Stay in shape this pool season with these simple and effective at-home exercises. Best of all, they require nothing but your body and some open space!
These simple exercises will work your upper body and core, respectively. Pushups, when done correctly, are known to increase upper body strength (your arms, chest, and back). It’s best to do this exercise at the beginning of your workout as part of your warmup. Planks are better for the cool-down portion of your workout. They increase core strength and balance, which leads to better posture, range of motion, and an increase in flexibility in return. Planks focus on your abs, and work to tighten and tone your midsection.
A classic gym class go-to, the jumping jack, is actually a very effective exercise beyond middle school fitness. This cardio exercise works out the entire body, and improves strength and endurance. As they tone your body, jumping jacks also help coordination. Form matters—arms and legs must be straight for the exercise to be most effective. Jumping jacks are ideal for warming up the body, but you can do them either at the beginning or end of a workout.
Sit-ups strengthen abdominal and glute muscles. It’s best to do them towards the end of the workout as a strengthening exercise. If you choose to do sit-ups as a cardio exercise, try doing them at the beginning of your workout to help your body warm and loosen up.
This set of exercises focus on the lower body: legs, thighs, and calves. Doing these exercises at the beginning of your workout is a great source of strength and cardio training. Now, for the how-to. The focus of these exercises isn’t how hard you’re kicking or raising your legs—it’s about precision and speed—keeping your feet off the ground without breaking form.
Try this full-body exercise in the middle of your workout, as a source of both cardio and strength. They’re super hard, but the more repetitions, the better!
This exercise does it all—mountain climbers work your abs, legs, thighs, calves, glutes, and arms. While it’s a cardio exercise, it strengthens the abdomen and tones the body. Try to time this exercise for the middle of your workout.
These are similar to burpees, but without the pushup. Again, this is both a cardio and strength exercise that focuses on the lower body. Jump squats also improve balance. It’s best to do this exercise in the middle of your workout. You can increase the intensity if you’re focusing on weight loss or calorie burn, but either way you’re bound to see benefits.
*Suggested sets and repetitions vary based on height, weight, and body goals.