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No Gym Body Transformation With Three At-Home Exercises

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Let’s face it: the gym can be an intimidating place. It’s full of confusing equipment, big crowds, and high expectations, both from ourselves and from the people surrounding us. With all that pressure, it can be tough to motivate yourself to show up for a workout in the first place, much less to do so regularly. But here’s a secret: you don’t need a gym membership to achieve your fitness goals. In this article we’re going to show you how to transform your body from the comfort of your own home—no equipment required. A home workout routine is a much more sustainable, successful, and satisfying option for a lot of folks out there, so keep reading to learn the three at-home exercises we recommend for building the body of your dreams. First, let’s talk a little bit about why the gym can be such a loaded place. Why do a full 67 percent of us purchase gym memberships that we never use<sup>1</sup>? Why are there so many of us who have the drive to get fit but just can’t seem to make it to the gym? In 2018, researchers at the University of Western Ontario looked at the role that gender plays in our desire to go to the gym and what we do when we actually get there<sup>2</sup>. Women tended to express a concern about the amount of space they were taking up while men often worried about doing exercises that were considered stereotypically ‘feminine.’ People across the spectrum reported a “real and perceived threat for not conforming to stereotypical activities" as well as pressure to live up to gendered body expectations. When you consider other factors including age, ability, body type, gender identity, and more, it’s no wonder so many people feel intimidated by the gym. And if we spend our whole workout worrying about what other people think of us, it makes it that much harder to focus on the important stuff like our form, our breathing, and our basic enjoyment of exercise. The good news is you can get results that are just as good or even better without ever leaving your home. The three exercises we’re going to show you have modifications for people of all skill levels, making them a great option for everyone, everywhere, no matter what point you are at in your fitness journey. Let’s get started by diving into the first exercise: <i>lunges</i>. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Lunges</p></h4> The lunge is an incredibly versatile exercise with benefits that include boosting core stability, strengthening the legs and glutes, improving hip flexibility, and increasing balance. We’re going to teach you a beginner variation on the lunge, the <i>reverse lunge</i>, then offer a few modifications to make your lunges easier or more difficult. Here’s how to do the reverse lunge: <ol> <li>Stand with your feet directly under your hips and your hands on your waist. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-1.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Hinge at the hips and step your right foot backward. Bend your back knee until it almost touches the floor. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-2.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Press through your left heel to straighten your right leg, then step the right foot forward to return to the starting position. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-3.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Repeat, this time stepping back with your left leg. Continue alternating until you’ve finished a set.</li> </ol> As you do this, remember that your knees should track in the same direction as your toes, and your shins should stay perpendicular to the floor. Breathing is important also, so make sure to inhale as you step back and exhale as you press up to the starting position. Beginners may want to start out by resting your hands on your knees as you drop into the lunge to maintain balance. If, on the other hand, this move is too easy, try the <i>drop lunge</i> instead. The drop lunge is nearly identical to the reverse lunge, but rather than slowly stepping one foot back at a time, jump to bring your left leg in front of you and your right leg behind you. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-4.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> Drop your knee to the floor, then stand back up and hop to return to the starting position. Alternate between both legs. Both of these moves are great for building up core and lower body strength, plus they are going to really get your blood pumping. Now let’s move on to a move that will give you a strong and toned core: <i>leg raises</i>. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Leg Raises</p></h4> Leg raises might sound like a lower-body exercise, but they’re actually a great move for working your abs, particularly the oft-neglected lower abdominal muscles. Here’s how to perform the beginner variation of the leg raise, the <i>reverse crunch</i>, with great form: <ol> <li>Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your lower back pressed into the ground. Don’t allow your lower back to leave the ground at all during this exercise. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-5.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Lift your legs up towards your chest as far as you can. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-6.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Drop your legs back down until your heels touch the floor then start the next repetition. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-7.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Repeat until you’ve completed a set.</li> </ol> If this move is too tough for you at first, start by only lifting one leg at a time. As you build up strength, you can test out doing this exercise lifting both legs. Just make sure to inhale as you drop your legs down and exhale as you bring them back up. When you’re comfortable with the leg raise, try straightening your legs out a little more each time. This will help you transition into the advanced version of the leg raise, the <i>slightly bent leg raise</i>. For this exercise, do everything the same as you did for the reverse crunch, but keep your legs nearly straight with a slight bend at the knee. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-8.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> You’ll create much more tension in your core, giving you a harder workout for your abdominal muscles. With our lower body and core taken care of, it’s time to move on to a progression of exercises that will stretch and pump the muscles of the upper body: <i>yoga pushups</i>. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Yoga Pushups</p></h4> This series of moves combines the strength training of the classic pushup with the ancient practice of yoga, a form of exercise known for its ability to decrease stress and anxiety, alleviate chronic pain, and improve overall well-being<sup>3</sup>. Beginners will want to start with the <i>down up dog</i>, a move that improves the strength and flexibility of your core and upper body. Here’s how to do it: <ol> <li>Start in the yoga pose downward dog. Grip the ground with your fingers, plant your toes on the floor, and lift your butt towards the ceiling until you’ve made an inverted V with your body. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-9.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Drop your hips to the ground until your legs just rest on the floor. As you approach the ground, lift your head up and arch your back to feel the stretch. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-10.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Lift your hips back up and press through your hands to return to downward dog. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-11.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> </li> <li>Repeat until you’ve completed a set.</li> </ol> There are a few key points of alignment to remember with this exercise. First, in the downward dog pose, pull your belly button towards your knees as far as you can and keep your heels as close to the floor as possible so you feel a stretch throughout the back of your legs. Second, when you arch your back, be sure to pull your shoulder blades back and stay tall through your head to maintain good posture. Last, squeeze your glutes throughout the exercise to prevent your back from sagging during the stretch. This will also help to strengthen the glutes and the spine. You may wish to start out by placing your hands on a chair rather than on the floor as this makes the move easier. Once you’ve mastered the down up dog, try out the <i>Hindu pushup</i> next. This move is almost the same as the down up dog, but as you approach the ground, bend your elbows. Bring your torso as low down as you comfortably can before lifting your head up and entering the stretch with your back arched. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-12.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> Return to downward dog the same way you did for the down up dog by pressing your body back. <h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Putting It All Together</p></h4> Now that we know how to perform perfect lunges, leg raises, and yoga pushups, let’s create a home workout that incorporates these three moves. Start with lunges. Choose the lunge variation that’s right for you and do 10 repetitions on each side. From there, move on to leg raises. Do 10 slow and controlled repetitions of whatever leg raise exercise feels most comfortable for you. Finally, perform your favorite yoga pushup for 10 repetitions. Take a brief rest, then do another set of lunges, leg raises, and yoga pushups. Do the circuit one more time so that you’ve completed three sets of each exercise three times. <div class="text-left my-5"> <img class="img-fluid w-md-75 image-center" src="https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/wm-wmade-static-media/media/public/Assets/images/no-gym-workout-tyler-13.jpg" alt="no gym workout tyler"> </div> It’s as simple as that! This full-body workout will get you in shape and improve your health in less than 15 minutes, all from the comfort of your living room, bedroom, or even your office. So forget the membership fees and the stress that come along with going to the gym and get started with this simple and effective exercise plan today. Whether you do this workout first thing when you wake up in the morning, during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show, or while you’re on lunch break at work, you’re going to get incredible results. <h5>References</h5> 1. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/04/27/your-gym-membership-good-investment/82758866/">Is your gym membership a good investment?</a> 2. <a target="_blank" href="https://phys.org/news/2017-12-explores-gender-gym.html">Study explores how gender defines the gym</a> 3. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-yoga">13 Benefits of Yoga That Are Supported by Science</a>

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