The plank is one of the most effective exercises which can be done at home for getting yourself in shape.(Shutterstock)
The plank is one of the most effective exercises which can be done at home for getting yourself in shape.(Shutterstock)

8 exercises recommended by experts for weight loss, getting fit and lean

Planks, push ups and burpees are some of the exercises which will help you get in shape and lose weight when done regularly.
By Kabir Bhandari | Hindustan Times, Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2018 05:31 PM IST

There are times when you read so many articles on exercises and fitness that you forget the basics that are key to getting in shape.

We tell you eight basic exercises which will not only get you in shape, but will also help you lose weight. Along with this, they have other additional benefits too. And the best part is that they can all be done at home without any equipment.

Burpees

The burpee is a full body strength training exercise and the ultimate example of functional fitness. Burpees are a bodyweight exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime. All you need is enough space to perform a push up, and you’ll be able to do a burpee.

How to do it:

Stand with your feet at shoulder width.

Push your hips back, and with bended knees, lower your body into a squat position.

Put your hands on the floor right in front of your feet.

Jump lightly and land on the balls of your feet in the plank position.

Jump back such that they land just out of your hands.

Put your arms over your head and jump.

Once you land back, get into the squat position for your next rep.

Benefits: With every rep, you’ll work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs.

Jump Squats

Jump squats help tone the calves, glutes, hamstrings, core and quadriceps.

How to do it:

Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart.

Begin by doing a regular squat, then involve your core and jump up with full force.

When you land on the ground, get back into the squat position.

This finishes one rep.

You need to master this so that you land as quietly as possible.

Do two sets of 10 reps each.

Benefits: A squat or jumping exercise works numerous muscles in the lower body, core and even the upper body. The major muscles used are the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, lower back and the abdominals.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a great total body exercise. You will be utilising your core because you are starting from a plank position. Mountain climbers are a killer exercise that get your heart rate up fast while also firing nearly every muscle group in the body — deltoids, biceps, triceps, chest, obliques, abdominals, quads, hamstrings and hip abductors.

How to do it:

Start by getting into the traditional plank position.

Once your core is involved, bring your right knee forward below your chest, with the toes just over the ground.

Return to the basic plank position.

Now bring your left knee forward.

Keep changing your legs until you pick up pace and you feel as if you are running in one spot in the plank position.

Do this for a minute.

Benefits: They are a compound exercise, meaning they work several joints and muscle groups simultaneously. The steady running motion targets your glute and leg muscles, including your quadriceps and hamstrings.

Russian Twists

Russian twists are one of the best ways to work your obliques, the muscles that help rotate your torso. These are often neglected by bodybuilders seeking a tapered torso, women who want a smaller waist and fitness fanatics obsessed with the 8-pack abs.

How to do it:

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels a foot from your butt. Gradually recline backward till you feel your lower abs engage. It is important that you keep your back straight and not let it curve.

Put your arms in front of you, on top of each other. Pull your navel towards your spine and twist gradually to the right. Inhale and rotate to the left. This finishes one rep. Do 16 full rotations to complete a set.

Benefits:Russian twists works more than just your abdomen. It engages all the abdomen muscles and strengthens the rectus abdominis, internal obliques and the external obliques.

Push Ups

Push ups are beneficial for strengthening the chest and arm muscles.

Push ups are beneficial for the chest and arms. (Shutterstock)
Push ups are beneficial for the chest and arms. (Shutterstock)

How to do it:

Get down on the ground and set your hands at a distance wider than the shoulder.

Look straight ahead of you and get started.

Benefits: This is the ideal exercise for the chest and arm muscles, as you utilize your entire body weight.

Lunges

Try the hanging position as this is the best for healthy shoulders. This is the easiest exercise to do at home.

How to do it:

Hang from a bar with your legs straight and then raise your feet towards your hands.

Benefits: Lunges can help you develop lower-body strength and endurance.

Planks

Planks are very important for your core strength. All it needs is a minute.

How to do it:

Place your forearms on the floor and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance and hold on to the position for at least one minute.

Benefits: The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning, but it also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance

Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are an excellent exercise for the overall fitness, and can be a suitable replacement for skipping, in case you don’t have your skipping rope.

How to do it:

Stand straight with your feet together and keep your hands at your sides.

Raise your arms over your head while jumping, and place your feet at the sides.

Get back to the first position.

Benefits: Jumping jacks boost your heart rate. An increased heart rate causes the body to burn more calories and burn fat, which results in weight loss. By breathing deeply while performing jumping jacks, blood circulation is improved and oxygenates your blood and muscles.

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