The Best Ways To Workout At Home
When the cold weather and dark nights roll in for winter, your motivation can easily start to plummet. For fitness enthusiasts across the UK, this can mean missed gym sessions, poor nutrition and giving up on your goals till the New Year.
Obviously that’s not a productive way to meet your fitness goals – but no amount of convincing can help drag you to the gym when winter makes the prospect so unappealing. How do you stay on track, even on your laziest days? Workout at home!
We’ve designed a mass-building workout you can perform without ever having to leave the house. This isn’t any ordinary home workout – it’ll push you to the limits and hit lots of muscle groups.
Our home workout uses minimal equipment and focuses on ‘compound’ exercises that target multiple muscle groups. However, to get the most from our routine, you’ll want to make sure you have the following:
- A pull-up bar
- A sturdy chair
- Optional: Push-up bars or gymnastic parallettes.
When it comes to working out at home, you’ll need to build a routine that focuses on high volume to account for the lack of resistance your own bodyweight offers. This type of workout will help support your muscle building goals.
With that in mind, split any weekly routine into an upper body and lower body day. If, however, you’re just compensating for a missed day at the gym, combine both upper and lower routines together.
The best home workouts for upper body
The press-up will be the cornerstone of your upper body day, as it’s a bodyweight exercise with lots of mass building variations that target different parts of your body. You can also add resistance easily by elevating your feet.
With that in mind, here’s a sample routine to follow. Unlike a weight lifting plan where you rest between sets of the same exercise, you’ll want to move from one exercise to the other before starting at the beginning again.
These will be the basis of your routine. If you find standard press-ups too easy elevate both feet to sofa height. If they’re too difficult, start from your knees.
10 Chair Tricep Dips
Sit on a chair, inch forward so your bum is off the seat and then use your hands to anchor yourself and perform dips.
10 Wide-Arm Press Ups
To do these, you’ll want to widen your arms far beyond a standard press up position. This helps focus on the chest.
Standard pull-ups are great for the entire back. However, if you find them too, easy strap on a backpack full of clothing or books to add weight. Only do this on a sturdy pull up bar!
5 Handstand Press-Ups
Arguably the hardest part of this routine, these are a great way to build shoulder strength and size. Perform them against a wall, with the aim to move into freestanding. If these are too tough, do pike press ups instead.
Isolating the biceps, these almost feel like an entirely different movement to a standard pull-up, and will make the end of your ‘circuit’ feel suitably strenuous.
After you’ve completed the circuit, repeat it for 3-5 rounds depending on how fresh you are.
Lower body home workout
Hitting the lower body might make you think of heavy squats and seated leg curls, but you can still blast your quads, hamstrings and calves at home….
12 Jumping Squats
As you raise back up in the squat, explode upwards and jump. As soon as you land, squat back down. This explosive plyometric movement helps build plenty of power and size.
10 Pistols (5 each leg)
This is a tough movement to master, but a pistol is essentially a one-legged squat. Grip a table or wall if you need support to do these.
20 Calf Raises
Standing on an edge like a step or just flat on the floor, calf raises are a great way to isolate a muscle that is frequently underworked. High repetitions make up for the lack of resistance.
20 Ab Crunches
Fitting in ab work to lower body days works well and gives you a chance to lie down to let your legs recover.
20 Leg Raises
Lying flat on your back, complement your crunches with leg raises to build a strong core.
10 Single Leg Hip Raises (5 each leg)
This is a surprisingly effective glute and hamstring exercise that’ll help supplement your power and flexibility ahead of hitting the gym and getting back to exercises like the deadlift. Finish your circuit with these.
After you’re done – cycle back through and perform another three sets of each exercise.
Winter workouts at home – final thoughts
Remember: just because you’re working out at home it doesn’t mean your nutrition should fall behind. You’ll still need to keep up a high protein intake in order to facilitate the body’s natural muscle building process and eat at a calorie surplus. You can easily up your macronutrient intake with whey protein powder.
If winter clean eating is getting you down, try to cook up warming healthy food like chunky chicken soup, clean curries and chilli.