Has the pandemic got you working from home for long hours everyday?

Sitting at your desk at home for hours on end can inevitably lead to eye strain, stiff neck and back pain. Try these quick and easy home exercises to get your energy (and productivity) levels up and running! No to minimal weights required!

It’s easy to forget to take breaks in between when you’re busy working from home

What You Will Need

These easy home workouts can be done anywhere, and at any time. So all you’ll need is a comfortable space to workout at home, your phone timer to keep track of your exercises, a yoga mat, and a pair of 3kg weights. If you don’t have dumbbells on hand, you can use a 3kg kettle bell or two 1.5 litre bottles filled with water instead.

5 Easy And Effective Home Workouts When Working From Home

Are you ready to take a much-needed break from your desk? Then go on ahead and set a timer for 5 minutes! We’ll be doing each of these 5 exercises for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds of rest, for a total of 5 minutes.

1. Squats

Is your lower back and butt feeling tired and numb from all that sitting? Squats are perfect for strengthening the lower back and glutes (aka the butt muscles). Additionally, it’s great for stretching out the front thigh muscles, abdominal muscles and calves. Overall, it’s an excellent and effective workout for the lower half of your body.

Always maintain proper form when doing squats

How To Do It: As with all exercises, it’s important to maintain proper form to prevent any unwanted sprains and injuries. To squat, set your feet apart so that they’re parallel to your shoulders. Take your weight of choice and grip it close to your chest. Maintaining good posture, proceed to squat, pushing your buttocks out while keeping your lower back straight. Breathe in as you squat and breathe out as you go back to neutral position. If you don’t want to use any weights, keep it simple by doing air squats.

Another variation of the squat – the sumo squat with feet and hips wider apart (Source: verywellfit.com)

2. Deadlift To Calf Raises

We love exercises that incorporate variety, and this deadlift-calf raise combo does not disappoint. Deadlifting is a weight-training exercise that is great for enhancing your core strength, stability, hamstrings (posterior thigh muscles) and overall posture. On the other hand, calf raises are suitable for strengthening the ankles and improving your balance and mobility.

A two in one workout – score!

How To Do It: Start with your feet apart and parallel to your shoulders. Keeping your spine straight, hold a 3kg dumbbell in each hand and hinge your hips back. Remember to check and ensure that your knees are not bending forward over the toes. Then breathe in as you lower yourself down, pushing down through your heels and feeling the stretch in your hamstrings. Keep your hands hanging neutrally on each side throughout this motion. As you straighten back to upright position, exhale and complete the exercise with a 2-second calf raise.

3. The Superman/woman

This is an easy one, and it helps to give instant relief to the entire back and shoulders. It’s also terrific for strengthening both your lower and upper back, hamstrings, glutes and enhancing your core strength.

Fly like superman/woman with this easy back exercise

How To Do It: Lie face down on your yoga mat and stretch your arms out before you, pointing your fingers straight ahead (just like superman!). Keep your legs close together and lift them up simultaneously with your arms. Remember to keep your neck and head straight and immobile throughout this exercise. As you lift your legs and arms, feel the stretch in your lower back, upper back and shoulders. Hold the position for about 3 seconds before lowering back down to neutral position.

4. The Reverse Plank

Like all other plank exercises, this one is good for tightening your core. It’s particularly helpful for strengthening your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and abs.

Hold the reverse plank position for a good 45 seconds

How To Do It: Lay down on your yoga mat and stretch your legs out before you. Then place your hands on the ground behind you with your palms placed behind you and slightly outside your hips. Push up with your glutes while bracing your abs, keeping a straight line along your neck, spine and legs. Hold this position for 45 seconds and remember to maintain a straight form throughout.

5. Overhead Press With Dumbbells

Just one more exercise to go! The overhead press is an effective exercise for strengthening and relieving tension in the shoulders. At the same time, incorporating dumbbells into your exercise will help give your triceps a good stretch and workout.

It’s all about the shoulders with this one

How To Do It: Stand straight with your feet set apart and parallel to your shoulders. Take a 3kg dumbbell in each hand and lift the dumbbells to shoulder height, keeping your forearms straight. Then, lift both dumbbells towards the sky simultaneously using your triceps and shoulders before returning to neutral shoulder height position.

And you’re done! If you still have time, give our acupressure exercises a try! Acupressure exercises are especially useful for relieving tension in the eyes, neck, temples and forehead. In the meantime, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and take intermittent breaks in between work to avoid burnout and fatigue in the long run.

GIFs: GIPHY | Free Images Unsplash
Author Clara Siew | Date 15th Sep 2020