How you can do a total body workout at home

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Do an Easy Workout at Home With These Total Body Tips

Do an Easy Workout at Home With These Total Body Tips

Grab a chair and a backpack
How you can do a total body workout at home

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If you are an avid gym goer currently wondering what to do while staying home, a full-body workout — one that challenges arms, legs, core and glutes — can be done in the comfort of your house with stuff you probably already have. No treadmill, elliptical or fancy exercise bike needed — we’re talking breaking a sweat with the chairs and everyday items you have around your house. 

Be considerate

Be considerate

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If you have roommates or family members who are also at home, remember to keep the noise and distraction down so you don't offend them. Pick a room where others won't be hanging out and make sure there is nothing in the room that could be broken if one of your moves goes awry.

Warm up

Warm up

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Loosening muscles prior to a full-body workout is a must, and something everyone starting to exercise for the first time should know. Studies have shown warmups reduce the risk of injury and improve exercise performance. Completing a series of simple stretches or slow, low-intensity exercises can ease not just your body, but also your mind into the workout.

Go back to basics. Use your body weight

Go back to basics. Use your body weight

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Given the confined space and materials, your body becomes a valuable workout tool. Bring back school gym-time classics such as pushups, planks, mountain climbers and crunches. These moves require no equipment other than you and the earth’s gravitational pull. Repeat each motion 12 to 15 times. Gage your ability to do another set or go on to the next move. Here is how to plank correctly.

Begin with compound exercises

Begin with compound exercises

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Follow a quick warmup with compound exercises — moves that work more than a single muscle group or joint at once. These time-savers improve strength and flexibility, and burn more calories than exercises that work a single joint or muscle group. Though they save time, compound exercises require more technique, so hitting them while your body is fresh can yield better results. Start with basic bodyweight moves like the squat. This deceptively simple motion works both legs and glutes but can do a number on weak or injured knees. Here's how to do a squat the right way.

Follow up the squats with other compound exercises like lunge twists, flutter kicks and wall sits.

Utilize your bed

Utilize your bed

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Staying in bed is not a cop-out, because this time it's not just about getting enough sleep. Rather, the uneven surface of a bed challenges your core muscles to maintain balance. Reverse crunches and straight leg lifts are both exercises perfect for your bed workout.

Make use of your suitcase

Make use of your suitcase

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Go grab that suitcase, luggage, duffle or backpack from the basement and stuff it to meet your weight-lifting needs. Lift the chosen weight above your head while squatting or lunging correctly to add an arms element to an already compound move. Try your hand at medicine-ball side twists by substituting a backpack for a medicine ball. Sit, lift your legs and knees, keep your chest up and lean slightly back. Move the backpack from side to side, contracting your abs and twisting your core.

Swap the classic gym bench for a chair

Swap the classic gym bench for a chair

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Place the front of your toes on a chair and your hands firmly on the floor for an elevated plank. Turn the plank into an oblique crunch by pulling one knee and leg forward. Next, work your triceps with a set of chair dips. Hold firmly to the edge of the seat with your palms as you extend your legs and lower and raise your body above the floor. To increase difficulty, raise one leg. You will hopefully be well on your way to seeing the ways your body changes when you start working out.

Switch to isolated movements

Switch to isolated movements

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With compound moves complete, transition to exercises that engage primarily one joint or muscle group. Put on your favorite jams and then determine where you would like to focus your movement. For arms, do bicep or wrist curls using bags as weights. For calves, jump onto a short chair or a sturdy suitcase, using just your calves to propel your body forward (you might want to limit this to avoid a noise complaint), or stick to a classic calf raise. Stand, raise your heels until you are balancing on your toes, then lower yourself back down. If you miss the compound movements, use a bag in each arm as weights.

Pop on the TV

Pop on the TV

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There is fitness instruction available both through cable packages as well as free services on Youtube. Consider trying an instructor-led workout through one of these services. Yoga and tai chi might be excellent options to both burn some calories and get in some "me" time.

Dance it out

Dance it out

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Music is good for the body and the mind. Turn on your favorite tunes and dance like no one is watching. Dancing for just a half hour burns 165 calories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And on top of that, music and exercise can help boost your happiness hormones.

Cool down

Cool down

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There is less evidence pointing to the effectiveness of workout cool-downs than warmups. However, continuing your chosen isolated or low-impact movements at a slow pace and intensity for five additional minutes can help your heart and blood vessels ease out of the workout. Cap off the workout with a few gentle stretches and deep breaths.

Soothe sore muscles in the hot tub or cold shower

Soothe sore muscles in the hot tub or cold shower

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After finishing up the workout, have a quick snack and consider a cold shower to soothe any sore muscles. Both cold and warm water have been shown to reduce soreness immediately after exercise. Looking for more workouts? These are the best exercises for weight loss

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