There are a hundred and one ways to train your arms, back and chest while you’re home. Here are some of our favourites.
- Push ups
Push ups are a great way to work on your biceps and your chest. We know push ups can sound scary, but they’re a well-rounded exercise. If you’re a total beginner, start by doing push ups on your knees. Once you feel comfortable, you can only leave your feet on the ground. You can also play around with the inclination. Try push ups against the side of your sofa, or against the back of a bench if you’re exercising in the park.
You can also adapt the number of reps and the speed at which you do them to make it more interesting. If you practise regularly, you’ll quickly see results!
Your triceps are the longest muscles in your arms, and the easiest way to to make them work is by doing dips. Put your arms on a coffee table, chair or sofa behind you. Your legs should be in front of you (how far in front depends on your abilities - the further your feet are from your body, the more difficult the movement is). Bend your elbows until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Be careful to keep your elbows and shoulders aligned during this exercise. Start by doing 2 sets of 10 reps, gradually increasing the number of sets and the number of reps.
- Pull ups
Find a place in your home or outdoors where you can grab above your head (it could be a staircase, door frame, tree branch…). Pull ups not only work on your arms but also your back. The exercise is difficult so don’t be surprised if you can only do one to start off with. Try and try again until you can do a series of reps.
Focusing your workout on your lower body doesn’t only mean working your legs and glutes. It’s also the perfect way to strengthen your joints (knees and ankles) and work on your balance.
The go-to exercise when it comes to your lower body. Squats strengthen your thighs and glutes and also help you build the muscles that support your knee.
Stand up with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your legs until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Don’t forget your body weight should be on your heels, your shoulders should not move forward as you’re lowering your body. Start with 2 sets of 15 squats. You can make it more difficult by increasing the number of sets and reps; but also by slowing down your pace as you go up and down.
- Lunges and step
These two exercises are complementary to help you develop your thighs and glutes.
Lunges are quite straightforward: Stand up straight. Move your right leg forward and bend it until your left knee is bent and nearly touching the ground. Bring your right leg back into the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
To make it more interesting, you can also do jumping lunges (same movement but you jump from one leg to the other).
For the step, use a staircase step (indoors or on your porch). Just walk up and down that step, alternating legs.
Even if you own fitness equipment, building up your ab and core muscles can easily be done without any of it.
Planks are great for people who have back issues but want to work on their abs to make them stronger. Hold your body straight and elevated, by holding yourself up on your arms and your toes. Be careful not to arch your back, keep your belly button in and don’t forget to breathe. Ideally try to do 3 sets of 30 seconds to start off. Increase the time you hold your plank as you progress.
Crunches are probably the best known ab exercise. Lie on your back, knees bent and hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders and head off the ground. Remember: don’t pull your head up with your hands (they’re only there as extra support), hold your belly button in, and exhale every time you lift your shoulders up. Start with 3 sets, doing as many reps as possible during 30 seconds. It’s not about quantity though, so take your time and make sure you do the move properly.
It seems impossible to work on your cardio without leaving the house or without any equipment. Not to worry, here are some of our circuit training ideas. Here’s a circuit example:
- 1 minute: Squats (as many as possible)
- 1 minute: Run on the spot
- 1 minute: Plank (Hold it)
- 1 minute: Run up and down the stairs (while still being careful)
- 1 minute: Lunges (as many as possible for 30 seconds on each leg)
- 1 minute: Jumping jacks (as many as possible)
- 1 minute: Dips (as many as possible)
Take 3 to 5 minutes to recover after a set. Repeat the set 3 to 5 times. And don’t forget to drink water!
Now you know everything to work out your whole body without leaving the comfort of your home! Remember to train regularly and have a healthy diet.