With the new year upon us, some of us find it harder and harder to actually get back to the gym, and for most people, actually finding any motivation to get started. This is where home workouts can come in very handy.
There are pros and cons to doing home workouts, however it is always going to be more efficient than doing nothing! It allows people with little time, confidence troubles or with no gym membership to workout effectively, and still get great results, all from the comfort of your home!
To start, if you can't make time to travel to and from the gym, that obstacle is gone straight away, as soon as you get in or even before you leave the house, you're ready to workout! Some gym memberships are expensive, others are cheaper, however if any membership isn't working for you there's no cost involved at all! It's nice to be in a comfortable environment where there is no one around, you have own music playing and good energy surrounding you and this sets you up for a great workout with no chit chatting. Lastly, you can get great results! Anyone increasing their activity level or working out more wether it be in a gym or at home can reach new goals, and even if you're used to using certain machines or equipment, this allows your body to adapt and try something new, stimulating new ways of working your body.
Well the most obvious downside to training at home for most people is that there is no equipment, your favourite machines and tools you usually use aren't there. Some people are very strong with particular body parts and regularly use external equipment to increase difficulty, this isn't always an option with a home workout . Next, you're at home, so we can all admit it's quite easy to get distracted! Using your laptop, watching TV or unexpected guests can all put a sudden hold on a home workout. When on a machine in the gym, more than likely someone is probably waiting for it too, so your rest time won't be so long they get annoyed! At home if you want 20 minutes rest you can have it! This isn't great if you know you can be lazy in the gym, let alone at home.
So what do you do if just bodyweight really is quite easy for you? Then there are many variables which can help you increase the difficulty and resistance of many exercises done at home. Just like you would increase the weight or sets/reps in the gym, the same can be done for a home workout.
Tempo - How fast or slow you're doing a particular exercise, time under tension is a great tool for home workouts as you may not have external weights to use. However, manipulating how you use your own bodyweight by changing tempos can alter that very quickly for a great burn!
Using things around the house - If some exercises really aren't challenging you, using a step to add more difficulty for a raised press up is a great way to increase the difficulty of an exercise. Objects which can be held for arm or shoulder movements are always handy, but don't be trying to squat your sofa now... be sensible with it!
Time - Time is a great variable to use at home as it will always push anyone more in a workout. For example: If a 30s round of an exercise isn't tiring you out that much, then up it to 60s and see how much of an affect it has on the intensity of the exercise! Simple but affective way to push yourself, and easily done with a phone timer or app for any fitness level.
Sets and reps - If you prefer to work with sets and reps instead of time, you can do the same as you would in the gym, increase or decrease either depending on how much it's challenging you! If 15 bodyweight squats isn't getting enough blood in the muscles, add a couple more sets or increase the reps until your pushing yourself to the intensity you need!
Upper Body circuit
Lower body circuit
Full body / HIIT cardio style
Do all 4 exercises back to back rest for 1 minute + then see how many sets you can do!
Home workouts are a fantastic way to stay on track with your health and fitness aims no matter where you are, at home, at a friends, or on a holiday, there really is no excuse. It can take some time to find what challenges you outside of the gym and finding new exercises to do. But when you find what works for you, it will benefit any goals you have as you're keeping the ball rolling, instead of stopping a training day as you're not in your natural training habitat. Give the workouts a go and see if it helps you keep them excess festive pounds off!
All articles are written by Luke Teuma, Founder of Lean With Luke.