Exercises You Can Do From Your Kitchen
by Emily Neill
Tight on time? Zero equipment? Want to exercise at home? We’ve got you covered with these five exercises you can do whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or even prepping dinner. Now that’s multi-tasking.
This is the simplest exercise of them all and can be done whilst standing in front of a countertop, as a break between chopping your veggies. Simply stand with your feet positioned shoulder width apart and rest your hands on the surface (for stability). Keeping the balls of your feet planted, all you’re going to do is continually raise your heels up and down.
How many times?: aim for 30 calf raises, and repeat 3 times. It may sound easy, but keep the movement slow and controlled for the ultimate calf burn.
To advance: Got a watermelon? Some tins? A bottle of water? Use this as a weight and hold in front of you (or even above your head if you want to be particularly mean to yourself), and repeat the exercise. The weight acts as an extra bit of resistance to get those calves fired up.
A press-up on your kitchen countertop, breakfast bar or kitchen table, is a great way to strengthen your upper body. You’ve got two variations here: either position your hands slightly further than shoulder width apart for a standard press-up, or bring your hands closer together for a more isolated tricep (back of your arm) press. Stand further away from the surface to intensify the exercise as this forces your upper-body to take the majority of your bodyweight.
How many times?: Try 4 sets of 10 press-ups. Shorten your rest period in between each set if you want to get your heart rate up.
To advance: Try adding in a bounce between reps: simply use the press-up motion to propel you a couple of inches off the surface in between reps. This adds a plyometric (fancy way of saying bouncy) element and increases the intensity of the exercise!
These are a great leg-strengthening exercise and can literally be done anywhere. Start with your back flat against a wall (your fridge will work wonders here), and slowly slide down as though you’re about to sit on a chair. Stop when your legs are at a 90 degree angle to the floor, and keep your feet firmly grounded. Hold for 30 seconds. Trust us, these burn.
How many times?: Try three sets of 45 seconds, with a 1 minute rest in between. That means just under 6 minutes work in total. That also means by the time you’re finished, your allplants meals will be ready to be enjoyed straight from the microwave.
To advance: Try elevating your foot off the floor whilst in the wall sit position, and keep it raised for 15 seconds before switching. Keep your hips flat against the wall..
Create a runway for yourself on your kitchen floor for this next exercise. Standing with your feet hip width apart, you’re going to take one step forward before lowering your back knee to the ground, keeping your upper body straight the entire time. That’s your first lunge. Keep the weight in your front heel as you push off your back leg to return to your starting position. Repeat on the other side.
How many times?: Aim for 12 in total (6 each leg). Don’t have a big enough runway? No problem – just do a static lunge.
To advance: Take a hold of those tomato cans from your cupboard and hold them by your side for a little extra weight as you lunge forward. Feeling extra sporty? Do a bicep curl with every lunge you take.
Squats are great, and if there’s one exercise you do whilst your allplants dinner is heating up, it’s these: they’re a compound exercise, meaning multiple muscle groups are fired up at once.
To perform a squat, start with your feet slightly further than hip width apart, keep your gaze looking forward and your chest open. Slowly lower yourself down onto that invisible (uncomfortable) chair again, until your legs are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Keeping your heels grounded, power back up to your starting position, and repeat. Try to keep the up-down squat motion continual and controlled.
How many times?: Aim for 10 repetitions, 3 times, breaking in between each set so you don’t burn your dinner!
To advance: mastered the standard squat? Add in a jump to switch it to a high intensity jumping squat.
Now you’ve got your kitchen exercises sorted, you just need your post-workout meal. Head to our menu to check out our range of healthy, plant-protein filled meals.
By Emily Neill
Emily is our Content and Community Assistant by day, and qualified PT by… later that day. She couldn’t live without exercise (makes sense) so can usually be spotted in her favourite spin class, with our Three Mushroom Risotto for afters.