How often have you promised yourself that you will go to the gym the very next time you got the chance? How often have parties, lack of time and office deadlines crushed all chances of going all the way to the gym and giving your body that one hour of exercise? For our fast-paced, never-sit-in-a-spot-for-more-than-an-hour lives, we need exercises that we can do when we please whenever we can snatch a few minutes from our daily routine. We have just the right answers for you. Scroll down and discover how you can work your way through a hectic schedule and still find time for some basic exercises. Soon you will be on your way to toned legs, glutes and trim waist line. These are a couple of basic exercises which you can do whenever you have a spare 10 minutes at hand. These are ‘free-hand exercises’ which means that they do not require any exercise equipment. Although you are free to combine them with moderate-size dumbbells. Follow the instructions carefully to have the correct effect on your body.
1. Squats This is probably the most important lower body exercise. It tones your buttocks, rear and front thighs, and glutes. You need to stand with your feet apart (slightly more than your shoulder width). Keep your back straight throughout the workout. Your arms can be crossed behind your back or extended outward. Slowly bend your knees and pull your body down till you are in a sitting position (like you sit on a chair). As you do this, draw your breath in. Hold this position for ten to thirty seconds and slowly move back into a standing position. You can do this as much as fifty times in sets or together. Do not be extremely swift in your motion or it may jerk your body in the wrong way. If you do this exercise a set number of times daily, it is sure to give you great results.
2. Hip Bridge This exercise targets your lower back muscles, inner thighs and glutes. For this, you need to lie down on the floor, preferably on a yoga mat, on your back. Keep your hands parallel to your body with your palms facing the floor. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor so that there is mountain shape formed between your legs. The gently lift up your hip to make a bridge or maintain starting from your upper waist to the base of your legs. Hold that position for about thirty seconds and slowly move your hip back to the floor. You can do this in sets of five. Be careful to not jerk your body or it will have deleterious effects on your lower back. Try to feel the pressure on your back and thighs.
3. Calf lifts The beauty of this exercise is that you can do this anywhere where there is a wall. So, if you have sometime alone in your spacious office or at home, you can try working your calf muscles. Stand with your face towards the wall. Your feet should be shoulder-width in distance so as to support your whole body properly. Slowly raise your body using the balls of your feet. When you reach the highest position, hold still for five seconds and release. Breathe in when you raise yourself and breathe out when you release. Breathing properly with every exercise is very important. Without the correct form of your breathing you will not develop enough stamina and in turn the exercise will damage your body more than it helps it.
4. Leg extensions This again, is a great exercise to tone those glutes. Start this workout by lying on your back. Bend your arms so that your hands grip your waist and your elbow is bent. Make sure your forearms are touching the ground. Extend one leg up and try pulling it back towards your face as much as you can. All this while try to keep your leg as straight as possible. Hold it at the farthest point for 30 seconds and then relax. Do the same for the other leg and repeat this in sets of five or ten.
5. Side lunges Side lunges target various parts of your lower body- inner thigh, quads and glutes. For this, stand with your legs apart. Keep your hands on your hips. Inhale deeply and move towards the right side so that your right leg is bent at ninety degrees and the left leg is extended and straight. Make sure that your back is straight throughout this workout. Next, push yourself back to the original standing position. During this, release your breath slowly. Now move to your left side, so that this time your left leg is bent and right leg extended. Be careful about how you breathe during this exercise.
Do these exercises for at least 10-15 minutes a day and you will be able to keep your body toned. You should keep in mind that there is an optimum time to perform these workouts- preferably in the morning or evening. There should be a three hour gap between the last time you had a meal and the time your started your workout. Workouts can be very strenuous, resulting in a lot of sweat. So, drink water generously before and after your workouts to replenish the water lost in sweat.