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If the last few weeks have taught us anything then it’s getting creative with our fitness while limited to the confines of our homes. While many of us may find the lack of resources in our homes a tad inadequate to our regular training methods, Abhinav Malhotra, Fitness First, Elite Master Trainer has a different take on things. “Every workout needs to be performed with a goal in mind. Each exercise must ensure good calorie burn and increase overall body strength,” he tells Gulf News tabloid. “You can keep it simple and still achieve your fitness goals by including full-body functional movements in your home workout sessions. “Your home workout sessions should incorporate core stability movements, conditioning movements, pull variations such as pull-ups, back rows, dead lifts, and push variations such as push-ups, squats, and the shoulder press.” With this in mind, Malhotra shares five easy, yet effective, exercises to do in the comfort of your home.
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AIR SQUATS: Squat variations such as Bulgarian split squats, sumo squats and jump squats are very important. These exercises will make your workouts more impactful. The movement activates many large muscle groups and is great for building strength in the legs, glutes, quadriceps and core. Air squats are proven to be a performance enhancer and one of the best exercises for developing muscle endurance. Form tip: Place your feet shoulder-width apart with toes pointed outward and arms extended at the shoulder level. Breathe in and bend your knees as if sitting on a chair. Maintain your body weight on your heels and keep your core tight. Then slowly come back up.
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PUSH-UPS: A basic move in the fitness realm with numerous benefits is the ‘push-up’. A push-up is a combination of strength, endurance and stamina which involves the entire body, primarily the chest, shoulders and triceps. There are many different types of push-ups such as elevated push-up, one hand push-up, plyometric push-up, hind push-up and dive bomber push-up. If you are up for a challenge and have the stamina for it, then pump up the difficulty levels. Form tip: Start in a quadruped position with hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders and elbows fully locked out. Lower your chest towards the floor with a fist-size distance between your chest and the floor. Push back up to the elbow lockout position.
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INVERTED ROWS: Though a pull-up bar is an excellent choice for building upper body and arm strength, it can be difficult to perform the exercise without going to the gym or having the equipment at home. It is also not an easy exercise for everyone, especially individuals at the beginner fitness level. To achieve the same results with absolutely no equipment, get started with ‘inverted rows.’ It’s a type of body weight row which uses the same pulling movement as pull-up bars. It is typically used with special equipment such as a pulley machine or specialised weight bench. Fortunately, you can use the edge of the table or a steady pipe to imitate the equipment used at gyms for inverted rows. Form tip: Lie down, face up and hold on to the edge of the table. Pull your body up while keeping your torso stable and slowly lower your back down to the starting position.
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PLANK: The plank is an excellent core exercise that builds tension throughout the body and increases stability. It activates the deep inner muscles of the body called ‘Transversus Abdominus (TVA)’ which protects the spinal cord by acting as a brace. Plank variations such as the one-legged plank, stability ball plank, moving plank can be performed according to one’s preference and based on their fitness goal. Form tip: Plant your hands directly under the shoulders. Ground your toes on the floor and tighten the glutes and core to stabilise your body. Keep your neck and spine straight while focusing at a point on the floor that is a foot away from your hands. Maintain this position.
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BURPEES: It is considered as one of the most effective muscle conditioning exercises. Not only does it get your heart rate up, but it is also an excellent method to burn a lot of calories. Burpees improves your body’s balance and coordination. In addition, it ensures good cardiovascular health. The degree of difficulty can progress depending on the fitness level of the individual. Form tip: Squat down and lean forward, place your hands on the floor and kick back your feet so that you are in a plank position. Drop to a push-up so your chest touches the floor or simply drop to your knees to make it easier. Spring back up and jump into the air, reaching your arms straight overhead.