Break A Sweat At Home With These 5 Simple Exercises
CREDIT: UNSPLASH: SIMPLE HOME WORKOUTS
Home workouts have become a firm favourite for many of us, particularly in recent times. Not only are they time and cost-efficient but they are also versatile and private. But it can be hard to catch a decent sweat without the gym environment at your fingertips. So, if you are new to exercise or just want to know how to make the most out of your home workouts, we have answers! Here are 5 simple exercises guaranteed to make you break a sweat and maximize your gains- all from the comfort of your home.
WHY SIMPLE EXERCISES WORK
Putting together a workout can feel overwhelming, so we like to follow the K.I.S.S rule when it comes to exercise.
Keep It Simple Stupid!
You do not need equipment or tons of complex exercises to get serious results. Some of the most simple exercises in the fitness world are still the most effective for building muscle and working up a sweat.
But what do we mean by ‘simple’?
Compound exercises consist of basic, functional movements that recruit multiple large muscle groups and joints.Prioritising these types of exercises can help to build functional, full-body strength and improve your ability to perform daily activities. Compound movements also help improve range of motion (your ability to perform movement around a joint) which can help you to avoid injury and perform an exercise more efficiently, maximizing results. These exercises can be adapted to favour strength, cardio, or endurance and can be modified to suit all abilities. It is a smart option when it comes to breaking a sweat from home, where equipment and space can typically be more limited.
So, what sort of exercises should you try?
5 SIMPLE EXERCISES TO TRY AT HOME
The humble push-up!
Push-ups are extremely versatile and can be modified depending on ability level and equipment.
THE BENEFITS OF PUSH-UPS
Push-ups target several muscle groups including the pectoral muscles, anterior deltoids, and triceps, making them a firm upper-body favourite for building strength, power, and muscle tissue.
Core activation is also required to protect the lower back during a push-up, helping develop abdominal strength.
Squats can help to improve everyday movement patterns such as walking, climbing, sitting, or standing.
THE BENEFITS OF SQUATS
Predominantly performed to build strength in the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, squats are a lower body exercise requiring plenty of core activation to protect the lower back and avoid injury. Squats can be performed using different stances, foot placement, depth, and loading conditions.
Your options are endless! Performing squats helps to build strength, power, and endurance.
With or without a rope, skipping is an effective cardio exercise that offers up endless results.
THE BENEFITS OF SKIPPING
Skipping can be used to increase stamina, coordination, and balance, and build aerobic capacity. Skipping is a full-body workout that works your legs, shoulders, and arms; it even requires core activation to stabilise the spine and burns major calories!
Did you know evidence also indicates that skipping helps to build bone strength?
A plank is an isometric (static) exercise that allows muscles to contract without joints moving or muscles lengthening.
THE BENEFITS OF A PLANK
Planks are traditionally performed to build core strength but they actually do much more!
Performing a plank builds strength in the glutes, hips, quads, back, and shoulders and can help to strengthen the lower back and spine (when performed correctly.)
They are also easy to modify!
Burpees are a full-body exercise used to build strength and balance while incorporating cardio.
THE BENEFITS OF BURPEES
Burpees work the arms, chest, back, legs, and core for an all over workout.
Often used in HIIT classes, they incorporate elements of a plank and push-up and
HOW TO MODIFY EXERCISES
Each of these exercises yields results using bodyweight alone. However, they can be made harder or easier depending on your fitness.
Here are a few quick techniques for modifying your exercises.
- ADJUST HEIGHT
Height can make an exercise easier or harder.
Decline push-ups (feet placed higher than the head) increase activation in the chest and shoulders while incline push-ups require less body weight and help develop basic strength.
When performing a squat, placing your heels on a raised surface can increase activation in the quads while placing toes above the ankle will increase hamstring activation.
- PERFORM SINGLE-SIDED
- ADD WEIGHT
Adding weight of any kind can make an exercise more challenging- from skipping to planks.
- SLOW IT DOWN
Time under tension is a popular technique referring to the length of time a muscle is placed under tension.
It forces your muscles to work harder for longer!
- ADD EXPLOSIVE POWER
Plyometrics use speed and force (explosive movement) to build power. Skipping and jump squats are great examples!
- ADJUST YOUR STANCE
Adjusting the stance of a push-up, squat, or plank can make the exercise harder or easier and recruit your muscles differently.
There are plenty of ways to adjust stance to your advantage.
Some great examples include using your knees to make push-ups easier and moving from a high-to-low plank to enhance your plank game!
 Gentil P, Soares S, Bottaro M. Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy. Asian J Sports Med. 2015;6(2):e24057. doi:10.5812/asjsm.24057
 As above
 Lorenzetti S, Ostermann M, Zeidler F, et al. How to squat? Effects of various stance widths, foot placement angles and level of experience on knee, hip and trunk motion and loading [published correction appears in BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2020 Jan 29;12:7]. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2018;10:14. Published 2018 Jul 17. doi:10.1186/s13102-018-0103-7
 Cited 27.07.21, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1170647.pdf
 Podstawski R, Markowski P, Clark CCT, et al. International Standards for the 3-Minute Burpee Test: High- Intensity Motor Performance. J Hum Kinet. 2019;69:137-147. Published 2019 Oct 18. doi:10.2478/hukin-2019-0021
 Calatayud J, Borreani S, Colado JC, et al. Muscle Activation during Push-Ups with Different Suspension Training Systems. J Sports Sci Med. 2014;13(3):502-510. Published 2014 Sep 1.