Like everything in life, getting in shape is no piece of cakewalk in the park (we just combined three idioms into one). But the Olathe personal trainers at SunPoint Fitness want to tell you that you’ve got what it takes to lose weight, trim fat, and tone up those lackluster buns. We know you do. You know you do. So, what are you waiting for? Check out these 5 key exercises to do at home, and you’ll go from “newbie” to “pro” in no time.
- A Butt’s Best Friend: Step-Ups
“It doesn’t take much to tone and define those glutes. Just do a few step-ups each day, and you’re on your way to a squeezable bum!”
Of course, our Olathe personal trainers realize that’s just wishful thinking. In reality, the keys to a bouncy bottom aren’t delivered solely through easy-to-do exercises like step-ups. But if you’re just starting to rediscover the benefits of a sculpted backside—strong glutes improve posture, strengthen back muscles, and help you fill out the bottom half of a two-piece—the step-up has obvious appeal.
Start off with a goal of completing 4 sets of 20 step-ups, and alternate your lead foot with each set. When you’re ready for more, add some height or take your workout to an actual set of stairs. Check out this instructional video for more advice.
- Take to the Plank
Your standard sit-up doesn’t hold a flame to a front plank. Both push your abs to the max, but in all actuality, you’re more likely to injure your neck or pull a muscle performing an improper sit-up than you are doing a plank. Also like a sit-up, front planks require no additional equipment apart from your body.
Front planks can be difficult to pull off, especially for beginners. Start with short spurts—try 5 to 10 seconds, or whatever you’re comfortable doing—and remember to breathe. And don’t overwork your hamstrings, shoulders, or biceps by going too fast. Patience is a virtue. For complete instructions on how to properly perform a plank, check out this YouTube clip.
Photo: recreation.ubc.ca via thechrista.com
- Side Leg Lifts (No Thighmaster Required)
Hip abductors are typically overlooked in normal everyday workouts, but they really shouldn’t be. This muscle group is responsible for lateral (side-to-side) movement, an essential function that all of us depend on to get in and out of cars, ride bikes, and help us balance. It’s this muscle pack that makes LeBron James move around in the paint like LeBron James.
Weak abductors also make you more prone to sports injuries. Side leg lifts aim to strengthen and shape that area, particularly your quads, thighs (inner and outer), hip flexors, and glutes, so you can move on to bigger and better things when your body says it’s ready. And since we live in the 21st century, you don’t even need to go out and find a partially used Thighmaster to see results; just grab a comfy mat, lay on your side, and raise your legs in the air like you just don’t care (even if you do).
As a beginner, you should aim to complete 2 sets of 12 leg lifts (each side). For proper leg lift directions, visit our Olathe personal trainers or watch this short exercise video.
- Impress with Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
You’ve likely seen this exercise being performed at your local gym—it’s a normal addition to any workout routine—and that’s because it does wonders for your deltoids, pecs, and shoulders. Beginners see the quickest results after just a couple weeks of doing these religiously; shoulders are surrounded by less fat than most other muscle groups, which allows them to gain definition with regular, intense use.
To do a dumbbell shoulder press at home, all it takes is a set of weights and an optional chair or bench. If you’re new to the game, focus on training your shoulders for a week by sticking with lighter dumbbells (under 10 pounds), then move up to the heavier ones. If standing, keep your knees bent, back straight, and exhale at the peak of the press. If using a chair, whether for added support or due to spatial constraints, feel free to use the chairback to improve your posture at first, but don’t rely on it as you become more comfortable.
Begin by doing 8-15 reps in sets of 4, and take needed breaks in between. Check out this clip from LIVESTRONG to see how the pros do their dumbbell presses.
- 20-Minute Yoga Sesh
For some, yoga isn’t an exercise but rather a lifestyle. To each their own, we say. Still, yoga definitely has its upsides; it is one of the best ways to stretch after an intense workout or run, can improve flexibility and endurance, and strengthens your core. Plus, when you want to get your sweat on, nothing aside from a trip to the sauna will get the job done better than a quick yoga session.
But where do you begin, young Jedi? For starters, find an online yoga instructor and video you’re comfortable with. Our personal training team’s recommendation? Check out Yoga With Adriene’s YouTube videos, then work up from there. Just beware: What may look simple from your couch isn’t so simple when you’re cursing at a yoga mat.
Join Our Personal Training Gym near Kansas City
An at-home workout routine is essential if you’re interested in losing weight, but a membership to your local gym is the first step toward crafting a better version of yourself. At SunPoint Fitness, our personal trainers have the tools, experience, and equipment to get you in shape and make you feel more confident. If you need newbie exercise advice or customized personal training in Kansas City, hit us up.
Call our fitness experts today at 913-945-1661 to discuss your gym membership options or swing by our front desk at 15280 S. Keeler Street in Olathe, KS. Let’s get your transformation underway.
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