Republic News India


Juvena Herbals: Stay Fit from Home Series. Part 1: Core

15 Nov 2022.4:19 PM

There is a monotonicity in maintaining a certain level of physical activity these days. Eat, sleep, train repeat. With this kind of monotonicity, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay committed to a certain training routine. This is especially true when it comes to resistance training. Often, one tends to rush through their workouts or increase the hours spent inside the gym, with plateauing results. The following article tries to bring back the fun in physical training while highlighting interesting ways to increase strength, endurance, and muscular hypertrophy, while also hitting multiple muscle groups.

Short workout sessions but equally fun and intense.

Pre-lockdown: Hitting the gym, track and field, 30 minutes treadmill/cross trainer/spin bike sessions. Making “gains” was all the craze and it was easy too. One could easily spot more and more physically active people each passing day as the trend picked up in our country.

Lockdown:Public places/stadiums/tracks get shut down and a stay at home/almost sedentary life began, thinking that it was all temporary. With inactivity came the laziness in attitude of most gym goers, resulting in loss of “gains”.

Post Lockdown: A newfound enthusiasm was seen amongst people to make those gains again. But this was further from being consistent for two main reasons. Firstly, the laziness in overall attitude became a major barrier. Secondly, physiologically speaking, human body is against the idea of building muscles to reduce strain on the cardio-vascular and nervous systems. However, the stronger the heart is the easier it is to maintain muscle mass and overall efficiency of the respiratory systems.

But what to do if you lose interest in lifting weights? What to do if you see yourself stagnating at a certain level of performance? What to do to make workouts more interesting and intense? What to do to increase mobility, strength, physique, and endurance all at the same time without spending hours and hours at the gym? Let us explore a few hacks that you can implement to make your workouts more intense and enjoyable using a few to no equipment, all present at your home. This is not just about the exercises but the way those exercises are performed that will challenge you to your limits, helping you to even break them.

I don’t mean to say that resistance training won’t help in achieving your goals. Resistance training is the most effective in sculpting your body but there are limitations in terms of functional strength. You train your muscles in isolation and only at certain angles. Resistance training often doesn’t involve compound movements (more than two or more muscle groups at a time). Also, many don’t have access to equipment, weights, treadmills.


When it comes to core exercises one tends to focus mainly on the following muscle groups:
1> Upper abdominals
3> Lower Abdominals

A large fraction tends to ignore the lower back and the obliques and serratus (below the pectorals, either side) muscles.There is one exercise that focusses on all these groups: Knee tucks.
Sounds simple? It is and it is not. Just by changing the way you perform a knee tuck, targets multiple muscle groups at the same time.

Remember the following two hacks:

  • Intensity Hack: Slow, controlled movements using the full range of motion, without breaking form. Builds raw strength, hypertrophy, and a bit of muscular endurance.
  • Endurance hack:Fast reps, full range of motion, strict form. Relies on the elasticity of muscle fibres. Builds endurance, great cardio. Lesser raw strength progression and hypertrophy.

1>Declined Knee tucks: Targets lower abs and quadriceps. Two variations: Assisted and Unassisted. Add a torso side to side rotation to each rep to target those obliques.

2>Hollow Body Knee tucks: Targets mid-section, lower abs, a little bit of hamstrings and glutes for balancing. Add a torso side to side rotation to each rep to target those obliques.

3>Hanging knee raises: Targets the serratus, lower back, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, and the lower abs.  This is a great exercise for beginners who are looking to develop basic pull strength as well because of a relatively higher focus on hanging against gravity that engages the laterals, upper back, scapular muscles, and forearms. Once you become comfortable with knee raises (10-12 reps lasting 7 seconds each), you can move on to even advanced exercises as Hanging Leg Raises and Hanging Obliques.

Rep Range: As a misconception, most people tend to think that the number of repetitions of an exercise is an indication of strength. It is not. Doing the movement as slow as 7 seconds to one repetition, builds deep strength, doesn’t make your body rely on the elasticity of the muscles but on the sheer time under tension that is more effective in building strength, insertions, hypertrophy, and physique.
The most efficient way to train would generally include 2 sets of high volume (Endurance Hack) till almost failure, resting for a minute after every set, followed by 2 sets of 2 minutes each of the same exercise but with slow repetitions (Intensity Hack) and resting 1 – 2 minutes after each set.

Dhananjay Singh

Director: Juvena Herbals (

Co-Founder: TTeamBlends (Instagram: TTeamBlends_)



This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt Publisher: Republic News India