I have a saying that I sometimes use with clients when I enter their homes and begin a training session:
“You see furniture, I see equipment.”
I like to take a minimalist approach when I coach our clients so they can then maximise their environment and body weight. I can teach them how to do an effective workout with minimal equipment, in their own home without rushing off to the gym. So it should never be an excuse to skip a session.
In today’s blog, rather than create a home workout for you to do once and then forget about, I’m going to run through some strategies and tools you need to create your own workout at home. This allows you to be creative, train what you want and when you want. The information and guidance included below will give you some accountability and ownership to complete a workout anywhere and have no excuses to not fit it in.
*Hold on I’m just going to do some pull ups…*
*Ok, I’m back!*
Let’s say you’ve managed to find a spare 20-30 minutes in your day and you want to get a workout in, you have quite a few options available: You can go for a run, follow a short workout video on YouTube, do some stretching or practice yoga. However in this article we are going to focus on creating a short effective strength workout you can do anywhere.
Strength training has numerous benefits for your body and mind that we will touch on in a later blog.
Where to Begin with Your Home Strength Workout
All effective training sessions begin with a thorough warm up. When you’re pressed for time you can keep this shorter, but don’t sacrifice this part, as it will lead to a much more effective session and will reduce your risk of injury.
Goal 1 – Temperature: Raise your core temperature and get a bit of a sweat on.
Time Period: 2-5mins
- Star Jumps (hundreds of variations)
- Stair Runs or step ups using a step or stair
- Jogging on the spot
- Up downs (get down and lie flat on the floor, stand up and repeat, be creative don’t move in the same way more than once)
- Squat Thrusts
- Mountain Climbers
Goal 2 – Mobilise/Activate: Run through some basic movement patterns to prepare the body for the session.
Time Period: 2-5mins
- Overhead Squat
- Lunge (multiplane or all directions)
Here is where you can hone in on your main emphasis of the session.
A full body workout can involve a squat, hinge pattern, lunge, push, pull and a rotation, carry, etc. You can select your sets, rep ranges or time and rest making sure you’re giving yourself a challenge and try not to just go through the motions. You can also set yourself a challenge, for example: 50 Squats, 50 Push Ups, 50 Lunges each leg, 50 Mountain Climbers as fast as possible (AFAP) or set a time parameter to complete it in. You can do this with absolutely anything you want. There is not right or wrong, just get something done with the time you have!
Below are examples of movements you can do at home using chairs, tables, stairs, couches etc.
Lower Body Emphasis:
|Squat: Body Weight Squat, Overhead Squat, Split Squat (SS), Front Foot Elevated SS, Staggered Stance Squat, Single Leg Squat, Bulgarian SS, Step Up, Lateral Step Up, Crossover Step Up, Cossack Squat…|
|Hinge: Bridge, Hamstring Bridge, Single Leg Bridge, Hip Thrust, Single Leg Hip Thrust, Bridge Walkout, Back Extension, Reverse Hyper (Table), Leg Curl…|
|Lunge: Forward Lunge, Reverse Lunge, Lateral Lunge, Crossover Lunge, Curtsy Lunge, Rotational Lunge, Scissor Lunge, Diagonal Lunge, Jump Lunge, Lunge w/Hands Overhead…|
Upper Body Emphasis:
|Push: Push Up, Kneeling Push Up, Incline Push Up, Doorway Press Isometric, Handstand Hold, Kitchen Corner Dips, Chair Dips, Inverted Shoulder Press, Floor Inverted Shoulder Press…|
|Pull: Doorway row, Table Inverted Row, Pull Up, Floor YTW Raise, Reverse Elbow Push Up (Chair/floor/wall), Towel Slide Forward Pull (Wooden floor)…|
|Rotation/Anti-Rotation/Anti-Extension/Flexion: Lateral Windmill, Side Plank, Front plank w/Arm & Leg Raise, Side Plank w/Rotation, Plank T-Rotation, Russian Twist, Lying 90-90 Twist, Bear Crawl, Crab Walk…|
Imagine the range of exercises you could do if you had a piece of equipment, a dumbbell or an exercise ball for example; the possibilities are almost endless. If you’re wondering what some of these movements are then I’d simply advise typing them into Google, or even better – YouTube; you’ll find loads of great descriptions and demonstrations.
Whatever you want…
Seriously though, anything between 3-8 Sets or Rounds will suffice, depending on your training goal. You can vary how you pair movements together or complete a circuit. There are many variations of how to set up your workout. Keep it simple.
Whatever you want…
This will again depend on your training goal. If you have no additional weight, then keeping the reps relatively high works well. Anything between 10-30 repetitions or 15-60 seconds of each movement. Just make sure you’re being challenged and you’re staying out of your comfort zone.
Seriously, whatever you want…
This will also depend on the training goal, and if you’re targeting different areas of the body or doing a total body workout. If you are pairing exercises together that hit different muscle groups, you don’t need to rest between exercises. Rest after you’ve completed the paired sets and if you’re completing a circuit, rest once you’ve finished the round. Anywhere between 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes. The aim with rest is to make sure things don’t get sloppy and to keep movement quality high.
Home Programme Example
5 Rounds, 6 Movements, 30 seconds each movement, no rest between movements and 60-90 seconds rest between rounds.
- Overhead Squat
- Push Up
- Reverse Lunge
- Doorway Row
- Single Leg Hip Thrust
- Bear Crawl
I hope this has given you some new ideas on how to create your own home strength workouts. Know that at the end of the day we can all afford to move more, and anything you create will be of benefit to your body and mind.
Yours in getting strong, anywhere and everywhere,
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