At Home Workouts: For When You Just Can’t Get To The Gym
Bad weather can be brutal for staying on track with your exercise routines. So what do you do on those days when you’re stuck in the house and can’t make it to the gym? Don’t say you were going to skip your workout just because you’re stuck inside! No way! It’s time to get creative!
One of the most popular at home workout solutions is to pop in an exercise DVD. These videos are popular because of their perceived one on one time with a specialized trainer. Although the trainer is not actually in the room with you, because they talk and look directly into the camera, it can often feel as though they are. Some people also like to use active video games to increase their heart rates at home. The wii and xbox kinect are examples of consoles that are specifically designed to increase physical activity without leaving the house.
If you don’t have exercise DVD’s or a game console that’ll get you up and moving, don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways to stay active.
At Home Weight Training Workouts
There are even ways that you can weight train, without all of that fancy gym equipment. Here are a few last ditch suggestions of things you can use to weight train when you can’t make it to the gym.
Gallon of Water or Milk
If you’re looking for something light to work out with, an 8 pound full gallon of water or milk might be perfect for you. Use them as you would hand weights and you’ll enjoy similar benefits.
These can weigh anywhere from less than a single pound to about 12 pounds depending on the size of your bottle (and the amount of detergent remaining within the bottle). These can also be used as free weights, to see similar results.
Full Duffle Bag
You can fill a duffle bag with anything you want, and the beauty here is that you can therefore make it as heavy as you want (as long as the bag can withstand the weight). You can then use the bag to do bicep curls, bench presses, or even leg extensions.
This tactic should be used carefully, and only by those who can already handle the weight of their children. This might be the option that packs the most weight, but only use your kids during exercises if you can handle their weight and if they are being compliant. Both of you could get hurt if they squirm or fight you on it.
At Home Cardio Workouts
If you aren’t interested in weight training from home, with unregulated equipment then the next few workouts might be more interesting to you. These are workouts that involve only the use of your own body weight against itself, and minimal (if any) use of household items.
Run The Stairs
If you have a set of stairs in your home, then you have a stairmaster available to you 24/7. Running the stairs is a great cardio workout that can quickly increase your heart rate.
Stair Step (Step Ups)
If you’re looking for a little less intensity than running the stairs but you still want to increase your heartrate and work on your lower body then you might want to try stair steps, or step ups. This is when you step up on just a single step first with one foot followed by the other and then step back down again, in the same order. This doesn’t feel like much at first but after a few reps you’ll realize how many muscles you’re working.
Are you looking for a cardio workout that’s simple, takes up minimal space, requires no equipment, and works out every muscle in your body? Then you’ll want to start doing jumping jacks. They’ll increase your heart rate, and improve your cardio fitness level while providing a full body workout.
This exercise involves just one piece of equipment and it doesn’t even need to be an actual jump rope, as long as it’s a rope of the appropriate size that you can use as a jumping rope. Many people stop jumping rope after elementary school forgetting that it’s not just a fun recess activity, it’s actually a great workout too.
This can be done by using an empty roll of paper towels, a piece of string, some tape, or anything thin and long. Place your thin object on the ground vertically and stand with your feet together on one side of the object. Jump, getting your knees as high as you can, over the object laterally and repeat side to side as many times as you can.
These can be done slowly or quickly, depending on your fitness level and involve standing and lifting one knee at a time as high as you can, alternating after each lift. To heighten the intensity on this one act as though you’re running in place but continue pull your knees up as high as you can with each step.
Probably one of the most universally disliked exercises, the burpee is also one of the best full body workouts. To correctly do a burpee you’ll begin in a standing position. Bend over and place your hands flat on the ground (slightly in front of your feet), jump both of your feet backwards at the same time (you should now be in a plank) jump both of your feet forwards (back to your hands), push yourself up and simultaneously jump as high as you can reaching your arms into the air, and repeat. These are burpees, and the full exercise should be done as quickly as you can for as many reps as you can to achieve maximum results.
At Home Ab Workouts
Lay flat on your stomach and reach your arms above your head (keeping them lightly pressed against the floor. Simultaneously lift both of your arms, both of your legs, and your neck and shoulder away from the floor and hold that position for 5 seconds. Rest back on the floor for 2 seconds and repeat. Continue this repetition for as long as you can, for maximum results.
Doing the plank is one of the best ways to strengthen your core and back muscles, while also working on your arm and leg muscles. For this workout you want to position yourself as if you were going to perform a push-up but instead drop your forearms to the ground. Stay on your toes and forearms and keep your head resting in neutral spine. It is unlikely that you will be able to hold this position much longer than two minutes unless it is a normal part of your routine, but hold it as long as you can before you give yourself a break.
A slight variation of the traditional plank, this is focused on working your side abdominal muscles. It is accomplished by starting in a traditional plank position and rotating 90 degrees in either direction. You will now find yourself resting on the outer edge of your lower foot, and your forearm. Find your balance and lift your free arm straight up into the air to straighten your body and help maintain your form. Hold this position until you cannot anymore and then gently lower your body and rest, before repeating on the other side.
Lay flat on your back and bring your feet up about halfway towards your butt (so that your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle), place your hands behind your head or crossed over your chest and use your core and back muscles to bring yourself to a seated position. Slowly and with control lower yourself back to the ground. Do not rock back and forth, and do not rush this exercise.
For this exercise you will be laying in the same position as you would for a sit up but letting your arms lay by your side. Simply lift your butt and pelvis off of the floor using your feet and arms as stabilizers. Do this for as many reps as you can and then take a break for 90 seconds. Once again continue this exercise for as long as you can (repeat at least 5 times).
More At HomeTargeted Workouts
This full body workout uses the full weight of your own body to strengthen and tone muscles. Start by laying flat on your stomach curling your toes underneath your feet and pushing up onto your hands. Now you are in the basic beginning push up position. Slowly and with control lower yourself, by bending your elbows, until you are almost to the ground and then push yourself back up into the starting position. Keep your back straight throughout the entirety of this workout to minimize injury.
Stand up with your legs just wider than the width of your hips (toes pointing slightly outward) with your arms out straight in front of you. This is the starting position of a good squat. Push your hips back and then begin to bend your knees. Keep your knees in line with your feet as you bend until your hip joint is lower than your knees. Your arms should still be outstretched in front of you to help keep your balance. Now push off with your feet and legs and bring yourself back into a standing position. Repeat.
In order to have strong biceps, you must also have strong triceps (a concept that many often overlook). Doing tricep dips at home is simple as long as you have a kitchen or dining room chair that you can use. Begin by sitting on the edge of the chair. Cup your hands on the front edge of the seat and hold yourself up off of the chair then move yourself forward until the chair is no longer beneath you. Slowly and with control lower your butt towards the ground (by bending your elbows) and use your hands on the chair to push yourself back up. Repeat. This will increase your tricep strength and inturn help you to increase your bicep strength.
Stand with your feet hip width apart and your hands resting on your hips. Step one foot out and lower yourself, so that your front leg is bent at a 90 degree angle (your knee should stay behind your foot) and your back leg is straightened with only your toes against the ground. Push back with your front leg into your original standing position and repeat with the other leg. That is one set. Repeat the set as many times as you can.
Start in a standing position with your feet spread wide (but comfortably). Keeping your hands on your hips (for balance) dip down to the left, by bending your left knee and straightening out your right leg. Get as low as you can before pushing yourself back up into your original standing position. Repeat these steps alternating legs for each round.
Depending on what type of exercise you’re looking to do from your home to stay on track with your exercise routine when you can’t make it to the gym because of bad weather you might have to get a little more creative with your execution. That is not an excuse to skip out on your workouts for the day though.
Disclaimer: Be careful anytime you are working out in your own home, as none of the equipment is regulated or exact. Never work out when you are home alone. If you hurt yourself you’ll want to make sure that someone is around to help you.
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