The basics of exercise should never be forgotten and it’s important to always remember that you can complete a simple yet effective workout at home with absolutely no bulky or expensive equipment at all. All you need is to be creative! Even small spaces can work if you are patient, willing and committed to fitness. A basic chair, bed and several other pieces of furniture from around the house can be used to perform a fun workout in no time.
Your chest muscles can be targeted by doing regular push-ups on your toes or on your knees if you are too weak to do them normally. You can also do push-ups using the edge of a counter or table which is much easier than regular push-ups and provides a different angle for this movement. For an isolated chest exercise, use water bottles to perform chest flyes. Start off by lying on the ground and stacking a pillow or 2 behind your back to give you some additional height which allows for a deeper range of motion when doing chest flyes.
Training your legs is relatively easy to do at home since you will have a wide variety of different types of exercises to choose from such as lunges, squats, deadlifts, step ups and calf raises. The step ups, calf raises and lunges can be enhanced when performed using a step from a set of stairs in your home or by using a stable chair. For additional resistance, hold onto a gallon of milk in each hand and feel those legs start burning big time!
To target your booty, you can choose some great isolated exercises like inner and outer thigh raises or butt extensions which can be performed virtually anywhere. If you have access to ankle weights, you can attach them for added resistance to get your butt in shape quicker. Remember that squats and lunges are excellent exercises for targeting your glutes, so when you’re doing these movements as part of your leg workout, really try to squeeze your butt cheeks on the upward part of the exercise.
Horizontal pull-ups, horizontal chin-ups and “good mornings” are all great choices for targeting the upper, lower and middle of your back as well as working your biceps really well. Horizontal exercises are performed by anchoring a sturdy bar or wooden pole between two chairs in a safe and secure manner to avoid the bar from rolling around. In the gym, I see people use the Smith machine by anchoring the bar very low to perform pull-ups. Since you won’t have access to any machines, look for stable items around your house that you can hang onto. If you don’t have any, then you can purchase a very inexpensive pull-up bar for around $20 that you can attach to your door frame which works great and allows you to perform pull-ups, chin-ups and also leg raises for your abs!
Tricep dips are an excellent choice for toning the back of your arms. You can use a chair, bed, bath tub or a low counter to do these. For added resistance, raise your feet up and place them onto a chair so your body is level which makes tricep dips a lot more difficult. Along with dips, a few more great exercises to choose for your triceps include bent-over extensions and 1-arm extensions over your head. Just grab a water bottle or a gallon jug of milk (with a handle) and perform these like you would when holding a dumbbell.
Your biceps can also be targeted by using the same water bottles of gallon milk jugs by doing alternating bicep curls and you can even do preacher style curls by hanging your arms over a couch or the end of a bed. If you want to go even heavier, look for things around the house that you can grab like sacks of food or other items. It’s amazing what type of things you can use for added resistance when you get creative!
Your shoulders can easily be trained by using several exercises in the convenience of your own home. Front deltoid raises, overhead shoulder presses and lateral raises are all excellent movements that can be performed using a chair and a few water bottles to stimulate your shoulder muscles very well.
Water bottles also come in handy for conditioning work for your rotator cuffs which include exercises like internal and external rotations and rhomboid squeezes which are very beneficial for training these delicate yet important muscles of your shoulders.
A few simple Pilates based exercises such as planks and Hundreds are excellent to end your session with as part of your cool down period. Of course, there are also other great exercises like lower back prone extensions, abdominal crunches, cross crunches and the “Superman” exercise which all target your core and can be done anywhere around the house for a killer abdominal and core workout!
Whatever exercises you choose from the above list, just make sure you don’t miss your workout even if you have to perform just a few of these movements. This will help keep you on track so you can reach your fitness goals faster and help you attain the physique you’re after. Remember to always finish up each workout with 5-10 minutes of stretching so you can help your muscles recover from the workout.