25 exercises you can do anywhere
By Sophia Porotsky
How to do it Stand with the feet together, and lift up the left leg with a pointed toe, putting your body weight onto the standing, right leg. Continue to lift your leg and drop the head and torso so they form a straight horizontal line from head to toe with the arms at your sides. Engage your core and make sure the left thigh, hip, and toes are aligned. Remain facing down and keep your back as vertical as possible. Ensure your right knee doesn’t lock and center the weight on the middle of the foot. Hold for 5 breaths and then slowly return to standing.
Bridge opposite arm-leg reach
How to do it Lie face up with your left knee bent, left foot flat on the floor, and right leg extended toward the ceiling. Reach toward the ceiling with you’re the left arms and keeps your right arm down by your side. Without moving your hips or shoulders, open your raised leg to the right and raised an arm to the left. Now, focussing on your abs, return your raised leg and arm to the center. Do 10-12 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Low-belly leg reach
How to do it Lie face up with knees bent at 90 degrees, hands behind head, and abs contracted. Keeping knees stacked over hips, left shoulders and crunch up; inhale and hold for 3-5 seconds. Exhale and extend legs to 45 degrees; hold for 3-5 seconds while squeezing lower belly. Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps.
Straight-line side lifts
This move tackles hard-to-reach problem areas like the outer thighs. It’s also blasts belly fat.
How to do it Lie on your left side with your legs straight and stacked on top of one another and your feet flexed. Rest your head on your straight left arm. Inhale while lifting both legs off the ground, then exhale while slowly lowering them until they’re about 1 inch off the ground. Do 10–12 reps, then switch sides and repeat to complete 1 set; do 3 sets.
A staple in many yoga and Pilates workouts, the swan dive strengthens back muscles to improve your posture. This move is from Kristin McGee’s Secret to an amazing body Pilates routine.
How to do it Lie face down on a mat with arms stretched overhead, toes pointed. Lift your arms and legs about 6 inches off the ground. Hold for 1 count, imagining your legs being pulled out and back, away from your hips. Then, circle your arms out to each side of your body behind you. Exhale and reach your arms toward the toes, palms facing the body (as seen in the photo). Hold for 1 count, then bring arms back to starting position and relax entire body to ground. That’s one rep. Repeat for 6 to 8 reps.
This super-challenging yoga move strengthens your wrists, arms, abs, and lower back. If you can’t control your body as you lower it to the floor, try starting with your knees on the ground.
How to do it Begin in a plank position, keeping your elbows directly above your wrists. Keep your body in a straight line and bend elbows to 90 degrees while lowering toward floor. Contract abs; be careful not to round shoulders forward.
This yoga move is ideal for testing your balance and activating your lower body muscles to maintain balance.
How to do it Bend your knees slightly and cross your right leg over your left leg high at the thigh, then try to double cross it behind the left calf or ankle. Wrap your right arm under your left and back over top; press your palms together.
Squeeze thighs tight and pull your belly to your spine while you sink lower, bending slightly at the knee and a bit forward at the waist. Hold for 5 breaths, then repeat with arms and legs reversed.
Make it easier If double-crossing your legs is too challenging, cross just once at the thigh and rest your top foot’s toes on the ground for balance. If your shoulders are too tight to double-cross your arms, wrap under only and press the backs of your hands together.
Strengthens the lower and upper abdominals, obliques, hips, thighs, and butt.
How to do it Stand with your feet together. Bend knees, reaching hips back (knees behind toes), lowering until thighs are nearly parallel with floor; raise arms forward and up. Rotate torso to right and secure left elbow on outside of right knee. Hold for 3 breaths; return to starting position. Repeat on left side; that’s 1 rep. Do 3 reps.
Take the traditional plank exercise to the next level with this more challenging modification. It does wonders for your upper body and core.
How to do it Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend forward at the waist and place your hands on the floor; crawl forward to plank position with shoulders directly over wrists. Bend elbows to lower your body toward the floor, then push back up. Next, bend your left knee, bring it up and in toward your chest, then rotate your waist as you raise your bent left leg out until it’s parallel to the floor. Return to plank and repeat on the opposite side. Return to standing.