With all the commercials on television for home gym equipment and the latest fitness gadgets, you may be thinking that you need weights to exercise. However, you can learn how to exercise at home without equipment! There are many body weight exercises that will challenge your muscles and get you in shape fast!
Create A Workout Plan
Many people are not motivated to workout, whether it is convenient for them or not. Creating a workout schedule and a workout plan will help you stick with your workouts.
Look at your schedule and determine when you will be able to work out. Try to aim for at least half an hour of physical activity per day, more if possible. Schedule your workout when you will be most likely to follow through with it. If you are a morning person and good at doing things right after you wake up, you should schedule your workout into the morning. If you need a pick me up after lunch, you may find that squeezing it in after your lunch works best. The most important thing is that you plan it in.
Select a few exercises to do. You will want to combine some leg exercises, some arm exercises and some core exercises into your workout. You can do this on your own, or you can draw from home exercise DVDs. Sometimes, I find that working out with an instructor helps me to keep going when I want to stop.
Decide on the number of sets and the repetitions that you will do. If the exercise is challenging, you will do fewer repetitions. For easier exercises, you will increase the repetitions. Many people start their workouts doing three sets of ten. You can alternate between arm exercises and leg exercises to give yourself a bit of a break between sets.
Challenging the leg muscles with squats is a safe and effective exercise that you can do at home. Squats aid in building your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves). They also create an anabolic environment, which enhances body-wide muscle building.
When squats are done properly, they are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body. Both of these are vital for muscle growth and assist in helping to improve muscle mass when you work other areas of your body.
Squats can help to improve your upper and lower body fitness.
Push ups will challenge your arm muscles and develop those triceps. The push up is one of the greatest exercises of all time. Not only do they strengthen the arms, shoulders and chest, but they also train the core and build conditioning without equipment. You can do them anywhere at anytime!
If you get tired of doing the same old push-ups, you can increase their difficulty. You can do push-ups with your hands elevated to decrease their difficulty. You can also do them with your legs elevated for an added challenge. The weight will shift from your legs to your arms and shoulders.
The pike push up is even more of a challenge. It is the cousin to the overhead press. It stimulates doing the exercise with just one arm.
To get cardiovascular exercise and strength training in during one exercise, you can’t beat the burpee. They have a reputation for a reason. Burpees are one of the most efficient exercises out there. They are also extremely challenging. Fitness buffs love to incorporate them into their workouts and so should you!
Burpees are a sweat-drenching move that turns your body into the best piece of workout equipment ever. They train virtually every muscle in your body, including your chest, core and legs. Burpees also quickly increase your heart rate for great calorie-torching, muscle building benefits.
You must do the reps with good form. Here are some step-by-step guidelines to do a great burpee.
- Start in a standing position withfeet shoulder-width apart, place your weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides.
- Bend your knees, push your hips back and lower your body into a squat.
- Place your hands on the floor directly in front of you. Shift your weight onto your hands.
- Extend your legs as you jump back to land in a plank position. Your body should have a straight line from your head to your heels. Make sure that you back isn’t sagging or your butt up in the air.
- Bring your feet back up to meet your hands.
- Explosively jump into the air with your arms above your head.
- As you land, immediately get ready to go into a squat position and do it again!
Pilates utilizes a mat, but no other exercise equipment, which is why I included it in this post.
Pilates has been known for creating lean and toned bodies. The benefits of Pilates go beyond the simple core strength and flexibility. In addition to the toning benefits of Pilates, a regular practice of Pilates will help ease back pain, improve bone density and boost your heart rate. These benefits make Pilates a great cross-training workout. It is a good plateau-busting change to regular weight lifting and cardio fitness.
Even though Pilates has limited cardiovascular benefits, it is one of the most effective and challenging ways to develop core stability and strength. Having a strong core will improve your posture and reduce your vulnerability to injury. Pilates also will promote muscular endurance and flexibility.
Not only does yoga lengthen underutilized muscles, it also strengthens your muscles as you hold them longer and longer. One of the benefits of yoga is that you calm your mind as well as your body.
You can get a great cardiovascular workout in through workouts such as the Beachbody Focus 25 with Shaun T. There are a wide variety of DVDs available that will challenge you and keep you interested in working out. There are workouts that focus on dance, hip hop. You can go for really challenging workout DVDs such as Insanity with Shaun T or P90X.