No motivation to step out into the cold, let alone a gym? We’ve got your back (quite literally) with these simple home exercises. With the winter months upon us, it can often feel tough to leave the house and brave the cold - let alone cram a gym session in.
Don’t panic, the good news is, you can do a great workout from the comfort of your own home - the gym isn’t the only place to get a good old sweat on and reach your fitness goals.
These five exercises will not only target multiple muscle groups but can also be done comfortably from your own home with very little equipment or room. You can even do them in your pyjamas if you wish; movement is movement, after all - and who are we to judge?
1. Reverse flyes
Why should I do this? This exercise is fantastic for improving your posture because it targets the upper back and pulls everything back, especially the rear shoulders.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hinge at the hips so you’re leaning slightly forward, yet keeping a slight bend in the knees as well as a flat back.
Let your arms hang straight down and twist your hands so your palms are facing to the front, with your thumbs up.
Keeping your arms straight and thumbs pointing to the ceiling, squeeze your shoulder blades and raise both arms straight back so you are almost forming a T shape. Squeeze your shoulder blades and pause at the top then slowly reverse the movement back down.
2. Air squat
Why should I do this? A highly effective lower body exercise is air squats, which will work your core, hamstrings, quadriceps, and also your glutes.
To do this, simply position your feet so that they are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and then drop into a squat position with your thighs parallel to the floor. Keep your hands near your chest while you maintain a strong and straight spine, then push through your heels to return to the starting position.
Challenge yourself: How many can you do in 60 seconds?
3. Lunge to kick
Why should I do this? Lunges are particularly excellent for developing your lower body strength while simultaneously targeting the glutes, quads, core, and hamstrings. Add a kick, and you’ll test your balance - and get a nice little cardio blast, too.
For this exercise, you’ll need to position your feet so that they are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Take a large step backwards with the right foot and lower your body toward the floor. Both legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle at the bottom of the lunge.
Straighten your left leg and kick your right foot forward to hip height or higher if possible then step back into your lunge.
Challenge yourself: Perform 10 reps on each leg. Rest for 30 seconds, then go again. Go for three rounds.
4. Push-up to T
Why should I do this? While push-ups will target your chest, arms, and shoulders, the twist and reach in this exercise will also test the tiny stabilizing muscles in your shoulders and wrists whilst improving flexibility in the upper body - especially your chest.
Assume a standard push-up position so your body is aligned from your ankles to your head.
Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Then, as you push yourself back up, rotate the right side of your body up as you raise the right arm towards the ceiling.
Hold for a second, return to the starting position, and perform another push-up. Alternate sides with each rep.
Challenge yourself: Set a timer for 60 seconds. Rest and then go again Repeat for 3 sets.
5. Squat hold
Why should I do this? While the squat hold can be quite a challenge, it will develop both lower body strength and core control, as well as improve your balance and mental focus.
Start by bringing your hands to chest height and lower your body into a deep squat position. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground but try to aim for a deeper position if possible. Push your feet into the floor and engage your glutes and core to remain stationary. Keep your torso upright and hold down low. Don’t panic - the burning sensation and the leg shaking mean you’re doing it correctly.
Challenge yourself: Hold for 20 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds and add 10 seconds each time until you reach 50 seconds.
Home Circuit Challenge
Now you’ve mastered all five exercises, why not switch things up and put them all together into a kick-ass circuit?
To start, perform 20 back flyes. This is a great exercise to ease you into the circuit and get your core engaged and upper body and posture kicked into gear.
Next, perform 10 push-ups to T, and 10 air squats, followed by a 20-second squat hold. Finish off the circuit with 10 lunge kicks on each leg.
Rest for one minute and repeat the circuit but this time, do 9 push-ups.
Can you go all the way down the ladder until you hit 1 push-up?
This feature is part of T3's Get Fit 2024 campaign. We’ll be bringing you a wealth of guides, features, deals and news to help you get healthy, fit and ready for anything the new year can throw at you. Whether you’re a newcomer to fitness or someone with a passion for it, we’ll bring you all the best workouts, diet advice and gear to set you on the right track.