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Health and Fitness

8 Simple (and Easy) Exercises to Build the Body of Your Dreams Without Leaving the House

by Laurence-Emmanuelle Bédard Published on April 28, 2015

No time (or budget) to register for a gym – or just not fond of that kind of environment – but you still want to have a good figure? We have the solution! Tone your buttocks, abs, and legs in no time with these exercises you can do at home.

Buttocks, Abdominals, and Legs of Steel

Given the hectic pace of daily life, it is easy to overlook physical activity. But, now, with the arrival of warm weather, we suffer the consequences more than ever. Well, don't panic! If you want to have a toned body to show off this summer, you can easily get it with these few exercises. The GAP method (from the Spanish "gluteos, abdominales, y piernas") is a training routine targeting the glutes, abs, and legs that allows you to train anywhere: with your friends in the park or, if you don't want to go out after a stressful day at work, by yourself at home. If others can do it, why not you?

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How to Start Doing the GAP

To begin, warm up your muscles for 5 minutes. If you plan to work out at home, the ideal is to have a treadmill, but you can also do your cardio by running outside or climbing and descending the stairs at home at a moderate rhythm, which also allows you to work your legs and buttocks. Once your body temperature is elevated, your muscles are ready to go.

For best results, you have to spend six weeks in the GAP program with a minimum of 2 sessions per week. You have to perform 25 repetitions of each exercise. You can always increase the number if you want to challenge yourself. Once the proposed series of exercises is completed, take a break for three to four minutes. Whenever you start feeling lazy, remember your goal! You want to feel more fit and be in shape!
GAP gym classes begin online. But then, you go to work! Take note of these exercises!

GAP: exercise 1. Legs and Buttocks.

The stepper improves the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, which helps the lower extremities. This exercise tones, slims, and reshapes the leg and buttock muscles while improving the efficiency of the heart and lungs. This is a basic exercise that you can spice up by moving, with variations, to the rhythm of the music.

Exercise 1
Using a bench (a low stool or a stair will do), step up first with the right foot, then with the left, with the same movement on both sides.

Advice

  • Keep your back straight and put the balls of your feet on the step.
  • Start at a lower height and, over the course of weeks, increase it. This prevents knee pain.
  • The exercise can be done on a bench, on the stairs, or you can even get a real step. The result will be the same.

GAP: exercise 2. Thighs and Buttocks.

To perform this exercise, you need a chair, a table, or a bed. Look at the picture on the right. We also recommend that you use a cushion or pillow at the shoulder area to prevent back or neck injuries.

Exercise 2
Place yourself in the supine position, stretch your legs with your feet moderately elevated (a low bed would be a good choice). Keep your hands on your chest and lift your back as high as you can while trying to not cheat by using your arms.

Advice

  • Do not choose a surface too elevated for the first attempts, because you risk putting too much pressure on your back.
  • Don't force your back too much. You should be working the buttocks.

GAP: exercise 3. Thighs and Buttocks.

To facilitate this, try to find a relatively low point of support. Once again, you can use your bed, although in this case it is better to rely on a harder surface. Anyway, the important thing is to do it!

Exercise 3
While standing, bend your upper body and rest you hands on slightly raised surface. Raise your right leg towards the back until you feel your glutes work and then return to the starting position. Repeat 25 times with the right leg, and then do the same with the left leg.

Advice

  • If you want, you can also get on all fours. The movement doesn't change: you just raise your leg high and repeat.
  • Remember to keep your back straight and try to make your legs and torso form a 90 degree angle during the contraction phase

GAP: exercise 4. Calf Muscles.

With summer tans and heat on the way (yes, it's coming), you'll probably want to show off your legs in a skirt, shorts, or a simple dress. If you want to have toned, thinner legs, this exercise is for you. The best thing is that it is very easy to do. How many reps can you do with each leg?

Exercise 4
Lean your hands against a table. Lift one leg up as in the image on the right and with the other leg, push your body up, lifting your heel in the air. Start with the right leg, then do the left, and alternate.

Advice

  • Do not lean your torso forward to find a better balance: this will force you to work your back unnecessarily, while we are trying to target the calf muscle.
  • During the series, you can increase the weight load. If you do not have weights at home, you can use canned goods or filled grocery bags.

GAP: exercise 5. Thighs.

Many women have hang-ups and feel self-conscious about their thighs. Well, this exercise is the best way to strengthen your thighs and requires no equipment, except your body. So turn up the music and sway to the rhythm! The rest is just fun.

Exercise 5
Stand up, your legs side by side. Take one big step forward, shift your weight onto that leg, and then switch back to your original position. Repeat 25 times with each leg.

Advice

  • Keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
  • While we recommend 25 repetitions, you can increase the number each time, as long as you feel comfortable.

GAP: exercise 6. Abdominals.

We have finally arrived at the abdominals. Working your abs not only provides aesthetic benefits! It also helps you to maintain good poster, strengthen your lower back, and avoid nagging back pain.

Be advised, however, that working the abdominal muscles does not reduce excess fat, which requires a proper diet. The recipe for a flat belly is reduced portions and more sports!

Exercise 6
Lie on the floor with your legs bent. Rest your feet on using a bench or chair and place your hands on your chest. Lift your torso up as high as you can.

Advice

  • Keep your back straight, otherwise you work the back rather than the abdominals.
  • Do not bend your head forward.

GAP: exercise 7. Abdominals.

This time you need a pilates ball. If you think it is not worth the expense, think again! With a fitball you can do endless exercises easily and conveniently. The following exercise works the oblique abdominal muscles.

Exercise 7
Lean back on the ball, knees bent 90 degrees. Your arms should remain extended from your body. Stay supported on top of the ball and bring your fingers to your knees. Move from side to side, keeping balanced on the ball.

Advice

  • Focus on the ceiling while exercising to help maintain good posture.
  • If using a fitball for the first time, be careful not to fall!

GAP: exercise 8. Abdominals.

Abs, when properly exercised, help you to maintain a better posture, in addition to preventing back pain. It is important to focus not only on the upper abs.

Exercise 8
Supine, arms on the floor, bend your legs up to your chest. Lift the buttocks towards yourself, then return to the original position.

Advice

  • This exercise works the upper and lower abs. Concentrate on those muscles during the exercise.
  • For a variation, you can cross your legs and also work the oblique muscles of the abdomen.

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by Laurence-Emmanuelle Bédard

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