The New Year is almost upon us and for so many out there that means new resolutions, new hope, and new goals for getting into great shape. The number of gym memberships purchased and actual gym attendance seems to explode with each fresh calendar year and then declines when all of those who started out excited fell off the wagon and back into their old unhealthy lifestyles. A gym membership is a worthwhile investment if you have the time and dedication to put into making it a part of your routine but becomes a financial burden when it goes unused and you are forced to pay expensive fees to break your contract. What if you are a person that is ready to change your life but still apprehensive about buying a gym membership? The solution for you may be to start your training in the comfort of your own home.
Training at home can be done for very little money upfront and can completely cut out travel time, gym fees, and extra gas money spent driving back and forth to the gym. No you won’t ever reach Arnold Schwarzenegger proportions using a few dumbbells and a pull up bar, but so what? Most of us simply want to be healthy and look great at the same time both of which can be achieved while working out at home. I personally do have a gym that I go to but during the past few days after Thanksgiving it has been closed. Not wanting to lose some of what I have worked for I have been working out in my house with minimal equipment and still getting my heart rate going.
What You Will Need
Before I begin with the exercises that you can perform at home I must list the equipment that you will need. While there are some great body weight exercises that you can do and will be included here having some equipment will give you a greater variety of training and ramp up the intensity. Here are some items you will need:
If you have the money then by all means spring for an adjustable set of dumbbells but it isn’t necessary. All I own is 35 pound dumbbells and some old 10 pound ones that are almost useless to me. You’ll want a weight that is not too heavy to where you can’t perform certain exercises but not too light that you don’t feel like you’re doing much work.
The Iron Gym costs about 20 dollars, fits most standard size doors and can be found pretty much anywhere, in America at least. Pull ups are a great exercise to be able to do so it would be in your best interest to just go get one.
You will want some kind of cardiovascular training to help burn off that extra fat. I know we are approaching winter and for many that means jogging is very difficult to go do so jumping rope is a great replacement.
Chairs or a bench
You will also need some space to workout obviously. This can be anywhere in your house that you feel comfortable with just make sure that you have enough room to move freely and not bump into anything.
The first body parts that we will focus on are the chest and the back. The chest portion will be covered by doing push ups but if you can get access to a weight bench then you could further expand it with various dumbbell fly’s and presses.
Pull ups/ Chin Ups
The great thing about having the pull up bar is that by simply changing the position of your grip you can hit several different muscles.
Bent over Dumbbell Rows
One-arm Dumbbell Rows
Next we can move on to the arms and shoulders.
This exercise is great for the triceps but you will need two chairs or benches in order to perform it.
The weight you have may be too heavy to perform this exercise and in that case you can skip it or find an alternative to use for the lift.
For the biceps we can do a variety of curls including standing hammer curls, concentration curls, and seated curls. This is one muscle that should have no problem finding an exercise for.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
For the legs, since you may not have enough weight to really blast them with a few repetitions like you could at the gym, try to focus on higher reps performed with perfect form.
Dumbbell Calf Raises
It seems everybody wants a great set of abdominal muscles and the secret to achieving that cut look is mostly due to diet. Since many of these ab exercises do not require any equipment I cannot list them all here. However, since I already need to direct you on the proper way to perform these exercises you can have a look at a whole range of abdominal exercises here: Bodybuilding.com Exercise Database. This database is an excellent way to make sure you are correctly performing these exercises with full photo and video options.
It is very possible to get a great body at home with minimal equipment. Performing the preceding exercises and giving each body part its own day of work can get you into shape rather quickly. For sets and repetitions I usually do 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions when I work out at home and for exercises like push ups and pull ups I try and do as many reps as I can.
Do not underestimate the importance of a healthy diet and the cardiovascular work. Your body may be worked with exercise but it’s built with proper nutrition. If you are going to use the jump rope as your chosen form of cardio start off with shorter durations such as 30 seconds of work followed by a minute of rest. Jumping rope is very demanding and it takes time to build up the endurance necessary to go 5-10 minutes straight. Also, as always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. This year for your New Years weight loss resolution don’t fail because you don’t feel like driving to the gym. Bring the gym to you and be able to exercise without embarrassment and whenever you want inside your own home.