Young athletes often worry about how they’ll keep up with training during the off-season. Right now, times are even more challenging with access to facilities being restricted and social distancing being put into practice. While there are a number of ways to ensure that your athlete copes best during this period without falling behind with training, knowing a few simple at-home exercises can be a good way to start. There are a number of exercises that can be done at home and don’t require any equipment. Plus, in addition to being a good way to support athletes that are stuck at home, these are also good every day, at-home workouts for beginners. With lots of variations, they can help you create easy workouts for kids or more advanced workouts for older athletes or adults. Whatever type of workout you’re looking for, here are 5 essential at-home exercises that can be done by all ages 365 days a year.
Push-ups are a classic but very effective exercise. They engage the triceps, pecs, shoulders, and core. The great thing about push-ups is that they can be done anywhere and there are lots of variations to make them effective for all fitness levels. When doing push-ups, it’s important to focus on having proper form, with your core engaged and your back flat. It can be helpful to visualize these as moving planks. Beginners can start by doing these on their knees, and all athletes can vary the distance between hands to engage different muscles.
Any horizontal pulling exercise is known as a row, no matter what you’re using for weight. Horizontal rows simply involve pulling the weight towards your body. These exercises work biceps, lats, rear delts, lower traps, rhomboids, teres major and a number of muscles throughout the mid back. Without equipment, you’ll have to get a little creative about how you do these. But, you can usually find something to make these work – a table, a countertop, a partner’s arms. Get creative and enjoy the many benefits these exercises provide.
Bulgarian Split Squats
All you need for Bulgarian split squats is a step, bench or anything else that you can rest a foot on. From a forward lunge position, you’ll want to simply elevate your back foot to be resting on something that’s about knee height. From that position, you lower your body until your front thigh is almost horizontal while keeping your knee in line with the foot. (Note: never let your front knee go beyond your toes). Finally, drive up through your front heel to return to the starting position. These exercises are so important because they help build strength, mobility, and stability.
The glute bridge isolates and strengthens glutes, hamstrings, core stability muscles, hips muscles, and lower back muscles. It also helps to stabilize the spinal cord. These are perfect at-home workouts for beginners because they can be done by anyone, anywhere. Simply start by lying on your back with your knees hip-distance apart. Then, engage the core and squeeze your glutes to lift your hips to a bridge. Hold, squeeze tight and, finally, return to the ground. One of the great things about this exercise is that there are lots of variations including single leg and adding weight on top of the torso.
While most of us are familiar with the basic plank, it’s easy to overlook how effective this simple exercise can be. Regularly doing planks increases core strength, decreases the risk of back or spinal injuries and improves posture, balance, and flexibility. Further, planks engage the core, biceps, neck and shoulder muscles, glutes and thighs. Planks are done by starting from a modified push-up position with elbows at 90 degrees and forearms on the floor. You simply hold this position, keeping your body in a perfectly straight position with your feet together and eyes on the floor. These 5 exercises are great at-home exercises for all skill levels and are an effective way to ensure that athletes are consistently building necessary strength, stability and mobility. Plus, with lots of variations, these exercises allow lots of room for athletes to grow and develop. And, the great thing is that once you incorporate these workouts into your family’s routine, there’s no reason to miss even a day of strengthening.