Body-weight Workout You Can Do From Your Own Home
Life can be busy – long working hours, social occasions, housework, school runs, let alone managing to get to the gym! Sometimes the hardest part of having a good gym routine is finding the time in your day where you can get to the gym. But not having enough time to get to them gym doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a little exercise around your busy schedule….
We want to shed a little light on the unsung hero of fitness – the home workout! Not only are home workouts time saving, but cost efficient and extremely effective too. No gym equipment? No problem!
Our own body-weight strength will always serve as the foundation and bridge to your other strengths and skills. In fact you should train using just your bodyweight when starting out on any new plan before you add any external weight to your regime. The reason for this is so you can learn the correct fundamental movement patterns without injuring yourself or developing any bad habits.
There are thousands of variations of basic body-weight movements and creating a progressively difficult workout plan should see you consistently working on your body’s fitness and strength capabilities. Body-weight moves can be compound moves, involving multiple muscle groups as well as isolated moves involving one or two smaller muscle groups. For a total body workout make sure to include at least one pushing exercise (eg. push up), one pulling exercise (eg. pull ups), one knee dominant exercise ( eg. squat or lunge) and one hip dominant exercise (eg. hip thrusts).
For a simple method to the bodyweight madness try the following circuit formula-
- One lower body exercise, one upper body exercise, one core exercise, and either a compound exercise of plyometric exercise (with the aim to get your heart rate up.)
- Always warm up before the workout with 3-5 mins of light jogging on the spot or jumping jacks and some dynamic stretches like walking lunges, arm circles, torso twists and hip circles.
- I would suggest always working out in front of a mirror to make sure you are keeping proper form throughout the routine. Form can go a bit slack when you begin to tire out towards the end of your workout.
Here is a sample at home workout you can do 2-3 times per week.
- Sumo squats
Start with your feet wider than your shoulders and your toes slightly pointing out. Keeping your arms by your sides, chest up and core engaged, take a deep inhale, drop your hips back and bend at the knees, lowering your whole body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Pause for 1 second in this position, exhale as you drive back up to the starting position, all the time keeping your chest lifted and facing forward.
Progression– Pulse for two at the bottom position before lifting back up to the starting position or you can hold a dumbbell at your chest for added resistance.
Regression– Sit back on to a stool, pause for 1 second seated and then lift back up to the starting position.
- Push up
Start by positioning yourself on the floor on all fours. Keeping your hands directly under your shoulders, stretch your legs back, tucking your toes under, rise up so that your body is in one strong, solid line, tummy tight, shoulders tucked back and down and eyes looking two feet in front of you. In a head to heel, strong as steel position, inhale, slowly lower your whole body towards the floor as your elbows bend at a 45 degree angle. When your chest is an inch or two above the ground, pause for 1 second, again core tight, glutes squeezed together, exhale and push your body away from the floor.
Progression– Perform with your feet elevated off a stool.
Regression– Perform the push up with your knees on the floor, ankles crossed.
- Hip thrusts
Start by lying on your back with knees bent. Inhale and press your spine into the floor, exhale, press through your heels, lift your hips off the floor. Your weight should rest on your heels and shoulders. At the top of the moment your hips should form a straight line with knees and shoulders. Glutes should be squeezed tight, core engaged, pause for a second in this position, inhale and lower back down to the starting position.
Progression– Perform this movement with your shoulders elevated. Knees directly over the ankles. Hips, knees and shoulders again should form a straight line at the top of the movement.
- Table bodyweight row
This is an alternative to standard pull ups that require a pull up bar. Start by laying flat on your back underneath a sturdy, rectangular table, your face positioned just under the table edge. Grip the table shoulder width apart, just in front of your face. Inhale. Keeping your core tight, upper back engaged and squeezing your shoulder blades together, exhale, pull your chest towards the table, keeping your body in a straight line. Pause for a second at the top of the movement. Again inhale as you slowly lower your body down a few inches and repeat.
Progression– Pulse at the top of the movement, performing a half rep and then lowering back to the starting position.
Regression– Perform with bent knees.
- Switch lunges
Standing tall, legs together, chest proud, core tight, shoulders back and down, take a big step forward so that your knee is directly above your ankle and thigh is parallel to the floor. With your opposite arm and opposite leg forward, push off the floor with your front heel, exhaling, jump up switching feet midair so that your other foot lands in front this time. Inhale. Repeat.
Progression– You can add a pulse between each rep or add dumbbells to make this more difficult.
Regression– To make this easier jump your feet together in the middle before jumping back into a lunge position.
Starting on all fours, palms directly under your shoulders, fingers facing forward, stretch your legs back so that your feet are shoulder width apart and tuck your toes under. Inhale rise up so that your ankles, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Shoulders tucked back and down, core tight, glutes squeezed together, keep your eyes looking two feet in front of you so that your spine is stacked in a straight line. Exhale. Hold this position making sure your hips don’t start to sag.
Progression– Keeping your hips square to the floor, lift one foot off the floor so that you only have 3 points of contacts with the floor. Switch feet half way.
Regression– Perform the plank off your knees.
|Table bodyweight row||3-4||8-10|
|Switch jump lunges||3-4||30 (15 each leg)|
It is so important to rehydrate and refuel effectively to repair and support your post exercise recovery. Milk contains nutrients that can help address the 3 ‘R’ s of post exercise recovery:
- Refuel-As your muscles use carbohydrates during exercise, it is important to refuel them during long duration training or post training. Milk contains lactose, a carbohydrate which is the main fuel burned during
- Repair- Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscles and this is why athletes often consume protein rich foods or drinks after exercise. Milk is rich in protein (mainly casein and whey) and it contains all of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) our body needs.
- Rehydrate-As water and electrolytes are lost during exercise (via sweat), replacing them with a rehydration routine after sport can be helpful. Milk is a fluid (approx. 87 % water) and contains electrolytes such as potassium so it can be a convenient choice for sports people.