There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to the gym. But, if you can't, it shouldn't be used as an excuse. Here are 5 exercises you can do without equipment to jump start your exercise routine.
Doing your workout at home offers a number of clear advantages compared to going to the gym, and for many people, it’s simply the only approach that they can keep up with. It saves you the cost of a gym membership, and for those who are tight on time, it can be more ideal.
Learning which movements are going to serve you best will help ensure that you can create an exercise session that’s time-effective and will bring you the results that you’re looking for. You can perform any of the exercises listed below by using your own weight as resistance, or challenge yourself with weights if you happen to have them.
First, let's look at some factors that you need to take into account when it comes to designing a workout session.
- Your time availability. Assess how much time you have to devote each day or week. This will determine the nature of your program. High intensity interval training is a type of exercise circuit program that produces faster results despite the short workout lengths.
- Your workout split. Do you prefer to work the entire body in one session, or split muscle groups up into multiple sessions throughout the week?
- Your current fitness level. Do you need a beginners program or something that is more advanced?
- Your equipment availability. Are you working out in the comfort of your own home with minimal or no equipment, or will you have access to a commercial gym with plenty of weights and machines? The exercises in this article can all be done without any equipment for those starting out at home.
- Your health goals. Are you just looking for fat loss or do you want to improve your physical performance and endurance as well?
- The exercises you’ve done in the past. Are there certain forms of exercise that you know you enjoy more and would like to do more of? Or is there something you know you dislike?
- Your boredom factor. How easily do you get bored on a workout program – and how often does any plan you use need to change, either to accommodate your schedule or retain your interest?
- Is strength gain a priority? This will dictate how many strength-training versus cardio sessions you need each week.
- What muscle groups do you want to target? This determines the exercises that you should use. No matter what, though, don’t neglect a whole part of the body, especially not your core.
People who take time to design their workout programs and put thought into answering the questions above fare much better.
The truth is that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to exercise. The best program is going to be the one that you enjoy and can stick with over time.
Now let's go over a few basic exercises you can incorporate into your workout session. These can be done at home as they require no equipment and can be done by beginners.
- Push-Ups. Push-ups can be performed at ground level. Absolute beginners can start with their knees on the ground. Those who want a bit more challenge can do them with the hands or feet up on the couch.
- Squats. Bodyweight squats are a great movement for getting your heart rate higher and working all the muscles in the lower body. If you want to challenge yourself, try split squats. Placing one leg up on a bench behind you, move into the lunge position, your front leg bent at a 90-degree angle. This variation is a perfect way to challenge your gluteus muscle and build a stronger buttock.
- Chair dips. This exercise can be done on any chair you have around the house or off the edge of the bed. This is an especially good exercise for women as women naturally have more flab at their triceps area.
- Jump lunges. This exercise is excellent for hitting the entire lower body while burning up a high amount of calories at the same time. If you don’t have more than a few minutes to spare, do these lunges to make the most of your workout time.
- Mountain climbers. This cardio movement will burn up calories and strengthen the core all at once.
So, there you have the best at-home exercises that you should add to your workout session. A quick Google search will show you a lot more exercises, more variations and videos on how to perform them properly. Try and mix up your workout exercises often, as this will keep you more interested in the program and motivated to continue working these moves into your day. Those who add enough variety in their workouts not only see faster results, but tend to stay the course far better as well.
This guest post is written by Ireland-base Dr. Denise Karlyn Hee, a medical doctor practicing nutrigenomic medicine and certified integrative nutrition health coach. If you’d like to find out more about this topic or consult with Dr. Denise, feel free to message her via her RingMD profile (profile here).
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