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Turn your home into a gym! Get the body you want

April 15, 2014 09:33 IST

Turn your home into a gym! Get the body you want

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Brinda Sapat

Beginner-friendly exercises to get that gorgeous body you envy but don't have.

One really doesn't need to step out of the comforts of one's home to achieve the desired body. And you don't even need a trainer! So if time is tight and you have a deep need for privacy, nothing works better than at-home workouts.

Follow this beginner-friendly routine to get you started.

You will need: 

  • To round up a mat
  • A pair of dumbbells (3 kgs)
  • A skipping rope
  • A cloth duster
  • Suitable clothing
  • Pair of cross training shoes
  • Music that gets you going
  • An empty space with a full-length mirror

Please consult your doctor before beginning this or any other exercise programme.

Please read and follow instructions very carefully to prevent injury & for effectiveness. If you feel any pain, stop immediately and refer to your doctor.

Do this workout 3-4 days a week, alternating days.

IMPORTANT TIP: Always, through every exercise, keep your abdominals tight to support and protect your back, knees and ankles.

Warm up for 5 min:

Jog, do some jumping jacks, and skip.

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Photographs: Eduard Korniyenko/Reuters
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1. Squat curl, heel raise and shoulder press

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This is 4 exercises in one!

Stand with feet a little more than hip distance apart. Hold the dumbbells in both hands, palms facing front. Squat down (push your hips back and lower yourself as if you were trying to sit in a chair placed way behind you, and make sure your knees don't go past the line of your toes) and as you come up (don't jerk or lock your knees) do a bicep curl with your hands.

Next push up on your toes getting your heels off the floor as high as possible and simultaneously raise your arms up overhead, turning your palms to face front. Lower your arms, turning your palms towards the shoulder and lower your heels.

Go down into the squat again and then into the heel raise.

Do 12 reps. 

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2. Arm forward, leg side and squat if you like!

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Stand with a dumbbell in the right hand. Raise the right arm forward till it is in line with the shoulder, and simultaneously lift your left leg out to the side. Do 12-16 reps and then repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

You can add a single squat as you lower and lift the arm and leg.

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3. Burpees

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Start in standing position, squat down (keeping your knees in line with the toes). Get your hands onto the floor. Thrust both legs out to the back into push up position. Jump them back in and stand up.

Do 12-16 reps.

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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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4. Arm back and inner thigh leg forward

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Stand with the dumbbell in the right hand, palm facing the back. Turn your left toe out to the left side so that your inner thigh is facing the front. Raise your left leg up and push your arm backwards. Keep that toe turned out at all times!

Do 16 and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

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5. Squat reach down and lift

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Go into a squat maintaining proper alignment as mentioned previously and reach your hands towards the floor. Then come up to standing as you raise your right leg out to the side and take your arms overhead.

Squat down again and come up lifting the left leg to the side.

Alternate sides to do a total of 16 reps.

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6. Duster ham curls

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Lie face up, on the floor and place your heels on a duster. Pressing your heels into the duster and floor, drag your heels in towards your hips, squeezing the backs of your thighs lift the hips slightly as you squeeze them. And then slowly push the feet out again.

Do 1216 reps.

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7. Push up and row

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Get into a knee push up position, holding dumbbells in both hands. Lower your chest down towards the floor by bending your elbows. Push yourself back up squeezing your chest.

Then do a row with the right arm. Raise the right arm by bending the elbow and lifting it backwards and upwards past your waist.

Lower it down and do another push up.

Then do a row with the left arm.

Do a total of 10 rounds. 1 round = 1 push up, right arm row, 1 push up, left arm row.

8. Skip for 1-2 minutes, nonstop.

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9. Power lunges

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Stand with your right leg way ahead of your left. Lunge by bending both knees. Keep your upper body straight. The front knee must not cross over the toes. Jump and switch legs. Hold the abs in tight.

Do a total of 1620 reps.

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10. Full slow sit ups and twist

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Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side. Do not pull at your head with the hands.

Raise your upper body by tightening your tummy muscles and rounding your back. Go as high as you can and then slowly lower imprinting your spine on the floor one vertebra at a time. Count 4 counts up and 4 down.

Do 12 of these. Rest and then add a rotation, twisting to the right every time you come up. Do 6 to the right and 6 to the left.

If you suffer from a bad back, do only half sit ups, i.e. coming up only till your shoulder blades leave the floor, and no further.

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11. Slow back raises with alternate leg raises

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Lie face down. Place your hands under your chin. Raise your upper body till the chest comes off the floor as you raise the right leg. Keep your head comfortably positioned taking care not to strain the neck by looking up too high. Lower down and raise up again, this time with the left leg lifting.

Count 2 counts up and 2 down.

Do a total of 16 reps.

To begin with, you may do this cycle once. As you get comfortable, maybe 2 weeks into it; do the cycle twice.

Stretch

Easing the built up stiffness and improving your flexibility helps to loosen you up and increase the mobility in your joints.

Relax by lying down on your mat.

Stretch and lengthen your body by taking your arms overhead and pointing your toes as if you are being pulled in 2 opposite directions.

Pull your knees into your chest. Hug them and rock side-to-side stretching and massaging your back.

Drop both your knees onto the floor on the right and arms and head over to the left. Hold for a bit and then reverse.

Get the soles of your feet together, pull them in towards you with your hands, and push your knees out to the side. This stretches the inner thighs.

Straighten both legs up towards the ceiling. Hold onto your thighs or calves and pull the legs in towards you without bending the knees. Feel the stretch on the back of the thighs. Flex your feet and feel a stretch in the calves.

Bend both knees, and place your right ankle on your left knee. Hold onto the left thigh and pull it in towards your chest to stretch out the hip. Hold and then change legs.

Roll over onto your tummy and with your hands pull both heels into the hip to stretch the front of the thighs. Relax your upper body on the floor.

Link your fingers behind your back and raise the arms up as high as possible to stretch the chest, front of the shoulders and the arms.

Get into a seated cross legged position. Raise your right arm and lean over to the left, keeping the arm above the right ear. Hold and switch sides.

Drop your head to the right shoulder, then left.

Close your eyes and relax in seated position or lie down if you prefer. Stay there for 2 whole minutes focussing on relaxing your body every time you exhale.

Great Job!

Workout in place, let's shift the focus now to your food habits.

Cut down your fat intake. Substitute butter with olive oil, high fat desserts with fruits, fried foods with steamed; and so on.

Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 2-3 heavy ones. This revs up your metabolism and prevents fat storage.

Eat a protein rich light dinner 3 hours before bedtime.

Snack on healthy foods like fruits, raw veggie, nuts, whole-grain bread. Anything low fat and unprocessed.

Once you are on this schedule watch the fat melt away and get you in ship shape.


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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