Getting The Most Out of Home Workouts
The dreaded home workout. The workout everyone plans to do but never materialises. The work out you convince yourself you’ll do when you skip the gym… The same workout you start a 30-day challenge for and forget by day 2.
However you look at it, we all had the best intentions for our home workouts pre-pandemic, but did they ever happen? If you’re anything like me, the answer is no. I took myself to the gym because it was a place where it is mandatory to work out, it was literally the sole purpose that I was there for, but working out from home on the other hand, was something I would happily ‘half-do’.
Now, Mid-Pandemic, I think we might have mastered it, thanks to the wonderful content pushed out via social medias and other platforms. Surprisingly enough, home workouts have more perks than anticipated and I’m writing this to let you know how they have changed my entire regime and why I might never look back.
Work with what you’ve got!
The first issue I came across was what I should be using/doing during these workouts. Initially, toning using your own body weight and a wide variety of exercises really worked for me. You can then mix it up as much as you see fit, as there are endless amounts of free plans, vlogs, blogs, podcasts, social media profiles and anything else you might need for inspiration out there, honestly just google it! Some gyms have even provided a free guide to planning your exercise schedule at home so it’s definitely worth looking into if your membership is still active.
Using household items is also a fantastic way to tone and increase weight resistance as well as muscle mass, depending on what you use. Heavy items such as bottled laundry detergent, a loaded backpack, bags of rice or pasta or even some garden materials such as bagged compost can be extremely useful! Go steady though! Building up the weight you use over time is the best way to prevent injury and allow your body to adapt to your new method of exercise. These items can be incorporated into your current regime or can be used to create an exciting new routine.
If working out from home has really started to work for you and you’re interested in considering it as more of a long-term option, it might be worth investing in some equipment. That doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy a weight bench and a treadmill necessarily, but there are some small items that can have a huge impact. Examples of these include;
- Kettle Bells
- Resistance Bands
- Gym Ball
- Power Wheel
- Jump Rope
- Balance ball
- Pull Up bars
These are a few small and affordable home workout equipment suggestions that could revolutionise your home fitness. You could even get the kids involved!
Treat your home workouts like a trip to the gym
Just because your TV is not a treadmill and your lamp is not a free weight bar doesn’t mean you should treat these workouts any differently. Practising an effective pre and post workout routine as well as including your short recovery breaks throughout is key for maintaining motivation levels and receiving optimum results. Don’t forget to remain hydrated at all times, rework your supplement intakes to reflect the amount you’ll be doing and maintain a healthy diet. Schedule your fitness routine into your day at a time that works best for you. You have the freedom to exercise whenever you like but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan your meals, supplements and/or shakes around your workout time. Try pre-planning your days and allow yourself enough time before and after to complete all of your usual pre and post workout activities.
Take recovery breaks during your workout
Recovery breaks are key to any exercise routine, especially one from home. At the gym you’re prompted to take a break between pieces of equipment or sets but it’s often overlooked for home workouts as you tend to follow a set amount of reps/movements per section. Working out increases your body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, all of which can be dangerous if increased too greatly at too fast of a pace. Taking breaks between sections of your workout allows your body to regulate itself and prevents injury or illness caused by over working.
Appreciate the privacy of your workout environment
Working out carries some degree of anxiety for most of us when attending a gym. The pressure of the people surrounding you and your personal comparison of fitness levels/physique, coupled with the never-ending fear of “is that person watching me work out?” can sometimes end in disaster. Working out from the comfort of your own home however, renders all of these concerns obsolete.
There’s no competition and no need to be self-conscious, as you can allow yourself the freedom to try those exercises you may not have been so comfortable trying in a public gym. Take the opportunity to mix up your workout routine and throw in some moves you haven’t tried before… who’s there to judge if it goes terribly wrong? You might even perfect some exercises you’re ready to take back to the gym when the time comes, or you might find that working out from home is your preferred method going forward.
Don’t over-do it
With all this being said, it’s very easy to overdo your home workouts. Results don’t come as fast from smaller and less strenuous activities, but they do come. Allow yourself the time to adapt to your new routine and be patient with your progress as your first start up. You may find you’re not as fatigued post-work out as you would be from the gym but that isn’t always a bad thing. Gradually increasing the activities you do from home as well as exploring other exercise options, equipment, routines and even muscle groups can revolutionise the way you implement the new norm.