Planning Home Workouts

Have you begun to move your workouts indoors?  I know this has been the theme lately, but it is important you plan for seasons if you are going to be sucmcessful this year.

Many clients are able to workout at home, but are unsure of where to start. They buy some hand weights, maybe a video, and if they are really brave go for the infomercial special, which is often later used as a clothes rack. How can you avoid adding to your dust collection?  In a word – planning.

It is much easier for most to create an effective strength training routine at home. It can be done on a limited budget, and can be accomplished in a short amount of time. Here are the things to consider when purchasing strength training equipment for home. First, what is your goal? Are you trying to build mass or lose weight? Are you trying to maintain? Is this equipment just for emergency use on those days where getting to the gym is not possible, or is this going to be your only source of strength training? These answers will direct your purchases. If you are looking for emergency use equipment, you can get by with little or no equipment depending on your program. This is where a professional can be very handy. A good personal trainer will help you design your program around your environment and make sure you are able to meet your goals. What a great Christmas present idea, one or two sessions can keep you focused. If you have equipment handy you will have no reason to miss a workout, however if you are using your home equipment just for emergency days you’ll want to make sure you have a good plan of action on non-emergency ones because you may not have enough to be effective over a long period of time.

Are you looking to do the majority of strength training at home? This can be a wonderful way to incorporate fitness into your life. It is a great way to role model healthy living for your children, and make fitness a family priority. Although, my children do not get to use my weights, they do workout with me using the same movements and many they create as they hop from step to step, mimic me, and learn about their own bodies. They are excited and interested in movement and habits formed early have a better chance of hanging on. Remember, the biggest factor in childhood obesity is parents. Help your children fight obesity – its never too late to start.

If you decide to strength train at home consider your current level of strength. How much can you easily lift now? Again, your goals are going to be important because they will dictate the progression of exercise, which will dictate how many weights you’ll need and how heavy they should be. What kind of space will you be able to dedicate to your workouts? Do you have room for a bench or ball? Do you have storage for different sized dumbbells? Will you dig equipment out of a closet or from under a bed to actually complete a workout? This is the big question! Will you do the workout? Once you know the answer to these questions you can begin to create space and build your equipment choices for your complete home strength workout.

As you begin to contemplate your goals for health look closely at your choices. There are many options for your fitness. You just have to be willing to move!

Good Home Exercises

Good home exercises are easy to do if you have appropriate equipment and space – which is surprising little (for ideas on home gym equipment and space requirements see the blog entry for Good home gym equipment ideas).Good home exercises begin with your current fitness level, your fitness goals, the equipment you have, and the space you’ll be using. Check out my Youtube Channel for more ideas on home workout exercises. 

Equipment needs will be determined by:

Ability to overload your current fitness level

Storage

Space need

Cost

Possible home exercises will be determined by the equipment you’ve got. Here are some ideas to get you started on your home workout.

Use your body weight – push ups, pull ups, and squats effectively target the large muscle groups and may be challenging enough on their own. See the blog posts on how to do each of them for directions and good lower body exercises.

The following exercises are great home exercises and can be adapted to equipment (including soup cans and filled gallon jugs, stairs in your home, furniture/benches, etc) you’ve got on hand:

Chest:
Chest press
Chest Fly

Back:
Back Row – narrow & wide
Lat Pulldown – using rubber tubing
Lat Overhead Pull – using Dumbbells or other external weight

Shoulders:
Lateral / Frontal Raises
Overhead Press – narrow, wide, and reverse grip

Biceps:
Hammer Curl
Front Curl
Reverse Grip Curls
Curls in any form!

Triceps:
Overhead triceps press
French Press (also known as skull crushers)
Triceps extensions
Triceps pressdown using rubber tubing
Dips

Abs:
Crunches of any variety
Reverse crunch
Bicycle

Lower Back:
Supermans
Torso Lift
Lower Body Lift

Don’t forget to stretch when you are through – flexibility training keeps you strong throughout the entire movement range of each muscle and joint!