Maintaining a consistent fitness routine is all about working around your own schedule. Sometimes, an hour-long trip to the gym just isn’t on the cards, but that doesn’t mean you should totally give up on the prospect of any kind of exercise for the day. There are a number of simple yet effective exercises out there, which can easily be done in the comfort of your home (the best part: you only need a pair of dumbbells.) Mustafa Jamshed, the founder of Impulse Fitness, shows us seven exercises you can do at home when you don’t have a ton of time but still want to get your sweat on.
This is a Tabata-style workout. Each exercise should be done for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second break.
Approximate length of workout: 20 minutes.
Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Position your legs using a shoulder width, medium stance, with your toes pointed outwards. Begin to lower your torso by bending the knees as you maintain a straight posture and keeping your head up. Continue down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells to head height with your elbows out. Maintaining an upward posture, extend through the elbow to raise the weights together directly above your head. Pause, and then slowly return to your starting position.
With a dumbbell in each hand, bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by bending at the waist. As you bend, make sure to keep your back straight until it is almost parallel to the floor. The weights should hand directly in front of you as your arms hand perpendicular to the floor. Lift the dumbbells to your side, keeping your elbows close to the body and squeeze the back muscles and hold for a second. Slowly come back to your starting position.
Weighted Dumbbell Lunge
Stand with feet hip-width apart with a weight in each hand. Take a big step forward with your right leg and start to shift weight forward so that your heels hit the floor first. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your right shin is vertical. If mobility allows, lightly tap your left knee to the ground while keeping your weight in your right heel. Press into your right heel to drive back up to the starting position.
Follow the instructions above, without any weights in your hand.
Start in a plank position with your arms and legs long. Keep your abs pulled in and your body straight. Squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders away from your ears. Pull your right knee into your chest. As your knee draws to your chest, pull your abs in tight. Quickly switch and pull in your left knee. Simultaneously push your left knee into the chest using the same form, increasing the speed with every rep and keeping your core engaged and back straight.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor or in the air, hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head or on your chest. Gently pull your abdominals inwards. Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower back down.