A Quick Home Workout

Warm Up With Air Squats

Woman doing squats in gym
Hero Images/Getty Images

Before diving into any home workout routine, it's a good idea to warm up for five to ten minutes. The goal of the warm up is to increase blood flow to the muscles and increase body temperature. This helps prepare the body for activity and acts as a lubricate for joints, tendons and ligaments. The arm up greatly reduces the risk of injuries, such as strains, strains and muscle tears.

One simple method for warming up is to begin with a few minutes of gentle movement—walking, or marching works well—and progress to a greater range of motion and a faster pace. Performing air squats, slowly and shallow at first, and a bit more quickly and deeper after a minute, can help prepare the body for a workout.

Other good warm ups include jumping jacks, walking lunges and other dynamic stretching exercises

Home Workout - Step Ups

step up exercise

Use a step up exercise to build power and strength in the lower body. Whether you use hand weights, dumbbells, a barbell or no weight at all, you will build strength and cardiovascular endurance while keeping the stress on the joints to a minimum. By varying the pace, the step height and the amount of weight you carry, you can make this an easier beginner exercise or an insanely tough advanced exercise. Use this exercise as a part of a one-minute circuit interval routine, or perform 10-15 reps, rest and repeat for three sets. 

Home Workout - Dumbbell Push-Pulls

Push Up with Lat Row Exercise
Push Up with Lat Row Exercise. Jamie McDonald / Getty Images

 The next exercise can be modified in a variety of ways to make it a great core, chest and back exercise. It's basically a push up (or a plank) combined with a lat row. Start with two dumbbells of between 5, 10, 15 or 20 pounds, depending upon what is appropriate for your ability. While holding the dumbbells, assume a plank position. From here, you will either do a push up and then alternate a lat row (as shown in the photo), or skip the push up and just hold a plank and alternate the lat row from right to left. use this basic movement to vary the exercise to provide a challenge, but not so greatly that you break proper form—a straight back from head to toes, no sagging or arching. 

Again, you can make this a part of a one minute interval exercise routine, or just preform it as a stand-alone exercise of 10-15 reps and 3 sets.

Dumbbell Lunge

Dumbbell Walking Lunge
Dumbbell Walking Lunge. photo (C) Assembly / Getty Images

The lunge exercise is great on it's own, but when combined with hand weights it ups the intensity and helps build quad, glute, hip flexor and hamstring strength while engaging the core stabilizers.

You can make this exercise easier by going weightless, or make it much harder by carrying heavier dumbbells. You can also vary the length of each step and the depth of  each lunge. To make this an advanced exercise, you can perform an overhead lunge.

Use this as another one-minute interval exercise, or as a single exercise of 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Rope Jumping for a Cardio Blast

Jumping Rope for Fitness
Jumping Rope for Fitness. Scott Thomas/Getty Images

We may not give much thought to jumping rope as a legitimate adult workout, but the jump rope is making a comeback for adults as a 'do anywhere' cardiovascular exercise. The beauty of rope jumping is that it's portable, takes little space and you can get a great workout in a short time. A jump rope costs next to nothing and can fit in your backpack or computer bag and be ready when you are. 

You can use a jump rope during an interval training session to keep your heart rate up, add a minute of jumping in between body weight or strength exercises during a circuit training routine, or use it as its own 20 minute endurance exercise. The versatile jump rope is a great addition to any home exercise routine.

Side Planks

side plank
side plank. Klaus Vedfelt/Digital Vision/Getty Images

 The side plank is a must for athletes who spend most of their training and sport time focused on forward motion. Strengthening the sides (lateral stabilizers) can help improve overall stability, body alignment, balance and reduce the likelihood of knee, hip and ankle injuries. It also engages the core is a slightly different way than the standard forward plank or the basic crunch. Hold the plank position on each side for 30-60 seconds at a time, and work up to 2-3 sets. 

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