It’s a common misconception that you need a gym membership and a hurly burly trainer named Garth to get in shape. You can improve your fitness level in the comfort and privacy of your own home with little to no equipment. With a little creativity and a lot of sweat, you can get a stellar workout without leaving your home.
Gyms spend a lot of money trying to convince you that you need THEM to get fit. And while a gym can be a wonderful resource, it’s good to have an option you can do on your own if you have limited money, space, or equipment.
Home Workout Plan
The following home workout is designed for beginners and can be modified depending on your fitness level.
What You’ll Need
- A small towel
- An exercise mat (or large bath towel)
- A chair or access to steps
- A bottle of water.
Follow this circuit workout for a path to a more trim, healthier you. For each step of the circuit that requires sets, aim for 12 – 20 repetitions.
Jog in place or march for five minutes.
Tighten the abdominal muscles, place feet slightly wider than your hips, keep your weight in your heels and slowly lower your buttocks stopping just short of a 90 degree angle at the knees. Pause and stand back up. Repeat.
Place hands slightly wider than shoulders and keep the shoulders aligned over the hands. These may done with straight legs or modified, on the knees. Keep the abdominals tight throughout the set.
Using a step or a chair, step up with the right foot and then the left. Step down with the right foot. After this set, alternate your lead foot and start with the left. Keep the abdominals tight.
Low Back Extension
Lie on your stomach with your arms straight next to your head. Exhale and simultaneously lift the arms and legs. Pause and return to the floor. Repeat while keeping the abdominals engaged.
Close Grip Push-ups
Place hands 4 – 5 inches apart on the floor. These may be done with straight legs or modified, on the knees. Elbows will bend outward and the range of motion may be smaller than a standard push-up.
Lie on your back and support the head with the hands. Keep elbows wide and knees bent with your feet on the floor. Exhale and slowly lift the shoulders towards the ceiling (not the knees). The range of movement will be small. Take care not to pull on the neck.
Keeping the abdominals tight, step forward with the right foot. Keep your focus on the back leg and bend the knee until it is parallel with the floor. Push off with the right foot and repeat on the left side. Keep the buttocks squeezed to prevent low back injury or overuse.
With your feet hip distance apart, grab two bottles of water and lean slightly forward. Tighten the abdominals and the buttocks. Drop your arms down so that your palms are facing each other. Exhale and slowly raise arms so that the shoulder blades squeeze together.
Using the step or chair, sit down and place your hands behind you, keeping the elbows fairly close together. Scoot your buttocks off the surface and bend the elbows to slowly lower yourself towards the floor. Knees may be bent or straight depending on the level of difficulty desired.
Face down on the floor, come up on your elbows and toes. Keep the shoulders over the elbows and your body in a straight line. Keep the abdominals and buttocks tight. Breathe slowly and hold as long as possible.
From a standing position, reach towards your toes and allow your upper body to hang slack. Feel the stretch in the back of your legs. Slowly stand up, clasp your hands together and reach towards the sky. Feel the stretch in the abdominals and along your sides.
Do this entire circuit once and see how you feel. If you’re exhausted, take a rest and get back at it tomorrow. If you still have some juice left, do it a second time (or a third if you’ve had excessive amounts of coffee).
It’s important to ease into a new workout routine slowly.
- Take your time and make sure your form is correct.
- Drink water as often as necessary during the workout.
- Have a healthy meal 1 – 2 hours before working out and plan for a protein-rich snack afterward.
- Do the circuit 2-3 times per week and add in walking, running or biking for a well-rounded exercise program.
- Don’t forget to stretch after each workout.
Fitness does not have to be complicated or expensive. This routine can be done anytime, anywhere. All you need is a little motivation, determination and the willingness to work hard. Good luck with your gym-free workout circuit!