Whether you’re a longtime gym-goer or just getting started, working out at home offers an opportunity to create your own routine that will keep you fit while you’re at work or without access to a fitness studio or public space. While there are some drawbacks to exercising at-home (like a lack of scenery and socializing with peers), it’s also possible to build an effective exercise program that’ll help you reach your goals.
One of the best things about exercising at-home is that you can get your workout in whenever and wherever it fits into your schedule. No more waiting for a class to start, or worrying about whether your kids are ready to pick you up, or making excuses about a rainy day. And you can do a variety of exercises—from simple bodyweight movements to more complex workouts like circuit training.
When you’re exercising at home, it’s important to be careful not to overdo it and end up injured. But you can make your at-home workouts just as effective as a class in the gym or at the studio by using the right strategies and knowing which exercises to avoid.
If you’re not used to working out at home, starting with a low-intensity workout may be wise before gradually increasing your intensity. This can prevent injuries and help you get more comfortable with exercise at-home.
Many of the best at-home exercises don’t require any equipment other than your own bodyweight, which is good news for people who were worried about losing access to their favorite dumbbells and resistance bands in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, you can use your body weight for a variety of effective strength training and cardiovascular exercises, such as jumping jacks and marching in place.
If you do want to add some extra challenge to your at-home workout, try adding some plyometric or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises into your routine. These exercises can increase your heart rate and burn more calories than traditional cardio. However, it’s important to consult a fitness professional before trying plyometric or high-intensity exercises at home, especially if you’re not accustomed to them.
For a simple but effective upper body strength-training workout, try a pair of resistance bands. Stand with your arms extended out in front of you at chest height and hold a band tautly in both hands, like you’re about to punch a bag. Pull the band toward your chest while squeezing your shoulder blades together, and then return to the original position. Repeat for 1-3 sets of 15-20 reps each.
Finally, if you’re looking for lower-body and core exercises to do at home, try planks and single-leg lunges. These are simple exercises that target multiple muscle groups and can be done with or without added resistance. If you’re new to these movements, it’s a good idea to perform them in front of a mirror to ensure you’re doing them correctly. You can also search online for step-by-step graphics and videos to guide you.
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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