WebMD BlogsFood and Fitness

5 Simple Do-Anywhere Exercises That Can Really Make a Difference

Gina Harney - Blogs
By Gina HarneyCertified personal trainerAugust 23, 2018
From the WebMD Archives

For the longest time, I didn’t think a workout really “counted” unless it involved driving somewhere with a locker room and cardio equipment. Then, I had children. Out of convenience and necessity, I started doing home workouts – and fell in love with them. .

If you don’t have time to go to the gym or studio, don’t feel defeated. You can still get a good workout with a small circuit of the following exercises. And, the best part: you can do these almost anywhere! (As always, talk with a doctor before making any fitness or exercise changes.)

1. Squats. Squats are one of the most beneficial exercises we can do. Think about how many times during the day we go from a sitting to standing position. It’s a LOT! Try 10-25 squats standing in front of the couch. Tap your booty to the couch and exhale, squeezing your glutes, to rise.

2. Lunges. Lunges are great exercises to do at home because you can travel around the house with walking lunges. It’s an efficient way to work your quads. When you sink down into your lunge, make sure to keep your front knee stacked over your front ankle. Make a wide stance so when you sink down, you’re creating 90-degree angles with both legs. If lunges are too hard on your knees, try a wall sit instead (30 seconds).

3. Planks. Planks are another functional exercise that is easy to implement. Make sure that your body is in a straight line from your head, all the way back through toes (or your knees if you need to modify). If you’re on your toes, press back through your heels, and no matter what, keep your hips in line with your spine. Tilt your chin away from your chest so your neck stays long, and take some nice deep breaths.

If a full plank is too much pressure on your abdomen (your core muscles actively “bulge” out), try placing your hands on the wall or a countertop instead of the floor. Pull your core in and breathe.

4. Leg lifts. Our glute muscles (buttocks) are notoriously weak, which can lead to lower back pain, weak core muscles, and hip pain. Stand in front of a countertop, holding onto it for balance. Tap one foot behind you, and exhale to lift your leg off the floor, squeezing your glutes. Try lifting it 15 times, then holding it at the top and pulse 15 times. Make sure to keep both hips squared to the countertop.

5. Bent-over rows. Our back muscles are often weak, due to our extremely tight chest muscles (from being hunched over our computers…oops… driving, or phones). For a bent-over row, hold onto some dumbbells, or some water bottles for resistance. Stand with your feet just under your hips, with a slight bend at the knees. Hinge forward from your hips, keeping your back flat (shoulders pulled back) and core braced. Lifting up from your elbows, bring them in towards your torso, engaging into your rear delts (shoulder muscles). Stop the elbows at torso height before carefully lowering back down. Try 15 of these!

WebMD Blog
© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Blog Topics:
About the Author
Gina Harney

Gina Harney is the blogger behind the healthy lifestyle brand, The Fitnessista, which reaches millions of viewers all over the world. She’s been featured on Greatist, Forbes, Buzzfeed, Shape, Fitness Magazine, and Well + Good. She’s the author of “HIIT It!” and the voice behind the Healthy In Real Life podcast. She lives in Tucson, Arizona.

More from the Food and Fitness Blog

  • photo of almonds

    Grab and Go Snacks for Type 2

    You’ve likely been there – heading out the door, knowing that you should grab a snack on your way out because you’re not sure what food options will be available at your destination. Whatever the ...

  • photo of gina leg exercises

    How to Get Strong, Toned Legs Without Squats or Lunges

    Squats and lunges are the go-to exercises for strengthening the lower body, but they're not the only options.

View all posts on Food and Fitness

Latest Blog Posts on WebMD

View all blog posts

Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD Blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Blogs are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD Blogs as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Read More