Going to the gym has definite benefits and it’s a great way to socialize with fitness-minded people. But what do you do when going to the gym is not an option? You adjust your routine and workout at home. You may even find that you actually enjoy working out at home.
A huge benefit to home workouts is the time factor. Time is a precious commodity and we never have enough of it. Exercising at home cuts out drive time, machine waiting time, and the small-talk with the well-meaning stranger who happened to catch your eye time.
You may think you can’t get a good workout at home, but in fact, you can probably get a better workout. You can plan your workouts around the equipment you have and if you don’t have any, you’ve got your body weight. A little creativity goes a long way.
Here are some exercises to get you started. Make it a circuit and complete the circuit 3 times. You’ll drop pounds and build muscle right in your living room. If you don’t have dumbells use milk cartons filled with sand or water.
Bring your Routine from the Gym to the House
How to do it: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the weights until the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Focus on keeping your elbows still – only your lower arm should move. Squeeze your bicep at the top of the contraction then lower slowly and repeat.
How to do it: Adopt a fighting stance and bounce on your toes as you shadow box. Dip and weave to your heart’s content.
Skipping / Jump rope
How to do it: Grab the rope at both ends. Use your wrists to flick it around your body, jumping to clear the rope as it hits the ground. Make the move more intense with double underletting the rope pass round you twice for every jump
How to do it: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, position your legs shoulder-width apart. Keeping your head up and back straight, sit back into the squat until the dumbbells are an inch from the floor. Focus on keeping your knees over your toes and chest out – don’t arch your back or lean forward as you dropdown. Exhale, straighten your legs and return to the starting position.
How to do it: Grab a heavy dumbbell in each hand – think half your body weight – and hold them at your sides. Stand up tall with your shoulders back and walk forward as quickly as you can using short steps.
How to do it: Stand holding a light dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lift the dumbbells out to the side until they reach shoulder height – no higher – and resist the urge to cheat by swinging the weight. Pause, then lower back to your sides, slowly – you’ll build more muscle fighting gravity than letting it do the work for you.
How to do it: From a standing position squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor and place your palms on the floor. From there kick your feet back as far as you can while keeping your arms extended. As soon as your feet land jump them back in towards your hands, then jump up into the air. Land and immediately squat down to go into the next rep.
How to do it: Get in a push-up position, but rest on your forearms rather than your hands. Make sure your back is straight and tense your abs and glutes. Hold without allowing your hips to sag.
How to do it: Lie on your left side with your legs straight and prop yourself onto your elbow. Brace your core and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line. Hold this position while breathing deeply. Roll over and repeat on the other side.
How to do it: Lie on your back with hands above you and feet up so your knees are at 90 degrees. Straighten your leg until your heel is an inch from the floor and then return to the start position. Repeat with the other leg.
Dumbbell floor press
How to do it: Lie down on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the elbows and hold the weights above you. Press up and straighten your arms before pausing at the top of the rep and lowering slowly to the start position.
How to do it: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on either side of your head. Push your lower back into the floor as you lift your shoulders a few inches off the floor – make sure your lower back stays in contact with the ground at all times. Tense your abs hard at the top point of the movement, then return under control to the start position.
Lower back curl
How to do it: Lie down flat with your arms by your sides. Slowly raise your chest upwards, with your arms down. Keep your head up during the move. Once you’ve reached the furthest point up, lower yourself back down.
How to do it: Start standing, core engaged. Bring the right heel behind you to touch the right glute. Bring the right foot back down to the ground, then repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides, and speed it up for an added challenge. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, and then continue to the next move.
How to do it: Start standing, then fold forward. Keeping legs straight (knees can be bent slightly if hamstrings are tight), begin walking hands out until shoulders are over wrists and body is straight. Walk hands back toward feet, keeping legs as straight as possible. Return to standing. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, and then continue to the next move.
Lateral Bear Crawl
How to do it: Start in bear plank, with shoulders over wrists, knees under hips, and hovering a few inches off of the mat. Move hands and feet left for three steps, keeping hips stable, head in line with the tailbone, and knees lifted off of the floor. Don’t let feet or hands cross. Move hands and feet right for three steps. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, alternating directions, and then continue to the next move.
Seated Straight-Leg Lift
How to do it: Start seated with the legs extended out in front of you. While sitting tall and engaging core, hinge forward slightly. Keep feet flexed while lifting right heel 3 to 5 inches off the ground. Pause and lower, then repeat with the left leg. Complete as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, alternating legs, then rest for 10 seconds. Continue to the next move.
How to do it: Stand upright with your legs together, arms at your sides. Bend your knees slightly, and jump into the air. As you jump, spread your legs to be about shoulder-width apart. Stretch your arms out and over your head. Jump back to the starting position. Repeat.
How to do it: Start standing with feet hip-distance apart. Then, lift up your right knee as high as it will go and raise the opposite arm, then switch quickly so the left knee is up before the right foot lands. Continue pulling knees up quickly for as long as desired.
When you are working out at home it doesn’t matter what you wear, what kind of mood you are in, or how many excuses you give yourself for not working out that day. Deep down you know there is no good excuse and you just have to do it.
Right now with the COVID-19 pandemic and kids being out of school longer than the summer, television viewing has risen 300 percent. Taking your routine home shows your family that fitness is important and you can help get them motivated to move. Sitting is the new smoking. It’s a killer.