Many people assume that to start strength training you need to invest in a gym membership or some at-home equipment. But that’s not the case! There are many exercises that you can perform at home with no equipment that will tone your muscles and help you build strength.
Research shows that strength training, especially in older adults, can provide meaningful health benefits like improved sleep and mood. So while you’re toning your muscles and burning calories, you’ll also be making strides in your overall health.
To help you get started, I’ve created a five-minute full-body strength training workout that you can complete without any equipment in the comfort of your own home. Each move hits a different muscle group, including biceps, triceps, abs and quads.
Start in a plank position with your palms flat on the ground wider than your shoulders. Point your fingers in front of you or slightly out to the side. Bend your elbows, lowering your chest toward the floor. Pause when your chest is slightly below your elbows. Push back up to the starting position and repeat 10 times. (You can modify this by lowering down onto your knees and performing the pushup from there.)
Lying with your back on the ground, squeeze your abs as you lift your legs straight up toward the ceiling. Begin lowering your legs down slowly until they are a few inches off the ground. (For me, I only lower to about 45 degrees to ensure that I keep my abs engaged and don’t overarch my low back.) Lift them back up to the starting position. Remember to keep your low back flat on the ground throughout. Repeat 10 times.
Sit on the ground and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor in front of you. Place your hands behind you with your palms flat on the ground and your fingertips pointing toward your butt. Press down into the ground to lift your butt up into the air. Bend your elbows to dip your body toward the ground, then push through the palms to return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
In a plank position, slowly begin to twist your torso to the left, stacking your feet with the right edge of the right foot onto the mat. Continue rotating the entire body to the left so that you are balancing on your right hand and the edge of your right foot. Keep your legs stacked and reach your left hand straight up toward the ceiling. Hold for 10 seconds before switching sides (so that you’re balancing on your left hand and the edge of your left foot.)
Stand with your feet wider than the hips with your toes facing slightly outward. Bring your palms together at your chest with your elbows bent. Squeeze your abs and look forward as you push your hips backward and bend your knees. Remember to keep your back straight as you continue to lower your butt until your hips are below your knees. Position your elbows so that they are inside your knees before pushing down through the heels to stand back up. Repeat 10 times.