Family Room Workout Zone

Can’t make it to the gym? Try these at-home workouts.

Some days you just can’t make it to the gym. Travel, sick kids, or bad weather can interrupt your daily workout routine, but don’t let them become an excuse not to exercise. Even though you may not have weight machines, a treadmill, or a spin class at your house, don’t worry. You can still do a workout that torches calories and sculpts your muscles. Some of the most effective exercises out there require nothing more than your own bodyweight for resistance, and these are the exercises to focus on when you’re stuck at home.

From your upper body to your core and lower body, here’s how you can get a full-body workout in the comfort of your own home.

Upper Body

Push-ups are the go-to exercise for your arms and biceps, the muscles on the front of your upper arm. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, keep your back straight, and hold your body up. Then lower your body toward the floor while bending your elbows. Push your body back up. Work other back and arm muscles by placing your hands wider than shoulder-width or by placing your hands together beneath your chest, forming a diamond shape with your fingers and thumbs.

Tricep dips focus on the triceps, the muscles on the back of your upper arm. Sit on the floor or a bench, bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor in front of you. Then put your hands shoulder-width apart by your sides and lift and lower your rear while bending your arms to the back.

Core and Back

Oblique crunches are a great way to work your side abdominal muscles. Lie on your left side, place your left elbow on the floor, and bend your right arm across your chest. Then lift your upper body at the same time you bend and lift your knees up toward your chest. Lower back down and repeat.

Supermans strengthen your core, lower back, and glutes. Lying on your stomach with your arms straight out above your head, lift your legs, arms, and head off the floor at the same time. Hold for a second and then return to the starting position. You can also perform alternating Supermans by lifting your right arm and left leg then your left arm and right leg. Keep your head straight the whole time without turning your neck.

The bicycle is another effective abdominal workout. While lying on your back, place your hands behind your head and bend your knees so your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Now start to “pedal” your bicycle. As you extend your left leg, bring your left elbow up to meet your right knee. Then, extend your right leg and bring your right elbow to meet your left knee.

Lower Body

Work your legs, core, and glute with pass-though lunges. Stand up straight and place your hands behind your head or out to the side for stability. Then lunge forward on your left leg and lower your right knee toward the floor. Hold for a second, and in one fluid motion move your left leg back behind you and lower your right knee toward the floor. Do several reps of these before you switch and lunge with your right leg.

A second great leg workout is the frog hop. Stand up straight with your legs slightly apart. Jump forward, squat down, and reach toward the floor between your legs; jump back to your starting position, reach toward the floor, and then do a jumping jack. Repeat.

Try a lunge-squat-lift for a third effective leg workout. Lunge forward on your left leg and lower your right knee toward the floor. Stand back up, move your left leg out to the side, do a squat, and then raise back up and lift your left leg out to your side. Do several reps on your left side then switch to your right.