It is a common perception that a good workout involves the use of complex exercise machinery and the guidance of a professional trainer. This is one of the key reasons that has led an increasing number of people to seek gym memberships. People are now becoming aware of several effective exercises that can be done without using even a single workout tool or equipment except the yoga mat. These exercises provide comprehensive health benefits without forcing the trainees to invest in bulky and costly home gym equipment online. Given below are the details of ten such exercises that people can do using only a good quality yoga mat.
Plank is one of the most effective exercises that can be performed using only a yoga mat. The exercise proves extremely beneficial for toning and strengthening the back, shoulder, and ab muscles. To perform the exercise, follow the below-listed steps.
- Start by lying face down on the yoga mat with the legs fully extended.
- Place the elbows under the shoulders in a bent position and keep the hands clasped.
- Now gradually lift the body upwards while using the forearms and the toes to support the body weight.
- Hold the position for 15-20 seconds before slowly returning to the original position.
- Repeat the exercise 3-5 times while taking a break of 30 seconds between sets.
Pushups are one of the few exercises that prove effective for the entire body and do require any special workout equipment. The exercise is performed by following the below-given steps.
- To start with, lie on the yoga mat in a face-down position while keeping the elbows bent in an upright position at chest level.
- Place the hands with the palms facing down and the fingers stretched forward and the thumb extended sideways.
- Now pull the body upward while balancing the body weight on the palms and toes and keeping the back and knees straight.
- Now gradually push down towards the ground while maintaining the pressure on the arms and the toes.
- Repeat the process 10-12 times for 2-3 sets, taking a 30-second break between sets.
Static Glute Bridge
The exercise is beneficial for strengthening and toning the glute and hamstring muscles. The exercise can be performed using the best yoga mat in the following way.
- Lay down on the mat with the face turned upward and the arms stretched along the sides of the body and the hands in palms-down position.
- Bend the knees and bring the feet close to the hips while keeping the forelegs straight.
- Now gradually lift up the shoulders, back, and hips upwards while transferring the body weight to the head, hands, and feet.
- Lift the body up until it comes in a straight line with the knees and head and hold in this position for a few seconds.
- Now lower the body gradually back to the ground and repeat the process 10-12 times in 2-3 sets.
Side Leg Raise/Hip Abduction
This exercise is effective for engaging the core muscles and strengthening the inner and outer thigh as well as improving hip mobility. The steps to perform the exercise are listed below:
- Lie on the mat on one side such that the head is resting on the palm of one hand with the elbow bent at a right angle.
- Place the other arm such that the elbow is bent at a right angle and the hand is placed palm down on the mat in front of the chest.
- Stretch the legs completely so that the body is in a straight inclined position.
- Now lift the leg placed on the upper side upwards to the maximum height without bending the knee.
- Hold the leg in this position for a few seconds before blowing it to the original position.
- Repeat the process 12-15 times on each side and in 2-3 sets on both sides to get the best results.
Bird Dog Exercise
The exercise helps to tone the muscles of abs, lower back, thighs, and butts while also improving the balance of the body. The exercise can be performed by following the steps given below:
- Kneel on the mat with the upper body bend forwards and the legs placed hip-width apart.
- Place the arms on the sides in a straight and palms down position at shoulder length apart.
- Now raising one hand up stretches it straight in the forward direction while holding it parallel to the ground.
- At the same time, raise the opposite leg and stretch it backward while also holding it parallel to the ground.
- Use the hand and the knee placed on the ground to maintain the balance of the body.
- Hold in this position for a few seconds before gradually returning to the normal position.
- Repeat the exercise a few times on both sides while increasing the hold position to make the workout more intensive.
In addition to the above-discussed exercises, people can also perform various other types of workouts using only their yoga mat.