Back to basics: 3 core workouts to do at home

Back to basics: 3 core workouts to do at home

Staying active during this pandemic is essential for your mind and body. If there’s one thing you should make sure you do each day, it’s get outside and walk.

Just 20-30 minutes each day has endless benefits – relieves stress and anxiety, improves your mood, boosts immune function, burns calories, strengthens bones and improves balance, just to name a few. Just remember to keep your distance from others and wear a face mask if you’ll be around other people.

If you’re looking for additional ways to mix it up, Orangetheory Fitness coach Kristin Johnson provided three basic at-home exercises that are sure to engage and strengthen core areas of the body.

Squats

This simple, low impact exercise targets major muscle groups in the lower body – glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. To ensure you’re doing it correctly, make sure your feet are set hip to shoulder width apart. Drive your hips back (imagine you’re sitting in a chair), and keep your knees aligned over your ankles. It may feel weird, but want to make sure you’re distributing body weight into the heels and ball of the foot, remaining anchored to the floor.

Easier options include setting a chair behind you, lightly holding onto something for balance or assistance. To make it a bit more challenging add weights or a jump to each repetition.

Pushups

This upper body exercise strengthens your chest, triceps and shoulders, along with core and lower back when done with proper form. After lowering to the floor, your hands should be positioned just outside shoulder width apart. When lowering down, lead with your chest and keep your head in line you’re your spine. When your elbows reach a 45-degree angle to your body you know you’ve done a full range repetition.

An easier option can be lowering your knees to the floor (vs. toes). To make it a bit more challenging, while on your toes move your feet hip width apart (making sure not to cave at your lower back or fall at the hips) or simply change your tempo.

Plank

This final exercise builds core strength and stability. Lower to the floor, set your hands or forearms on ground underneath your shoulders, shoulder blades slightly pinched (pulled down and back), belly button pulling away from your waistband, engage glutes/quads, and hold your head held neutral (eyes to the floor). Ideally you’d like to hold this position for a minimum of 1 minute.

An easier option can be lowering to your knees (vs. toes). To make it a bit more challenging, increase the amount of time you hold this position, or add movement like an arm reach or leg lift.

If you’re looking to push yourself even more, you can change up how you use each exercise.

  • For strength, do 8-10 repetitions with 3-4 sets each.
  • For endurance, do them in a timed circuit format (30-60 seconds each) with recovery at the end of each round. Aim for a total of 3-6 rounds.

Overall, no matter how you use these exercises they will help keep you healthy in both mind and body.

Click here to see more at-home workout options from Orangetheory Fitness.

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mountain climbers are also a good alternative to squats for those with bad knees.

  2. Google Play Store has apps by Leap Fitness Group with many in home programs.
    Loose Weight Apps have full 30 day programs that include the articles mentioned activities and more.

About the Author

Jaclyn Miller
Jaclyn Miller

Jaclyn Miller, health enews contributor, is a Partnerships Brand Manager on the public affairs and marketing team in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a graduate of Marquette University and has several years of marketing and event experience under her belt. Jaclyn keeps busy playing and exploring with her two young boys, cooking, and traveling.