12 Exercises That Can Get Anyone in Shape

Exercises That Can Get Anyone In Shape

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Working out in a home gym is a huge convenience for many people. There’s no commute and no competing for gym equipment. The only issue is that there may not be as many resources for perfecting form while doing exercises. In a gym there are trainers or other seasoned gym-goers to ask for help, but at home, it’s a solo ordeal.

Using correct form for every exercise is extremely important. First, great form ensures the targeted muscle is getting fully worked. There are many exercises where a small sacrifice in form will lead to not being able to feel the “burn” in the desired area. Second, a breakdown in form can cause injury. Some common injuries are ones to the lower back, the knees and the shoulders. Any of these types of injuries would put a serious halt to one’s fitness goals.

Therefore, the following article is dedicated to sharing the correct form for 12 of the most popular exercises performed in a home gym setting. On top of that, the major things to avoid for each exercise are also listed. Let’s find out how to stay injury-free while getting into spectacular shape!

Tip: All of the following exercises (except plank) are best done in the 10-20 rep range for 3-5 sets, or as many reps as possible for 2-3 sets to start out.

1. PUSHUPS

HOW TO

Start on the hands and knees with the hands just outside of shoulder width at the height of the shoulders. Next, lift the knees off the ground and pretend there’s a straight line from the heel to the back of the head. The heels, buttocks and back of the head should form a straight line.

Then, break at the elbows and lower the body in a controlled manner until the nose is about an inch off the ground. Keep the shoulder blades retracted and push back up.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT let the buttocks rise above the imaginary straight line.
DO NOT arch the back.

2. PLANK

HOW TO

Starting on hands and knees, begin by putting the elbows on the ground at shoulder width and shoulder height with hands flat on the ground in front of them. Then, just like with the push up, lift the knees off the ground and keep the heels, buttocks and back of head in a straight line with each other. Squeeze the abs and hold this position until just before the imaginary straight line breaks down for 3 sets.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT let the buttocks rise above the imaginary straight line.
DO NOT let the back arch at any point.

3. GLUTE BRIDGE

HOW TO

Lay down on the ground with knees bent so that the tips of the fingers barely touch the heel with arms fully extended. Feet should be set at hip-width apart with elbows planted firmly into the ground at a 90 degree angle so that the tips of the fingers point to the ceiling.

Then, suck in the belly button and raise the buttocks all the way off the ground, driving straight up through the feet. Hold for a good second at the top and slowly come back down.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT push back with the heels.
DO NOT allow the knees to cave in.

4. SPIDER LUNGE

HOW TO

Starting on the hands and toes in a push up position, tighten the abs and drive the right knee forward, bringing the foot to the outside of the right hand (if this is too difficult, just bring it as far up as possible). Hold for two seconds and then switch legs.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT allow tension in the abs to cease.
DO NOT allow the back to arch.

5. PLANK TAP

HOW TO

Start in the push up position on hands and toes. Tighten the abs and, in a controlled manner, bring one hand to the opposite shoulder and then lower it back to the floor. Repeat with the other hand.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT arch the lower back.
DO NOT look up with the head while performing the exercise.

6. SQUAT

HOW TO

Start standing straight up with feet just outside shoulder-width apart. Hold the hands together in front of the body and turn the feet out very slightly — about 15 degrees. Break at the hips first, pushing the butt backwards, and then descend until the backs of the legs are parallel with the floor. When pushing back up, drive through the heels of the foot.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT break at the knees first.
DO NOT let the heels come off the ground at any point.
DO NOT let the knees go past the toes.
DO NOT let the knees cave inwards.

7. SIDE LUNGE

HOW TO

Stand straight up with both feet together and hold the hands together in front of the body at chest height. Keeping the back straight through the entire movement, step out to the right with the right foot about 2-3 feet and then break at the knee to bend the leg whilst leaning the body over towards the right leg. The left leg will be completely straight not having moved from its original position. Squat down slowly until maximum depth and then push up through the right heel, bringing the body back to the starting position in one fluid motion. Repeat with the left leg.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT lean too far forward with the upper body while trying to reach maximum depth. A little bit is okay.
DO NOT let the heel of the foot that is stepped out come off the ground.

8. SQUAT JUMP

HOW TO

Starting in the standing squat position with feet just outside shoulder-width apart and feet turned out 15 degrees, begin the descent of the squat by breaking at the hips and lowering the body. Once the back of the legs have become parallel with the floor, explode upwards. When landing, go immediately into the next squat so there is no pressure put on the knees by landing with straight legs and repeat. If the landing puts the body out of position to do a squat, quickly re-align to the starting position and keep going.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT let the knees come past the toes on the descent.
DO NOT let the knees cave inwards on the descent.

9. JUMPING JUNGLE

HOW TO

Also known as Lunge Jumps. Start by standing straight up with feet together and hands on the hips. Lunge forward with the right leg about 3 feet, and squat down, allowing the the left knee to bend and come toward the ground. When the left knee is about 2 inches from the ground, explode upwards by pushing through the heel of the right foot and switch the position of the feet while in the air of the jump. Upon landing, the left foot should be stepped 3 feet in front with the right leg trailing, as if the movement had been reversed. Repeat while trying to keep a rhythm and not stopping in between lunges.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT allow the knee of the back leg to smack the ground.
DO NOT allow the heel of the forward foot to come off the ground during the push-off.

10. SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT

HOW TO

Start standing straight up with both feet together and arms at the sides. To begin the movement, extend the left leg straight backwards while keeping it straight. As the left leg goes farther and farther back, there will be a natural tendency for the upper body to lean forward, which is good. Allow this to happen while keeping a straight back and using the arms in the most comfortable way for balance (or to hold a weight to make it more challenging). At the same time, ensure the planted leg also stays straight. There will be a deep stretch in the hamstring of the planted leg. Descend until the planted leg can no longer stretch, and then return to the starting position to repeat with the other leg.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT let the back round. If it does, the movement has gone too far.
DO NOT look upwards with the head while at the bottom of the movement.

11. REVERSE LUNGE

HOW TO

Start standing straight up with feet together and hands on the hips. Take about a 3 foot step backwards with the left leg and squat down until the back of the right leg is parallel with the ground. Return to the starting position by pushing through the heel of the right foot and bringing the left leg back to its original position. Repeat with the other leg.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT let the heel of the forward foot come off the ground while pushing back up.
DO NOT let the knee of the back leg smack into the ground.

12. WALKOUT

HOW TO

Begin with the feet just outside of shoulder width apart, and then bend down and put the hands about 3 feet in front of the toes, pointing the buttocks up at the ceiling. The body should be forming a triangle with the ground at the starting position with the top point of the triangle being the buttocks. To begin the movement, shift the weight to the hands and walk the arms out, one arm at a time, about 1 foot with each “arm-step.” Once the body has straightened out into the push up position with heels, buttocks and back of the head all in a straight line, walk the hands back to the original starting position.

WHAT NOT TO DO

DO NOT arch the back in the fully extended position.
DO NOT allow the legs to bend.

These easy-to-perform home exercises work the entire body and progression can be made by holding weight or wearing a backpack or weighted vest. For all of the exercises mentioned, it’s important to keep the core tight so the body is stabilized throughout the movement. Push the body near its limit on each exercise, but don’t overdo it and let form breakdown. Soon enough the body will start toning up in all the right places!

Sources:

https://redefiningstrength.com/best-glute-exercise-glute-bridge/
http://www.easyhomefitnesstrainer.com/how-to-do-spider-lunges/
http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Do-Reverse-Lunge-160059

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