At-home workout suggestions
Hello readers! Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. I recently (finally) got a full-time job, so I’ve had less opportunity to blog. But I’m back, and I’m here to post some at-home workout suggestions for those of you who either prefer at-home, or just don’t have the time/$$ for a gym.
This post was recommended by John Christodoulou from the imgurFit group. I hope he likes it!
Let me first start by apologizing for the blatantly unprofessional aura oozing from these pictures… We don’t have a real camera, so they were all taken with an iPad, and obviously we don’t have a studio, so they LOOK like they were taken with a potato. Despite the pangs of actually looking at the images they do get the point across, and most importantly, they demonstrate proper form.
I would also like to say this; these workouts can be for both beginners and experienced individuals depending on the amount and the intensity at which you do them. However, this blog post is meant more specifically for the beginner types. (Why? Because my assumption is that experienced worker-outers probably know most of this stuff already.) Now with THAT being said, any and all of you are still more than welcome to read, view and laugh at the pictures, and hopefully get at least a little something out of this post. (B/c if not, why am I doing this? Amirite?)
So, without further ado…
Here are what I consider to be some of the most effective at-home workouts:
Let’s start with ABS!
Ahhh the crunch, the good ol’ crunch.
This guy is one of the most well-known ab workouts, and is one of the best second only to the full sit-up. If you’re feelin’ more advanced, give the sit up a try. (I usually find something sturdy to stick my feet under, like a couch, for my at-home sit ups.)
You’ll be better off doing this exercise with a yoga mat, but I had to get rid of mine in the move, so it’s not pictured.
The only note I’d like to make about this exercise is to be sure to keep your chin up! My suggestion is to pick a point on the ceiling to focus on, and to raise your whole head towards it so that your chin doesn’t dip into your chest. And remember, the movement is more about raising your shoulder blades off the ground than anything.
The “hover ab”
I’m sure this one has a better name, but I don’t know it, so hover ab it is.
This one should also be performed with a yoga mat.
This exercise is a bit more advanced because of the balance involved, but it’s a great workout!
My only note; keep your back properly aligned (straight)… don’t hunch over when you contract.
The straight-leg lift
This exercise can be performed with bent legs as well, but a more advanced version (with straight legs) is pictured.
Again, yoga mat!
The abdominal hold
My absolute favorite ab workout!
It can be done on a table, or even a sturdy chair… anything that won’t topple over, really.
Aim to hold it for at least 15-20 seconds.
The calf raise
No, it’s not imperative that you perform this exercise standing on top of a foot locker. It’s just that my husband is approximately 15 feet taller than me so I stood up there to keep him from making love to the floor while taking the picture.
This exercise takes almost no explanation… if you want to try a more advanced version do it with your toes on a curb or a step and your heels hanging off. Obviously the goal is to lift your heels as high as possible with each repetition.
The lunge… the terrible terrible lunge
Clearly this exercise isn’t my favorite, but usually that just means it’s more difficult and effective.
And, though it LOOKS like my left knee is touching the ground in the second picture, it’s not. I’m just that awesome at lunges. 😉
That being said, your back knee should never actually touch the ground when you’re doing this exercise, and you should aim to go as low as you can before that point.
You can either do all your left leg lunges and then all your right leg lunges, or you can do right, left, right, left, etc. Neither is more effective than the other.
Ah. How I love the squat. (Fer ril.)
While the broom isn’t entirely necessary, I do recommend using it (or something similar) to help keep the proper posture.
Make sure your chest is out, your head is up, and aim to keep your knees from going past your toes in the squat position.
You can go further down than I did or less far; whatever is most comfortable for you!
This one is hell on my quads; luhhh dat burnnnnn.
Just make sure your upper legs are parallel with the ground, and while holding your arms out like I am in the picture isn’t entirely necessary, I just find it to be a nice addition to the exercise. If you’re not going to hold them out just leave them limp at your sides.
Aim to hold for at least 15-20 seconds… Your legs WILL start to shake if you hold this position for long enough. It’s nothing to be worried about. 🙂
The timeless push up! >:)
While this beast isn’t everyone’s favorite exercise, it’s absolutely one of mine. It’s so ridiculously efficient I can’t imagine skipping it.
I’m pictured doing (what I know as) a “military” push up. This just means that my arms stay close to my sides when I go down. This version is a more effective bicep workout, but you can do a push up with a wider arm stance and it’ll be more effective for the chest area. Also, of course, you can do the “lady” push up and bend your legs so that your knees are on the ground. This will make the exercise a bit easier.
The main note I’d like to make for the push up is to keep your head up and your butt out of the air.
[[Sidebar: pull-ups are another one of those timeless, hugely efficient, highly effective workouts. If you have a pull-up bar in your home, DO IT.]]
The tricep dip
This can be done, again, on any sturdy piece of furniture that won’t topple over.
Aim to get as low to the ground as you can, and keep your elbows as close together as possible.
I am only pictured doing half of the exercise. After reaching the extended-arm plank position, you’ll want to descend back to the traditional plank position using the opposite arm as the one you started with. Then you will repeat the process.
Please please please do this with a yoga mat! This exercise can be rough on the shoulders and elbows. I don’t do it too often, but it is very effective.
The arm circles
Now, stop. Don’t laugh. This exercise isn’t as cheesy as you think… if you do it for long enough (and that IS the goal) your arms will start to burn. You can add a bit of weight too by holding a can of soup or something similar.
I don’t know what to call this one…
Again, you can add weight by holding a can of soup or something similar, and if you repeat enough times you’ll feel the burn.
The frog stance
(Obviously this is not a picture of me… my husband is better at this exercise, so I took his picture in order to better capture the proper form.)
This exercise is alllllll about balance, and it will take some time to be able to (1) hold it for any significant period, and (2) get your body to align parallel to the floor as pictured. Don’t give up, though! The goal is to get to that point!
I definitely suggest starting with a pillow under your face in case you fall.
The way to get into the position is to crouch over, lean forward on your wrists, and slowwwwwwllllyyy place your knees on your elbows and lift them off the ground.
The downward dog
Forgive me, I’m not the best at this stance. However, my legs and my back are in proper alignment, so the picture will suffice.
Aim to hold for at least 15-20 seconds… It’s going to burn the back of your legs!
Again, this exercise is to be performed with a yoga mat.
Main note to make; keep your butt out of the air!
Aim to hold for 20-30 seconds.
And lastly… the side plank
The top picture is the standard side plank position, and the bottom picture is a more advanced side plank position.
Definitely do this exercise with a yoga mat.
Main note; keep your body in a straight line as pictured… don’t raise your hips too much.
Aim to hold for 20-30 seconds.
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Okay! I hope that was useful and helpful, or entertaining at the very least!
I would like to say that the recommended hold times are just suggestions and are probably minimums at that.
Additionally, most of these exercises (with the exception of push ups, tricep dips, and the static positions) are meant to be performed with very high repetitions since they aren’t performed with any weight. Aim to do as many as you can per set for probably 3-4 sets.
Lastly, I wouldn’t suggest doing ALL of these exercises in ONE workout.
I’d suggest splitting it up as follows; arm day, leg day, ab/full-body day. But, really, all those details are up to you. The main point is to avoid over-training or burning out!
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Okay… get to it! 😉
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