Keep moving: 5 Easy Exercises To Try At Home
MobGroup are a wellness team committed to promoting health within the workplace – and now, at home. They focus on producing bespoke programmes to create health enhancing environments and offer advice surrounding fitness, food and wellbeing. Here they’ve provided us with a few easy exercises to try at home – no equipment needed.
“If you spend quite a few hours sitting down during the day, you need to ensure you are activating and training your glutes. Weak glutes is one of the leading causes of lower back pain. Try the following exercises using a descending ladder approach, starting with 20 reps of each exercise, then 16, then 12, 8 and 4 reps. We’ve also added push-ups here so you are not neglecting the upper body – this is an easy circuit you can tweak and return to weekly.” – Rob, Mobfit
1. Hip Thrust
To perform the exercise, all you need is a sofa or armchair (a weight is optional). This movement is similar to the glute bridge, except that your back is elevated, which will increase your range of motion, and make it easier to balance a weight on your hips.
Start with the bottom of your shoulder blades resting on the edge of the sofa, and bend your knees to about 90 degrees, making sure your feet are flat on the floor and bum hovering just above the ground. Squeeze your glutes, lift up your hips so they are in line with your shoulders and knees, and hold a second or two. Lower slowly and repeat.
If you are using a weight, rest it directly on your hips throughout the movement.
2. Bulgarian split squats
The Bulgarian split squat works nearly all muscles in the leg, as is a great move to also improve your balance. This move is a version of a single-leg squat where the back leg is elevated on your sofa or a sturdy chair.
Place one foot on the chair/bench behind you and adjust your position as much as you need to and place your other leg out in front of you – as you would when performing a normal lunge. Slowly lower your back knee towards the floor as you bend the front leg, keeping the upper body upright. Hover the back knee just above the ground, then push through the heel of your front leg to drive back up to the starting position.
The way you work out the correct foot position of the front leg is by looking at the angle of the shin in the bottom of the movement. It should be vertical, so adjust as you need to.
This exercise is intended to target your front leg—your back leg is there to offer some balance and support, but it should be felt primarily in your front leg.
3. Sofa push ups
Push-ups are excellent for training the upper body and they can be performed on the floor or using your sofa as an easier alternative. Facing your sofa whilst on your knees, place your hands on the edge slightly wider than shoulder width and align your spine so there is a straight line through your knees, hips and shoulders. Brace your core and slowly lower your chest between your hands whilst keeping the elbows tucked in.
Press your body away from the sofa then, reverting back to your starting position and repeat.
If you can manage 10 repetitions with good form, you can either do kneeling press ups but with your hands on the floor, or full push ups with your knees off the floor. Do not let your ego get in the way of proper form – opt for the easier version if you are struggling.
4. Chair squats
Strengthen your legs with squats! Start with a chair underneath you to ensure you master the correct form. Stand in front of the chair with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing outwards slightly.
Hinge at the hips and bend your knees, lowering back until your bottom touches the chair as if you were to sit on the edge of it – but don’t add all your weight, keep the tension. Push up through your heels to return to your starting position, then repeat.
You can hold your arms out in front of you as a counter balance to help you control the lowering phase.
5. Lying hip abduction
A great move to train the ‘outside’ of the glutes, or the gluteus medius.
Lay on your side, with your elbow directly under your shoulder. Align your body so you are in a straight line. Bend the bottom leg and keep the top leg straight as you raise it directly up as high as your hips allow. Slowly lower it back down until it is hovering off the floor – then repeat.
For a harder version, raise your hips off the ground as well, by pushing through the outside of the knee of the bottom leg.