At home exercises are a great way to get your workouts in even when you have a limited time available. This book will gi
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English Pages 25  Year 2020
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Evеrуthіng hаѕ a ѕtаrtіng роіnt іn life, and fоr lifting аnd bоdуbuіldіng, іt’ѕ the ground flооr—thеrе’ѕ juѕt nо wау уоu
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Evеrуthіng hаѕ a ѕtаrtіng роіnt іn life, and fоr lifting аnd bоdуbuіldіng, іt’ѕ the ground flооr—thеrе’ѕ juѕt nо wау уоu
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Welcome to super simplified health and fitness. Highly effective home workouts and fitness guidance mixed with goofy doo
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Welcome to super simplified health and fitness. Highly effective home workouts and fitness guidance mixed with goofy doo
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Table of contents :
Chapter 1: Getting Started
How to Get the Results You Want
Work on Your Form
Planning in Advance
Variety and Goals
Chapter 2: Stretches and Cardio
Full Body Stretches for Warm-Ups
Standing Side Stretch
Seated Back Twist
Isolated Stretches for Flexibility
Downward DogSitting Hamstring Stretch
Kneeling Hip Stretch and Chest Opener
Floor Pec Stretch
Kneeling Wrist Stretch
Chapter 3: Body Weight Training and Core Exercises
Body Weight Training
Scissor Box Jump
Single Leg Hip Raise
Arms and Chest
Towel Arm Curl
Back and Shoulders
Vertical Leg Crunch
Chapter 4: The Right Combinations and Workout PlansCore Strength Workout
Leg Day Workout
Back and Shoulder Workout
At Home Workouts: The Complete Guide on How to Lose Fat and Get Toned at Home At Home, No Equipment, Bodyweight Exercises and Workout Plans, Anytime Carter Razink © Copyright 2020 - All rights reserved. The content contained within this book may not be reproduced, duplicated or transmitted without direct written permission from the author or the publisher. Under no circumstances will any blame or legal responsibility be held against the publisher, or author, for any damages, reparation, or monetary loss due to the information contained within this book, either directly or indirectly. Legal Notice: This book is copyright protected. It is only for personal use. You cannot amend, distribute, sell, use, quote or paraphrase any part, or the content within this book, without the consent of the author or publisher. Disclaimer Notice: Please note the information contained within this document is for educational and entertainment purposes only. All effort has been executed to present accurate, up to date, reliable, complete information. No warranties of any kind are declared or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaged in the rendering of legal, financial, medical or professional advice. The content within this book has been derived from various sources. Please consult a licensed professional before attempting any techniques outlined in this book. By reading this document, the reader agrees that under no circumstances is the author responsible for any losses, direct or indirect, that are incurred as a result of the use of the information contained within this document, including, but not limited to, errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. Table of Contents Introduction Chapter 1: Getting Started The Basics Time How to Get the Results You Want Consistency Work on Your Form Planning in Advance Variety and Goals Eating Right Chapter 2: Stretches and Cardio Stretches Full Body Stretches for Warm-Ups Runners Stretch Standing Side Stretch Seated Back Twist Isolated Stretches for Flexibility Downward Dog
Sitting Hamstring Stretch Kneeling Hip Stretch and Chest Opener Pigeon Pose Butterfly Cat-Cow Plow Pose Floor Pec Stretch Kneeling Wrist Stretch Cardio Chapter 3: Body Weight Training and Core Exercises Body Weight Training Legs Deep Squat Squat Jump Side Lunge Scissor Box Jump Single Leg Hip Raise Arms and Chest Burpee Spiderman Press-Up Chair Dip Towel Arm Curl Back and Shoulders Superman Aquaman Pike Push-Ups Dolphin Kicks Core Exercises Plank Bicycle Crunch Side Plank Boat Vertical Leg Crunch Chapter 4: The Right Combinations and Workout Plans
Core Strength Workout Leg Day Workout Arm Workout Back and Shoulder Workout Cardio Workout Conclusion References Introduction The world of fitness can be a confusing place. Many people try their hardest to get into shape but it can become so difficult when you do not have the right guidance. And where do you find this guidance in the first place? If this is how you have been feeling, then you have come to the right place. We are constantly being bombarded with information regarding health and fitness. It can sometimes be too much to take in; everyone has an opinion. We always see pictures and videos of these great looking people at the gym, pumping iron or running on the treadmill. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that is the only way to get into shape. It is not to say gyms and equipment are bad, there is definitely a place for them, but it isn’t for everyone. However, health and fitness is for everyone. We just need to figure out what works best for our schedules and needs. We could spend hours talking about what doesn’t work and why it doesn’t work but that would be a time waster. A better use of that time is to go through the most effective exercises that are simple at home workouts and the tips and tricks that will actually help you succeed. Put aside what you have learnt about working out and losing weight; that is not important right now, and let’s just focus on what does work and how you can get the results you have always wanted. Chapter 1: Getting Started As with anything in life, the most important thing is the start. It can set you up for success or failure, so making sure you have the right foundation and mindset is incredibly important. Before you even start, you need to decide what you want out of your workouts; having these goals in mind will allow you to move forward with purpose. Once you have that, it’s time to get down to the basics. The Basics Fitness needs to become a lifestyle. Sometimes gym is an easy excuse to not exercise if you can’t make it, and then you end up giving up on exercise totally. However, when you make fitness a lifestyle by adding it to your home routine, you will have less of an excuse and this will lead to more consistency. There are many motivations for at home workouts. Maybe you can’t physically get to a gym or life has been too busy for you to go out to exercise, or perhaps you have just never liked the idea of a gym anyway and you just want to build your fitness independently. Whatever your reasoning, you can rest assured that you would still be able to get the same results at home as you would at a gym. An effective fitness program needs to consist of a warmup, cardiovascular exercise, resistance or strength building exercises, stretching, and a cooldown (Sarnataro, 2006). These are the pillars that will allow you to work out effectively. It focuses on all the key areas and doing this will also reduce risk of injury and getting bored by just focusing on one thing or one type of exercise. Our whole body functions together, so it is important to focus on working out your whole body, not just isolated sections. Always be conscious of what your body is telling you. Don’t try and push yourself past the limit; otherwise, you might risk injury and that is never a good place to be in. Time Like with anything , exercise requires time. Fortunately, working out at home does lend itself to being more flexible in terms of this. You can choose the length of your workout based on the amount of time you have available on any given day. If you have more time during the day, then you can go for longer, lower intensity workouts but if you are short on time, then you should do shorter, more intense workouts so you end up burning the same calories and pushing for the same results as you would in a longer exercise program. Not only is the length of time you do your exercise routine important but also the actual time of day can play a factor. People who exercise early in the morning are more likely to stick to their exercise programs because they have not been caught up in the events of the day and they are less likely to make excuses. However, every person is different and schedules may vary, so look at your day and see what is the best time for you. If
you can do your workout in the morning, then that would be best, but if there is another time during the day, then choose that time and stick to it. Make it a priority by setting it up in your diary and booking that time out—when you are intentional with it, you will be more likely to do it. How to Get the Results You Want Whenever people start off with new workout programs, they focus so heavily on the actual exercises and neglect the other areas that need attention. Yes, the exercise is important but it only makes up about 50% of the journey. When we just focus on the exercises and leave out other important elements that either lead up to or round off the exercises, then we risk not getting the results we want; this will just lead to us stopping the whole process due to demotivation. Let’s take a look at these key areas before we get into the actual exercises we should be doing. Consistency Consistency is key in every area in life and that is still true when it comes to working out. If we skip multiple days or skip certain exercises because we just don’t like them, we will never reach our fitness goals. Consistency is making a decision every day to do what is good for you instead of what you feel like doing. You may not feel like working out at the beginning but you will be so glad you did. Exercise offers immediate benefits as well as long-term ones, so push through in the beginning and increased energy, better health, and your ideal body will be your rewards. Work on Your Form It’s not about just getting the workout done. There is a right way and a wrong way to perform every exercise, and if you continuously do them the wrong way, you risk injury and you won’t get the results you want, which will result in you feeling demotivated and quitting. Pay attention to the right form when doing an exercise, be cognizant of the area of the body you are working out, and if something else is straining, then you are probably not doing it correctly. For instance, if you are doing crunches to work out your abs and you can feel it in your neck, then you are doing something wrong and need to re-evaluate how you are performing the exercise. With at home workouts, you do not have the luxury of a trainer or workout buddy telling you your form is off, so you will need to do this for yourself. Pay attention to what is required from you during the exercise and what muscles that exercise is targeting. Make sure that part of the body and those muscles are the ones that are being engaged; this is usually a good indicator that you are doing the exercise correctly. If something feels wrong, then make slight changes until you are happy. It could also be a good idea to film yourself and compare your form to pictures and videos of professionals doing the same exercises, or if you have the space, then work out in front of a mirror so you can correct as you are doing the exercise. Planning in Advance
Working out is an activity that needs to be planned in advance. If you go in and just do what you feel like doing in the moment, you will not work out to your full capacity and will end up stunting your progress. Try and plan your workouts as far in advance as you can so that as soon as it is time to work out, you know exactly what you are doing and for how long you will be doing it. Planning also allows you to split up your exercises effectively so you are not just doing one thing or working out only a few muscle groups the whole time. Take a few minutes at the beginning of the week and write out a workout plan. Your plan should include what exercises you will be doing, for how long you will be doing them, and how many reps per set. Don’t leave anything up to chance; you should rather be over prepared
than underprepared. If you need to set up a space to work out, then do that in advance as well. If you are planning to work out in the morning, set up your space the evening before. The less distractions there are on the way to working out, the less excuses you will have. Variety and Goals Working out at home does pose some challenges that working out in a gym does not and one of these is variety. Gyms tend to have a lot of equipment, classes, and instructors to help you along the journey, but at home, it is just you and it can be very easy to get bored if you are doing the same routine over and over. Change it up as much as you can and use a variety of exercises. Always be willing to try something new and don’t wait to get bored before you do; most of the time, we won’t even realize we are bored, so we just feel demotivated and stop exercising as a whole. Try and troubleshoot this problem as early as possible. Having goals is also important as it can help keep you motivated—working towards something keeps us focused. However, having too big of a goal can demotivate you if you feel you aren’t reaching it quickly enough, so it is important to create smaller goals within the bigger goal. Work out how long it would take you to reach your end goal: it could be losing a certain amount of weight, gaining a certain amount of weight in muscle, toning your body, or just getting healthy. Once you have done that, then break it up into weekly goals that are measurable and reachable; that way you will be able to see that you are making progress and it will motivate you to keep going. Eating Right
The truth is that no matter how much we exercise, if we aren’t eating properly, then it will all be in vain. Being conscious of what we are eating, as well as how much of it we are eating, is vital. We should be eating a balanced diet, which includes all three macronutrients (healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein). The percentages of each macronutrient needed varies slightly from person to person, but as a base, we can work off over 50% carbohydrates, over 25% protein, and less than 25% healthy fats. Getting as close to these percentages should allow you to get a good balanced diet. In order for us to lose weight, we need to be at a calorie deficit, which means that we need to be eating fewer calories than we are burning. Cutting down on calories is important, but you need to make sure that the calories and nutrients you are getting will be enough to fuel you throughout the day. It will end up doing more harm than good if you restrict your calories too much; the recommended calorie restriction for healthy weight loss is about 500 calories per day. If you’re interested in tracking your calories, or if you want recommendations on how many calories you should be eating, I always recommend a macro-tracking app on the phone. Any macro tracking app will work, but MyFitnessPal and Lifesum have worked very well for me. If you are looking to gain weight and muscle, then you need to be adding calories to your diet. It is important to eat more protein since protein will help maintain your current muscle mass as well as promote new muscle growth. A balanced diet is also important in this case since you would need the energy to do your workouts.
Chapter 2: Stretches and Cardio Stretching and doing cardio form the basis of any workout routine. If done correctly, you can use full body workout by just stretching and doing cardio, but you can also just use them as a warm-up. Whatever your preference, there is no doubt that they will add value to your workout routine. Stretches
Whether you are warming up or going for a full stretching routine, it is very important to include stretching into your workout. Stretching improves flexibility, which will increase the range of motion you have when you are exercising. It is also a vital part of a warm-up routine; warming up should be a non-negotiable in your workouts because it will lower the risk of injuries. Your warm-ups don’t have to be too long; five to ten minutes should be sufficient. There are many stretching exercises you can integrate into your workout. Warm-ups should include stretches that focus on all major muscle groups; you want to loosen up all the muscles you will be engaging. Let’s take a look at some good stretching exercises to stretch out your muscles and improve your flexibility. Full Body Stretches for Warm-Ups Full body stretches are ideal for pre-workout warm-ups; they are more basic stretches that target major muscle groups that are more likely to be worked out. It should only take about five to ten minutes to complete and will be very beneficial for your body before it goes into full workout mode. Runners Stretch This stretch will target your leg muscles, back, and arms. Instructions: Start by moving into a lunge position, with your right leg in front. Stretch over your leg to touch your right foot. Straighten out your right leg and fold your body over your leg. Hold for a few seconds, then return back to the lunge position. Repeat on the other side. Standing Side Stretch This move will give you a nice stretch up the length of your body. Instructions: Start by standing with your feet together and your arms stretched above your head.
Interlock your fingers, but have your pointer fingers pointing to the ceiling. Stretch upward and inhale. Exhale as you stretch your body over to one side. Take a few deep breaths and hold. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Seated Back Twist This stretch is great for the whole body but it will really allow you to stretch out those hard-to-reach back muscles. Instructions: Start by sitting on the floor. Bend your right leg and step your foot over your left leg. Your right foot should be on the left side of your left leg. Place your right hand firmly on the ground. Bend your left arm and place it next to your right knee, using it as an anchor as you turn to the right. Look over your right shoulder; stretch as far as you can go. Return back to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Isolated Stretches for Flexibility When you are stretching with the sole purpose of flexibility rather than to warm up, there are a few differences. Flexibility takes time and this varies from person to person; some people are just more flexible than others. However, anybody can increase their flexibility with some hard work. Unlike warm-up stretches, which needs to be done to warm up your muscles before exercising, flexibility stretches should be done when your muscles are already warmed up. So, if you are planning on doing a fitness workout, then choose to do your flexibility stretches after that; it can also form part of your cool down. Flexibility stretches are more isolated than warm-up stretches; you want to feel a deep stretch and pull from the muscles you are engaging. That pulling sensation is how you know you are working that muscle. Yoga is also a great tool for flexibility and strength, as it targets different muscles and uses body weight to increase strength. You may use some of these stretches in your warm-up routine if you feel that a certain part of your body or certain muscles need more attention. The stretches and yoga poses you can do at home for flexibility are as follows: Downward Dog The downward dog is a classic yoga pose and it targets your hamstrings, hips, and calf muscles. Instructions: Start on your hands and knees. Push your knees off the ground and your hips to the ceiling; your arms should be straight and your head down. Get your legs as straight as possible without locking them; your body should resemble an upside-down V. Try to push your chest towards your body and away from your arms. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat. Sitting Hamstring Stretch This exercise targets your hamstrings and lower back; it is a good one to do if you are trying to get your splits or just want to increase hamstring flexibility in general. Instructions: Start in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you. Your back should be straight. Stretch forward to touch your toes; it is ok if your knees bend slightly.
Hold for a few seconds and then repeat. Kneeling Hip Stretch and Chest Opener At the beginning of the flexibility journey, your hips might be a bit tight and this stretch is great for loosening them up. It targets the front hip flexors, quads, and groin. Instructions: Strat in a kneeling position and then place your left leg up and right shin facing the ground, as if you were going to propose to someone. Push your pelvis to the floor by shifting your hips forward. Do not move your front knee past the end of your foot. As you push forward with your hips, lift your hands straight up over your head and push your chest to the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds and repeat on the other side. Pigeon Pose
This stretch targets your hip flexors and lateral rotators. Instructions: Start on your hands and knees. Stretch your right leg straight out behind you and move your left leg out in front of you so your shin is parallel to the front of the mat. Your back leg should be straight out behind you and your front leg should have your thigh straight out in front of you with your knee bent inwards, creating about a 90-degree angle. Sit into your hips and keep your back straight. Lean over your front leg, back straight, and place your forearms on the ground. Hold for a few seconds and repeat on the other side. Butterfly This is a classic dancer stretch, so if you have been in any dancing classes before, you should be familiar with it. This stretch targets your groin, hips, and lower back. Instructions:
Sit on the ground with your back straight and bring your legs in so that the soles of your feet are touching. Your legs should be making a sort of diamond shape. Hold your feet with both hands and lean over your legs, trying to get your head as close to your feet as you can. Hold for a few seconds, sit back up, and repeat as desired. Cat-Cow This is a common yoga pose and it is used to stretch out the abdominal muscles, back, and spine. Instructions: Start on all fours. Align your hands with your shoulders and align your knees with your hips. The first part of this pose is the cat: Inhale and lift your spine to the ceiling while squeezing your belly button towards your spine. For the cow: Drop your belly button towards the ground as you exhale and lift your head and chest towards the ceiling. Repeat as desired. The transitions between these two poses should be smooth and they should just flow into one another. Plow Pose This is a great stretch for loosening up the top of your body. It is designed to stretch out your back, neck, and shoulders. Instructions: Lie on your back and with your legs straight up, then bend your knees so they are in a 90-degree angle and parallel to the floor. Engage your abs and push your hips up towards the ceiling; your legs should now be perpendicular to the floor. Slowly lower your toes over your head until they touch the floor; if you are unable to touch the floor, then go as far as you can. Hold for a few seconds and then use the strength in your abs to move your legs back to the starting position. Repeat as many times as desired. Floor Pec Stretch This stretch is designed to stretch out your pecs, front shoulder, and hips. Instructions: Start by lying flat on the floor with your stomach on the ground. Stretch out your arms beside you, so your arms and shoulders form one straight line and your palms are pressed to the floor. Bend your left arm so your elbow points to the ceiling and your palm is flat on the ground. Lift your left foot and bend your knee. Stretch the left foot over your body and try to touch the floor on the opposite side of your foot. Keep your right shoulder firmly placed on the ground, hold for a few seconds, and then repeat on the other side. Kneeling Wrist Stretch Most people don’t think about their hands and wrists when they exercise and stretch but this can be vital in preventing injuries when weight lifting and doing yoga poses. It will also give your wrists a wider range of motion with less pain. This stretch is designed to stretch out your wrists and forearms. Instructions: Start on your hands and knees. With your fingers facing straight out in front of you, lean forward with your arms straight until you feel a stretch.
Hold for a few seconds and return to the starting point. Flip your hands in the opposite direction, so that your fingers are facing your knees. Move your butt towards your heels until you feel the stretch in your wrists and forearms. Hold for a few seconds and repeat the whole stretch as desired. Cardio
Cardio has had a love /hate relationship with the fitness community for a while now. Some people really enjoy it while others would rather give it a skip. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, the truth is that cardio is very important for your overall health. The definition of cardio is an exercise or activity that raises your heart rate to a specific heart rate zone that is optimal for burning fat and calories (Waehner, 2019). Cardio is essential for heart health and it helps build endurance; however, you do not need to be doing long bouts of cardio to reap the benefits. If you are trying to build muscle instead of losing weight, then you can definitely lessen the amount of cardio you do in favor of strength training, but that does not mean you should give it a complete skip. Just doing about 10 to 15 minutes of cardio a few times a week still yields major benefits. Most cardio is very simple and does not require any equipment, or if it does, then it is very basic equipment. Cardio can be done in your house, in your yard, or even out on the road. Taking cardio out on the road does help keep it interesting since cardio is rhythmic and repetitive. There are two categories of at-home cardio workouts: stationary and mobile. Stationary is when the cardio is done on the spot or at least in the same room. Mobile is when you do your cardio over a distance. Stationary cardio includes jogging in place, high knees, jumping jacks, skipping rope, dancing, and even swimming if you have the facilities to do so. Mobile cardio includes running, jogging, and cycling. If you would like a more intense cardio session at home, look at online YouTube videos for things like dance tutorials, Tae Bo, HIIT (high intensity interval training) exercises, and other similar videos. The goal of cardio is to get your heart rate up, so any exercise or movement that does this can be considered as cardio. Chapter 3: Body Weight Training and Core Exercises Body weight training and core workouts are designed to build muscle and make you stronger. The more muscle you have, the quicker you burn fat. Whether your goal is fat loss or muscle building, it is important to incorporate some form of weight training and core exercises into your workouts. Body Weight Training The ultimate goal of body weight training is to use your own body weight to build muscle and get toned. You do not need expensive equipment or gym memberships to get great results if you know how to use your body correctly. Your body in itself is a weight; we just need to know how to shift that to engage the muscles that we need to engage. With bodyweight exercises, control is imperative, so make sure you slow it down and control your movements. If you move too fast, it won’t have that much of an impact on the muscles you are wanting to engage. You should be able to feel the burn and strain on your muscles—that is how you know it is working. It is actually better to do fewer reps if it leads to more controlled movements.
Although exercise in general affects the body as a whole, when it comes to weight training and muscle gain, you isolate different muscle groups and work from there. It is important to work out all muscle groups since your body is one entity; all parts of it should be strong. Only working on one muscle group could lead to your body being bulky on one end and leaner on the other. Legs
We always hear people complaining about leg day; this usually because you can’t get away with not using your legs, so when they are in pain, you feel it. This is still no excuse to skip leg day or leg workouts as a whole. Cardio is not enough to satisfy the requirements in order to build leg muscles. Let’s take a look at some body weight exercises you can do to work out your legs at home. Deep Squat Squats are great for leg workouts since it engages your leg muscles. Many people struggle with form and, therefore, do not get the results they want, and bad form means you are at risk for injury. A tip to help you keep your form during the exercise is to get a towel and hold it taut over your head; this will force you to keep your back straight and your chest up. Instructions: Start by standing with your legs wide apart. Slowly lower your body into the squat; go as low as you can without losing your balance. Ensure your knees don’t move past your toes. Once you have gone as low as you can, bring your body back up to a standing position. Remember to engage your core throughout the whole exercise. Repeat as many times as you desire. Squat Jump This exercise will engage your leg muscles as well as increase your heart rate. Instructions: Start by moving into a deep squat position. Keep your knees apart and place your hands flat on the ground between them. Drive your body up off the ground (in a jump) and reach your hands over your head and clap them together. Come back down into a squat position; wait about two seconds before repeating. This will stop any rebounding effects and will cause you to engage your legs properly.
Repeat as many times as you desire. Side Lunge This exercise engages your quads and inner thigh muscles. Instructions: Stand with your legs wide apart, about twice the length of your shoulder width. Keeping your right leg straight, push your body to the left so it rests on the left leg. Bend your left knee and lower your body until the left thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold that seated position for a few seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat the same move as many times as desired before moving on to the other side. Scissor Box Jump For this exercise, you will need to get a small chair, stool, box, container, or anything you can rest your leg on. Instructions: Place your right foot on the box/stool/container, while your other foot remains on the floor. Jump up and switch feet, while in midair. This should happen in one smooth movement. Pause for one to two seconds before each switch. Repeat as many times as desired. Single Leg Hip Raise This exercise is designed to engage your whole leg; you will feel it in your quads and glutes. Instructions: Lay on your back, with your knees bent and pointing to the ceiling. Keep your arms at your side. Keep your right leg placed firmly on the floor and extend your left leg so it is straight out. Both thighs should be aligned. Push your hips up towards the ceiling, squeeze your glutes. Your lower back should be off the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds, before returning to the starting position. Repeat this on the one side as many times as desired, before switching sides. Arms and Chest
There are many common arm and chest workouts out there, like the push-up, pull-up, etc. So, we are going to go through the more uncommon ones so you can add them in for variety and challenge. Burpee You have probably heard of the burpee before; although it is under the arms section, it is more of a full body workout. Instructions: Start by standing up straight, then get down into a squat position with your hands placed flat on the ground. Hop and kick your feet back so your body is now parallel to the ground. You should now be in the push up position; lower your body into the push up and up again. Bring your feet back to your hands by jumping. Jump up and clap your hands over your head. Repeat as many times as desired. Spiderman Press-Up This is a more challenging take on the regular press-up. It will work out your arms as well as engage your abs. Instructions: Start out in your regular press-up position with your body parallel to the floor. Make sure to not lock your elbows. Continue as you would a normal press-up, by bending your elbows and lowering your body to the ground, but you simultaneously move your right knee up to your elbow. As you press back up, move your leg back to the starting position. Do the same on the other side. Repeat as many times as desired. Chair Dip This exercise uses the full weight of your body as resistance for your arms; that is why it is so good for building arm muscles. You will need a chair to do this, and if you want to add on some extra weight, you can place a pack of rice or some heavy books on your lap while you do this exercise. Instructions: Sit on the edge of your chair with your legs together and your toes pointing forward.
Grab the edge of the chair seat with both hands. Move yourself off the seat chair so it is just your hands holding you up. Lower your body down until your butt is lower than the seat. Your knees should be together and aligned with your ankles. Push back up until your arms are straight; don’t lock your elbows. Repeat as many times as you desire. Towel Arm Curl This is a very similar movement to the arm curl you would do with a dumbbell but it requires no weights. You will need a towel, which will be used to create resistance. Instructions: Fold your towel over a few times and stand with your back straight up against the wall. Take a step forward with your feet but leave your back still leaning on the wall. Your right knee should be slightly bent. Bend your left knee and place the towel around your foot. Your foot should be at the center of the towel and one arm grabbing either side of the towel. Curl your arms towards you, using your foot as resistance. Your upper arms should remain still. Pause for a few seconds once you get to the top of the move, then return to the starting position. Repeat as many times as desired. Back and Shoulders
Back exercises are sometimes overlooked, especially with home workouts, but the back muscles should not be neglected. Most people don’t even know how to work out their back muscles, so let’s see what you can do to target those back muscles at home. Superman The Superman targets those back muscles and also provides a nice stretch for the torso. Instructions: Lay flat on the ground with your belly facing the floor.
Extend your arms above your head, fingers facing in front of you. Your feet should be pointed with the laces of your shoes facing the floor. Lift your arms and legs off the ground, simultaneously. Pick your head up to look forward. Hold this position for as long as you are able to. Bring your arms and legs back down to the ground. Repeat as many times as desired. Aquaman There seems to be a theme of superhero poses here! The Aquaman is just a variation of the previous exercise. Instructions: Lay flat on the ground with your belly facing the floor. Extend your arms above your head, fingers facing in front of you. Your feet should be pointed with the laces of your shoes facing the floor. Lift your right arm and your left leg, simultaneously, as high as possible. As you bring them down, start lifting up the opposite arm and leg. Do this as fast as you can, making a sort of kicking motion with both your hands and legs. Repeat as many times as desired. Pike Push-Ups The pike push-up was designed to target the upper back and shoulder muscles. It is all in the positioning. You may place a pillow under your head, if you would like. Instructions: Start by getting into the downward dog pose (please refer to the downward dog pose in the stretching section of the book, if you are uncertain of what this is). Your arms should be straight and your head sitting between them, looking straight at your feet. Lower yourself to the ground by bending your elbows; you should feel the pull in your shoulders and upper back. Keep your spine and legs straight. Once you have gone as far as you can, push yourself back up until your arms are straight again. Repeat as many times as desired. If you are looking for more of a challenge, you could try the elevated pike push-up. This is just a variation of the regular pike push-up. All you would need is a stair, box, or bench. Place your feet on the elevated surface and complete the pike push-up as normal. Dolphin Kicks This exercise does require you to be elevated on a flat surface, so using a table or a bench without a backrest should work well. It will work your back but you may also feel it in your abs. Instructions: Lay face down on the table or bench with your legs hanging off the edge. Your whole leg, up to your pelvis, should be off the table or bench. Lift your legs up as high as you can get them. If you find it too difficult to lift both legs, then just lift one. Bring your legs back down and repeat as many times as desired. Core Exercises
The core is the center of your body and it is very important. Having a strong core does not only give you abs but it also helps with posture and good balance and creates a good foundation for the rest of your body. If you have a strong core, then you will be able to lift heavier and get stronger in the other areas of your body, because these are the central muscles of your body you use when working out other muscle groups as well. Your core is not just made up of one muscle but quite a few; in order to have a strong core, you need to engage all of them. The muscles that make up your core are the rectus abdominis (these are the six pack abs that you can see), the transverse abdominis, erector spinae, and the internal and external obliques (Winderl, 2020). When it comes to ab exercises, it is easy to use other parts of your body to help your abs along in the exercise; if you notice yourself doing this, then please stop and check your form. This can lead to injury of the body part you are using and it is not going to be effective in working your core. Be especially wary of doing ab exercises that hurt your back and neck. Pull your core tight and be very conscious of working your core muscles; it is much better to do fewer repetitions and engage the right muscles than do many reps and not do the exercise correctly. Plank The plank is a classic ab exercise and the reason is that it actually works. It’s simple, so everyone can do it. It stimulates your core muscles and works out a few back muscles as well. Instructions: Lay on the ground with your belly to the floor Pick yourself up so you are resting on your forearms and are on your tippy toes. No other part of your body should be touching the floor. Your arms should not be spread wider than your shoulders. Keep your back straight, not arched or sunken in. This exercise should be engaging your core, so you shouldn’t feel it in your spine. Hold this for as long as possible. If you feel your body shaking, then that’s actually a good sign. Let yourself down, rest for a few seconds, and repeat as many times as desired. If you find this standard plank challenging, then you bring your knees down and do the plank while resting on your knees rather than your toes. Just remember to move your knees back enough so your back is straight when you are planking. If you are looking for more of a challenge, then reach out with one of your hands, so that there is only one arm holding you up. Hold for a few seconds and then switch arms. This will also work your arms and balance. Bicycle Crunch
This is a great exercise for your obliques and lower stomach, but it engages the whole core as well. Instructions: Lay on your back and bring your legs up; calves should be parallel to the floor and your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on your temples. Do not use your hands to support your neck; this could lead to you straining your neck. Bring the right side of your body up so your right elbow is moving towards your left knee. Simultaneously, bring your left knee in to meet your right elbow. Do the same thing on the other side. Repeat as many times as desired. Side Plank The side plank not only engages your core but a whole host of other muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings, and the upper body. Instructions: Lay on your side with your forearm holding you up. It should be perpendicular to your body. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Your feet should be stacked on top of each other. Hold this pose for as long as you can. Repeat on the other side. Boat The boat is an exercise that really engages your core. If you feel yourself shaking through this exercise, this is normal since you will be supporting your whole body with your core muscles. Instructions: Start by sitting on the ground, with your feet on the floor and knees bent. Hold your arms out in front of you (so you cannot use them for support), and lift your feet off the ground. At this point, only your butt should be touching the ground. Keep your legs together. Hold for a few seconds before lowering your legs to the ground. Repeat as many times as desired.
For more of a challenge, you could stretch out your legs in front of you, until they are straight. And if you are really brave, try stretching out your arms all the way above your head and spreading out your legs. Hold this pose for as long as you can and bring your arms and legs back down. Vertical Leg Crunch Compared to the traditional crunch, the vertical leg crunch stimulates 116% more abdominal activity (Savva, 2020). Instructions: Lay down on your back with your legs straight up. Your knees may be a little bent. Bring your body up and try to touch your ankles with your hands. Remember to contract your abs and use your core to pull your body up. Bring your body back down slowly. Repeat as many times as desired. Chapter 4: The Right Combinations and Workout Plans Having the right exercises is an important part of having an effective workout. The other important part is to have a workout plan with the right amount of sets and repetitions so that those exercises can work effectively. No matter how good an exercise is, if you do not do it enough, it will not give you the results you want. In general, you should be getting a mix of cardio, stretching, and strength training in your workout routine. It is not necessary to do them all in one day; in fact, that might be near impossible unless you have large amounts of time available. Each should feature in a weekly routine. What you focus on more will determine the types of results you want. According to Sarnatoro (2006), a good guideline for a beginner is getting about 30 minutes of cardio, about three times a week. Strength training should be about 20 to 30 minutes per session and should happen about three times a week as well. When you do your strength training, make sure you are engaging all your major muscles groups at some point during the week. The reps depend highly on the type of exercise and what you can handle, but if you aim for about 10 to 15 reps and three sets per exercise, you should be getting in a good workout. The important thing is that you actually do the workout, so you can decide what combinations work best for you. The best exercise is the one that you actually do. If you find one of the mentioned exercises does not work for you or you don’t want to (or can’t yet) do it, then feel free to swap it out for another one or add in your own one, or alternatively, try a more beginner variation. To get you started on planning your workouts, there are some suggested workouts that are sure to get you the results you are looking for if you commit to doing them on a regular basis. Warm-ups were not included in these workouts. Please make sure to do five to ten minutes of warm-up stretches before you move on to any strength training or intense cardio. Core Strength Workout If you are looking to get ripped abs, then do this circuit. It will engage all your abdominal muscles and build strength into your core. Do this circuit at the end of your strength training as this will give you the best results. Perform two to three sets of this circuit with a one-minute rest period between sets. Circuit: ● Plank - 30 to 60 seconds ● Side plank - 30 to 60 seconds (do both sides for each set) ● Bicycle crunch - 10 to 20 reps on each side (20 to 40 in total) ● Vertical leg crunch - 12 to 15 reps Leg Day Workout The glutes are the body’s biggest muscle, but this is no excuse to not work it out. Do each of the below exercises as one circuit. Complete as many exercises in a 30 second time frame as you can with 30 seconds to rest in between the exercises and then move onto the next exercise in the circuit. As you get fitter, you can cut the rest period to 20 seconds and then 10 seconds between exercises. You should do about three sets of the following circuit. Circuit:
● Squat jump ● Side lunge ● Deep squat ● Single leg hip raise ● Scissor box jump Arm Workout Do the following arm workout circuit to help build stronger arms, get rid of any excess fat, and build muscles. Do this circuit about three to four times with a one to two minute break in between for the best results. Circuit: ● Push-ups - 10 reps ● Chair dip - 15 reps ● Towel arm curl - 12 reps ● Burpee - 10 reps Back and Shoulder Workout Many people believe you have to have weights to do an effective back and shoulder workout. This is simply not true. This workout packs a punch and it will help you get rid of some of that unwanted back fat. Do this circuit three or four times, with a one to two minute rest in between each set. Circuit: ● Superman - 10 to 15 reps ● Aquaman - 10 to 15 reps ● Dolphin kicks - 12 to 15 reps ● Pike push-ups - 10 to 15 reps Cardio Workout Cardio workouts form such a broad category, since the goal is to get your heart rate up. You could even do strength training at a faster pace (or with much shorter break periods) and that could count as cardio. For this workout, we are going to focus on cardio-specific exercises that you can do to lose fat and raise your heart rate. This is a high intensity workout and should take about 12 minutes to complete. The circuit should be performed three times. Circuit: ● Jumping Jacks - 30 seconds ● High knees - 30 seconds ● Burpees - 3 to 5 reps ● Jump squats - 5 to 7 reps ● Wall-to-wall sprint - 60 seconds Another type of cardio workout that has proved quite effective is interval training. This is where you do short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by a period of slower exercise and continuing that cycle. The following is interval training while jogging/running and is taken from Mateo (2018): ● Jog - 1 minute ● Run - 2 minutes
● Jog or sprint - 30 seconds ● Walk - 1 minute ● Jog - 1 minute ● Run - 90 seconds ● Jog or sprint - 30 seconds ● Walk - 1 minute ● Jog - 1 minute ● Run - 1 minute ● Jog or sprint - 30 seconds ● Walk - 1 minute ● Jog or sprint - 30 seconds ● Jog - 30 seconds ● Sprint - 30 seconds ● Jog or sprint - 30 seconds Interval training can be done with lots of other kinds of exercises. You can try it with cycling, jumping rope, or anything else that raises your heart rate. When using the interval training method, you build up endurance and speed. Many people use this type of training to prepare for races and marathons. If you are not a fan of intense long-distance cardio, then interval training is a great way to go since you only ever do the intense bit for a few minutes or seconds at a time. Conclusion It is definitely possible to get a great workout at home. Life is so busy; sometimes it can be hard to fit everything in. Or perhaps there are situations that result in the inability to get to gym or a workout class; these things are out of our control. But we do have control over our own bodies, fitness, and health. Now that you are armed with the right exercises and workouts, there is no doubt that you can get the body you have always wanted, and all without going to the gym or buying any expensive equipment. As with all workouts, equipment or not, if you want to get the desired results, you have to be committed and do the exercises properly. The right form is so important as it can prevent you from getting injured and will allow you to engage the right muscles. Each exercise was designed to engage a certain muscle group, so make sure that those are the muscles being used and strengthened. This is even more important when you are doing it at home and there is no-one there to correct your form. If you are consistent, fueling your body well, and are willing to work hard, your results will come. References 8fit. (n.d.). Arm Workouts At Home: Try These Two Sequences With and Without Weights . Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://8fit.com/fitness/stronger-toned-arms-try-arm-workouts-at-home/ Bhanot, S. (2020, March 26). 10 Exercises For A Stronger Back You Can Do At Home Without Any Equipment . ScoopWhoop. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.scoopwhoop.com/back-exercises-without-equipment/ Jackson-Gibson, A. (2020, March 9). Toe Fanning Stretches and Others That Will Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion . Prevention. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.prevention.com/fitness/g30642718/how-to-become-more-flexible/ Liao, S. (2020, May 1). 6 Stretching Exercises to Help Your Whole Body Loosen Up . Real Simple. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/stretching-yoga/stretching-exercises Mateo, A. (2018, September 6). 6 Fat-Burning Cardio Workouts You Can Do Right At Home . Prevention. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.prevention.com/fitness/workouts/g22839905/best-at-home-cardio-workouts/ Men’s Health. (2019, December 31). The 12 Best Leg Workouts You Can Do Absolutely Anywhere . Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19530404/leg-workout-without-weights/
Rider, S. (2020, March 25). The Bodyweight Workout That Builds Big Muscles . Coach Mag. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.coachmag.co.uk/fitness/workouts/bodyweight-workouts Sarnataro, B. R. (2006, January 20). No Gym Required: How to Get Fit at Home . WebMD. Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/no-gym-required-how-to-get-fit-at-home#1 Savva, A. (2020, January 7). The 5 Best Ab Exercises-And The Ones That Are Wasting Your Time . Chatelaine. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.chatelaine.com/health/fitness/ab-exercises-that-are-wasting-your-time-5-moves-you-should-do-instead/ Skopec, C. (2017, November 28). 10 Ways You Can Build Arm Muscles Without Weights . Cheat Sheet. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/moves-giving-you-a-great-arm-workout-without-weights.html/ Waehner, P. (2019, August 2). Why You Should Add Cardio to Your Workout Routine . Very Well Fit. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.verywellfit.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cardio-1229553 Winderl, A. M. (2020, February 3). 20 Core Exercises Top Trainers Swear By . Self. Retrieved May 2, 2020, from https://www.self.com/gallery/coreexercises-top-trainers-swear-by