November 18, 2015

3 Gym Class Exercises for Staying in Shape

Most people don’t have the fondest memories of gym class from when they were younger. There are, however, some useful tidbits that you can take from that experience. No, we’re not talking about the short shorts… We’re talking about the exercises! The great news is that you don’t have to go back to the gymnasium to do them; you can do these exercises from the comfort of your own home and still reap the benefits. Here are three old-school exercises to work back into your routine:

Hamstring Stretches

There are many variations of the hamstring stretch that are effective, but this is one that will work for most ages and body types. Sit on the floor and straighten one leg in front of you. Bend the other leg so that the sole of the foot is against your straight leg’s inner side. Now lean over your extended leg, reaching for your toes while keeping your back straight. After holding this position for 20-30 seconds, switch leg positions and repeat these steps with your other leg.


The key to an effective and safe push-up is keeping your back straight at all times. Keep your head up while focusing your gaze a couple feet in front of you throughout. Aim for 10 reps at a time.

If you’re having trouble keeping your back straight, or you feel 10 reps is too difficult, place your hands on the second or third step of a staircase. You can gradually work your way down the staircase over the course of a few weeks.

Jump Rope

The jump rope is one of the most quintessential gym class exercises, and most people don’t realize that jumping rope and jogging actually burn the same amount of calories. The key to getting the most out of traditional jump roping is to focus on turning the rope with only your wrists while keeping your jumps low and efficient.

To size the jump rope, stand on the middle of the rope with one foot and raise the handles. They should reach a spot between your underarms and shoulders. The latter is better for beginners. Try jumping for 30 seconds – you’ll be surprised by how much of a sweat you work up!

You should always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting a new exercise regimen. The Hartford does not endorse or have any association with the products and/or services referenced.

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