By: Lily Johnson
It can be hard finding the motivation to go the gym, especially in the winter. The thought of having to drag yourself out of bed before work or college early in the morning when it's still dark is far from appealing - much easier just to stay in bed, right? Then it gets to the end of the day, you've finished work and surprise surprise, it's dark out once again, the most attractive option is to head home and snuggle.
So instead of letting the winter months put me off of working out completely and instead of leaving my quest for my ideal bikini body up until the death when summer is just around the corner, I've been working out at home, after all summer bodies are made in the winter. I've been trying to work on my abs, desperately seeking a more defined stomach, here you will find some of my favourite home workout exercises. For me, music plays a key role in my workouts, without it I struggle to find the motivation. So, before you start make sure you've got an upbeat playlist!
Obviously, I try and do other forms of exercise along side this such as going for a run but for the times when you just really don't fancy going to the gym or you can't make it for one reason or another then this is ideal. I recommend you have a mat for the floor exercises otherwise it would make for a very uncomfortable workout.
Star jumps/ jogging on the spot
To get the blood pumping and to warm up star jumps are fantastic. If star jumps aren't for you, jogging on the spot works equally as well. I'd recommend approximately 5 minutes of warming up.
Long arm crunch
Try and do 3 sets of 12 reps. If you find this too tricky to begin with, maybe start at 2 reps. This is more and less a traditional crunch, the only difference being your arms are straightened behind you.
- Lie on your back.
- Bend your knees and have your arms straightened out behind you.
- Ensure your feet are flat on the floor.
- Curl yourself and move upwards and forwards so that your head, neck and shoulder blades lift off of the floor.
- Hold for a moment and the move slowly back down.
The reverse crunch
Again, aim for 3 sets of 12 reps. The reverse crunch ensures that your abs are continually activated, get yourself in a position as if you were to perform a traditional crunch (lie on your back completely straight on the floor, as above) next, bend your legs and lift your feet, your legs should be at approximately a 90 degree angle to the floor. Reach your legs up towards the ceiling and then contract them back to your original 90 degree position. Try and ensure that this is slow and controlled and try not to let your legs touch the floor.
Again, your starting position should be laying flat on the floor, with your arms extended straight out above your head. Lift your arms and your legs up towards the ceiling with the aim of your fingers touching your toes.
If you're stuck with how to do this move, then check out this link, http://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Jack-Knife-Sit-Up, I found it super useful as it includes both pictures and videos.
The classic pushup
- Once your down on the floor make sure that your hands are at a distance which is slightly more than shoulder width apart.
- As everybody is different, angle your hands in a way which is comfortable to you.
- Lift yourself up so you are in a plank position (your body is held up by your hands and your heels should be off of the ground)
- Bend your elbows in order to lower your body closer to the floor. Aim to lower yourself until your chest touches to floor. This is known as the downward phase.
- Finally, push yourself up away from the floor, straightening your elbows. This is known as the upward phase, surprise surprise.
- Repeat. Aim to do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Pushup with a single leg raise
Exactly the same as a classic push up (repeat stages 1-6) but you guessed it - 'during the downward phase' raise one leg. Alternate legs on each rep. This is slightly trickier than your standard push up so for this one I'd aim for just 2 sets of 12 reps.
To aid with getting a firm bum and thighs, squats are fantastic. Aim to do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart.
- Stand either with your hands by your sides or for extra balance have them out in front of you.
- Bend your knees in order to lower yourself, your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
- Ensure your back is kept straight at all times and make sure that your knees do not come out beyond your toes.
- Repeat stages 1-5. Ensuring movements are slow and controlled.
These are just a few of my favourite at home workout techniques. There are obviously an abundance of others which could be done. It's all about what works for you and what you feel comfortable with. What do you do to try and stay fit? I'd love to hear about anything that you'd recommend!
Want to do Yoga at home too? Check out the top Yoga Channels on YouTube.
Check out Lily's Blog: Lily Daisy