You might believe that a good workout that engages your entire body needs a lot of time and effort. But what if all you had to do were five exercises to stretch and engage almost every muscle in your body as well as your core? The following are five such compound exercises that will work your entire body and you won’t even need to get any equipment for them.
1. Jumping jacks
This one will stretch your limbs and help you balance yourself better as well. It’s also a simple enough exercise that you can begin your workout with.
- Stand straight with your hands by your sides.
- Jump and open your legs slightly more than hip-distance while bringing your hands overhead too. Ensure that your elbows and knees aren’t bent.
- Jump as you move your legs back together and arms back down to the sides.
- Repeat as many times as you can for 40 seconds. Break for 20 seconds and repeat once more.
This one works your back and legs while also engaging your midriff and hips.
- Stand with your legs hip-width apart, toes pointed out.
- Keep your back straight as you lower your hips (and move them slightly back) to move into a sitting position.
- Lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Move your hips back up while pushing your heels down.
- Complete as many reps as you can in 45 second to a minute, then rest for 10 seconds.
A push-up, when properly done, can engage your entire body and boost your endurance.
- Start in a full plank position with palms on the floor and shoulder-width apart, arms straight and at 90 degrees from the ground.
- Balance your lower half on your toes, and keep your body in one long and straight line while engaging your core.
- Inhale, bend your arms and lower your chest to the floor while maintaining the straight line of your body.
- Exhale, bring your body back up to the starting position.
- Repeat at least 10 times, and increase the number of reps as your stamina builds.
4. Air swimming
This is one of the simplest exercises to strengthen postural muscles and engages the back as well.
- Lie on your stomach with arms extended forward and overhead.
- Lift your chest, arms and legs off the floor as you squeeze your glutes.
- Move your right arm and left leg up as the other two go and down while keeping them all off the floor. Repeat with the opposite limbs.
- Continue for 20 seconds, rest, repeat at least twice more.
5. Runner’s crunch
This one engages your core while also exercising your limbs and toning all your muscles.
- Lie on your back, then place your hands behind your head while keeping your elbows open wide to the sides.
- Sit all the way up while bringing your right knee to your chest and your left elbow towards the raised right knee. Your left leg should remain stretched and straight, a few inches off the floor.
- Lower your right leg and back to the starting position.
- Now repeat with the other side, i.e. your left knee coming up to meet your right elbow while the right leg is extended straight and just a few inches off the floor.
- Repeat on each side for five rounds.
For more information, read our article on Fitness.
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