New to fitness and not sure where to begin? Women’s Health has your back! Starting a new fitness regime in a gym can be intimidating, but these home exercises are the perfect springboard.
Springbok Sevens and Fifteens Women’s Vice Captain Zinhle Ndawonde shares some of the home exercises she does to maintain her strength when she’s not training on the field. These six home exercises are a must-try if you’re a beginner looking to get your fitness journey started. The best part: you can do them at home.
Ready, steady… Sweat!
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1/ Squat jumps
Targeted areas: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back and abdominals
(a) Stand with feet hip-width apart.
(b) Lower your body into a squat/seated position by bending your knees. Keep your knees behind toes and arms in front of the chest for balance.
(c) Jump straight up and swing your arms overhead. Return to squat.
Targeted areas: Quads, hamstrings and glutes
(a) Begin with your feet hip-width apart and lower your body.
(b) Push your bum back and imagine you’re sitting down in a chair.
(c) Watch your knees as you lower your body – don’t let them pass your toes.
(d) Engage your core to protect your lower back and stand up straight, then repeat.
Targeted areas: Upper-body muscles: chest, biceps and triceps.
(a) Start in a high plank position, palms wider than shoulder-width apart.
(b) Keep palms pressed on the floor and keep your feet together.
(c) Engage your core as if you’re holding a plank.
(d) Bend your elbows to a 45 degree angle as you lower your entire body to allow your chest to touch the floor.
(e) Press palms onto the floor as you lift your body away from the floor.
(f) Return to starting position, then repeat.
Targeted areas: Core, arms, back and chest.
(a) Start with your hands on the floor. Place your hands directly under your shoulders.
(b) Step your feet back, while keeping your body in a straight line.
(c) Looking down at the floor, tighten your abs, quads and glutes, and hold for 30 seconds or longer.
5/ Hip thrusts
Targeted areas: Glutes and quadriceps
(a) Keep your shoulder blades flat in the floor and your arms against your sides for stability.
(b) Bend your knees to about 90 degrees, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
(c) Keep your glutes squeezed tightly, while you lift up your hips. Hold for a second or two before releasing your glutes to the ground, then repeat.
6/ Side planks
Targeted areas: Arms, back and abdominals.
(a) Start with your body positioned on your side.
(b) Keep your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
(c) Engage your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from your head to feet.
(d) Hold the position without letting your hips drop. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.