Daily exercise is important to maintaining good health, but finding time to work out at the gym can be challenging. Whether you have limited time or no access to equipment, you can still get a great workout at home by including different exercises that work all major muscles groups. Adding variety to your routine also helps prevent exercise boredom and reduces the risk of injury.
Begin your workout with a dynamic warm-up and stretch. You can start with bodyweight exercises such as jumping jacks, squats and lunges, forward leg swings, spider-man steps or push-ups. Doing a few sets of each will get your blood pumping and help prepare your muscles for the main workout. Follow that with a few minutes of light stretching.
Using free weights is a great way to add resistance training and boost your metabolism, but you can also use bodyweight exercises to get a great cardio workout. Start out with a low weight and slowly build up to a higher weight, but be sure to take it easy to avoid injury. For example, if you are new to exercise or have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before starting a weightlifting routine.
Aim to workout on an empty stomach, which will boost your metabolism and help you burn fat. Many people also find it easier to stick to a regular workout schedule when they exercise first thing in the morning.
Include a full range of muscle groups in your workout with basic exercises such as push-ups, triceps dips and core moves such as the plank or glute bridge. Push-ups strengthen the chest, shoulders and triceps and can be done anywhere. To do a push-up, place your hands on the floor slightly wider than your shoulders and lift your body so that you form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Triceps dips and plank strengthen the triceps, biceps and core. For a dip, lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and on the same side of the body as your hips. Lift your body up by pushing off the hips and contracting the triceps, then lower your body to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions.
The glute bridge strengthens the lower spine and hamstrings. Begin in a push-up position with your hands on the floor, directly under your shoulders, and your toes on the floor. Lower and lift your body to create a straight line from your hips to the heels, then lower your body to the starting position again. Do 10 to 15 reps.
To increase the intensity of your workout, increase the number of sets or increase the number of repetitions. When your muscles feel tired and you can’t do any more reps, it’s time to increase the amount of weight that you are lifting. This will keep your muscles challenged and help you build lean muscle mass. If you don’t have a set of weights, you can work out with dumbbells by using gallon milk jugs filled with water.
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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