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Top 5 Simple & Effective Workouts You Can Do at Home

Updated on May 3, 2018
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Caitlyn has a passion for food and fitness, two things that can compliment each other - or not!

Before You Begin

Remember, correct form and safety are far more important than lifting a heavier weight. Do not be embarrassed if a lighter weight or modification is needed to keep from doing the move right. Eventually, you will be able to use the heavier weight. It just takes hard work and patience with the body.

Also, take it slow. Faster is not always better! And don't forget to breathe!

5. Hammer Curl Into Shoulder Press

What it Works:
This combination move works the entire upper body, specifically the shoulders, biceps, and triceps.

How to do it:
Start in a standing position, feet shoulder width apart, weights in hand and down by your side, palms and weights facing the body. Curl the weights up to the shoulders, keeping the palms facing in (not down), and then press the weights up from the shoulders, fully extending the arms above the head. Then pull them back down to the shoulders and uncurl them to resting against the thighs once again. Repeat for a minute.

Modifications:
- Instead of moving both arms at the same time, try alternating them to give the shoulder a brief rest between repetitions.
- Lighter weights can also be used if necessary.

Notes:
- Weights or a resistance band are needed to do this workout, though water bottles and gallons can work as well
- Don't snap the elbows when performing the shoulder press or uncurling.
- Take this move slowly, focusing on keeping the core tight and breathing throughout
- Don't swing the arms
- Keep a little bend in the knees
- Be sure to keep control during the movements.

4. Fire Hydrant

What it Works:
This is a great move to really burn the glutes, but the shoulders, core, obliques, back, and legs will also get some work from this exercise.

How to do it:
Start on the hands and knees, shoulders directly above the hands and knees below the hips. Raise the leg like a dog at a fire hydrant, keeping the knee turned out the entire time, and press the leg back into a straight line, then bring it back into hydrant pose. Do this for thirty seconds on each leg.

Modifications:
Lower the leg slightly (still keeping the knee out) to take pressure off the back and hips.

Notes:
- Keep the shoulders away from the ears!
- Don't let the knee drop down. Keep it pointed out at all times
- Keep the stomach pulled in and tight through the movements
- There should be some burning in the glutes and obliques. Keep everything tight!
- Take is slow! Don't rush through the move.
- Don't let the back arch. Keeping the stomach tight will stop this

3. Weighted Squat With Knee Raise

What it Works:
Squats are a notorious quadriceps, hamstring and glutes exercise, but this version also tones the shoulders, back, and arms thanks to the added weight.

How to do it:
Start in a relaxed standing position, weights in hand. Load the weights at the shoulders, not letting them rest or letting the wrists drop, and bring the feet to hip-width apart. Keeping the back straight and chest up, lower the hips and butt, bending the knees after, and bringing the hips parallel to the knees (or lower if possible!). Drive back up through the heels into a standing position. Once standing, focus the weight on one side, drive the other knee towards the chest, and repeat, alternating which knee comes up. Do this for a minute.

Modifications:
- Use lighter weights
- Don't squat as deep
- Take it as slow as needed

Notes:
- This workout requires a weight or resistance band, but water bottles and gallons can be used as well. Whatever is around the house that adds weight
- When rising from the squat, be sure to really squeeze the butt and thighs to activate the glutes and hamstrings
- Don't rock back on the heels. Keep the feet planted!
- The back should not be hunched over or hyper-extended. it should be neutral, with the chest high and eyes forward
- The knees should never go past the knees when squatting, and don't let them open up or fall in. Keep them in-line with the feet.

This girl does it with a bicep curl, but it is not necessary!
This girl does it with a bicep curl, but it is not necessary!

2. Renegade Row

What it Works:
The Renegade Row is a total body exercise, with focus on the chest, arms, back, and shoulders.

How to do it:
This move is performed in a high plank position. Start with the weights in hand, kneeling on the ground. Plant the dumbbells on the ground directly under the shoulders, stepping the feet back until the back is a straight line. Be sure the hips aren't too high or low since this takes away from the abdominals. Spread the feet to shoulder-width and row the first weight to the armpit, squeezing the shoulder blade, then, with control, back to the ground. Repeat for 30 seconds on one side, then switch to the other side. No breaks in between sides.

Modifications:
- Instead of being in the high plank position, the knees can be on the ground. Keep the back straight and all the muscles tight.
- Take it slow when needed.
- If there is rotation in the hips or spine, decrease the weight and focus on keeping the body tight and stable.
- One weight can be used instead of two.

Notes:
- This workout requires a dumbbell or a resistance band, but water bottles and gallons can also be used.
- Do not let the hips rotate during this exercise! Keep the core, glutes, and legs tight.
- When rowing the weight up, don't twist the back. Keep the shoulders square to the ground.

1. Booty Burn Circuit: Two-Way Kicks, Bicycle Front/Back, "Mix The Bowl"/Reverse, "Stir The Pot"/Reverse, and Double Taps

What it is:
Eight workouts done without breaks for each leg/side

What it Works:
These workouts will burn the glutes, but they also tone the legs and core.

How to do it:
Start by laying on the floor. Turn to the right, laying the left foot on the right, right arm either laid out on the ground above the head or holding the head up. Bring the feet about 45 degrees forward, keeping the core tight. The top foot will be doing all the work for these exercises. There should be no rest between the exercises.

Two-Way Kicks:
With the foot slightly elevated above the bottom foot, flex the foot (there should be a tension in the shin) and pulse forward twice. Point the toe and then pulse back, keeping the core tight so there is no rocking, and keeping the bottom foot planted on the ground. Repeat for fifteen seconds. Be sure to breathe!

Bicycle Front & Back:
With the toe pointed, peddle the foot around as if riding a large bicycle. Try not to rock back and forth. After ten seconds, flex the foot forward and reverse the peddling.

"Mix The Bowl" & Reverse:
With the toe pointed, rotate the leg clockwise in a large bowl-sized circle. Keep the abdominal muscles pulled in through the whole movement. After ten seconds, reverse into a counter clockwise motion.

"Stir The Pot" & Reverse:
Jumping right in, keep the toe pointed and take the leg around in a wider circle. keep the abs tight to keep from rocking back and forth, using the other hand to keep some balance.

Double Taps:
With the toe pointed tap the ground two times slightly in front of the body, then take the leg up and over the bottom leg to the back in a high arch. Don't let the arch decrease! Do this for ten seconds.


** After 'Double Taps', do the stretch down below before flipping to the other side. **


Modifications:
- Make the taps closer to the body
- Take these as slowly as needed

Notes:
- Keep. The. Abs. TIGHT.
- Keep the pelvis and hips in line with the body

After The Circuit (for each leg):
Lay flat on the back. Bend the opposite knee of the one worked, placing the ankle of the exercised leg over the knee. Pull back on the bent leg slowly and gently, stretching out the glutes.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Bonus Workout! 10 Second Plank with a 3 Second Rest

What it is:
A ten second forearm plank hold with a three second rest

What it Works:
Planks are generally known as great toning exercises for the abdominal muscles, but they are actually great full body workouts! Holding up the body's weight is hard for the arms, shoulders, and toes, so keeping form means every muscle has to work.

How to do it:
Start on the hands and knees, then stepping back in the plank position, forearms and toes on the ground with everything else held above in a straight line. Shoulders should be pressed down away from the ears, eyes set 3-5 inches in front of the hands. Hold for ten seconds, then drop the hips to the ground for three seconds, and then go back into the plank position. Do this five times.

Modifications:
Instead of being up on forearms and toes, the forearms and knees are used. Be sure to still have every muscle tensed and to keep the straight line. Keep those abs burning!

Notes:
- There should be shaking while doing this exercise! It is not an easy move to do.
- Be sure to keep the hips from sagging or raising above that straight line. The glutes and thighs should be tight during the move. No hill or valleys!
- Keep those shoulders away from the ears!
- Instead of forcing all the weight on the shoulders and forearms, which will tire them out faster, shift the weight back to the feet. Be sure to keep proper form, though!

Final Notes

Be sure to warm up before the workout in order to keep the muscles from being strained or pulled when performing any moves. Consult a doctor or physician before starting any workout or dietary program. After the workouts, give the muscles focused on a nice stretch in order cool them off after the workout and keep them from hurting later on!

Finally, do your own research! Check out different programs, workouts, diets, recovery methods, stretches, and warm ups to find out what works best. Fitness is not one size fits all, and every body is different!

Good luck!

© 2018 Caitlyn Booth

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