It seems we have become conditioned to believe that a good workout can only happen at a gym. Many of us have the sense that to get the workout that gets results we need the specialized equipment that only a professional gym can provide. But home workouts are extremely effective.
With the right combination of exercise and the right focus, you can get great results from home workouts. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to go, and home workouts rely on simplicity.
There are those who prefer home workouts. Many of us just do not have the time to get to a gym. Between the workday and the commute, a home workout is just more realistic for our schedules. Others do not feel comfortable in a gym and the privacy of a home workout is preferable.
No matter your reasons or needs, home workouts can be extremely effective. To get the most out of home workouts, you just need to do some planning, focus on the right kinds of exercise, and stick with your home workout the same way you would if you were in the gym. This guide will give you the information you need to begin an effective home workout that gets results.
Benefits of home workouts
Home workouts can be easy and effective. All you need is a little direction and you can get great results from a home workout. Home workouts also have many advantages. Some of the great things about home workouts include:
- Save time: No driving to the gym. No waiting for machines. No lines for equipment. You simply clear a space for your home workout and get down to work.
- Inexpensive: No gym fees. No huge investments in expensive machines or workout equipment.
- Workout anytime you want: Home workouts are on your schedule. If you are a night owl, work out in the middle of the night.
- Work at your pace: There is no pressure to do anything you are not up to doing. Go at a pace that is comfortable.
- Privacy: You work out in the privacy of your own home. Not everyone is comfortable working out in a public space.
At-home workout equipment
As we noted above, exercise equipment is not a necessity for home workouts. But if you want to add some things to your workout there are a number of small items you can include. None of these things are terribly expensive. This exercise equipment is modest so you will not need to create a home gym to accommodate these things. Most of this equipment can be stored in a closet or under the bed. Here are a few items you can include for your home workout.
A little weight can be used for many things and get some serious results. Weighted armbands can be as little as 0.5-1 pounds. They add some heft to ordinary resistance exercise. Manufacturers make them in plenty of colors to add a little flair to your home workout.
These are like having an expensive machine with none of the expense of enormous equipment. TRX bands create a full-body workout and they help perfect posture and body alignment. You can vary the degree of resistance and difficulty as you progress with your home workout.
Weighted jump rope
Do not discount the old methods for fitness. There are reasons why boxers do jump rope training.
Ten minutes of jumping rope can equal a thirty-minute run. Adjustable weighted jump ropes add force to this form of workout. These weighted jump ropes have 1-pound weights in the handles.
Resistance bands add power to exercises like squats, bridges, or banded walks. These things will tighten up glutes in case shapely buns are part of your fitness goals.
This is another item that would have been ubiquitous in any workout some years ago. A medicine ball that weighs ten pounds can seriously increase results for strength conditioning.
Small and easily packed away, dumbbells take the place of enormous and expensive machines. Anywhere from 2.5 to 12.5-pound dumbbells create a full resistance workout in the privacy of your home.
Deadlifts and swings bring kettlebells into a home workout. Again, these are relatively small at 5-15 pounds, but we all know how effective kettlebells can be for any workout.
The balance ball works on your posture and seriously works your core. It is also ideal for stretching.
You will immediately recognize this as a staple of aerobic exercise going back to the 80s. The exercise bench will accelerate at-home aerobic workouts. It can also be used as a simple bench.
A simple but good quality yoga mat might be indispensable for a home workout. It is ideal for stretching or any other exercise that involves laying on the floor. And of course, it is a must-have for yoga which may well be the oldest at-home workout there is.
Length of home workouts
The length of your home workout is really up to your level of interest and the kinds of results you are after. Most fitness experts tell us to begin with realistic goals. There is nothing more defeating than starting out with unrealistic goals and then hitting the point at which you know you are not going to meet them.
Begin with modest goals and build a routine that will meet them. In most cases, you are looking at about 30 minutes a day.
Also, keep in mind how much time you have to spend on your home workout. For many of us, the entire point of a home workout is that we do not have the time to get to a gym and spend two to three hours making our way through the machines and workouts. If you are an extremely busy person, be realistic, and build your home workout around your schedule.
Keep in mind that a home workout is yours and you are not on anyone's schedule but your own. With realistic goals, honest commitment to what you are doing, and a sound workout you will get results and faster than you imagine.
Types of home workouts
Home workouts are all about doing things your way. Seriously, do not get caught up in extravagant definitions of your home workout. It is YOUR home workout.
As with any workout or exercise, always begin with a warm-up. You need to get things moving for a good 15 minutes. This can be a brisk walk around the neighborhood, jogging or running in place, and follow this by stretching the major muscle groups. A warm-up prevents injury even with a home workout.
Once you are warmed up you can move onto some simple exercises built around using your own bodyweight.
The best thing about this is that you do not need any equipment. Working body weight as a feature of your home workout relies primarily on smooth, steady, and even movements. Here are some examples of the best bodyweight exercises for home workouts.
Lunges are a great way to start. They work quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Begin by standing straight and tall with your feet a shoulder-width apart.
Start squats simply by holding your arms over your head. After you have built up some strength and stamina you can add weight with dumbbells or wrist weights. Squats obviously work glutes and legs, but they are also good for your core, back, shoulders, and triceps.
Planks are ideal for working your core. They also strengthen your back chest and shoulders. To do planks correctly you need to rest on your forearms and toes only. Hold your body straight with your buttocks clenched. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Try to get your planking up to at least a minute. You will feel planks right away and get results almost as fast.
Pushups and sit-ups
These are basic but central to a home workout. They may be the best all-around feature of any home workout.
Use chairs or other stable furniture rows to work your back and upper body.
Simple home workouts
To include some simple equipment in your home workout here is a basic routine that will get some great results. Again, this calls for basic equipment, the kind you can store easily, and will not cost a ton of money.
Dumbbell shoulder press
This will work your shoulders and arms. These exercises will also strengthen your core and chest muscles.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Raise dumbbells to shoulder height. Have your palms face your body.
- Raise the dumbbells above your head until your arms are fully extended.
- Pause and bring dumbbells down to shoulders again.
- Do 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
Dumbbells triceps kickback
This works your triceps and also your muscles.
- One dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend at your torso to a 45-degree angle and bend your elbows so they are at a 45-degree angle.
- Extend your arms straight behind you engaging your triceps as you move.
- Do either one at a time or both simultaneously.
- Start with 1-2 sets of 8-12 repetitions and build to 3 sets.
Resistance band pulled apart.
Resistance armbands can be used to work your back shoulders and arms.
- Stand with arms extended out in front of you at about chest height.
- Hold a resistance band taut with both hands. The band should be held parallel to the ground.
- With arms out straight, pull the band toward your chest by extending your arms outward to your sides. Try to keep the movement at mid-back.
- Squeeze your shoulders blades together. Keep your spine straight. Slowly return to the taut position.
- 1-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions.
Resistance band leg press
This is great for working your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. This exercise works just like a leg press machine.
- With your back on the ground lift your legs off the ground.
- Bend your knees and create a 90-degree angle. Flex your feet and point toes upward.
- Wrap the resistance band around your feet and hold the ends taut.
- Press your feet against the bands until your legs are fully extended.
- Bend your knees back to the 90-degree angle
- Do 1-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.
These exercises and the ones outlined above are just a start. There are almost infinite possibilities for home workout plans. If you already do things like yoga, include this with the resistance exercises for a great full-body workout.
At-home workout equipment FAQs
What is a home workout?
Simply put, a home workout is an exercise regimen that can be done entirely in the privacy of your own home.
What are the benefits of a home workout?
Home workouts can help you save time, they are inexpensive, you can work out any time you want, you can work at your own pace, and a home workout affords you privacy.
Do I need equipment for a home workout?
No. You can do an effective home workout entirely with resistance and aerobic exercises that use your own body weight.
Is there equipment that can assist in home workouts?
Yes. There is a huge array of relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to use equipment that helps facilitate an effective home workout?
Going to the gym has become a feature of contemporary life. This is so much the case that we even talk about gym culture. This is great for people who love the experience of going to the gym. It is true that the gym can be as much a social experience as it is a place to get fit and healthy.
But not everyone enjoys going to the gym. Still, others are just too busy to set aside the time needed to workout at the gym. Home workouts are a great solution to these issues. There is no reason at all why you cannot workout at home and get just as fit and just as healthy.
Home workouts offer tremendous advantages. They are inexpensive, for one thing. No gym fees. Maybe the best thing about home workouts for many of us is that we can exercise in private. Not everyone likes to be on display while working out.
By learning to workout with just your own body weight, or with the help of some simple and inexpensive equipment, you can get the workout you need and want right in the comfort of your own home.