your feet are facing, and hold your arms in front of your torso for balance. End the squat by lifting your torso back to the starting position. Remember, inhale as you lower your torso, and exhale as you lift.

Although there are many workouts one can do at home, these five essential exercises are very effective and strengthen nearly all of the major muscle groups. Not only will exercising regularly help build strong muscles, joints and bones, but studies have shown that regular exercise can decrease stress, better sleep and reduce risk from many diseases. Practice a healthy lifestyle by making these five fundamental exercises part of your daily routine!