10 Indoor Workouts to Beat the Summer Heat
We all know that regular exercise is good for our health. Research has shown that it helps prevent chronic illnesses, is good for your heart, strengthens your bones and muscles, and can help you live longer. It also helps control your appetite, boosts your mood, and helps you sleep better.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderately intense aerobic exercise every week. That equates to about 30 minutes a day for five days. Moderate-intensity includes brisk walking, mowing the lawn, and even dancing. If you perform high-intensity workouts, they recommend getting about 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) each week. The CDC also suggests incorporating strength-training to work all your major muscles groups at least twice a week.
Now that it’s summer, it’s blazing hot outside. It can be hard to work up the drive to get your workout in when the sun is draining all your energy. If you are traveling and can’t make it to your nearest KUBEX facility to escape the heat, try these simple at-home workouts:
1. High knees
Running in place doing high knees is an effective workout that both targets and strengthens your inner thigh and outer hip areas. Be sure that you’re not just jogging in place, but rather bringing your knees above your waist to raise your heart rate and feel the burn. Alternate your hands and legs to maintain a good balance, and keep your core strong. As you hop from one leg to the other, make sure to stay on the balls of your feet.
High knees is not only a great cardio workout, but because your body tries to maintain balance on the supporting leg, you can get a killer workout for your lower body working the calves, quads, hamstrings, and butt.
2. Jumping jacks
This workout might sound ‘old school,’ but we promise it is a great cardio exercise. Stand with your feet together with your hands at your sides. Then as you jump and spread your legs open, simultaneously raise your arms above your head. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement and repeat.
Jumping jacks is a great way to improve your flexibility and help you get toned. It’s a full body workout as you engage your upper body, lower body, and your core. You can effectively work your calves, glutes, deltoids, and lats.
And if you’re tired of the same ol’ jumping jacks, try these variations to switch it up.
Burpees are awesome because they hit almost every major muscle group. Although there are different versions of burpees, the basic burpee is called a four-count burpee and starts in a standing position. From there, drop into a squat position with your hands extended out long on the ground. Then jump your feet back so your body is in a plank-like position, and immediately jump back into your original squat position. Then repeat.
Burpees aren’t for the faint of heart. If you want more blood really moving and your heart rate pumping, you’re sure to get it with this exercise. Just push your furniture to the side and get to work.
4. Jump Rope
Jump roping is cheap, portable, and another great way to get an effective workout in. No rope? No problem. You can still jump rope by pretending you’re holding a rope and doing the same motions.
Standing with your legs shoulder-width apart, jump 1 to 2 inches off the floor (high enough for the rope to slide under). Only the balls of your feet should touch the floor. When jumping, remember to keep your elbows close to your sides. You shouldn’t be moving your arms and shoulders, but rather your wrists.
To find a good rope that fits your body, place one foot in the center of the rope and lift the handles. The handles shouldn’t go above your armpits.
5. Mountain Climbers
These are brutal! If you’re wanting a way to get your heart rate up fast, while also engaging several other muscles in your body, this is it!
To start, get down on the floor and begin in a plank position with your arms and legs long. Keep your abdominals engaged and your body straight. Squeeze your glutes and pull your right knee to your right chest, then return it to it’s plank position and alternate with the left knee. Continue to switch your knees simultaneously and remember to keep your form to prevent injury.
Mountain climbers will work your deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, abs, quads, hamstrings, and hip abductors, so don’t be afraid of how challenging this workout can be. Work your way up, and try other variations of this full body workout.
You’ve probably heard of the plank before. It’s an easy-to-follow and effective exercise using just your own body weight. But don’t be fooled, performing a plank is not as easy as it looks.
To start, get down on the ground and hold your body tight as a board. Doing this helps you keep your form and reduces risk of injury. Lower your forearms to the floor with your elbows positioned under your shoulders, and your hands shoulder-width apart. Then step your feet back, one at a time while maintaining a straight line from your heels through the top of your head. Keep your head down, with your eyes slightly in front of your fingers. Then hold your abs and glutes tight, and hold it. Just remember to breathe!
We assure you that this full body exercise will help you build muscle and strength. For other variations of the planks, click here.
2. Squat jumps
You’ll really start to sweat with this exercise. When you work the lower body, you’re working the larger muscle groups–meaning lots of work is happenin’ there.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, begin by doing a regular squat, then hold your core tight and jump up explosively. When you land, bend your knees to prevent injury and lower your body back into the squat position. Try to land as quietly as possible, which requires control.
A lunge is a single-leg bodyweight exercise that strengthens your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, core, and the inner thigh muscles. Lunges can help you develop lower-body strength and endurance, and are extremely effective at evening out muscle imbalances.
A lunge is made by positioning one leg in front of the other with the front knee bent and not extending over the toes, with the foot flat on the ground. The opposing leg is positioned behind and bent with the heel raised from the ground, and the toes touching the ground. Lunges are so effective they are performed by professional athletes and weight-trainers. For different versions of a lunge, click here.
4. Push ups
If you want a great workout to work your upper body, you need to do the ol’ fashioned push up. A push up is great because it works your chest, arms, triceps biceps, shoulders, and abs.
A push up is pretty basic, but because you use your own body weight, it can be really tough. Using your own body weight is an effective way to tone up.
Simply get on the floor in a plank-like position, with your hands flat on the ground wider than your shoulders. Then raise and lower your body (chest to the floor) by using just your arms. Be sure to hold your core tight so you have the proper form and don’t injure your lower back.
5. Tricep Dips
Nobody wants flabby arms, and this workout will help you tone those babies up. Sit on a sturdy bench and slide your butt off the front with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Then slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. If you don’t have a bench, you could sit on the floor with your knees at an angle, and resting one foot on the opposite knee while raising and lowering your body weight.
These 10 exercises don’t take up a lot of space and can easily be done in your living room, Although they may seem simple as you’re reading them, we’re positive you’ll feel the burn if you actually try them. Try running a circuit with these exercises and alternating a one-minute cardio workout with one rep of strength-training. Repeat the sets 2-3 times to get your heart pumping and your muscles working.