Whether you’re a beginner or a fitness pro, working out at home can be a challenge. Luckily, you don’t need an expensive gym membership or equipment to build muscle and burn fat. In fact, some of the most effective exercises for building muscle and burning fat are simple bodyweight workouts.
Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere, and they’re a great way to make the most of limited space. For example, if you don’t have a lot of floor space, you can do squats and lunges in place or on a chair. Other bodyweight exercises include push-ups, pull-ups, and triceps dips. Using these exercises will strengthen your entire body and help you develop strength and confidence that can carry over to other activities, such as walking up stairs.
Another benefit of using bodyweight exercises is that they can be used to create an entire workout. The key is to select a combination of exercises that target all major muscles in the upper, lower, and mid-body areas. You can also add in some cardio exercises to improve your heart health. If you don’t have a set of exercise equipment, try exercising outdoors or at the local park or playground.
While it’s important to focus on a few exercises that hit all major muscle groups, it’s equally important to mix up your workouts so that you work different muscles each time. This will prevent you from hitting the same muscles all the time, which can lead to muscle fatigue and can reduce the benefits of your workout.
For example, if you’re targeting your shoulders, do some squats and lunges followed by some shoulder presses. You can also switch up your arm position on the chest press and try variations like a reverse push-up or a pistol squat to target different muscle fibers.
There are also some great online workout programs that can provide a variety of exercises and help you plan the perfect at-home fitness routine. For instance, The Class by Taryn Toomey offers free online streaming workouts that are designed for people living with trauma.
The best way to determine how many sets and reps you should perform for each exercise is based on your training goals. For example, if your goal is to build muscle, then you should use an intensity that allows you to do six to 12 reps per set before getting too tired. This amount of reps will ensure that you’re building muscle, not just improving muscle endurance.
You can also consider doing some high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This is a great way to get a great cardiovascular workout without needing to go to the gym. In one study, Bellissimo and her colleagues had healthy participants complete a workout consisting of five different bodyweight exercises. They ran for one minute, walked for two minutes, and then repeated the entire sequence for a total of 11 rounds. This workout took less than an hour and was just as effective as running on a treadmill at top speed.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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