You Don't Need to Go to the Gym to get a Good Workout
Use these exercises to hit all the main muscle groups
Do we need to go to a gym to achieve the fitness goals we set for ourselves? One of the main reasons you go to a gym is because you do not have the equipment at home, but what if you didn’t need the equipment?
On days when I cannot make it to the gym, I keep myself in shape by do body weight exercises at home. These movements make it easy for me to squeeze a workout into my day when I come home from work or have 20 to 30 minutes before I have to get to my next appointment. Here are some that I do and how to do them.
One of the best exercises to target the shoulders is the handstand push up. This is more of an intermediate movement so beginners will have to work up to this move. Start by facing the wall on your knees. Then, place your hands on the floor, shoulder width apart, about six inches from the base of the wall.
Begin the motion by Kicking your feet up and plant one foot against the wall with the other leg extended up the wall. Extend your second leg and begin to lower yourself until the top of your head touches the floor. Push back up until your arms are fully extended to complete the repetition.
If you are not able to hold yourself in the handstand position you can walk your feet up the wall as high as you can and then go back down. Start in a push up position facing away from the wall. The bottoms of your feet should be close to touching the wall.
Begin to push yourself backwards using your hands and move your feet up the wall. Go as far up as you can, until you can not hold yourself up, and then come back down the wall. If you can make it all the way up the wall, hold yourself there for as long as you can and then work your way back down. You can also do this exercise for repetitions.
You can’t get any better than the standard push up if you are looking for a body weight exercises to target the chest. Start with your hands flat on the ground and shoulder width apart. Then kick your legs back until they are fully extended and your toes are on the ground. Keep your legs together, head down, and elbows tucked at your side.
Lower yourself until you can touch your chest on the ground and then push yourself back up. If you are having trouble with this exercise, you can start by having your knees on the ground instead of kicking your legs back and staying on your toes.
By using a chair, you can change the angle at which you are doing the push up and hit different parts of the chest. Put the chair against the wall (I recommend placing a towel over the chair so as not to scuff the wall) and put your hands on the seat of the chair.
Lower yourself to the chair and then push yourself back up. This is called an incline push up and will target the lower part of the chest. To target the upper chest, keep the chair where it’s against the wall, put the tops of your feet on the chair and extend away from the wall.
Keeping your hands shoulder width apart, lower your body until your chest hits the grounds and push yourself back up. This is called a decline push up.
There’re three main muscles in the legs, the Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and the calves. To work out the quadriceps you can do a body weight squat. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and your shoulders back. Place your hands in from of you and begin to lower yourself to the floor.
As you get lower make sure that your knees do not go in front of your toes and that your back is straight. I recommend doing this exercise in front of a mirror to be ale to check your form. Once you have gone as far down as you can go, push through your heels on your way back up.
To work out the Hamstrings you can use the inchworm. Start standing straight up with your hands at your sides. Then bend down to touch your toes and begin walking your handing out until you are in a push up position.
From here, move your feet to your toes until you are as close as possible to your hands. Lastly, move your hands up your legs until you are standing straight up again. This is a great warm up exercise for any workout routine because it targets a majority of the muscles in the body.
If you want to target your calves more, try doing calve raise. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands at your sides. Shift your weight towards the front of your body as you lift your heels off the ground, and you’re on the balls of your feet. Shift your weight back as you bring your heels back to the floor and repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.
To target your triceps, you need to extend your arm. A good way to do this at home is to do triceps dips. Using the same chair from earlier, position the chair against the wall with the seat facing out.
You may want to keep the towel between the chair and the wall. Stand in front of the chair facing away like you stood out of it and put the palms of your hands on the edge of it with your fingers facing out.
Next, move your feet out front of you until your arms are hold you up. Then lower yourself down. When your arms make a 90-degree angle or make an “L” shape put yourself back up and complete the repetition. Make sure that your shoulders are back, and your back is straight while you are doing this motion.
I recommend getting a pull up bar for this next exercise. You need to be able to hang from something and pull up bars are out of the way, cheap, and easy to install or uninstall if you want to move it. To target your biceps using a pull up bar, walk up to the bar and grab it with your palms facing in.
Next, make sure your shoulders are back and your wrists are straight or have no bend in them. As you pull yourself up try to keep yourself still or reduce excess motion as much as possible. Bring your chin above the bar and control yourself back down.
Lastly, we will look to target the back muscles. To do this, we will go over how to do a pull up. This is like a chin up except for your hand placement. When you walk up to grip the bar, make sure to place your hands with your palms facing out on the bar. Everything else is the same as a chin up.
Shoulders back, wrists straight, chin over the bar. This movement is used in military fitness tests as a way to measure relative strength, or strength related to one’s body weight, of incoming recruits. If you have trouble pulling yourself up you can hang from the bar for 20 or 30 seconds and increase the time when you feel like it has become too easy.
As a rule of thumb, you should be aiming for at least of 20 minutes of cardiovascular activity in every workout. This includes running, walking, burpees, and jumping rope. Jumping rope has been a standard for training routines because it’s targeting a lot of different muscle groups and burning a ton of calories at the same time.
A good routine is to jump rope for 5 minutes before or after your workout. If you feel like you can keep going, take a minute to rest and then do another five minutes. The same method can be used for running, walking and doing burpees.
I always end with an ab exercise because a strong healthy core is always a great thing to have. The exercise I prefer to do when I am in a rush is the plank. For this exercise, there’s no motion. You start lying down on your stomach with your forearms on the ground.
To start, lift yourself up, creating an “L” with your arms and your toes dug into the floor. Stay in this position for 30 seconds and then lower yourself back to the floor. Try doing this 3 times for 30 seconds each time and you will feel your core working in no time.
You don’t have to go to a gym to get yourself into great shape. With these movements and others, you can get into great shape or keep yourself there. Add in a proper diet and nothing will stop you from achieving the goals that you set for yourself.
If you would like to create a beginner work out routine from this, you can take the exercises and create a 3x10 program to work from. That mean you will do 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise that you decided to do that day coming out to 30 repetitions in total.