12 Best At-Home Workouts You Can Do Without Any Equipment

As we start to spend more time at home, we might lose track of our meal schedule, daily routine and physical activity. At times like these, you may give yourself time to process what is going on and ensure your mental wellbeing. After this vital step, you may try to adjust to your normal physical activity. Especially while we feel overwhelmed, our savior will be at-home workouts, which will help us to sustain both our mental and physical health. After gaining physical strength back, you will feel more motivated, thus you will go through struggles easier. To help you start exercising at home, here are 12 at-home workouts you can do without any equipment.

Warm-Up!

First, let’s start with a warm-up. This step is essential to prepare your body for both your at-home workouts and gym workouts. Your warm-up dilates blood vessels to give muscles the oxygen they need for the workout and flexes them. You need to raise your heart rate slowly, so start with a low heart rate cardio to prepare both your respiratory and circulatory systems. Five to ten minutes of warm-up will be sufficient, keeping in mind that if you are planning to do an intense workout, you need to increase the warm up time. 

1. Squat

A nicely done squat works your lower body muscles, especially the glutes and thighs. First, place your feet in alignment with your shoulders, and angle toes 30 degrees outward. Tuck your abs in, look forward and squat down. 

Squat - Best At-Home Workouts

Attention!

  • Don’t give your weight to your knees, focus on your glutes.
  • Heels must always stay on the floor.
  • Your knees shouldn’t point forward or inward.
  • Your knees shouldn’t pass over your toes.
  • Keep your lower back neutral, don’t arch or hunch it.

If you want to try some different variations, you can do sumo squats or squat side leg lifts.

 

2. Split Lunge 

The split lunge is another good exercise for glutes, thighs, and also works the calves, so it works the full lower body. Basically, you step one leg forward and lunge, keeping your upper body straight and face looking forward. Lunge until your knees make a 90-degree angle and then push through your front leg to get back to starting position.

Split Lunge

Attention!

  • Your front knee shouldn’t pass your toes.
  • Your weight should be on your front heel, not on your knee or lower back.

If you want to go one step further, you can perform a reverse lunge, or add some weight with water bottles.

 

3. Bridge

For the bridge, you may use a mat or a rug to have a softer surface for your back. Lie on your back and bend your knees while your feet are on the ground. Raise your core to make a straight line from your head to knees and squeeze your glutes at the top. Finally, lower your core down to the starting position. The bridge exercise will work your glutes, back, and abs.

Bridge - Best At-Home Workouts

Attention! 

  • Don’t over-arch your back, try to maintain the straight line.
  • Your feet should fully touch the ground, don’t raise your heels.

 

4.Russian Twist

Russian twists are a great exercise to work your core, and especially the abs. Start by sitting on the floor, bending your knees while your feet are on the ground. Lower your back 45 degrees, keeping it straight. Rotate your upper body while keeping your abs tight.

Russian Twist

Attention!

  • There should be a straight line through the pelvis, back, and neck.

 You can add weight to your hands, or raise your legs from the floor to work your abs deeper.

 

5. Plank

The plank is one of the best at-home workouts that use your own body weight to work your abs, core, chest, and arms. Start by getting on all fours. You can either do planks on your hands or forearms. Stretch your legs behind you and stay there as long as you can. 

Plank - Best At-Home Workouts

Attention!

  • Arms should be parallel to each other.
  • Legs and upper body should form a straight line. Don’t curve or hunch your back.

 

6. Mountain Climber

Mountain climbers are a good exercise to raise your body heat, is effective for cardio and works your abs and arms. Start by getting into a plank position on your hands, pulling your alternating knees toward your abs. If you are a beginner, you can start slowly, and when you want to increase the heat, pull your knees faster like you are running. 

Mountain Climber - Best At-Home Workouts

Attention!

  • Your back should be straight.
  • Arms should align with shoulders and must be kept straight.

 

7. Leg Drop

To start, lie on your back and raise your legs straight. Then, with your core engaged, lower your legs as low as possible. With this at-home workout, you will work your lower abs, an area generally neglected in normal workouts. 

Leg Drop

Attention!

  • Don’t arch your back. if you need support, put your hands under your lower back.

 

8. Superman 

Laying face down, stretch your arms parallel to your head with your palms facing the floor. Engaging your core, lift your arms and legs up to the highest point you can without hurting yourself.

Superman - Best At-Home Workouts

Attention!

  • Be careful with your neck and your back.
  • Don’t push yourself too much.

9. Push up

A classic push up will work your arms and chest very effectively and increase body heat. It’s one of the exercises that is suitable for at-home workouts because none of the variations require any equipment. Just get into the plank position and slowly lower your body and then get back to plank.

Push Up - Best At-Home Workouts

Attention!

  • Your arms should align with your shoulders.
  • Form a straight line through your head to your heels.
  • Don’t hunch or arch your back.

If you want to do an easier version, you can place your knees on the floor.

 

10. Fire Hydrant

One of the best exercises for glutes is definitely the fire hydrant, and we believe you will feel the burn immediately. First, get into the tabletop position and lift one leg up in a bent position. Lower your leg and repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Fire Hydrant

Attention!

  • Your back should be neutral.
  • Be careful with the knee on the floor, you might want to place a rug under your knees.
  • Arms should align with shoulders.

11. Tricep dip

Don’t forget your arms and triceps during your at-home practice. For the triceps dip, you only need a chair or a low table. Place your hands on the chair or table, while your back is turned to it. Lower your body and then push yourself up using your triceps. If you want a more challenging version, increase the distance between your heels and chair.

tricep dip

Attention!

  • Keep your back straight.
  • Don’t put your weight on your knees.

12. Quadruped Limb Raises

Quadruped limb raises mainly work your muscles along your spine, which will extend your torso. This at-home workout is also good for your balance. Let’s start by getting into the tabletop position, knees, and hands on the floor. Extend your right arm and left leg, forming a straight line from your heel to the tip of your hand and hold it for 2 seconds. Then get back to the tabletop position and repeat with the left arm and right leg. 

Quadruped Limb Raises

Attention!

  • Your spine should be neutral.
  • You may put something soft, like a mat, under your knees.
  • Be careful with your neck.

You can perform these at home-workout sets of 12×3 or adjust the numbers according to your comfort level.

 

Cool Down 

Finally, let’s close our at-home workout with a cool down. After the workout, your heart rate and body temperature are still high and blood vessels are dilated. Now, you need to lower them slowly. Stretching is a good option for this.  Stretching helps to reduce the lactic acid in your muscles and can help reduce cramping and soreness.

 

Related: The Way to Success in Fitness is to Track Tour Progress

Yoga and Menstruation: Poses to Avoid and Poses that Help

Practicing yoga while on your period is still a controversial issue in the yoga world. Many practitioners believe that practicing yoga should be minimized. The poses practiced should be selected carefully during this time. Others feel that it is time to just rest. Menstruation is, of course, not a reason to avoid practicing yoga. But many women prefer to rest during those days of the month and spend time looking within. Each woman should decide which practice is appropriate for her body. It is important to listen to your body during this time. Each woman looks at menstruation and the need for her body and soul differently.

 

On the other hand, practicing yoga can have a positive effect on hormonal, mental, and physical health during this time. Despite the fact that there are some asanas that should be avoided during the menstruation period. There are also many beneficial asanas that help reduce its unwelcome effects.

Doing Yoga in Nature

Benefits of Yoga during Menstruation

The menstrual cycle of a woman can vary depending on the weather conditions, her diet, her stress level, and other factors. Women can become more sensitive, increasing their level of awareness…

Mood swings due to hormonal changes may be an unfortunate side effect. Practicing yoga can help to minimize these hormonal imbalances. Meditation and breathing or yoga nidra are good choices for those who prefer to rest during this time. The yin poses of yoga, which can be described as gentle poses, can be practiced longer. This type of practice helps women to become more grounded and tap into their inner strength.

Practicing yoga may also improve the quality of sleep by prolonging a deep sleep state, which helps women allocate some time for themselves.  Yoga nidra, or yogic sleep, may also be practiced by women who prefer to take things easy during her period.

It is believed in yoga that energy flows to a chosen point by focusing the attention on a specific area of the body (dharana).  Sending deep breaths to a cramping area may relieve specific pains. Using this concentrated breathing during practicing yoga poses could also minimize the cramps in the abdominal area.

Yoga Poses to Practice during Menstruation

If you decide to practice yoga while menstruating, you should be sure to listen carefully to your body’s cues. The following poses can help you reduce the side effects of menstruation.

1) Forward Fold Poses

Practicing gentle forward bend asanas ensures that the blood flows towards the uterus by gently increasing intra-abdominal pressure. This creates a massage effect on the abdominal and pelvic areas and eliminates cramping and heavy bleeding. Combining the poses with concentrated breathing can help to calm the mind.

Forward Fold Poses

The following three forward fold poses can be practiced during menstruation with the support of cushions or a bolster. Be sure to fold forward gently while doing yoga during your period and do not force yourself…

Here are some basic forward fold poses that you can try:

  • Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Forward Bend Pose)
  • Seated Forward Bend (Place a bolster on your quadriceps.)
  • Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (Place a bolster on your leg.)

2) Gentle Twisting Poses

Gentle twisting asanas with an accurate exhalation can help your lower back pain, cramping, and congestion. It is important to take a deep breath before getting into position and twist when you exhale. However, some of the specific twistings pose in yoga can be overstimulating for your pelvic and abdominal areas so it is recommended that they are practiced with caution during menstruation…

Gentle Twisting Poses

Practicing the following twisting yoga poses gently can massage the pelvic area and minimize lower back pain. Remember to use blankets or a bolster under your knees, and don’t forget to breathe.

  • Parivrtta Sukhasana (Easy Twist Pose)
  • Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclining Spine Twist)

3)  Gentle Backbend Poses

Supported gentle backbends could also be very efficient in reducing menstrual pain and pelvic discomfort. Backbend poses to open the front of the body and allow the breath to reach the pelvic area more comfortably. Strong backbends should not be practiced as they may cause undue pressure to the pelvic ligaments.

Yoga and Menstruation: Poses that Help

The following backbends not only help to relieve menstrual cramps but also are good for pains in the shoulders and back…

  • Supported Supta Vajrasana (Supported Reclined Thunderbolt Pose – Place a bolster or pillow under your back.)
  • Cobra Pose
  • Supported Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose – Place a yoga block under the sacrum.)

Yoga Poses to Avoid during Menstruation 

Some yoga poses are described as ‘contraindicated,’ which means that they are inadvisable for the practitioners. The more known yoga schools forbid some of the yoga poses during menstruation and encourage women to take a break during that time of the month.

Backbends and Inversions

Although some poses help to reduce the side effects of the menstrual flow. Poses like inversions should not be practiced as they may affect the expulsion of the menstrual blood.

It is believed that gravity helps the downward flow during menstruation and practicing inversions causes the direction of the blood flow to change due to gravity. But researchers have proved that gravity has no effect on this downward flow by observing the menstruation of women astronauts in the zero-gravity of space.

In the yoga world, the reason why inversions are inadvisable during a woman’s period is that the energy flows downward in the body at this time. This energy, called apana-vayu, naturally helps to move the urine and blood safely out of our bodies. Therefore, practicing inversions may negatively affect this energy flow.

Yoga and Menstruation: Poses to Avoid

Furthermore, you should not be practice deep backbends because they may create undue pressure and stress on the pelvic area. You should also avoid deep twisting for the same reason. Practicing these types of deep poses may cause an increase in contractions if there is still pain and spasms in the pelvic area.

Here are some yoga poses you should avoid while menstruating:

  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana – Handstand
  • Salamba Sirsasana – Headstand
  • Salamba Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana – Full Wheel Pose
  • Navasana – Boat pose

There are many asanas to choose from when practicing yoga during your period and some to avoid. But you should choose for yourself the ones that are most comfortable for you during this time. You know your body best., Remember these useful tips to help you listen to your body and follow your feelings while practicing yoga.

 

Namaste.

 

Related: What You Should Eat While on Your Period

 

 

All You Need to Know About: Working Out on an Empty Stomach

You may be surprised by the answers you get when you ask about doing cardio on an empty stomach…

There are two types of people doing sports:

  1. Those who eat something before working out.
  2. Those who work out on an empty stomach.

So, which one is right?

Does Cardio Burn More Fat on an Empty Stomach?

In short, yes. Some research shows that exercising on an empty stomach burns 20% more fat. The fuel your body burns in order to produce energy depends on many factors. Whether you ate something before your exercise or not is a big contributor. Your body tends to use the foods you ate recently first. If you haven’t eaten anything recently, your body will not be able to find its primary fuel and it will turn to its own stock, using it as the fuel it needs for the workout.

Working Out on an Empty Stomach

However, this also depends on your exercise program. The more simple the exercise, the more fat you burn during the exercise. For example, if you take a light-paced walk for 30 minutes at a constant speed, you will burn about 200 calories. If you do it on an empty stomach, your energy production levels will be lower, it will be easier to burn fat, and you will burn more fat.

On the other hand, if you are going to have a high performance running training, your body will burn carbohydrates rather than fat. If you do intense exercise, your body cannot use fats fast enough; it will burn some fat and some carbohydrates. You should not conclude that slow and steady training is more advantageous based on this. With slow-paced exercise, you burn fat during the training, predominantly. With intense interval training programs, you trigger your metabolism and maintain fat burning even after the training.

Working Out on an Empty Stomach

What If You Have No Energy to Working Out on an Empty Stomach?

Doing cardio before breakfast can certainly be useful, but if you really feel you don’t have any energy to start exercising, it is a bit pointless. There are some energy stores in your muscles and fat stores in your body for exercise. Your liver provides glucose for your body, which you don’t need or use until you run out the glycogen stores in your muscles. Depending on what you ate the day before and how intensely you exercise, your body does not need the support of your liver glycogen stores for approximately 1-1.5 hours.

In other words, you do not have any obstacles to exercising on an empty stomach for up to 1 hour. If you are going to do intense training or exceed 1 hour, it is important to replenish your energy stocks (with an energy bar or gel, for example). You should never forget that post-training nutrition is the most important thing for your muscles. Doing exercise on an empty stomach prepares your body for the nutrients you will consume after the exercise. Your body absorbs proteins better and determines where they will be used. Carbohydrates and proteins reach your muscles and feed them, instead of being stored as fat.

Related: Vivoo Energy Box

exercising on an empty stomach

When Working Out on an Empty Stomach Will Be a Problem?

If your health is generally in good condition, you will not have many disadvantages when doing cardio on an empty stomach. However, those who are on a low-calorie diet may face some difficulties. The reason behind this is that there is not enough fuel available in the liver. Since they cannot regenerate glycogen storages efficiently, they may also encounter some problems in recovery between workouts. It should be underlined that this is not a serious threat to health. Your body will give you signals when you reach your limits and it is the time for you to stop. Your appetite may also be affected after the training. A study shows that runners who spend 1 hour on the treadmill without eating anything felt more hungry after training.

Working Out on an Empty Stomach

A Matter of Personal Preferences

The matter of exercising on an empty stomach begins and ends in the mind. If you think that you will not have enough energy and pass out when exercising on an empty stomach and feel the need to eat something, then eat something. This is a “mind over matter” subject, as well… If you think you can do it, then you can. 

 

The Way to Success in Fitness is to Track Tour Progress

Common mistakes made when starting an exercise routine are goals that are impossible to reach, and sufficient time to reach these goals. First, you must set a healthy and reasonable goal, and determine the time to achieve this goal.

In the beginning, we all have more than enough motivation, confidence, and enthusiasm. After a week or two of exercising, the confidence and enthusiasm leave their places to boredom and weariness. With the loss of motivation, the exercise and diet routine starts to be disrupted, and another attempt of living healthier comes to the inevitable end: “Giving up”.

During the process, great challenges are waiting for you.

You should know that if it was easy everyone would do it. If you really want to achieve your goals, stop expecting your body and your biological mechanisms to do impossible things.

The Way to Success in Fitness is to Track Tour Progress

We will set realistic goals.

We will set the correct time expectations for these goals. By giving priority to your favorite exercises we will make exercise and fitness a part of your life, not a period in your life. In this process, you will proceed with patience, determination, awareness, with the professionals of the subject if possible, and most importantly, without pushing your health to the background.

On the way to your goals, doing interlude controls and tracking are the golden keys to success. Even if you see your progress with your own eyes, your success will be guaranteed if you track the quality of the changes in your body caused by exercising and diet in detail with different methods and numbers. Not everyone can have the chance of using the fat-muscle analysis tools in sports centers and private establishments, therefore, it would be wise to use the up-to-date economical alternative methods.

Exercise to reach your goals

The urinalysis bar you will use at home, which Vivoo offers personally, will guide you to follow your progress. In the light of your results, it even makes suggestions to change your diet and works as a reminder during the day, if needed. We all need a coach for motivation in such hard times. We should benefit from recent scientific developments and make our efforts easier.

Vivoo: Learn Your Body's Needs with Home Urine Test Strips

There are different methods if you choose to base your measurements on your exercise performance.

If you wish, you can do a performance test. You’ll see how many times you can do the ‘burpee’ exercise in 30 seconds. It makes all your body muscles work. Once, you have warmed up for your workout at the beginning of every wee and then, test how many ‘burpees’ you can do while keeping the right form and keep track of it.

You will see that your efforts are never futile, you will begin every week with more motivation and determination.

I wish you all a healthy and successful month.

 

Choose Your Character, Unleash Your Inner Athlete!

One of the main principles of a healthy life is “exercise.” Instead of doing short-term exercises for specific goals, you should make it a long-term habit that you enjoy doing. Our character influences all of our choices, therefore it affects our daily routines and our whole lifestyle. Choosing your exercises according to your characteristics will be the most beneficial step for you when developing an “exercising habit” for a healthy life.

Are “individual sports” or “team sports” better for your motivation?

The people who prefer the individual sports concept are individuals who are in intensive communication with other people during the day and are in need of hearing their inner voices and focusing on themselves. Individualistic people who work on computers and have minimum contact with their colleagues prefer team sports. They are preferred for socializing, communicating, and a little bit of friendly competition.

individual sports

Individual Sports

My advice for the people who prefer individual sports; would be cardiovascular exercises such as yoga, reformer pilates, exercise with a trainer, local strength exercises with a partner or solo, swimming, jogging, walking, cardio cycle. The individual exercises in which the person concentrates on herself/himself, and physically strengthens while he or she is relaxing.

Team Sports

My advice for the people who prefer team sports is group exercises. For example, spinning, mat pilates, dance-aerobic, etc. Jogging groups, functional outdoor exercising groups, all team sports that can be played with co-workers or close friends. For example, volleyball, basketball, football, etc. and moreover squash, tennis, Crossfit.

For your preferred method of exercise, you should first see an expert and make sure that you are healthy enough for this exercise. Planning your exercises in advance as a part of your week will give you discipline and stability. The exercise program you prepare should include weight training for muscular strength. Cardiovascular exercises that support your cardiovascular system (jogging, walking, swimming, etc.). And restful exercises to relax and stretch all body muscles (yoga, stretching, pilates, etc.) equally.

Stay healthy with Vivoo.