TODAY invited Harley Pasternak, trainer to the stars, to give his favorite gym workouts a makeover so you can do them in the privacy of your own home. These easy, at-home exercise alternatives will give you a total body workout, no matter your schedule!
What you’ll need:
- 55- or 65-inch stability ball (choose the size according to your height) and/or a bench
- Dumbbells (5 to 15 lbs., depending on your fitness level)
- A mat or towel
For a firmer chest: Push-ups
- At the gym: Chest-press machine
- At home: Push-ups
A straightforward push-up creates tension in your core and provides balance and strength through the shoulders and chest. Here's how to do them:
- Step 1: Lie on your stomach with your legs stretched out behind you, your feet flexed, and your toes pointed toward the ground. Place your hands at shoulder level, palms down, slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
- Step 2: Look down at the floor. Straighten your arms and push your entire body up so that only your hands and toes are touching the floor. Keep your palms fixed in the same position and keep your body straight and stiff. Do not arch your back or permit your stomach to sag toward the floor. Exhale as your arms straighten, and pause at the top, when your arms are nearly straight.
- Step 3: Bend your arms to lower your body until your chest touches the floor. Inhale as you lower yourself, and keep your knees off the floor at the bottom of the movement. Pause when you reach the floor and repeat the move from step 2 until you finish your reps.
For tighter quads and glutes: Lunges
- At the gym: Leg-press machine
- At home: Lunges
For stronger, tighter quadriceps, there's nothing better than lunges. They work the entire leg, not only toning it, but also giving definition to the front of the thigh and butt.
- Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells at arm’s length, with your palms facing each other.
- Step 2: With your shoulders back and head up, inhale as you take a large step forward with your left foot. Lower your body so that you create 90-degree angles (at the left ankle, left knee and left hip, and at the right knee and right ankle).
- Step 3: When your back knee nears the ground, exhale and use the muscles of your front leg to push yourself back to the starting position. Switch legs after each rep.
For sleeker shoulders: Dumbbell shoulder press
- At the gym: Shoulder press
- At home: Dumbbell shoulder press
Get your deltoid muscles working as you strengthen and tone your shoulders and upper body. The shoulder press is a functional movement; you'll feel the results especially when you reach for things or do any lifting.
- Step 1: Sit upright on the end of a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward and dumbbells at either side of your head.
- Step 2: Exhale as you drive the dumbbells up toward the ceiling and each other, then inhale as you slowly return to the starting position.
For healthier hamstrings: Lying ball hamstring curls
- At the gym: Prone hamstring curls
- At home: Lying ball hamstring curls
This simple method of working your hamstrings not only increases strength but also builds and tones your muscles. You'll be challenging your lower body and attacking that inner thigh.
At-home exercises are a great way to get your workout in even if you don't have much time in your day. For more information on a healthy diet, weight loss and quick and easy exercises, visit www.5factordiet.com.