Exercising at home

Good news!  It’s very easy to fit in a great workout without having to drive back and forth from a gym or buy any equipment.  I created this list of exercises you can do at home, organized by type.  Mix and match these exercises however you’d like – my favorite is to start and end with yoga poses, and do CrossFit exercises in between.  You can create your own workouts to a playlist, randomly draw exercises out of a hat, or pre-determine them on a rotation schedule.  Mix them up and be creative!

Please note that this isn’t meant to be a completely comprehensive and thorough list – a page of yoga poses alone could go on forever – these are just some basics, which really, is all you need for a good workout.  Your kids might enjoy doing some of these with you also!  You don’t have to devote a lot of time to exercise each day, just keep up with it consistently.  Please add to my list of at home exercises by posting a comment!  As usual, there are printables at the end of this post, so don’t forget to check those out!


Warming Up and Cooling Down

  • Toe touches (standing up or sitting down)
  • Jog (in place or outside) – mix it up with some skipping and galloping
  • Sit and reach: sit with your legs stretched straight in front of you and reach as far as you can; then straddle your legs and stretch again
  • Arm Stretch 1: Bring your arm across your chest and hold, then switch arms
  • Arm Stretch 2: Reach both hands high, then bend one arm so your elbow is in the air, and your hand is between your shoulder blades, then switch arms
  • Butterfly Stretch: sit with the soles of your feet touching each other, stretch your arms up, then bend all the way down; put your knees as close to the floor as they will go

Yoga

(see http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/finder/browse_categories for pictures, descriptions, and more poses)

  • Downward Dog: place both hands on the floor about two feet in front of your feet, which are hip-width apart; stretch through your legs, pushing your butt toward the ceiling
  • Fire Log Pose: sit with your legs bent and out to the sides, with your left foot on top of your right knee, and your right foot on top of your left knee
  • Full Boat: sit so that only your butt is on the floor, stretch your arms out straight in front of you, and your legs up in the air so that your torso and legs make the letter “V”
  • Marichi’s Pose: sit with your left leg stretched straight in front and your right leg bent, so that your right foot is parallel with your left thigh; with your right hand behind you for support, bend your left arm (like the letter “L”) and place the back of your left elbow on the outside of your right knee; switch sides
  • Half Moon: stand on your right foot, and stretch your left leg behind you while leaning forward, so that your torso and left leg are in a straight line, parallel to the floor; put your right hand on the floor (about a foot in front of your right foot), stretch your left arm straight up toward the ceiling; switch sides
  • Dolphin Pose: just like Downward Dog, but put your elbows and underside of your forearm on the ground
  • Triangle Pose: stand with your legs straddled, about three feet apart from each other; with your left foot pointed forward and your right foot pointed outward, put your right hand on the floor behind your right leg and stretch your left arm straight up toward the ceiling; switch sides
  • Warrior Pose: step your right foot forward, about three foot in front of your left foot and bend your right knee (don’t let your right knee go over your toes); put the palms of your hands together and reach both toward the ceiling; switch sides
  • Crane Pose: This is an advanced yoga pose!  Place your hands on the floor in front of you and slowly transfer all your weight onto your hands; bend your legs so that your feet come off the floor and your knees  are next to your arm pits
  • Upward Plank: sit with your hands next to your hips, palms to the floor, fingers pointed forward; lift your hips off the ground (keep yourself supported with your hands and pointed toes) so that your legs make an upward plank, hence the name
  • Camel Pose: kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart; arch your back and up and back; place the palm of your right hand on the sole of your right foot, and the palm of your left hand on the sole of your left foot
  • Upward-Facing Dog: lie on your stomach and, using your arms, lift your torso off the floor to stretch your back
  • Child’s Pose: kneel on your legs and sit on your feet, arch your back forward and rest your forehead on the floor; stretch your arms back so that they lie next to and parallel to your legs on the floor
  • Plow Pose: this is another advanced pose!  Lie on your back with your arms on the floor next to your sides; stretch your legs up and back so that your feet land on the floor, about two feet above your head

Plyometrics and Cardio

(I don’t believe there is one website to which you can refer that describes each of these, so if you don’t understand the exercise from my description, you should be able to find a description and video with a Google search)

  • Tuck Jump: Jump as high as you can and tuck your knees up to your chest
  • Mountain Climbers: Get in push-up position and “jog” in place by quickly bringing alternating legs up so that your foot hits the floor underneath your chest
  • Burpees: Begin in a standing position, bend down and place your hands next to your feet, kick both legs back at the same time (so that you’re in push up position), jump both legs back up to your hands, and return to standing position
  • Jumping Jacks: I’m sure you all know this, but for uniformity’s sake, I’ll explain; begin in standing position and jump, bringing both feet out wider than hip-width, while reaching both arms above your head, then jump back to return to standing position
  • High Knees: run in place, bringing your knees up to your chest
  • Butt Kickers: run in place so that your feet hit your butt
  • Heisman Jumps: begin by standing with all your weight on your left leg, and your right leg slightly bent so that your foot isn’t touching the floor; jump to the right and land on your right foot with your left leg slightly bent; continue jumping from right to left
  • Ski Jumps: Like the Heisman Jumps, you jump from side to side, however, with Ski Jumps, you land and jump off of both feet, keeping them together
  • Lunge Jump: Take a large step forward with your left foot, and lower yourself toward the floor by bending your knees (don’t allow your left knee to go over your toes on your left foot); just before your right knee is about to hit the floor, jump up and switch legs so that when you land, you can begin lunging with your right foot forward; continue alternating sides
  • Squat Jump: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly turned outward; bend your knees and lower your body toward the floor (don’t allow your knees to go over your toes); once you have lowered yourself so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, jump straight up, and back down into squat position

Strength

(I don’t believe there is one website to which you can refer that describes each of these, so if you don’t understand the exercise from my description, you should be able to find a description and video with a Google search)

  • Lunges: Take a large step forward with your left foot, and lower yourself toward the floor by bending your knees (don’t allow your left knee to go over your toes on your left foot); just before your right knee is about to hit the floor, raise your body up again, bring your left foot back, and repeat with your right foot
  • Side Lunges: Complete just like the forward lunge, but step to alternating sides rather than forward
  • Back Lunges: Complete just like the forward lunge, but step backwards before lowering yourself toward the floor
  • Clock Lunges: Complete a forward lunge, right side lunge, backward lunge, then left side lunge
  • Wall Sits: Stand with your back against the wall, then walk your feet out while lowering your bottom toward the floor, staying pressed against the wall; your thighs should be parallel to the floor and you should be in a sitting position; hold for as long as you can
  • Plank: Get in push-up position, but bend your arms so that your weight is on your elbows and underside of your forearm
  • Plank to Push Up: begin in plank position, then raise up to push-up position one arm at a time; lower again to plank position one arm at a time – this is harder than it sounds!
  • Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly turned outward; bend your knees and lower your body toward the floor (don’t allow your knees to go over your toes); raise yourself up again
  • Pistol Squat: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your body weight on your left leg; as you lower yourself toward the floor by bending your left leg, bring your right leg up, keeping it straight, so that it’s parallel to the floor; switch legs
  • Pushup Twist: Get in pushup position, but elevate your feet so that your whole body is parallel to the floor (I like to use a stool, couch, or stairs); as you bend your arms to complete a push up, twist your torso so that you’re facing left and bring your left knee up to your chest; repeat on right side.  If you’d like, you can keep your arms straight rather than lowering yourself to complete the push up – it’s a little easier, but you’ll still get a great core workout.
  • Calf Raise: stand on a stool or stair with your weight on your toes and your heel hanging off; raise yourself to your tippy toes and lower yourself again; you can make it more difficult by holding weights in your hands (you don’t need to go purchase weights – you can use water bottles or soup cans)
  • Superman: lay on your stomach with your arms stretched up over your head; contract your lower back muscles so that your arms and legs come slightly off the floor (your body should round out a little); lower your arms and legs back to the floor
  • Tricep Dip: stand about two feet in front of a chair and put your hands on the edge of the chair with your fingers facing forward; bend your elbows to lower your body down so that your upper arms and thighs are parallel to the floor; straighten your elbows back up
  • L Seat: sit on the floor with tall posture, both legs straight out in front of you, and your palms on the floor right next to each hip; raise your entire body, including your legs, off the floor so that all your weight is being supported on your hands (you should feel this in your core)
  • Flutter Kick: lay on your back with your arms to your sides; using your core muscles, slightly lift the top of your torso (your shoulders) off the floor; then slightly lift your legs off the floor, and scissor-kick your feet

CrossFit Exercises

(see www.crossfit.com for pictures, descriptions, and more CrossFit exercises; please note that some of these exercises are repeated from the Strength section)

  • Air Squats: see Squat Jump description in Plyometrics
  • Box Jumps: stand about two feet in front of a sturdy, elevated object (I like to use my front porch step or the part of my deck that is elevated from the ground); using your arms for momentum, jump both feet onto the object, and return to starting position
  • Burpees: see Burpees under Strength exercises
  • Push Ups: this is another exercise that I’m sure you know, but will describe for uniformity’s sake: put yourself in a position so that your body is parallel to the floor, and your weight is supported by your toes and your hands; your elbows should be bent just slightly and your hands shoulder-width apart; bend your elbows to lower yourself toward the floor; once your face is close to the floor, straighten your arms to raise your body up
  • Dips: see Tricep Dips under Strength exercises
  • Double Unders: okay, you actually do need a piece of equipment (a jumprope) for this exercise, but I included it because you can improvise if you don’t have one; jump rope in place, but add in an extra jump as you are bringing the rope over your head (so you are jumping twice for every time the rope comes around); if you don’t have a jumprope, just hold and use a pretend jumprope
  • Glute-Ham Sit-Up: technically you need a Glute-Hamstring Machine for this exercise, but you can improvise and still get a good workout; lay on your back and “hook” your toes under a couch; keeping your legs straight, tighten your core muscles to raise your torso off the floor (so that you’re sitting straight up); tighten your cores muscles again to lower yourself back down
  • Handstand Push Up: if you’re a normal person and not a fitness freak of nature, you’ll need a wall for this exercise; do a handstand using a wall to keep your balance; bend your arms to lower your nose toward the floor, than raise yourself up again
  • Hollow Body Rock: lay on your back with your hands on the floor over your head; raise your arms and legs slightly off the floor by contracting your core muscles (your body should be rounded slightly upward); rock your body back and forth, so that your entire body is working like the legs of a rocking chair
  • Butterfly Sit-Up: lay on your back with your knees bent and out to the sides to that the soles of your feet are touching each other; place your arms at your sides, and raise slightly so that they’re parallel to the floor; tighten your core muscles to lift your torso off the floor so that you’re sitting straight up; tighten your core muscles again to lower your torso back to the floor

Complete At-Home or Outside Workouts

These activities are workouts in themselves, rather than exercises that you can combine to create a workout.  I get too bored to do these frequently, but enjoy them every once in a while.  Some of these require equipment, but if you want to mix things up and try one out, you can rent the equipment for a day.

  • Outside summer workouts: running, bike riding, hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing
  • Outside winter workouts: snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, sledding
  • Workout videos: I have an extensive collection of home workout videos and will be posting about them soon!
  • Online Workout Videos: you can find a lot of workout videos online using Google or YouTube

Printables!

I created printables of the exercises that you can put in your Family Notebook, Personal Notebook, or keep handy in your house.  Some people like to post it in their workout space for quick reference.  You know how I like to keep things as simple as possible, so I included only the name of the exercise – until you memorize them, you can refer to this article for the description.  As usual, they are in Microsoft Office format, so you can change them to make them work better for you.  Here they are, enjoy!

Warming Up and Cooling Down

Yoga Poses

Plyometrics and Cardio

Strength

CrossFit

Complete Workouts