Indoor workout: Tone up without leaving the house

By Susan Edmunds

There's no need to head out to exercise, writes Susan Edmunds.

Work those abs for summer. Photo / Thinkstock
Work those abs for summer. Photo / Thinkstock

It may be spring but there are still many days when the last thing you want to do is head outside for a workout. If it's raining or cold, there are still ways to tone up without leaving the living room. Try this workout, which develops strength in your major muscle groups. Start off with five minutes jogging on the spot to warm up before you start.

Squats

Squats work your hips, thighs and butt primarily but can also help improve core strength. Because squats work such big muscles, they burn a lot of energy and are effective quite quickly. It is vital that they are done properly to avoid injury.

* Stand just in front of a chair with feet hip width apart.

* Tense abs and hold them tight as you squat as if you were going to sit.

* Keep knees in line with toes as you descend towards the chair. Make sure they do not turn inwards.

* Hover just above the chair, then tense glutes to lift back up.

* Lift until almost in the standing position, then descend again.

* Do three sets of 10 repetitions.

Walking lunges

Tone up your thighs and boost your metabolism with this exercise.

* Stand upright with a water bottle in each hand.

* Lunge forward with one foot, not letting your knee go further forward than in line with the toe.

* When you are at the bottom of the lunge, push off from your back foot so you get back into the standing position.

* Step forward into another lunge with the opposite foot in front.

* Repeat this motion to walk across your room and back five times.

Tricep dips

Triceps are that trouble area on the back of the arms that can be very hard to tone up.

* Sit on the couch, with hands next to hips.

* Bend elbows and lower hips off and towards the floor, keeping your back close to the couch.

* Push back up and lower again without locking elbows. Keep arms close to your body at all times.

* To up the intensity, walk feet out or prop them on a bench in front of you.

Push ups

Push ups are a good way to work out your upper body and core. Keep abdominal muscles tight throughout.

* Lie chest down, with palms on the floor a bit more than shoulder-width apart, feet together and parallel. Keeping legs straight, push your body off the floor. Try not to bend or arch your back.

Sit-ups

Sit-ups must be done properly to avoid any possibility of injury to your spine, neck or head.

* Lie on your back, with knees bent and feet flat. Keeping them on the floor, tighten abs to pull your head, then shoulder blades and upper back off the floor. Pull up about half way, hold then release slowly to the ground.

* To work obliques - abdominal muscles on the sides - vary sit-ups by reaching to the left as you sit up, and then right. Do three sets of 10.

- NZ Herald

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