There are two kinds of people in this world: Professional Athletes….and then there’s the rest of the world. Pro athletes MUST perform, therefore their exercise and training is built into their world. They have the finest facilities and equipment. They also have the needed time structured into their daily lives. This of course makes their training quite easy to get to, schedule-wise.
But what about the rest of the world? They have to work, raise families, attend school, take care of their homes, etc., and then try to fit in an adequate amount of exercise. Thank goodness we have the modern day health clubs located all around us. Gyms are everywhere,.but you still have to make time to travel to and from those facilities, and some complain that this travel time might equal or exceed the actual training time itself!
Thank goodness also for the evolution of various small pieces of equipment. This means that we can actually get fit at home by doing exercise at home. No travel time. No worry about how you look. No fancy workout clothing. No waiting in line. For many of us, this is the ideal setup. It allows us to be most efficient with our time and schedules. This of course translates to being more likely to get our exercise consistently. Try these 6 exercises you can do at home to get started.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
When deciding to work out at home, you should simply make sure your physical movements adhere to the same rules of physiology as they would at a gym. Let me address that issue: Muscles always “contract”. They do not “push,” they contract and “pull”.
Some muscles contract to extend resistance away from the body. Others contract to bring resistance back toward the body. We need to design home workouts to accomplish this among our muscle groups, like these three quick and difficult at-home workouts.
Adding resistance can easily be done with simple body weight, dumbbells, barbells, rubber resistance bands/tubing, or small machines. Most home spaces won’t accommodate machinery…just too big. However, if we stick to a small system, it can be used in virtually any home environment.
Equipment to help you get fit at home
Set of adjustable dumbbells: these are now quite affordable. They go from less than 5 lbs all the way to 50 lbs and beyond, yet they occupy only a small footprint area. Some can even be stowed away when not in use. Cost: $100–500 US
Small adjustable bench: also rather inexpensive these days. Use one that will incline a bit. Some of these collapse for storage. Others can be tipped up against a wall or closet when not in use. Cost: $35–300 US
Chin-up bar or rack: these mount in doorways, garage ceilings, or they might be free-standing. Simple design works so once again…affordable. Cost: $50-150 US
Resistance bands/tubing: plenty of “sets” out there. All very inexpensive. Try this full-body resistance band workout once you’ve found one that’s right for you.
Cost: $10-$12/ea—$50/set US
This should give you everything you need. Now you can add things like a barbell and weight plates, or a barbell rack, but now you need more space. Just start with what you can afford and what you have space for. Remember whatever you do spend is probably going to be less than ongoing gym membership fees.
Now for those movements:
Upper Body: push-ups, bench press, chin-ups, rowing, shoulder press, shoulder lateral raises, upper arm triceps extensions, biceps curls, bent-leg back deadlifts, just to name a few.
Lower Body: squats, lunges, stiff-leg deadlifts (aka Romanian Deadlifts), calf raises, hip abduction, just to name a few here as well.
Of course there are many at-home fitness exercises. Simply using dumbbells against gravity, whether you’re pushing them away from you or pulling them back toward you. Use body weight for things like push-ups, etc. Use resistance bands much like you would use a cable setup at the gym, the movements just need to stretch the band for resistance.
An easy way to guide you through your home workout is to remember that our fingers, hands, arms, and legs are all simply “lever arms”. They bend (flex) and straighten out (extend). By flexing and extending, we work our bodies in functional ways. Our muscles don’t know whether or not they are being worked at a gym or at home. And some muscle groups, like the core, are just as easy to workout at home.
Doesn’t matter! Just stick with movements that load the muscles and enjoy the efficiency of minimal time required for your exercise!