Easy home workouts

Easy home workouts
Image adapted from (clockwise from top left):
@nutsasiride, Aja Dang, Fit by Brit & The Fit Ninja

The Movement Control Order has been implemented and many of us are now working from home. The government has given strict instructions for most establishments to close and that includes gyms that have shut their doors till April. 

With limited mobility in place, you might be wondering how the heck you’re ever going to be able to stick to your #fitspo routine. Well, we’ve compiled these easy home workouts that you can do without gym equipment. All you have to do is to look around your house for the right “tools”.

1. Planks to improve posture, strengthen back, and flatten tummy

Tools: Toilet rolls (heh).

Image credit: Fit by Brit

It’s evident that toilet rolls are an asset during this time, seeing how it was among the first items to get sold out during panic-buying waves in Malaysia. If you’ve managed to get your hands on some, you can make full use of it by incorporating it into your workout.

  1. Start by stacking 4 toilet rolls on top of each other next to your left hand. 
  2. Plant one of your hands directly under your shoulders and next to the stack. 
  3. Squeeze your bum and suck in your tummy. Your head should not be hanging low, but aligned with your back. 
  4. With your right hand holding the plank, move the stack of toilet rolls to create another one next to your right hand. 
  5. Alternate stacking the toilet rolls while holding your plank for 20 seconds. 

And boom, you’re on your way to flattening that tummy and improving your posture.

2. Bicep curls for “guns” of steel

Tools: Rice bags.

Image credit: Subtle Asian Traits 

Anyone who has ever gone grocery shopping will know what a workout carrying tons of heavy grocery bags is. So Malaysians can easily use a commonly-consumed ingredient to their advantage – bags of rice

  1. Just hold it out in front of you and start curling your arms up to your chest. 
  2. Do 10 curls for each arm and rest 30 seconds. 
  3. Repeat this set 3 times. 

 Beginners can start by using a smaller bag of rice first before working their way up. Another alternative is to use water bottles that’ve been filled with rice. 

3. Ab crunches for washboard abs

Tools: Your baby, cat, or dog.

crunchesImage credit: Chloe Ting

This would be the perfect time to bond with your little ones while you work out, and get washboard abs.

  1. Start by lying on your back while holding your baby, cat or dog to your chest. 
  2. Curl your body inwards and bend both your knees. 
  3. Uncurl your body while “pushing” your furkid or kid to the ceiling while straightening your legs. Try not to let your feet or head touch the ground. 
  4. Repeat 10 times, rest for 30 seconds and repeat another 2 reps to complete the cycle.

Plank with petsImage credit: @nutsasiride

You can incorporate your little ones into other types of workouts like planking too. As an alternative, you can use a heavy book or a small bag of rice.

4. Cardio for burning away fats and calories

Tools: Stairs or stool.

cardio with stairsImage credit: Aja Dang

Cardio workouts like jogging have to be put on hold for now, but not all’s lost if your home or apartment building has stairs. 

  1. Instead, jog up and down 3 flights of stairs – 10 times up and 10 times down. 
  2. If you want to push yourself, take double steps. 
  3. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. 

Use a stool or step ladder if you don’t have access to staircases or have knee issues. 

  1. Start by stepping up on the stool with your left leg, then the right. 
  2. Jump down with both feet at the same time. 
  3. Repeat 30 times. 

Tip: To minimise the impact on your knees, jump onto the balls of your feet. This can also be done on the stairs. 

5. Squats for buns of steel a la Captain America

Tools: 2 x 1-litre water bottles 

Squats with water bottleImage credit: Carmen Cheok

Of course, you can do this famous butt-busting exercise on its own without tools, but holding the water bottles in your hands while squatting will help with your balance and at the same time, reduce flabby arms. 

  1. Start by standing up straight while holding the bottles out in front of you. 
  2. Slowly lower yourself down while pushing your bum back – as if you’re about to sit on a chair and then come right back up. 
  3. Repeat 10 times, rest for 30 seconds for 1 rep. 
  4. Aim to complete at least 4 reps for the best effect. 

Tip: Anchor your feet and lean your chest forward or you’d fall backwards.

6. Push-ups for tight chest muscles & strong biceps

Tools: Washing machine, kitchen counter or table. 

table push upsImage credit: The Fit Ninja

The standard push-up can be challenging, so this version is great for beginners or those who have existing arm injuries. It’s “simpler”, but you can still get a good basic workout done.  

  1. Start by placing your palms firmly on top of the edge of your washing machine, table or kitchen counter
  2. Step back with both feet until your body is leaning forward in a plank position. 
  3. Slowly lower your chest by bending your elbows, getting as close to the surface as you can.
  4. Then push yourself back up to your starting position. 

Do this 10 times and take a 30-second break after. Repeat thrice. 

7. Arm dips to strengthen your chest muscles

Tools: Couch or a steady chair.

Fun fact: time flies by when you’re watching or doing something interesting. Instead of just being a couch potato, do this easy exercise while you binge-watch your favourite show – you won’t have to move from your spot. 

Lower your body into this position

Image credit Style Craze Fitness

  1. Sit at the edge of your couch with your arms at your side, hip-distance apart. 
  2. Push off from the couch so your butt hovers over the floor. 
  3. Your knees should be slightly bent, and you should look like you’re sitting in the air.
  4. Slowly lower your body till your arms form an ‘L’ shape, and then push up to your starting position with your arms fully straightened. 
  5. Do this 10 times and rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

It’s an easy workout to tone your chest muscles, so no part of your body is left out from your workout routine.

Easy home workouts for Malaysians

If you’re a newbie working out, you should be able to tackle these workouts easily as they aren’t particularly intensive. Keep it up and you’d be able to do longer exercises in the future. It’s advisable to mix and match your workout and dedicate a day to arms and do leg workouts another day. You won’t have to miss out on your daily routine while in lockdown mode.

For more things to do at home, find some inspo here: 

Follow The Smart Local Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this. If you have a story to share, email us at pressmy@thesmartlocal.com.