There are plenty of lower body exercises you can do without equipment, so you can keep your fitness up at home.
The self-isolation measures that have been enforced across the country to help combat coronavirus are keeping us all confined to our houses. While we can all agree that it’s important we all stay inside to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, that doesn’t mean it’s any easier having to forego so much of our day-to-day lives.
For the fitness fanatics among us, this adjustment is not an easy one to make. Especially if your home isn’t kitted out with any equipment, it can be hard to know how to stay fit. But it’s imperative we find a way. Particularly if we’re likely to be sitting for long stretches, it’s important for both our mental and physical health that we keep ourselves moving.
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We’ve rounded up some of the best lower body exercises you can do without equipment, so you don’t have to skip leg day.
A squat is a staple of lower body workouts. While a lot of people like to mix them up with resistance bands and weighted bars, bodyweight squats are actually the best way to polish your form and they can have a really positive impact on your posture. This is particularly beneficial if your job requires you to sit for long periods of the day.
Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, and then bend your knees and hinge forwards at your hips to lower your body down. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the ground, and then push back up into a standing position. Repeat 10 times.
If you wanted to make the squat more challenging, when you’re at your lowest point you can try jumping back into standing position.
There are lots of different types of lunge, but side lunges really activate your glutes, quads, thighs and core, making them a complete lower body workout. To start with, stand straight with your feet together. Keep your left leg straight while you step your right leg out to the side, bending your right knee and pushing your hips back. Your right thigh should end up parallel to the floor as though in a squat, and your left leg should be fully extended with your feet planted in the starting position. Then return to standing position, and repeat 10 times. Do the same on the other side.
Glute bridge dips
Bridge dips really work your glutes, and are also great for strengthening your hamstrings and core. Start by lying on your back, with your knees bent and your feet planted flat on the floor. You can keep your arms down by your sides or extended out from your shoulders.
Tighten your abs and buttocks, push through your heels and raise your hips off the ground. Your body should then be a straight line running from your knees to your shoulders. Squeeze your core, hold for 5 seconds, and then lower yourself back down. Repeat 10 times.
You can also do this with a resistance band round your knees, to make it slightly more challenging.
Stand straight, and cross your left ankle behind your right. You can put your hands on your hips or behind your head to keep yourself stable, but you may want to hold a wall for balance instead. Raise your right heel and lift yourself up onto the ball of your foot. Hold for about 3 seconds, then lower yourself back down. Repeat 10 times, and do the same on the opposite foot.
You can also add some weight to this exercise by holding a bottle of water in each hand.
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Wall sits target your quads, glutes and calves, and require good core strength and stability. To start with, stand with your back against the wall and your feet shoulder width apart. Step your feet out a couple of steps, and then slide your back slowly down the wall and bend your knees, until your thighs are parallel with the floor and your legs form a 90 degree angle. You can try holding this position for anywhere between 20 seconds and a minute, and work on holding it for longer every time you do it. Rest for a minute, and then repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times.
Bulgarian split squat
Bulgarian split squats are a real leg-burner, so make sure to cool down properly at the end of your workout. They’re also another exercise you can easily add weight to by holding a bottle of water in each hand.
Stand in front of a chair, step or box with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Then pick up your left foot and place the top of the foot on the platform behind you. Keeping your core engaged and your chest up, bend your right knee and lower yourself downwards. Make sure you don’t keep your back leg locked in place – allow it to bend naturally as you move through the exercise.
Once your right thigh is parallel to the floor, you can start to push yourself back up through your right foot. Repeat 10 times, before resting and doing the same on the other side.
Want more exercises you can do at home? Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest Strong In 10 workouts that can be done in your very own living room – with or without dumbbells. Plus, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.
Image credit: Getty