If you are forgoing the gym in favor of home workouts, follow these pointers on how to organize your sessions.
To avoid a preventable injury, get your body ready for each workout with these three steps.
- Raise your core temperature. If you’re indoors, you can vigorously walk in place until you feel beads of sweat forming.
- Loosen your joints. Ankles, hips, upper spine and shoulders get stiff while you’re hunched over a computer or phone. Performing calisthenics — jumping jacks, trunk twists, etc. — and rotating each joint can keep your joints healthy while working out.
- Activate your muscles. Glutes, abdominals and muscles between the shoulder blades all become inactive when you sit for long periods. One way to wake up your muscles is the camel pose. Get on your knees, sit back on your feet, grab your heels, slowly arch your hips up as far as you can, lean your head back and hold the pose for a few seconds.
Movements, not muscles
For your workouts, focus on movements, not muscles. Choose exercises from each of the following six movements — you might need to Google the individual exercises for descriptions.
- Squatting: sit-to-stands, wall-sits, air squats, goblet squats (using a dumbbell or heavy object) and single-leg squats
- Lunging: forward lunges, reverse lunges, lateral lunges or cross-under lunges
- Step-ups: Use stairs or a very sturdy surface
- Pushing: push-ups, bench press or military press (if you have home exercise equipment)
- Pulling: pull-ups, inverted rows, dumbbell or band rows
- Planks: prone planks, side planks or supine planks
Your body will adapt to whatever you put it through. After a few weeks of doing the same exercise routine, your body will stop making progress. You need to turn up the dial with more repetitions and different exercises to make fitness and strength gains.
Here are some tips for sticking to your fitness routine.
- Set up a schedule and follow it! Block off time in your real life/work calendar.
- Create a dedicated workout space. It’s like having a home office. If it’s a clean, clear space, you’ll want to be there.
- Make it a group activity. Create a small group of family or friends and make each other accountable. Share which workouts you are doing and check in with others to create an accountability network.
- Push yourself. One problem with working out at home is no one is there to push you harder. Make it a point to lift heavier, do more repetitions and have clean form, and you’ll definitely see results.