We all know that working out is essential for staying healthy, but when you have a busy schedule, sometimes you just don’t have time to fit in a trip to the gym or a full yoga class. Luckily, there are plenty of easy moves you can do at home that will help you burn a few calories, tone up, and stay limber, all in just a few minutes. While it’s not a total substitute for regular workouts, it’s great to have these moves in your repertoire for when you don’t have time for a full workout.
The plank is an excellent workout for those days when you don’t have time to do a full ab routine or upper body workout because it really tones both. There are a few different ways you can do a plank – you can have both of your arms straight, like at the top of a pushup, or you can stay on your forearms. Either way, make sure to keep your body in a straight line, without pushing your backside up or letting it sink. Engage your core and pull your shoulders down to ensure that you are using your muscles correctly.
This easy workout is a great substitute for cardio when you can’t get outside for a run or bike ride. You probably did these in gym class growing up, and there’s a reason why they’re such a great go-to for a warm up. They work your entire body, getting both your arms and legs moving so you start sweating. For something a little different, try doing jumping jacks crossing your arms and legs in front of each other when you pull into the body to work your inner thighs and shoulders.
Squats are one of the easiest ways to build strong legs quickly, and you don’t need a lot of space or time to do them. When you do squats, it’s important that you are doing them in the right alignment to prevent injury and develop the right muscles. Focus on keeping your knees over your toes, without letting them roll in or out. You can do squats with dumbbells or weights to add a little bit of an extra challenge and tone your upper body if you want. Another fun option is lunge squats, where you step into lunges on alternating feet, toning your thighs one leg at a time. To up the ante, try jump squats!
Downward Facing Dog
When you’re doing a short workout at home, it’s important to remember to stretch when you are done. Even if you don’t have time for a full yoga workout, you can do this pose to stretch many of the muscles in your body that are most prone to tension. Downward facing dog is a great way to stretch out your entire legs and back while releasing tension in your entire body. While you are doing the stretch, think of pressing your heels down to the floor while lengthening through your back.