1. Wall push-up

Intensity: Moderate
Target muscle group: Chest, shoulders, and triceps

Initial position:

Stand up straight facing a wall with feet being shoulder width apart. Distance between the wall, and your body should be a little less than arm length, so the elbows are bent slightly. Place palms flat on the wall (fingers pointing upwards). The distance between both palms should be slightly greater than shoulder width.

Steps:

Shifting weight towards front, bend your elbows and lower your upper body towards the wall. Inhale, and count to two as you move forward while lifting your heel a bit. Hold for a second keeping a straight line from head to heel. Now, with another count of two, exhale, and push away from the wall to return to the starting position. This is one rep of the exercise.

Reps: 8–12

Sets: 1–3

Rest between sets: 30–90 seconds

Important notes:

  • Your hands should not be higher than shoulder level.
  • It can be performed both flat feet and heel lifted. Choose the one which does not strain your ankles.
  • Elbows should be as close to a body as possible, and do not lock them while going back.
    Beginner variation: Lower your upper body less toward the wall.

Advanced variation:

a) Slower pace: Increase the count of moving forward and backward.
b) One legged: Lift one foot off the floor behind and do normal push-ups.

2. Chair Dips

Intensity: Moderate to high
Target muscle group: Triceps, Side shoulders, Quads

Initial Position:

Take a sturdy chair and sit on its edge. Your legs should be extended slightly with knees bent at angle more than 90. Ensure that only your heels touch the floor. Place your palms next to your hips while holding the chair from the sides. Raise your hips a little as you push the chair down with your hands and move forward. In this position, your buttocks would be in air and not touching the chair.

Steps:

Inhale and count to two, as you bend your elbows while lowering your hips toward the floor. Do not bend your back. Exhale and count to two, as you straighten your arms to revert to the starting position. This is one rep of the exercise.

Reps: 8–12

Sets: 1–3

Rest: 30–90 seconds between sets

Important notes:

  • Your weight should rest entirely on the heels of your palm and feet.
  • Elbows should point towards the chair.
  • Syncing breath with movement will strengthen lungs simultaneously.
  • Beginner variation: Lower your body less toward the floor.

Advanced variation:

a) Extend the legs instead of bent knees and perform the dips.
b) Place your feet on another chair (of lower height) in front and perform the exercise with legs stretched out.

3. Squats

Intensity: Moderate
Target muscle group: Quadriceps, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings

Initial Position:

Sit like You would sit on a chair and put your arms forward, such that the distance between them is as wide as your shoulders. Your feet should be hip width apart, and place one foot a little forward to another.

Steps:

Slowly inhale and count to three as you stand up. Hold for a second. Then revert to initial position while exhaling in three counts. This is one rep of the exercise. Finish all reps with this position, and then repeat on the other side. This will give you one set of the exercise.

Reps: 8–12

Sets: 1–3

Rest: 30–90 seconds between sets

Important notes:

  • Do not arch your back as you sit back down.
  • Maintain the count of three for effective strengthening.
  • Beginner variation: Do not stagger your feet, and perform the exercise.

Advanced variation:
Lift your arms above your head, and perform the exercise.

Visit Squats for a video tutorial.

4. Bridge

Intensity: Moderate
Target muscle group: Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings

Initial Position:

Lay down with arms next to body, palms downwards. Now, bend your knees with legs about hip width. Place the feet on the floor and relax your shoulders.

Steps:

Inhale and with count of two, lift your pelvis upwards till your body is in line head to knee. Hold for a count. Now, exhale with count of two as you revert to the initial position. This is one rep of the exercise.

Reps: 8–12

Sets: 1–3

Rest: 30–90 seconds between sets

Important notes:

Place your feet on a rug so that it does not slip away.
Do not release hips fast. Always maintain the count of two while going up and down.
Beginner variation: Do not lay emphasis on hips and perform the exercise with feet flat on the floor.

Advanced variation: Lift one leg up toward the ceiling in the initial position while keeping another on the edge of the chair. Perform the exercise. Then interchange the leg positions and repeat.

Visit Bridge/Hip Raise for a video tutorial.

5. T-stabilization

Intensity: Moderate
Target muscle group: Entire core, including your abdominal, lower back, and hip muscles

Initial Position:

Lay down face down, and place your hands in push-ups positions, elbows out and palms facing down. Keep the other leg extended.

Steps:

Exhale, and Start in a push-up position, then shift your weight onto your right hand and rotate your chest to the left as you raise your left arm toward the ceiling, feet stacked together. Hold, then return to start and repeat on the other side. That is one rep.. Finish all reps with this position, and then repeat on the other side. This will give you one set of the exercise.

Reps: 8–12

Sets: 1–3

Rest: 30–90 seconds between sets

Important notes:

  • Do not dig in your body with your chin and maintain a neutral neck.
  • Beginner variation: Put your fingertips behind your waist on the floor before starting the curlup.

Advanced variation:

a) No support: Instead of keeping arms behind the head, cross arms in front, over the chest and perform the exercise.
b) Increased difficulty: Increase the number of reps.

Visit Side Plank for a video tutorial.

6. Front Half Plank

Intensity: Moderate to high
Target muscle group: Abdominal, chest and back

Initial Position:

Lie face down on a mat with legs extended back. Bend your elbows with palms right under the shoulders.

Steps:

Shift weight on your forearms and toes, and lift your body up. Inhale as you do this. Slightly turn your forearms in and clasp hands together. Tighten your abdominal muscles and maintain a straight line head to toe. Hold this position for 15-60 seconds. Exhale as you revert to the initial position. This is one rep of the exercise.

Reps: 2–4

Sets: 1

Rest: 30–90 seconds between reps

Important notes:

  • Elbows should be right under the shoulders.
  • Do not arch your back or bend at the hips.

Beginner variation:

a) Perform the exercise with bent knees instead of extended legs.
b) Place feet on a small stool so the body lies parallel to the floor.

Advanced variation:

While in the position, lift a foot and place it on the side (about 6 inches apart) for a second, then move it back to center. Repeat with the other leg.

Visit Plank for a video tutorial.

7. Standing Side Leg Lift

Intensity: Moderate
Target muscle group: Glutes and thighs

Initial Position:

Stand straight with feet together and place hands on your hips.

Steps:

With count of two, lift left leg out to one side making an angle of 30-45 degrees. Hold the position for few seconds, then revert to starting position. This is one rep of the exercise. Finish all reps with this position, and then repeat on the other side. This will give you one set of the exercise.

Reps: 8–12

Sets: 1–3

Rest: 30–90 seconds between sets

Important notes:

  • Do not move your hips on one side while performing the exercise.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and squeeze the buttocks of the supporting leg.

Beginner variation:
For better support, hold the back of a chair for balance.

Advanced variation:
Increase the number of counts during the hold from one to four.

8. Heel Raise

Intensity: Light to moderate
Target muscle group: Calves, ankles, and hips

Initial Position:

Stand straight with feet 3-4 inches apart (touching heels) parallel to each other, and place hands on your hips / 1 hand on chair.

Steps:

Inhale with the count of two and lift your body up, balancing weight on the balls of both feet. Hold this position for few seconds and tighten your buttocks. Exhale with a count of two as you revert to the starting position.

Reps: 8–12

Sets: 1–3

Rest: 30–90 seconds between sets

Important notes:

Pay special attention to ankles while lifting up as you may strain them of go off balance if placed too close to each other.

Beginner variation:
For better support, hold the back of a chair for balance.

Advanced variation:
Perform this exercise with one leg lifted up a few inches above the floor. This is one rep of the exercise on one side. Finish all reps, then repeat on the other side to complete a set.

9. Side Plank

Intensity: Moderate
Target muscle group: Abdominal, shoulder, and back

Initial Position:

Lie on your side on a mat with forearm bent under the shoulder and perpendicular to body. Your upper leg should lie directly on top of the lower leg, with knees and hips in a straight line. Your other hand should be on side of the body.

Steps:

Shift weight on your forearm, and lift your body up. Inhale as you do this. Tighten your side abdominal muscles and maintain a straight line head to toe. Hold this position for 15-60 seconds. Exhale as you revert to the initial position. This is one rep of the exercise. Finish all reps with this position, and then repeat on the other side. This will give you one set of the exercise.

Reps: 2–4

Sets: 1

Rest: 30–90 seconds between reps

Important notes:

  • Elbows should be right under the shoulders.
  • Do not arch your back or bend at the hips.

Beginner variation:

a) Perform the exercise with bent knees instead of extended legs.
b) You can also take support of a wall while doing this exercise, to avoid chances of falling backwards.

Advanced variation:

While in the position, lift a foot in air and hold till you can. Place it back in position. Repeat it 2-3 times.

10. Pike Push Up

Intensity: Moderate
Target muscle group: Shoulder, back & legs

Initial Position:

Position two benches close to each other so that the distance between the two equals your shoulder width. Kneel on them by placing hands on ends of benches. Keep your toes on opposite ends of bench. Raise your buttock high up keeping arms, back, and knees straight.

Steps:

Gradually, lower your head between ends of benches by bending arms on count of three. On another count of three, push body back up to the original position.

This will give you one set of the exercise.

Reps: 2–4

Sets: 1

Rest: 30–90 seconds between reps

Important notes:

  • Elbows should be right under the shoulders.
  • Do not arch your back or bend at the hips.

Beginner variation:

a) Position bench higher than feet to reduce resistance and strain.

Advanced variation:

Keep feet closer to hands to increase the intensity, and put emphasis on front delts.

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