Updated: May 23
Sometimes you just want to get the mental and physical benefits of exercise without having to leave the comfort of your own home. And in some cases, leaving home may not even be an option for any number of reasons.
This is what makes at-home workouts such a great asset! You get to choose how, when and where you will get your move on.
Nice day? If you're able to get outside then you can react the added benefits of soaking up some vitamin D while getting your heart pumping.
In need of a little peace and quiet? Might be a great day to roll out the mat and do some yoga or light stretching.
Could you use a strength and empowerment boost? Grab a resistance band, stool, chair or jugs of water and bust out a quick strength training session.
Home workouts offer a creative, versatile, and simple DIY option to traditional gym workouts and many require little space or equipment. The key is to use what you've got and make it work for you!
A few things to help you make the most out of your at home workout:
Resistance bands offer the ease of portability and storage, are affordable, and versatile. They come in variety of sizes, styles, and strengths to accommodate all fitness levels. A huge bonus to using resistance bands is their unique ability to challenge the muscle by offering varied tension throughout an exercise movement, allowing the user to work both weaker and stronger muscle groups simultaneously. Unlike dumbbells, bands also allow you to determine the amount of tension placed upon the muscle, making them an especially great resource for anyone recovering from an injury or new to a fitness program. And as your fitness evolves, you can increase the challenge simply by creating more tension or varying the exercise in a number of ways to continue building strength and endurance. Whether full size resistance bands or mini loop bands, adding resistance bands to your fitness routine can help you promote a healthy balance, improving, enhancing and supporting strength and endurance in both the upper and lower body.
Free weights. such as dumbbells and kettlebells, come in a variety of weight. Typically starting at 1lb, they go up to 55lbs and beyond, allowing the user to pick the poundage most appropriate for their fitness level while also adding challenge for growth. The benefit of adding free weights to your fitness routine is they are able to recruit and challenge your balance, strength, and cardiorespiratory fitness in ways that stationary machines cannot. They can be used in a variety of movement patterns, support daily functional movement patterns, and improve overall muscle tone and strength. And, because free weights encourage the use of stabilizer muscles, the you can more effectively gain strength and power, which makes them especially ideal for athletic conditioning. Adding free weights to traditional bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, planks, and sit ups, is a great way to level up your fitness game and enhance your overall health and fitness.
They look like fun colorful basketballs, but pick one up and you will quickly realize they are much more (and heavier) than that. The medicine ball is a weighted exercise ball and an incredibly versatile fitness tool. They typically range from 4 lbs and up, with 8-10 lbs being the most popular. They are designed to be thrown, and can take a great deal of impact, making them more versatile than traditional weights. Medicine balls are a great addition to planks, push ups, woodchops, sit ups, squats, lunges, agility exercises, and more. A medicine ball is a great tool for challenging the core, supporting healthy balance, coordination, and overall muscular power. They are also excellent for explosive strength movements (think high intensity exercise) as well as with balance and coordination exercises. Oh and they are FUN!
Also known as yoga or stability balls these big round balls are actually a fun and versatile fitness tool. The most common sizes are 55cm, 65cm, and 75cm. The size recommendations are based on the users height (see sizing recommendations below). Swiss balls are wonderful fitness tool and a great stretching partner too. Challenge the core and work small and large muscle groups by adding them to exercises such as planks, sit ups, push ups, hamstring curls, and wall squats. Swiss balls can be used in place of a weight bench for seated or lying exercises, such as the chest press and seated or lying overhead tricep extensions. You can even use a Swiss ball as a chair to support proper posture and core engagement.
Yoga Ball Recommendations based on height:
4'11" to 5'4" height = 55 cm ball
5'4" to 5'11" height = 65 cm ball
5'11" to 6' 7" height = 75 cm ball
Bottom line: at home workouts have many advantages, from not having to leave your house, to getting your workout in when and where it works best with your schedule. Even better, with a few affordable and versatile tools, you can obtain a quality workout that will support, build and improve upon your strength, cardio, balance and coordination.
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