Whether you want to build muscle, burn calories or both, exercising at home is an effective way to get in shape without spending money on a gym membership. However, many people struggle to stay motivated and stick with a workout routine at home. Fortunately, there are a variety of exercises that you can do to make exercise more fun and challenge yourself. With just a little bit of imagination, you can transform your living room into a gym!
Cardio exercises are the cornerstone of any workout plan. They help reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes by strengthening the cardiovascular system and burning fat. Cardio exercises can be done anywhere, and don’t require expensive equipment. For example, a walk around the block can be an excellent low-impact cardiovascular workout that will burn calories and improve your endurance. Other examples of aerobic exercises include jogging, swimming and even yard work like mowing the lawn.
Bodyweight exercises, on the other hand, are movements that use your own weight and gravity to tone and strengthen your body. They typically target multiple muscle groups at once, such as the arms and core when doing a pushup or core and glutes when performing mountain climbers. Because you are working against your own bodyweight, these exercises will usually burn more calories than a traditional weight machine at the gym.
While you can do many bodyweight exercises at home, it is important to perform them correctly to avoid injury. Using a trainer at a gym can provide you with the instruction and supervision necessary to perform these moves properly. You can also find a variety of online resources, including videos and step-by-step graphics, that can help you perform each move safely and effectively.
Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, a good starting point is to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 2-3 times per week. You can also combine moderate aerobic exercise with strength training to complete a full-body workout.
Incorporate strength training exercises into your workout at least twice a week to build muscle and increase overall strength. This can be done with free weights, a resistance band or your own body weight.
A great example of a strength-training exercise that targets both the upper and lower body is the dumbbell row. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and grab the bar with your hands at shoulder height. Slowly pull your shoulders back together and then return to the starting position. Do 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps of this exercise to build your muscles.
Another great strength-training exercise is the standing quadriceps and hamstring squeeze with the resistance band. To do this, loop the resistance band around both of your ankles and hold the ends in each hand. Keep your hands by your sides and bend at the knees, creating a 90-degree angle. Pull your right leg up as far as you can against the resistance, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for the left leg, completing a total of 3 sets on each side.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
FIND HER ON INSTAGRAM OR YOUTUBE THROUGH THE BELOW LINKS