Gyms and exercise equipment can be great for working out, but only if you have access to them. One of the most common excuses for not exercising, is lack of access to equipment. The most common reason given for not exercising, is lack of time (too busy). To help people overcome these exercise “barriers”, I have developed a simple yet highly effective exercise program that can be done practically anywhere and anytime. No warm ups needed.
For exercises to be practical for all ages, the level of intensity needs to be easily modifiable and the instructions/technique simple. Ideally, an exercise program will address the entire body (arms, core/trunk, legs).
The four exercises I recommend are: single leg standing/heel raises, step lunges, push ups, and plank.
Single leg standing/heel raises: standing on one leg is good for strengthening of all leg muscles (especially if done barefoot) and the hip and back muscles. Plus it is essential for balance. This exercise can be made more challenging by performing with eyes closed and/or adding a heel raise.
Step lunges: another good exercise for all the leg muscles–especially the quads and gluteals. It is also good for balance. This exercise is more challenging the deeper the lunge. Progressing to walking lunges increases the difficulty.
Push ups: this is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the upper body/arms. As body position lowers from vertical to horizontal, the percent of body weight being lifted increases. Vertical push ups are 5-10% of body weight. Fully horizontal push ups are 70-75% of body weight.
Plank: studies have shown this exercise to be the most effective exercise for engaging all the core muscles. Like push ups, plank can be made more difficult by lowering position from vertical to fully horizontal, and by increasing length of body being supported (knees to toes).
You don’t need a gym or exercise equipment to improve your strength/endurance/balance effectively. But you do need to make time to exercise daily.