Exercises to try at home

Sometimes things prevent us from going outside for physical activity. When this happens, it’s still possible to be physically active. There are many exercise movements you can do right at home, or even during a break at work. Here are some of the most popular and easy moves you can try, indoors or outside!


Squats help build muscle, burn calories and is easy to do anywhere. Using correct form is very important to avoid injury. Your feet should be about hip-distance apart with your toes pointing either in front of you or slightly pointed outward. Keep your chest up, your core tight, and your shoulders down and back. Push your hips back a little and shift your weight to your heels. Your weight should not be on your toes. Bend your knees and bring your hips down as far as is comfortable. Do not let your knees fall past your toes. Straighten your legs and bring your hips up and forward to return to the start position. Throughout this exercise, you can keep your hands straight out in front of you, on your hips, or in the prayer pose.



Forward Lunges

Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a big step forward with your left foot. Plant your foot in front and keep your body straight. Keep your left knee over your ankle. Do not let it extend over your toes to avoid additional stress on your knee joint. Keeping your weight balanced on your left heel and right toes, lower your hips to the floor. Your right leg should bend at the knee. Keep your left knee over your ankle and do not bend it more than 90˚. Raise your hips back up and return to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat.





Lay on the floor on your stomach with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders. Keep your palms face down and fingers forward. Straighten your legs and flex your toes, tucking them underneath. Tightening your abdominal muscles and your thigh muscles, lift your torso and thighs off the floor. Keep your body straight – do not allow your back to bend, your hips to raise, or or knees to drop. Your shoulders should be directly over your elbows for the entire exercise. Hold this position for at least 5 seconds. Slowly lower your body back to the floor.

Side Plank

Lie on your right side with your knees bent and legs stacked one on top of the other. Engaging your abdominal muscles, raise your torso off the ground, allowing your right forearm to support your weight. Keep your right elbow bent and directly underneath your shoulder. Keep your head in line with your spine. Keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, lift your hips off the ground. Depending on your comfort level, you may keep your calves on the ground or balance on your feet. Gently lower yourself to your starting position.

Standing Crunches

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and your hands behind your head. Shift your weight to the right leg and bring your left knee up toward your elbow, crunching to the left side. Lower your left leg and return to the start position. Repeat with the other leg.







Start on your hands and knees. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders with your fingers facing forward. Step one leg out, then the other leg until you are holding a plank position. Or, pull your knees back slightly while keeping your toes flexed and tucked under to perform the push-ups from your knees. Engage your abdominal muscles and brace your torso. Keep your head in line with your spine. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor. Keep your torso tight and your head in line with your spine. Don’t let your lower back sag or your hips to hike up. Use your glutes and thigh muscles to help you remain stable. Try to lower yourself until your chest or chin touch the floor. Keep your elbows close to your body. Pressing through your arms, straighten your elbows. Keep your torso tight and your head in line with your spine.

Tricep Dips

Start by sitting on the edge of a chair or bench. Keep your heels resting on the ground. Place your hands on the edge of the chair or bench so your fingers are over the side and the elbows are pointed directly behind you. Slide your body forward so that your hips are off the bench. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body towards the floor. Straighten your arms and return to the starting position. You should feel this exercise in the back of your arms.

Tricep Push-ups Against Wall

Facing a bare wall, stand about arm’s length away with your palms flat against the wall. Keep your hands in line with your shoulders. Lower your body toward the wall, dropping your elbows toward the sides of your body. Allow your face to come about an inch away from the wall. Straighten your arms and return to the starting position.





wall sits virginia family nutrition programLean against a bare wall with your back completely flat. Set your feet shoulder-width apart and about two feet away from the wall. Slide your back down the wall until your legs are at a 90˚ angle, or as close as you can get. Keep your knees directly over your ankles. Hold this position. Keep your abs and core tight. When you’ve held this position for as long as you can, slowly stand up while still leaning against the wall.


Calf Raises

Place your hands on your hips or palms flat on a wall. Keeping your knees straight, slowly raise up on your toes, lifting your heels off the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly lower your heels back to the floor.







Mountain Climber

Start on your hands and knees with your toes pointed toward the floor. Your palms should be flat on the floor, slightly in front of your shoulders with your fingers pointed forward. Bring your left foot forward and place it on the floor under your chest. Your knee and hip are bent and your thigh is close to your chest. Lift your right knee off the ground and tuck your right toes under. Keep your right leg straight and strong. Brace your core to stabilize your spine. Keeping your hands firmly on the ground, jump to switch legs. Both feet should leave the ground as you bring your right leg forward and your left leg back.