There are many exercises you can do at home to keep your body toned. However, if you really want to get creative, burn off some calories and sculpt your muscles, take a look around your house and think "boot camp." Make every room a different station where you do a specific exercise, as in "drop and give me 10." Stairs inside or outside the house make the perfect prop for lunges, tricep dips and calf raises.
Bedroom Abs and Push Ups
The bedroom is a great place to stage your ab workout. For basic ab crunches, lay on your back on the floor with knees bent and your feet flat on the floor and about a foot away from your buttocks. Place your hands behind your head with elbows out wide, even with the ears. As you exhale, slowly raise your upper body off the floor while contracting the abdominals in towards the spine. Perform 15 to 20 repetitions.
Without pausing, quickly change position to low plank, resting on your elbows and toes with your body lifted off the ground in a perfectly straight line. Alternate touching one knee at a time to the floor without shifting your weight or allowing your posture to sink. Try a quick set of 20 alternating knee touches. After the plank abs, go for 10 to 20 push ups. If you are just getting starting with upper body strengthening, you can perform your push ups on your knees. Try to keep your butt tucked in and your head in line with your spine.
Powder Room Power Squats
In the bathroom, the counter top is usually just the right height to hold on to while you perform wide plie style squats. Stand with legs wide and knees pointed towards the direction of your turned out feet. Hold on to the counter top, straighten your spine, and tuck your butt under your tail bone. Slowly lower hips while squeezing the gluteus muscles. Return to standing without locking the knees out. Perform one set of 15 to 20 squats. Rest for one minute. Perform a second set, only this time lift your heels off the floor and stay on your toes for the duration of the exercise.
Stairs for Dips, Lunges and Calf Raises
In between rooms, take your home tone routine to the stairs. For tricep dips, sit on the bottom or second step up. Place your hands behind you with your fingers facing your body. Extend your legs out straight in from of you with only your heels resting on the floor. Lower your body down slightly until your elbows are nearly in line with your shoulders. Push back up until the arms are extended. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions.
Next, stand up and stand on the bottom stair facing up the stairs. Hold on to the banister for support. Standing on just the balls of the feet, slowly lower your heels toward the floor and the raise up until you are high on your toes. Start with 10 to 12 repetitions. For lunges, stand on the floor facing the stairs with feet hip distance apart. Lunge your right leg forward, placing your foot on the bottom step. Lower your back knee towards the floor while bending your front knee to a 90 degree angle. Your back heel should rise off the floor and your pelvis should be tucked in while your buttocks are contracted. Return the right leg to standing and repeat with the left leg. Alternate lunges for 20 repetitions, or 10 on each leg.
Family Room Finale
The family room is a great place to wrap up the workout. Turn on your favorite T.V. show and sit down on the floor for the home stretch. Sit up tall with both legs stretched out in front of you. Slowly bend at the hips and reach for your toes. To stretch tight hamstrings, alternate bending one knee, slightly lifting it off the ground while you press the other leg down. For inner thighs, sit up tall with the soles of your feet together and knees open wide. Gently press the knees down towards the floor.
For final relaxation, assume the yoga child's pose position. Start on your hands and knees and slowly lower your hips until they are resting on your heels. Your knees should be separated about the width of your hips. Place your forehead on the floor, swing your arms forward, and then bring your arms around and to your sides, palms facing upward. The child's pose is a resting pose that stretches the hips, thighs and ankles gently.