Simple yet effective exercises you can try at home
Back to basics
Your fitness time window might be getting shorter by the week, but it can always be productive as long as you play your cards right. By that we mean cutting back on complicated routines and setting your sights on simple exercises instead. Personal trainer, Eusebius Han from Field Assembly, has a few ideas that you can easily accomplish without leaving your home.
These brief, swift movements might seem too beginner or warm-up oriented but in fact, they boast a heap of benefits when it comes to maximising what little time you have. So quit overthinking, it's often the underrated workouts that deliver the biggest results...
1. GLUTE BRIDGES
Lie supine on the floor. Bend your knees, keep your feet flat on the floor and as close to your butt as possible. Have your arms flat by your side, palms facing up.
Start exercise by driving your heels into the ground to raise your hips until your hips and thighs are aligned. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Repeat. This can also be done with a weight held at the hip.
Why it's good: Strengthens glutes and hamstrings. Great for people who overuse and strain their lower backs.
Start with your palms flat on the floor and directly under your shoulders, legs together and straightened out — your body should be a straight line from head to heel. Brace at the core, squeeze the glutes, and tuck the pelvis forward. Think about bringing your belly button to your nose. Descend at controlled pace, keeping the elbows just at about 10 degrees away from your body, and push yourself back up once your chest is just above the floor. Move as one unit.
Use a box or a bench to elevate your upper body if you are unable to do a full push up on the floor.
Why it's good: Strengthens chest, shoulders, and triceps.
3. GOBLET SQUATS
Cup one end of a dumbbell with the heels of your palms, keeping the dumbbell in contact with you at chest level. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and have your toes pointing outwards slightly.
Keep the crown of your head tall, posture upright, and while keeping your abs tight, sit your butt back into an imaginary chair. Let your knees track towards your fourth toe as you descend at a controlled pace. Once your thighs go past parallel to the floor, drive through your heels to stand up into your original position.
Why it's good: Goblets squats are great for strengthening the quads, glutes, and hamstrings, and it forces you to fire up the core musculature when you squat.
4. HOLLOW BODY HOLD
Lie supine with your knees and chin tucked in to your chest, almost like a dead bug. With the focus on keeping your lower back flat on the floor, slowly extend your legs, and bring them as close to the ground as you can, and then reach your hands towards your ankles.
Why it's good: Works your abdominal muscles, and primes you up for the rest of your exercises that require core engagement.
5. KETTLEBELL SWINGS
Stand about a foot away from the kettlebell, feet shoulder width apart. Hinge at the hips with your head and back in a neutral position, pack your shoulders, brace at the core, and grip the kettlebell with both hands.
Hike the kettlebell in towards your hips with your wrists coming into contact with your inner thighs Then with your arms relaxed, thrust your hips forward explosively and stand tall, with your core, glutes, and quads engaged. The kettlebell will float at the top — it should not go higher than chest level. Allow gravity to work on the kettlebell as you guide it back towards your hips, absorbing its return with a hinge at the hips, and you're loaded up for another swing. Imagine a wall in front of your knees — your shins should remain perpendicular to the ground throughout the exercise.
Why it's good: The kettlebell swings works the posterior chain, with a focus on explosive power from the hamstrings and glutes.