Get your daily dose of exercise with these simple workouts at home, suggests Tan Yan Ni.
Working out shouldn’t have to be a chore, especially when there’s no extra time for the gym in your already packed schedule. Consistency is the key to staying fit. Just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise two or three times a week can be effective in maintaining muscular strength and endurance. Here are some quick exercises that require minimal or no equipment for effective muscle maintenance at home. They fit easily into most schedules and are a great way to help time-strapped professionals like you gain strength and carry out daily tasks more efficiently.
This exercise looks simple, but don’t let that fool you. It works the muscles in your entire lower body, including your glutes, hamstrings and quad muscles. Wall sits also increase muscular endurance and are a great alternative to squats.
- Start with your back against the wall and your feet shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be 50 to 60cm away from the wall.
- Slowly slide your back downwards until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Adjust your feet so that your knees are directly above your ankles (rather than over your toes) and ensure that your back is flat against the wall.
- Hold this position for 20 to 60 seconds.
- Repeat the exercise three times.
Stability Ball Straight Leg Bridge
This exercise works your glutes, hamstrings and core muscles simultaneously. It builds strong core muscles as a foundation for more complex workouts.
- Lie on your back with the back of your calves and heels resting on the stability ball.
- Lift your butt off the floor by raising your hips directly towards the ceiling until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to heel, keeping your core tight at all times.
- Bend your knees and roll the ball towards you until the soles of your feet are flat on the ball.
- Push the ball back out until your body is straight again.
- Repeat this action 10 times for three sets, with a 30-second break in between sets.
Side-Lying dumbbell external rotation
Keep shoulder injuries at bay with this exercise, which strengthens the injury-prone shoulder rotator cuff muscles.
- Lie on your left side with a rolled-up towel under your right armpit or right elbow.
- Bend your right arm at an angle of 90 degrees while holding a dumbbell. You can replace the dumbbell with a filled water bottle, or do the exercise without weight.
- Move the dumbbell in an outward arc away from your body. Keep your wrist and elbow at the same angle and do not move or rock the rest of your body.
- When your forearm is perpendicular to the floor, slowly return to the starting position. Focus on achieving maximum shoulder rotation.
- Repeat this action 10 times for three sets, with a 30-second break in between. Next, do the same while lying on your right side.