HOME IS WHERE THE WORKOUT IS

Having a gym membership is great, but sometimes it’s hard to find the time to go. Trying to balance work and family can be hard enough, and your commitment to the gym loses priority. For the days when going to the gym simply isn’t an option, there are lots of exercises you can do at home. Home workouts are a great supplement when you can’t fully commit to your weekly gym schedule.

Go to your kitchen and grab the following things:

  • Two filled 16oz. water bottles
  • Two paper plates
  • A bag of flour or a gallon of milk

Wander over to the dining room and get:

  • A sturdy chair
Tools for Home Workouts

You’re ready to rock! Fancy gyms and expensive equipment are great, but you don’t need either to get a great workout. All you need is a little creativity, your running shoes, and a couple of items you probably already have at home.

It’s always a good idea to warm up before any workout – it helps your muscles and joints get used to the full exercises you’re about to undertake, makes certain your heart rate rises slowly rather than suddenly, and increases your core temperature. It’s also a good idea to remember your prehab exercises to avoid a future injury! Try to take at least eight minutes to warm up. Marching in place, gentle stretches, and a few weight-free squats and lunges are great options.

If you have a smart phone with a stopwatch, set it for 20 minutes (otherwise, walk back to the kitchen and set the timer on your microwave or stove for the same time). It’s now time to create your circuit!

Chair Squats

Want to tone your glutes and lower body? Take a seat! Grab your chair and make sure it’s on a sturdy surface, where it won’t slide around. Stand in front of the chair, facing away, with your feet about hip-distance apart. Keeping your weight in your heels, start to take a seat, pressing your glutes down and back until you’re just about to touch the seat. But instead of sitting, hover for a few moments, making sure your knees don’t extend past your toes, and then stand back up to your starting position.

Not tough enough? Hold one water bottle in each hand for some added weight as you squat.

Chair Squats at Home

Alternative: Don’t have a chair? Try a wall sit! With your back pressed against the wall for support, slide your glutes down toward the floor, as if you’re sitting in a chair. Inch your feet out slowly away from the wall until your hips and knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Keep your shoulders against the wall, and make sure you keep your neck in a neutral extension of the spine – not looking up or down. Hold the sit for as long as you can with good form.

Push-Ups

Ah, the push-up. Done right, it can target multiple major muscles, including your pectoralis major (chest), rectus abdominis (abs) , erector spinae (along the spine), and depending on arm placement, the biceps and/or triceps.

Pretty good for just bodyweight, huh? For a proper push-up, whether you extend your legs or drop to your knees, it’s all about form. Keep your hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and your spine neutral – no piked or sagging hips. It helps to look at a point just ahead of your hands, rather than straight down.

To start, straighten your arms (without locking them!) and then slowly lower down, hovering when your elbows are bent about 90 degrees. Press yourself up to the starting position, and there’s your first push-up!

Not tough enough? Put paper plates under each hand. Lower down into your push-up hover, and as you come back to the starting position, slide your hands in toward the center of your body. As you drop down for the next push-up, slide your hands back to shoulder-width distance apart.

Push-Ups at Home

Alternative: Do push-ups against a wall. You won’t have as much body weight resistance, and you may find it easier to complete your push-up with good form.