While we’re all spending more time at home, it can be essential to both mental and physical health that we incorporate regular exercise into our daily routines. Whether you’re looking to shave off a few pounds or simply want a substitute for the gym, there are a plethora of exercises that can be done at home, ranging from beginner to expert.
The military has always relied on callisthenics as a form of exercise – using one’s body weight without the need for additional equipment. This makes their exercise routines perfect for replicating at home, and as long as you have a little bit of space, you really don’t need anything else with you.
So, if you’re looking to keep fit, here are some of the best military-style exercises that can easily be done at home.
Work, Rest, Repeat
A lot of military exercises use the HIIT method, meaning high-intensity training. HIIT involves a short period of hard work, followed by a short rest, then work again. The rest period is generally half the work time, so 30 seconds work and 15 seconds rest, for example. The rest allows you to compose yourself between each set of exercises, ensuring that you don’t drop quality.
Some of the military favourites include:
A classic army exercise often dished out as punishment. We’ve all seen the films where the army sergeant shouts “get down and give me 20, maggot!”. This is because push-ups are tough, but incredibly good exercise. For a proper push-up you’ll want to squeeze your core to keep it tight and keep your back straight. This not only works out your arms but also your core and back muscles.
If you’ve not done push-ups before, doing 30 seconds can feel like doing them for an hour, so to make it easier you can bend your knees and use them to push from, rather than your feet.
Push-ups are infamous in the military as they build upper body strength used when holding a rifle for a long period of time. This means that if you’re a gun owner, have air guns or airsoft rifles at home; then this could be a great way to improve your handling of firearms.
This is a super simple and very effective exercise. Start standing up with your hands by your side and feet together pointing forward. Then jump up while spreading your feet to roughly to shoulder width while pulling your arms above your head. You should bend your arm into a right angle with your fingers meeting above your head. Then, jump again and move your feet back together and arms down to your side.
Another great way of strengthening your core and burning stubborn belly fat, crunches can come in two forms. The slightly easier form is to lay on your back with your knees bent facing upwards. Then, place your hands on your legs and raise your shoulder blades until they reach your kneecaps. This should be enough to feel a pull on your core muscles.
For a harder push, lay flat on your back with your legs stretched out. From there, bring your torso up to almost sitting up position and bend your legs in toward your bum, almost like your squeezing a balloon on your stomach.
We’ve done your arms and core, now for your legs. Squats are a super simple exercise yet supremely effective. They work on your upper legs and muscle groups around your knees, perfect for people who like to walk or hike. They also work your core as well, requiring balance and stability, especially when your stamina is draining.
To perform a successful squat, you’ll want to start with your feet at roughly shoulder-width apart and standing up straight. To help with your balance, you can hold your hands out together in front of you. Bend your knees while keeping your back straight, leaning forward slightly to maintain balance. Ideally, you’ll want to make your knees bend to a right angle, so that your upper legs are parallel to the floor, in order to get good results from the workout.
Finally, working out all of your muscles with a mountain climber is a great way to finish a workout. These combine the physical strength required for push-ups with the endurance needed to run on the spot giving your entire body a thorough workout.
For a mountain climber, start by getting into the push-up position, with a nice straight back and outstretched arms. Bring one of your knees close into your chest without it touching the floor, leaving your other foot as balance, then return to push up position and repeat. This should create a ‘jogging on the spot’ style rhythm that will really test your endurance.
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