Woman doing box jumps

When you're working from home, it's easy to get distracted by recreational activities, such as crafting and binge-watching shows on Netflix. If you're going to keep up with your job and stay balanced, we recommend setting a new workout routine. It might take a small effort to adjust your habits at home, but the endorphins generated during exercise will benefit you. These activities work well indoors, but you can easily adjust them when outdoors.  

Why Do a Home Leg Workout

Several muscles in your legs help you perform daily activities with agility, speed, strength, and endurance. These muscles also reduce the stress of many movements on your spine. It's important to target these muscles you won't be using while sitting down working on a laptop or reclining in front of the TV.  

The Truth About Hamstrings

These movements help you work different muscles in the legs, but they especially target the overall strengthening of the glutes and hamstrings. These are the muscles you won't be using as much when at the table. If you are telecommuting, you won't be walking to meetings down the hall either. We want to help you get creative about stretching and exercising. The hamstrings have a reputation as the three muscles in the rear of the upper legs that work harder if your glutes don't do their fair share. Imagine every time you get up from a seated position, the glutes will rely on the hamstrings if they aren't in shape.

The Squat Jump

A squat or a squat jump can be modified for people with various physical limitations. There are several versions of this exercise to explore online.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder or hip width apart.

  • Push your butt back and down until your legs form a 90-degree angle. Your thighs should be parallel to the ground.

  • Use as much force as you can to jump up high in the air. Your arms should swing backward and then come back to your sides.

  • As your feet return to the floor for the squat, you repeat the jump.

Remember, some exercises may be pictured for men or women in each online photo or video, but they can benefit anyone seeking a solid leg workout.

Leg Lifts

This exercise may be difficult for people with certain back problems.

  • Lay down on your back. Provide support on a hard floor with a carpet, exercise mat, or blanket. 

  • Keep your heels together and your legs straight.

  • Put your head back to face the ceiling, ensuring your fist will fit under the curve of your neck.

  • Raise your legs to the ceiling until your glutes are completely off the mat.

  • Lower your legs to the floor, stopping before your heels touch the ground.

  • Repeat the motion. 

  • Don't rush or overextend your back.

  • If needed, rest in between sets.

Calf Raises

Use a stepping block or a stack of books that are raised a few inches off the ground. Alternatively, stand on the threshold of a door to the outside of your home or on the edge of a stair. With calf raises, focus on completing many repetitions, but not on your speed. According to one source, you develop and strengthen these muscles every time you take a step. However, you need exercises like this to make the muscle look larger.

  • Stand on the threshold or step. 

  • Raise your body up several inches, ensuring your heels are leaving the resting position.

  • Hold the stretch for two seconds.

  • Shift your weight back down, so your heels are below the edge of the step.

  • Repeat the exercise.

Doing many sets will help you achieve a good stretch.

Box Jumps

A variation on calf raises is the box jump. If you have a sturdy box, then you can target your calves to provide all the force to jump on top of the box and then back down. You may have to build a strong cube with plywood.

Dumbbell Step-Up

For this activity, you need a box, bench, or stair that is 2 to 3 feet above the ground. Hold a dumbbell of your preferred weight in each arm. Take turns stepping up to the raised surface and back down. As you step up with the right foot, curl the dumbbell in the left arm. Then, step back down and step up with the left foot and curl the dumbbell in the right arm. You can also add dumbbells to the calf raise exercise featured above.

Add a Cardio Component 

Remember, when targeting muscle groups during workouts, you can achieve different goals, such as muscle development (lengthening, expanding, contracting), toning, strength, reaction time, and range of motion. You can also focus on challenges such as jumping higher, taking longer strides, lifting your arms higher and more frequently over your head, and doing more repetitions. Every challenge pushes your body out of its comfort zone and provides variety in your home-life.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of a workout, then add a cardio component between the workouts discussed above. For example, you can walk a lap or two around your home, jump rope, try jumping jacks or pushups, or crank up the music and dance to a fast tune. Getting the heart moving faster is how the body pumps oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. If you aren't giving muscles what they need, they won't develop to the desired state.

Another option is playing a cardio routine on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Think of this idea as a movement break that integrates into the workday. It's the same approach teachers use to get sleepy kids moving around and interested in the next activity. 

These stretching and exercising ideas will help you maintain your physique, manage your stress, and feel vital despite being confined.

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Also, feel free to browse more of our blog for other workout ideas and tips.

 

*Please consult with a medical professional if you have any medical issues that may be affected by the suggested activities.