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Kristine Mahan / Spoon
Health

Tips for at Home Workouts

So you have found yourself stuck at home, unable to go to the gym. Now you could use this as an excuse to take a few weeks off, but run the risk of becoming out of shape and gaining a few pounds. Trust me, no one would really blame you, it’s the easy option with everything that’s going on. However, committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle should not be an easy decision and that’s why I’m here to give you some advice for staying fit when you can’t make it to the gym. It worked pretty well for Herschel Walker, maybe it could work for you.

1. Stay focused

While you’re home, probably with your family and other people to distract you along with your computer, TV, and your bed trying to stop you from working out, it’s important to stay focused and stay committed to the workout. The easiest way to do this is to have a strict plan of what you are going to do during your workout, probably even more strict than one at the gym where there aren’t as many distractions. You want to develop a specific plan for what muscles to attack on one day, have a day of rest, cardio day, or cardio supplement. 

2. Equipment

The biggest reason for not working out would be that you lack equipment to workout with, whether it be machines, free weights, or a treadmill. Some people may actually have equipment to use at home, and if you do you can just utilize that, but the majority of people do not have anything. You may want to consider buying some things to help you out. I did some research in this and as it turns out, there’s a reason many people just go to gyms—equipment is expensive. If you are not looking to spend several hundred clams on basic workout equipment, my best recommendation would be resistance bands, which you can find a good set of for less than $20 on Amazon or at Walmart. Resistance bands can be a great way to stretch or make a workout just a little harder and consequently a little better for you.

3. Types of workouts

Most people typically spend 45-90 minutes at the gym, so why would you not workout at home for that long. Unless you are specifically making your workout a short one, you should still try to keep working just as long as you would at the gym. Lucky for you, people have been working out without weights for years and there are plenty of ways to workout, many of which involve things you are people doing already at a gym. For a quick workout I would recommend high intensity, making sure you stay active the whole time with little break in between workouts. You can make your own or find many helpful guided workouts on YouTube. 

An alternative would be trying a new way to workout like yoga, Pilates, or even jazzercise. There are plenty of ways to access this on the internet or ask a friend who may know a lot about it. These are great ways to workout out, but I would recommend doing these in addition to your other workouts during the week. Unfortunately Jane Fonda retired many years ago, but she inspired many to make similar and even free videos that are easy to access.

Using resistance bands or even some text books around the house you can still have a good strength workout away from the gym. There are plenty of good at home workouts.

4. Muscle groups

  • Arms

Pushups- this one is self-explanatory, but you can do many different types including diamond, seal diver, incline, decline, etc.

Curls- with resistance bands or anything else in your house with some weight to it

Dips- you can do these using two chairs, a couch or anything else that you can get yourself up on.

Crab walk- you may look ridiculous but this is a good workout

Shadow boxing- a great way to add some cardio to your arm workouts

  • Legs

Burpees- good cardio as well as legs and arms

Squat- many ways to squat without weights, you can use a low stool, resistance bands or even use one leg to attack a variety of muscles and keep this basic workout interesting and non-repetitive

Calf-raises- this is one of my favorite workouts and very easy to do, I sometimes do this apart from a workout out just to add some definition to your calves

Lunges- self-explanatory, but you can do forward or backwards lunges

Leg kicks- this one is very easy, simply get on all fours and raise one leg at a time, this one is even better with a resistance band

  • Back and Core

Many core workouts people already do are without weights so this section may be easier. However, there are a lot of add-ons to make it more full body.

Planks- there are a ton of ways to plank, including normal planks (where you go from forearms to arm extended), side planks (which can work your legs), or planks on one foot (this is a fun one to experiment with!)

Sit-ups/crunches- an absolute classic, several ways to make these harder but sometimes it’s best to stick to the basics

Leg raises/ reverse crunches- you want to make sure you don’t put your hands under your butt to avoid back pain, but there are several ways to add to this including kicking 

Supermans- this one is fun and can be a good in between exercise to help catch your breath

Bridges- do with resistance band or one leg to make it a little more difficult

Mountain climbers- great way to add cardio to a full body workout

  • Cardio

Running/jogging- running outside is very easy and should never be overlooked, although a little time consuming

Jumping jacks- another classic

High intensity workouts- do other workouts back to back to keep your heart rate up

Zumba- great, fun way to stay fit in general

It may be more difficult to attack specific muscles without machines or free weights, but you can still stay fit and workout your whole body at home! I hope this will be a helpful guide to you and you will be able to use this in the coming weeks or when you may not want to leave your house during a busy week. Working out at home is also a great way to save some travel time!

Christopher Kemper

Louisville '22

I am an Industrial Engineering Major and enjoy hanging out with friends, sports, comic books, and going to Taco Bell.
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