Toning up, gaining strength or building mass are all goals of gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts. However, you don’t always need to hit the gym to see some massive results from your exercises. Instead, there are ways to get fit and healthy at home using a few different styles of exercise.
Bodyweight exercise, or calisthenics, is working out using the weight of your own body. This, in effect, means exercises like press-ups, sit-ups, lunges and bodyweight squats. These can go a long way towards developing a healthy, toned physique – especially for beginners. While they don’t develop as much mass as weighted exercises, you can build a strong bodyweight routine that incorporates the main muscle groups for an all-over workout.
Example workout to target the full body:
- 3 x 10 press-ups (Do these from your knees if you can’t achieve full ones)
- 3 x 5 wide-arm press-ups
- 3 x 20 sit-ups
- 3 x 20 leg-raises
- 3 x 20 bodyweight squats
- 3 x 10 lunges (5 each leg)
If you purchase a pull-up bar you can increase the variety of your workout by incorporating pull-ups, chin-ups and hanging leg raises into a routine.
You can also use a chair to perform tricep dips. Click here to watch a video tutorial.
Go further: Once you’ve reached a high standard of strength and no longer struggle with bodyweight exercise, look to increase difficulty by incorporating plyometric movement (jumping squats etc) and handstands.
Cardio doesn’t always mean miles and miles of open road. Instead, you can blast through a fat-melting series of exercises in your living room. Considering that the best way to burn fat is intense cardio, you can sometimes achieve better results in less time than an endurance based run or cycle.
Burpees are the bane of fitness enthusiast’s lives, but they’re also fantastic for raising your metabolic rate (which helps burn fat.) Check out this video to see how to perform them. Get through 3 rounds of 20 burpees with minimal rest and you’ll be breathing hard and burning calories for hours. You can then incorporate star jumps and ‘climbers’ in between rest periods to up the difficulty.
If you have a staircase in your house, you should consider stair sprints. These work like hill sprints – so tackle your stairs as quickly as possible, walk back down and then repeat. Aim for 10 times for an average sized staircase.
Just because you’re not attending the gym, it doesn’t mean you can slack with your nutrition. While you may not have the time or capacity to prepare meals like seriously dedicated athletes, you can adhere to the following rules to stay healthy.
- Avoid white bread as much as possible
- Keep your carbohydrate intake limited to a few hours before or after training
- Eat more healthy fats (nuts and avocados are a great source)
- Avoid sugar and snacks
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
- Consider a performance based nutrition supplement such as whey protein which will help with muscle recovery and growth. Maxinutrition is a good brand that offers a wellbeing range for ongoing muscle maintenance.