This article is not called the “Top 5 Exercises That Barely Feel Like Exercising.” These at-home exercises were selected to unlock your fat burning potential by working multiple muscle groups with no equipment. The more muscles you can activate at once, the faster you will feel and see a difference.
Remember, results reflect effort! Working out from home is convenient and cost-effective, but it is super easy to become distracted. Yes, technically doing an exercise at 60% effort is better than doing nothing. However, if you want to make progress, you have to stop making excuses. Push the pace, do all the reps, and don’t quit on yourself!
Read on for our five favorite at-home exercises to help you burn fat and reach your goals!
#1 Jump Rope
The How: Imagine you are holding a jump rope and swing it overhead than in front of you. Only jump 1-2 inches off the ground. Land softly and quietly. Be sure to keep your core engaged and spine long during the exercise.
The Why: Jumping rope is a low-impact cardio workout that is easier on the body than running. It strengthens every major muscle group in your body including your heart and lungs. In addition to burning calories, you will experience increased stamina, balance, agility and hand-eye coordination.
Beginners can start with 20 seconds of jumping rope followed by a brief 10-second rest. Repeat seven times for a total of 4 minutes.
The How: Start with your arms at your sides and your feet shoulder-width apart. Transfer your weight into your heels while bending your knees into a squat position. Hinge at the hips and place your hands on the floor directly in front of you. Shift your weight into your hands while softly jumping your feet back behind you. Land in a plank position. Keep your butt level and make sure your core is engaged. Jump your feet back in by your hands. Raise the top half of your body and then jump and reach your hands above your head. Gently land back in a squat position then repeat the exercise.
The Why: Burpees, burpees, burpees… We hate you, but we love you. This movement epitomizes home exercises. It works your abs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, arms, chest, and back. They rev up your metabolism and get your heart pumping to burn calories. Ok fine, burpees are awful, but instead of dreading the reps you have left, tell yourself you only have x-amount of reps to see a difference. When you change your mindset, you increase your odds of achieving your goal.
Start with eight burpees and do three sets. Rest after, not during. If you do them correctly and push your pace, you will love your results more than you ever hated this exercise.
#3 Arm Circles
The How: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended in a T formation, so they are parallel to the floor. Flex your wrists, so your palms are facing out like you are pushing against a wall. Start moving your arms in circles measuring roughly a foot in diameter. Engage your back muscles during the exercise. Complete 25 circles clockwise then do 25 counterclockwise. Repeat for three sets.
The Why: Arm circles are simple and therefore underrated. This dynamic stretch is also a strengthening move and perfect for people you have to sit hunched over a computer all day. Move slowly throughout the exercise to activate your traps, shoulders, delts, and biceps. This type of exercise leads to lean muscle development and better posture!
#4 Power Lunge
The How: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Transfer your weight into your left foot and then step back into a lunge with the right. Both knees should be bent to 90 degrees but make sure your left knee stays parallel with the ankle. Come out of your lunge by pushing through with your left heel and activating your glute and quad. Straighten the left leg and drive the right knee into the chest while hopping off the ground. Land gently on the left foot while immediately returning to the back lunge position. Complete 12 reps and the switch side. Do three rounds.
The Why: Lunges on their own target your calves, hamstrings, quads, and glutes while challenging your balance for an extra bonus of a back and abdominal workout. This added hop in the power lunge gets your heart pumping for an aerobic exercise that burns extra calories.
#5 Plank (with variations)
The How: Get into a pushup position. Make sure your wrists and elbows are directly under your shoulders with your palms flat on the ground and fingers stretched in front of you. Do not let your hips dip or raise. You should be in a straight line from your head down your spine and back to your toes. Press slightly forward on your toes for extra core activation. Try to hold for 30 seconds focusing on maintaining perfect form. Work your way up to a minute. Once you can do that, experiment with different variations. Alternate lifting one foot or arm at a time. Try plank jacks, slowly bring your knee in to touch your elbow, or twist and lower your hips to the ground for an oblique workout.
The Why: An oldie but a goodie! This simple but effective exercise should always be your go-to for a core workout. A stronger core means a happier body in every way. Your back will hurt less, your health will improve, and the rest of your muscles benefit as well.
The power is in your hands
Working out from home can be an intimidating concept because all the potential for change is lying right in front of you. You don’t have the excuse of fighting traffic or paying a gym membership. It is the perfect opportunity to jumpstart your fitness goals if you stay committed to it.
However, you may aspire to look or feel, remember there is no such thing as spot training. You can do 1000 sit-ups a day and not have abs because you never lost the fat surrounding your stomach area. You can’t just focus on a specific muscle group.
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