The urge to keep fit and maintain a regular exercising routine can be overwhelming. Not to mention that going to the gym every day can be impossible because of a busy schedule. Also, the pandemic has rendered gyms to be inaccessible, which means most people exercise at home. But at home, you don’t get access to heavy equipment such as treadmills and dead weights. Buying training equipment can also be expensive for some people.
With these problems, people have been made to settle for simple exercise routines using simple equipment. These home workouts routines are also as effective as any exercise, and you can still achieve your training goal. However, you’ll have to be disciplined and stick to your routine because you may not have gym buddies that can motivate you when you’re exercising at home.
Other than discipline, you’ll also need the right equipment. Fortunately, if you can get yoga mats, then you’re good to go. This is because yoga mats are versatile and allow you to perform the different workouts:
The first exercise that you can practice at home using a yoga mat is, of course, yoga. Yoga is a combination of exercises that focuses on breathing, strengths, and flexibility, and it helps improve physical and mental health. Yoga exercises come in different variations, such as yoga asanas and yoga nidra, which you should familiarize yourself with.(1)
To get the best out of your yoga routine, follow the following steps(2):
- Choose a convenient time, probably during the morning, as it keeps your energy level high during the day.
- Choose a convenient place such as a small private room or a quiet place.
- Keep your yoga wear simple by using loose, comfortable clothing.
- Warm up your body by performing stretches to avoid straining your muscles.
- Lie on the yoga mat and try different yoga techniques. Always remember to end the routine with Yoga Nidra to relax your body.
By following these steps and being consistent, you may have better physical and mental health by just using a yoga mat.
Push-ups are a total body workout as they engage your chest, back, legs, shoulders and train your core. This routine is simple, and all you need is a yoga mat at home, but the results are immense.
You can start with basic push-ups workouts. After you’ve mastered the basic push-up routines, you can try other intense variations such as one-hand push-ups, clapping hand push-ups, or planche push-ups.(3)
When doing push-ups on a yoga mat(4), follow these steps:
- Lay the yoga mat on a flat surface to help with the even distribution of body weight.
- Be in a plank position with your arms being shoulder-width apart and the fingers facing forward. Ensure that your core is engaged.
- Move your palms so that the thumbs and forefingers form a diamond shape. If this position is difficult, you can put your palms apart.
- Lower your chest down close to the floor and push it up again. Do so repeatedly, up to three sets of 20 push-ups each. As a beginner, you can start with ten push-ups.
There’s no specific time to do push-ups, but you can do it in the morning before starting your day. Also, you should be consistent.
Planks are a way of supporting your bodyweight using forearms and toes. Planks are an excellent way to strengthen the core, arms, legs, and abs. Performing planks also involves exercises that vary from simple to complex routines, and you can also combine them with push-ups. But even so, all these routines only need a yoga mat to perform.(5)
Here’s how you can perform planks:
- Place your arms shoulder-width apart and your legs hip-width apart.
- Engage your core so there’s a straight line running from your head to your toe.
- Once you achieve a steady plank, lift your left arm from the mat and tap your right shoulder. Repeat the same procedure using your right arm. Do this repeatedly without shifting your plank position.
If the shoulder taps are hard to complete, you can maintain a steady plank without shifting your hands or body. This position will still yield good results on your core, back, and abs. Also, you can add some extra challenges to the plank routine by doing push-ups between the shoulder taps. However, this routine may require good body coordination and core strength to achieve. So, you can start with simple exercises first.
A yoga mat, though simple, has so many benefits to your home workout routines. If you don’t have the time to go to the gym or can’t afford to buy gym equipment to use in your home, worry no more. With the yoga mat, you can exercise for better physical and mental health. Moreover, you don’t need so much space to exercise.
- “How does yoga work?”, Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286745
- “9 Tips to Practice Yoga at Home”, Source: https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/yoga/yoga-for-beginners/yoga-home
- “10 Home Exercises You Can Do With Just A Yoga Mat (or towel)”, Source: https://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/10-exercises-can-just-yoga-mat/
- “Home Workouts Using Only a Yoga Mat”, Source: https://proworksbottles.com/blogs/the-locker-room/home-workouts-using-only-a-yoga-mat
- “7 Basic Exercises You Can Do on Your Yoga Mat”, Source: https://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/2279264/yoga-mat-exercises/