7 Movements for an Effective Home Workout
This workout is called ‘Broom and Plank’ – it’s a great circuit to strengthen the body in a variety of movement planes. Staying at home all day can result in the muscles becoming tight from a lack of movement so relax into the below mobility elements and enjoy this time as a way of moving the body. These types of exercises are used in Body Society’s MOVE class, which promotes movements that leave the body supple and pain-free.
Find some space and a broom (or even a folded-up towel/dressing gown belt). Set a timer for 40 seconds work and 20 seconds rest. Repeat the circuit three times with a minute break between each round.
Reverse lunge with shoulder dislocates
- Stand with the feet together and hold the broom in front of the hips. The hands need to be gripping the broomstick from the front – so the palms are facing backwards. From here, step backwards into a right leg reverse lunge so that the right knee is a few centimetres from the ground.
- Step the leg back and bring the broom up and over the head so that it passes behind the body and rests on the lower back.
- Step into the start position, bringing the broom up and over the head again to rest in front of the hips. Repeat movements on the left side.
Make it easier: This exercise is quite difficult if the shoulders are tight – only go as far as feels comfortable. As an alternative, try leading with one hand slightly before the other to ease the mobility element. The wider the hands on the broom the easier it is and the more mobile the shoulders will become.
- Start in a high plank position with the wrists directly underneath the shoulders, core engaged, hips level and legs extended on the toes.
- Lift the right hand and left foot a few inches off the ground. Swing the left foot under and across the body, so it kicks out to the side and allow the body to naturally rotate in that direction. Tap the hand to the toes.
- Return to the starting high plank position and repeat these movements on the other side.
Make it easier: Move the feet closer in and lift the hips higher. Start slowly and build up the speed of your movements once comfortable.
Squat with lateral flexion
- Start with the feet shoulder width apart and broom in both hands above the head directly above the ears. Keep the elbows straight.
- From here squat down to create a 90-degree angle behind the knees. Look forward and keep most of the weight in the heels. At the lowest point, flex the right side, so the rib cage moves towards the hips and the arms/the broom also move over to the right side of the body.
- Repeat these movements for the left side. Make sure the arms/broom don’t drop forwards during the side flex and keep the arms in line with the ears. It is not a problem if the movements aren’t overly exaggerated – do what feels good.
Make it easier: Use a chair as a support for the body. Start as explained and then lower the body to sit on the chair and flex the upper body from here.
- Start in a low wide squat.
- From here, jump the feet back and bring the hands to the floor coming into a high plank position with the wrists directly under the shoulders, core engaged, hips level and legs behind the body. Pause here for two seconds.
- Jump the feet forward to return to the low wide squat starting position. Look forward and have all the weight equally distributed through the feet. Repeat the above to start the next repetition.
Make it easier: Step back into the plank one foot at a time rather than jumping.
Lateral lunge with side flexion
- Start with the feet shoulder width apart and broom aloft in both hands, directly above the ears. Keep the elbows straight.
- From here, take a big step to the right, lowering the bum as if sitting on the sofa, until the knee of the right leg is bent to maximum 90-degrees whilst keeping the left leg straight.
- Keep the weight in the right heel and go as low as what feels comfortable. To protect the lower spinal alignment and knee joint, be careful not to go beyond a 90-degree bend at the knee.
- At the lowest point, side flex the upper body towards the straight left leg and feel the stretch down the right side. Hold for two seconds and return to the overhead position.
- Breathe out and push back to the standing start position. Repeat on the other side.
Make it easier: Reduce the movement in the side lunges.
- Start in a forearm plank with the elbows directly underneath the shoulders, arms parallel, palms facing down, and legs extended behind the body. Keep the hips level with the shoulders – don’t let the bottom rise.
- Move the top of the head forward (not up) so that the eye line moves up over the fingertips. To allow this movement, the shoulders need to come forward over the forearms and rock the feet forward to be on the very tips of the toes. Focus on trying to move as far forward as possible without dropping or spiking the hips – the body should remain parallel to the floor.
- Reverse the move to come back into the starting plank position. This is one repetition. Continue to breathe out as the body moves forward and inhale as the body returns to the starting position.
Make it easier: Drop from the toes onto the knees or make the sawing motion smaller.
- For a cardio blast, place the broom on the floor and jump backwards and forwards over it in a quick motion. This can be done with two feet together too. The faster this is done the greater the cardio workout.
Jo McLelland is the Co-founder and Head Trainer of Body Society.