Working out doesn’t always mean hitting the gym and going wild on the treadmill, sometimes getting to the gym is impossible to fit into your daily schedule. Staying on top of your fitness game is as easy as adding a 20 to 30 minute home workout to your routine for days you cannot get to the gym.
On fire home workouts
Working out at home can be as simple as picking an area you would like to work on and planning out your routine for the week ahead. Remember to include a few minutes of dynamic stretching to warm-up and a cool-down stretch. This prevents injury and helps kick start recovery.
The arms, back, shoulders and chest are all part of the upper body. Working on these areas helps you function better in everyday life, improves posture, and helps keep osteoporosis at bay.
The areas worked: This simple exercise works the primary shoulder and back muscles, including the rear deltoids, trapezius, and rotator cuffs.
The perfect pull-apart:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, feet evenly spaced.
2. Engage your core, and tuck your tailbone in for stability.
3. Hold a pull-up band in both hands. Raise your arms to shoulder height; they should be shoulder-width apart.
4. Pull the band apart, away from your shoulders, to the furthest point they can go.
5. Slowly return your arms to shoulder-width.
6. Repeat for 15 – 20 repetitions with a 30-second rest in between.
The areas worked: Biceps! Beautiful bicep curls work the upper arms and parts of the lower arms, creating definition and strength. Use a set of dumbbells or resistance bands.
Beautiful bicep curls:
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
2. Engage your core and abdominal muscles.
3. If you have opted to use a resistance band, loop it underneath your feet, pinning it under the sole of your feet. Hold the band in both hands, palms facing forward.
4. If you are using dumbells, hold each one in your hand and keep your arms relaxed, palms out.
5. Stabilize the shoulders and arms, bending at the elbow and raising the weights to touch your shoulders. Your elbows shouldn’t move from your side.
6. Slowly lower your weights or resistance back down to starting position.
7. Repeat for three sets of 15 repetitions with a rest between each set.
The areas worked: Row row row your boat, all the way to beautiful trapezius, rhomboids, and biceps with the upright row. These are a bodybuilding favorite and work the shoulders and upper back. If done correctly, this exercise will work your rear deltoids as well.
How to row perfectly:
1. Standing on a resistance pull-up band (like the one at Victorem) with both feet flat on the ground together, or hip-width apart, cross the resistance band over and hold with each hand palms facing inwards.
2. Keeping your back straight, pull the band up to just under your shoulders.
3. Pull the band back slightly, squeezing the shoulder blades together.
4. Slowly release back down to start.
5. Repeat for three sets of 10 reps. Opt for lighter resistance when starting and work your way up.
Full-body exercises are created to work the body’s three sections: the upper, the core, and the lower body. Here are some excellent full-body workouts that will start a fire in your routine!
The areas worked: Glutes, lower back, hip flexors, and hamstrings are all targeted with the mighty deadlift. If you don’t have kettlebells or weights at home and would like to continue deadlifting at home, it is easy to do with resistance bands.
How to do banded deadlifts like a pro:
1. Standing in the middle of the resistance band with both feet, grip each end of the band or the handles if you are using handled bands.
2. Feet should be shoulder-width apart, engage your core and raise your chest.
3. Slightly bend your knees and leaning forward to hold the resistance band.
4. Straighten your back and stand tall. Deadlifts are a picking-up motion.
5. Repeat for three sets of 20 reps.
Banded squats with arm raise
The areas worked: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, arms, shoulders, core, and upper back are all hit hard by this exercise.
How to squat like a boss:
1. Stand with a pull-up band looped under your feet, with feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold the band in your palms raised facing towards you.
3. Lower into a squat. Your thighs should be parallel with the floor.
4. Raise your palms, twisting them outwards to above your head.
5. Lower your arms, and rise out of the squat.
6. Repeat for three sets of 20 repetitions.
Plank with dips
The areas worked: Plank dips strengthen the core, sides, hips, core, abs, and more! What more could you ask for in an exercise? They even improve your balance and take the pressure off your back.
Plank dips that work:
1. Lay flat on a mat.
2. Raise into a plank position, resting your weight on your toes and forearms.
3. Dip your hips to the right. Straighten up back into a plank.
4. Dip your hips to the left. Straighten back into starting position.
5. Repeat, dipping once to each side per rep. Aim to do at least 15 repetitions on each side for three sets.
The lower body is the workhorse of the body. Without strength in our lower body, most everyday tasks would take a lot of effort. Add a few lower body exercises to your workout to get the most out of your fitness.
The areas worked: Hamstring curls do precisely what the box says; they work the hamstrings and glutes. The bonus is these nifty exercises stretch out the quads and help release backaches.
Perfect hamstring curls:
1. Loop a pull-band around a sturdy object.
2. Lay on a mat flat on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart.
3. Loop the other end of the resistance pull-up band around a heel, flexing the ankle.
4. Bend the knee, pulling your heel down towards your glutes.
5. Your thighs and hips should stay anchored to the mat. Return your foot to the starting position slowly.
6. Repeat, one curl for each leg counts as a rep. Aim to achieve three sets of 20 reps.
The areas worked: All the best parts of the lower body are targeted with banded lunges: quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, and even the calves.
Take the plunge and lunge:
1. Loop a band under your foot, looping the other end over your head around your neck.
2. Standing up straight, place your other foot behind you and sink into a lunge.
3. Your back knee should hover about 1/2 an inch off the floor.
4. Make sure the knee in front doesn’t extend out in front of your toes.
5. Hold the lunge for a moment before rising out of the lunge.
6. Repeat each side for one rep. Aim to get through three sets of 15 – 20 lunges.
7. Enjoy the burn.
The areas worked: Wall squats ignite fires from within; they are also known as the devil’s chair; these are easy enough for beginners and work the quads, glutes, and calves.
One, two, wall sit:
1. Find a wall. Standing with your flat back against the wall, feet shoulder-width apart, 2 meters away from the wall.
2. Engage your core and abdominals, slowly slide down the wall until your thighs are at a 90-degree angle.
3. Keep your knees over your ankles, adjusting if you need to.
4. Hold for 30 – 60 seconds.
5. Slide up the wall slowly and rest for 30 seconds.
6. Slide back into a wall sit, repeat for three reps of 30 – 60 seconds.
Exercise is essential
Not only is exercise good for your physical health, but it also does wonders for mental health and stress levels. Without training, many people would be stressed out. It is a great idea to invest in your health and make the time to get in a few minutes of exercise every day. Even athletes were beginners once upon a time. So start small, and smash those goals; your body will thank you later.