Written by Caitlin

5 exercises with a fitness mat

Doing home fitness exercises on a mat is easy to plan. When you have a long working day behind it, it is nicer to do some exercises at home quickly than you have to go all the way to the gym. So you quickly do a training before your favorite series starts. But which exercises do you do exactly on such a fitness mat? I give you 5 fitness exercises that are most suitable for beginners.

1. Hundred

muscles hundred fitness mat

Muscle groups

The hundred is a pilates exercise that focuses on the straight abs. The name already betrays how often you have to do the movement. You go up and down 100 times with your arms. This movement seems simple, but the movement of the arms makes you have to work harder to keep your body still. This fitness exercise focuses on the straight abdominal muscles.

explanation hundred fitness mat

Step by step

  1. Lie on your back on the mat and bring your legs 90 degrees in the air.
  2. Curl your upper body slightly so that your shoulder blades come off the mat. Keep your arms along your body.
  3. Move your arms up and down with your arms.
  4. Combine the movement of your arms with your breathing: 5 movements in and 5 movements out.

Tip

Keep your body still while moving the arms. Make sure there is tension on the abdominal muscles all the time. Do you want to make it even heavier for yourself? Then choose to stretch your legs. Make sure you do not pull down and that your lower back stays in the mat.

2. Back extension

muscles back extension fitness mat

Muscle groups

A strong lower back is important. You need to tighten these muscles during abdominal exercises. These muscles also ensure a good posture, which prevents back complaints. With the back extension you mainly train the muscles in your lower back, but also your buttocks and hamstrings have to provide tension.

explanation back extension fitness mat

Step by step

  1. Lie on your stomach on the mat and stretch your legs.

  2. Put your hands under your forehead and tighten your abdominal muscles.

  3. Raise your upper body while keeping your feet on the mat.

  4. Slowly return to the starting position.

Tip

Remember in the back extension that you also keep tension on your stomach. You want to tighten your lower back and not just go hollow. You prevent this by tightening your stomach and lower back. Do you want to make the exercise heavier? Then, in step 3, also raise your legs.

3. Fire hydrant

muscles fire hydrant fitness mat

Muscle groups

Training the side of your leg and buttocks is difficult. Usually a device in the gym is used for this. With the Fire Hydrant this is also easy to do at home. With this exercise you train all the buttocks, with the emphasis more on the side. The side of your thigh is also being tackled.

explanation fire hydrant fitness mat

Step by step

  1. Sit on your hands and knees. Make sure your shoulders are above your hands.
  2. Keep your leg bent and raise it to about 90 degrees.
  3. Then bring your leg back to the starting position.

Tip

Important in this exercise is that you keep your back still. You have a tendency to compensate when you raise your leg. Do not pinch the sides of your back to get your leg higher. Do you want to make the exercise heavier? Hold your leg after a number of repetitions at the top.

4. Burpees

muscle burpees fitness mat

Muscle groups

Burpees, it is an exercise that you love or hate. The exercise is not only good for your muscles, but also for your endurance. In the burpees you train your entire body, although the emphasis is on the stomach, quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

explanation burpees fitness mat

Step by step

  1. Stand at the front of your mat with your feet at hip width.
  2. Bend your knees and place your hands on the floor.
  3. Jump back into the shelf position.
  4. Jump back with your feet to your hands.
  5. Stand up and make a small leap into the air as you gather your hands over your head.

Tip

It is important that you perform the exercise in a controlled manner. When you jump to the plank position, keep your stomach muscles tight, so that you do not fall through your back. Do you want to make the exercise heavier? Then, after jumping to plank position, do a push-up before jumping back.

5. Glute bridge

muscle glute bridge fitness mat

Muscle groups

I finish with the glute bridge. This is a good exercise for your glutes. You train both the big gluteal muscle and the deep gluteal muscle. This is the muscle that lies under your other buttock muscles. Your hamstrings, quadriceps and abdominal muscles also need to work hard. Moreover, this is also a handy exercise to increase your stability.

explanation glute bridge fitness mat

Step by step

  1. Lie on your back and put your feet on the floor. Place your feet slightly closer to your buttocks than you would with abdominal muscles.
  2. Put your arms on the ground along your body as light support.
  3. Raise your hips and buttocks until you form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  4. Then slowly lower your hips again until you almost touch the ground.

Tip

Also keep your abdominal muscles tight again, so that your back stays straight. You can tighten your buttocks at the highest point. This way you make sure you focus on this muscle group. Do you want to make the exercise a bit heavier? Then extend 1 leg in line with the line that forms your body and then make the movements.

Train carefully

With these 5 fitness exercises on a fitness mat you train many different muscles in your body. To make exercises heavier you have different options. Always make sure that your posture is correct and that you do not perform the exercises too quickly. Are you curious about more floor exercises or do you want personal advice? Then go to a nearby gym nearby so that you are well guided.

Caitlin
Article by:
Caitlin Fitness mat specialist.

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