Introduction: Working Out From Home
New year, new you – right? We are as sick as hearing this phrase as the rest of the world, but it does ring true for some people.
While the new year’s phrase has become somewhat of a joke in recent years, if you stick to something life-changing then you will succeed and end the year differently from how you started!
Many people have new year’s resolutions, but getting fitter and losing weight is by far the most common. This is the reason why you’ll see many more dieting advertisements in January, along with many success stories on social media.
Public gyms and exercise stores might also offer great prices to get you on your way to starting your goal.
However, ringing in 2021 is a little different from the past years that we’ve seen. With Covid-19 restrictions closing many gyms and limiting our exercise time outdoors, you might be thinking that a fitter and healthier body is off the table this year.
We’re here to let you know that if you’re serious about making a lifestyle change to better yourself, there are certainly ways that you can do this.
Two words – home workouts! We love home workouts as you can complete them in the comfort of your own house without anyone around you and they’re perfect for beginners.
Today we’re going to be looking at how you can get started working out from home, as well as what equipment you might need and how you can create your own home gym.
By the end of this article, we’ll have you raring and ready to get started on your new year’s resolution!
How To Get Started With Home Workouts
So, you’re looking around your home desperately trying to figure out where you’re going to fit an entire gym. However, don’t let this put you off of your goal.
As the pandemic progressed more and more people began finding ways to accommodate their workouts into their small spaces. There is no reason why you can’t do this, too!
Now that you’ve found a suitable workout space (it can be anywhere, we’re working out in our kitchen!), you should calm the stresses of every other factor about working out at home.
Perhaps you don’t know when you’re going to fit it into your busy schedule, or you think that you need a lot of equipment to see results.
Wrong again, actually. There are plenty of workouts out there that are as short as 10 minutes for busy bees like yourself.
Moreover, the majority of home workouts have been tailored to people with no equipment, so you don’t have to worry about buying expensive equipment.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of embarking on home workouts is getting started and sticking to your routine.
Many people start out very motivated and excited, setting themselves a goal of seven workouts a week that all last at least 45 minutes. By the end of the week, you’ll be so burnt out that you won’t keep up with your workouts.
Falling behind will then cause you to feel deflated, defeated, and uninspired. Before you know it, you’ll have completely given up on working out altogether.
So, don’t overdo yourself and set achievable goals that you can add to once you get used to your new lifestyle. Below is an example of how you can slowly implement home workouts into your daily routine.
Week 1 to 3
10-minute cardio workout
Week 4 to 6
10-minute cardio workout
10-minute cardio workout
Week 7 to 9
30-minute cardio workout
Week 10 to 13
30-minute cardio workout
15-minute weight training
Week 14 to 16
45-minute cardio workout
15-minute weight training
Week 17 to 19
45-minute cardio workout
20-minute weight training
Week 20 to 23
45-minute cardio workout
25-minute weight training
Week 24 to 26
30-minute weight training
45-minute cardio workout
Before you know it, six months will have passed and you will have worked your way up to an impressive workout routine.
It can take anywhere from three weeks to eight months to create a habit, so you should create a routine that is achievable for up to nine months. Remember, it’s a marathon – not a sprint!
Now that you have a suitable workout plan, you need to find a workout routine that you love so that you don’t get bored.
There are so many different workouts for you to experiment with – HIIT training, pilates, kickboxing … the list goes on! It might take you a while to figure out what you like and dislike, so don’t be discouraged if you find yourself hating one workout.
Look for online videos and training routines that are free for you to read. This will allow you to try the exercises without having to spend and potentially waste any money.
We recommend finding a few different forms of exercise that you enjoy so that you don’t get bored with the same video over and over again.
What Equipment You’ll Need
While you don’t necessarily need equipment to begin working out at home, it does help you to achieve your goals quicker and see a difference in your health and wellbeing faster.
Working out with equipment can also assure you that you’re actually working out to the best of your ability.
Some people decide that they want to invest in some equipment after a few weeks of working out at home so that they don’t waste their money on equipment that is never going to get used.
However, others prefer to start off strong with all of the equipment at their disposal already.
The type of equipment that you’ll need will depend on the kind of exercise you’re focusing on. We’ll look at three types of exercise and the equipment you need for each one below.
Fitness, Stamina & Cardio
Cardio is a high-intensity type of exercise that focuses on getting your heart rate high. Cardio is good for burning fat and improving cardiovascular health.
Many beginners start out with this type of exercise because it leaves you breathless and feeling like you just completed a great workout.
One of the best ways to get a good cardio workout is to use an exercise machine.
Treadmills, stationary bikes, and rowing machines are good options if you want to invest in a machine.
Bear in mind that these are large machines and they might be difficult to store while not in use.
Alternatively, if you didn’t want to invest in a bulky machine and want to go the route of high-intensity workouts, you will benefit from a workout mat.
A workout mat is made of a waterproof fabric that prevents you from slipping or hurting yourself while working out.
High-intensity workouts can be quick and leave you with little time to get into position carefully, so a workout mat can avoid injuries such as bruised knees and strained wrists.
Heart Rate Monitor
No matter whether you want to use an exercise machine or not, you will benefit from using a heart rate monitor while you’re exercising. This will be able to tell you how your heart is performing and whether you’re working hard enough.
Tracking your heart rate can also help you to ensure that you lower your heart rate properly and safely after your workout. Heart rate monitors can come in the form of Apple Watches and FitBits, although there are also more inexpensive options available.
Muscle Building & Toning
Muscle building is a slower form of exercise that focuses more on weight training rather than getting your heart rate higher. Muscle building still burns fat and some trainers believe that it is actually better for weight loss than cardio.
Muscle building can change your body shape more effectively than cardio as you are building muscle where fat once was.
Resistance bands are stretchy bands that add another level to your workouts.
You will often purchase a set of either rubber resistance bands or fabric resistance bands.
These will come with differing levels of resistance, such as Light (10-15 pounds), Medium (20-25 pounds), and Heavy (30-40 pounds).
You can work your way up to the heavy resistance bands as your workout journey progresses. Fabric resistance bands are best for leg and glute workouts while rubber resistance bands are better for arm and ab exercises.
Weights sound a little daunting, but don’t worry – we’re not talking about investing in a complete weight rack with multiple bars and weights.
Purchasing a set of dumbbells will enable you to work on toning your muscles. Similarly, a kettlebell can enhance your workouts as well.
When choosing the weight of your chosen type of weight, it is recommended that you size up by a few levels than you think you’re capable of.
This is because once you start using weights you will quickly become stronger. If you only have 5-pound weights, you will grow out of these rather quickly. 12 to 20-pound weights are the average.
Rest & Recuperation
Finally, the last type of exercise that we are going to be talking about is rest and recuperation. If you choose to focus on this type of exercise you will be focusing on stretching and cooling your muscles down.
Yoga is a popular method of this exercise, as well as longer stretching routines.
Foam rollers are plastic cylinders that are covered with high-density foam with specific patterns.
You can use the foam roller on almost any part of your body to relieve tension and muscle soreness, as well as improving your range of motion.
Using your body weight and the floor, you roll the foam roller across the affected area of your body.
Foam rollers can stretch and massage your muscles effectively. It is advised that you don’t roll one muscle group for longer than two minutes at a time.
Warm Down Bands
Resistance bands can also be used for cooling your body down after a workout and stretching your muscles. They can be used to stretch your hips, back, chest, and legs.
As these are the most commonly tight areas from working out, investing in some warm down bands can help you avoid the next day tightness.
A yoga mat is similar to a workout mat that is specifically designed for yoga and stretching regimes. If you already have a workout mat you don’t need to purchase a yoga mat if you don’t want to, as you can use your workout mat.
However, yoga mats are longer and thinner which is specific to stretching and yoga poses. The material also tends to be more grippy so that you don’t slip while practicing a difficult stretch. Yoga mats help to keep you safe while you’re practicing rest and recuperation.
Building A Home Gym: The Essentials
A home gym is invaluable when it comes to home workouts. Although you don’t necessarily need a separate home gym inside of your house, it can be beneficial to have a designated workout space.
All of your equipment can be stored in one place and you won’t get distractions as often as you might if you were working out in a common area.
Let’s take a look into how you should go about setting up your home gym so that you can make the most of your space and feel like you’re at a professional gym.
Setting Up Your Gym
Your home gym does not need to be expensive – you can create an amazing private space for less than $1000! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves now.
The first thing that you should do is to find the right space in your home.
A spare room is a good option to build your home gym, or garages are another very commonplace to keep the equipment.
Your space does not have to be incredibly large as it’s likely that you’re going to be the only one using it. Many people forget this fact and try to build a gym in a massive space that looks like a public gym, ending up with a bill close to $50,000.
Remember that you only need enough equipment for one or two people!
Once you have your designated space, you might want to set up a mirror or two on the wall. These can replicate the gym experience and they will help you to ensure that your form is always correct while you’re exercising, preventing injury.
A speaker might also be beneficial for you to listen to music or podcasts while working out.
List Of Equipment
We have already covered the basic equipment that you can use during your home workouts above.
Now that you want to upgrade to a home gym, you’ll need to invest in some more equipment to aid your workouts so that you’re working every part of your body.
So, bring in your existing equipment such as a workout mat, kettlebell, and foam roller, and invest in the below equipment as well.
An Olympic barbell will quickly become invaluable to you in your home gym, and it’s likely that it will be the most used piece of equipment that you have.
Barbells are used for squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and many more. As it is the most versatile piece of equipment that you’ll have, make sure that you find a high-quality Olympic barbell that will be able to withstand anything and last you a long time.
Weight plates go hand in hand with your Olympic barbell. While you can train with only the bar, weight plates add more resistance to your training and will allow you to see results in less time.
There are various sizes and materials available for weight plates, and the types you choose will depend on your personal preference and training style.
It’s also recommended that you purchase a range of weight plates so that you can switch them around depending on the exercises that you’re completing.
Again, you should not go for the cheapest weight plates. However, if the best is too expensive for your budget you can look for secondhand versions online.
A squat rack is a piece of equipment that finds itself in almost every home gym out there.
It’s no surprise, really, as there are so many different things that you can do with a high-quality squat rack. Squats, pull-ups, presses – you name it, the squat rack can help you do it.
What’s more, is that you can add to your squat rack to make it more advanced and versatile. These additional parts cost more money, but they’re worth it as your main piece of equipment. A squat rack also offers you a great place to use your barbell and plates.
Flat benches are commonly associated with bench presses. You might be thinking that you don’t want to invest in a piece of equipment that is a one-trick pony, but don’t worry.
You can actually use a flat bench for much more, such as inventive types of squats and an elevated place to step up and down on.
A flat bench will prove to be very beneficial in your home gym, so we advise you to purchase one. It does not have to be covered in bells and whistles or the latest technology, and you can often find one online for a great low price.
Jump rope is a killer cardio workout that also works on your coordination and fitness levels.
It is often considered better than running and cycling for fat loss and you are sure to sweat like crazy after a jump rope circuit. Moreover, it can give your metabolism a boost so that you see the effects quicker.
We always recommend having a jump rope in your home gym. It does not have to be an expensive jump rope, but you should think about the different types before jumping into things.
A weighted jump rope can add another layer of intensity to your warmup, and a counter can allow you to keep track of your progress.
Creating The Ideal Setup
Now that you have all of your equipment waiting in its boxes to get into your home gym, you’ll need to complete the finishing touches to the room before you can unveil your equipment.
We already have the mirrors and the speakers, but what else can you do to ensure that your home gym is as effective as possible?
The most common flooring options for a home gym are rubber, vinyl, and carpet.
If you already have one of these in your home gym room, then you will not have to worry about changing it unless you’d prefer another option.
We would not recommend carpets for your home gym. Carpets can be absorbent and difficult to clean.
It can also trap odors and keep them around for longer.
Due to this, you might find that your home gym remains smelly and unpleasant for longer after a workout.
Vinyl is certainly easier to clean than carpet as you can run a mop over the floor. However, bear in mind that heavy machines have the potential to scratch and damage vinyl flooring.
So, it’s advised that you place rubber mats underneath the machines so that you don’t ruin your flooring.
Alternatively, you can invest in a rubber flooring alternative. You can either remove the old flooring and lay rubber down or simply lay rubber over the existing carpet or vinyl.
Rubber flooring is also affordable, easy to clean, and durable so it will last in your home gym for a long time.
As we’ve already mentioned, you don’t need to renovate the largest space in your home into your gym.
Unless you’re going to be hosting workout parties with large groups of friends, it’s unlikely that more than two people will be working out in your home gym at the same time.
Having said that, it is also important that you make sure that you have enough room around each piece of equipment so that you don’t injure yourself. Keeping everything cramped together can lead to dangerous situations, so don’t overcrowd your home gym space.
A home gym is not the quietest of features you can install into your house, particularly if you live in a residential area.
Dropped weights, vibrating machines, and loud music can pose a threat to others living in and around your house, and you might be subject to a lot of angry letters from neighbors.
There are a few things that you can do to avoid this, however.
The first is to use a soundproof material to cover the floor. You can also soundproof the walls, but bear in mind that this is going to cut into your space.
If you’re a big fan of weightlifting, you should invest in a platform designed to reduce heavy impact. Rubber bumpers to cover your weight plates can also reduce noise should you drop them.
Unlike the public gym, your home gym is solely your responsibility.
This means that you’re in charge of the safety of your machines as well as protecting them.
If anyone is injured on your machines they might have cause to file a lawsuit against you.
For this reason, you need to make sure that your home gym is properly protected and that you are always supervising if someone is in there.
A good way to do this is to fit a high-quality lock to the door so that you are the only person able to get in. You can also install cameras, although many choose not to do this as it can be expensive and often obsolete if you have a good lock mechanism.
What If I Want To Be Fit, But Don’t Gym?
We get it – exercise bikes and treadmills aren’t for everyone. Some people prefer working out on their own so that they can complete their session before hopping into their own powerful shower, instead of the public gym’s pitiful stream of lukewarm water.
You can still achieve a great workout without all of the equipment, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t want to purchase everything that we’ve been talking about. Let’s take a look at how you can start your fitness journey without the gym.
Home Workouts That Keep You In Shape
If your main goal is to stay in shape while there’s seemingly nothing to do but cook, bake, and eat, you’ll need to implement a routine with toning and cardio moves.
Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere and everywhere, particularly in the comfort of your own home.
We know that this might not be what you want to hear, but push-ups are an excellent way to keep in shape.
It keeps your entire body engaged and working, so your muscles are all working together to lift you up and down. You can alter your form and find new variants of push-ups to keep your workout fresh.
Planks and variations of this move are similar to push-ups in the sense that your entire body is working together to keep your form correct. Add a 60-second plank into your daily routine to ensure that none of your muscle groups have been neglected.
Other great exercises to include are lunges, squats, and glute bridges. You can add jumps in between these exercises to add cardio into your workout and up the intensity.
Best Routines To Follow For Consistency
Finding a routine that keeps you engaged and interested is key for consistency. Many people give up on their new year’s resolution of getting fit because they don’t take the time to find a workout that works for them and they get bored.
We’ve all been there, but it’s important that you persevere before dismissing exercise as not for you.
We find that online trainers work well for keeping us engaged and excited for working out. You can find free trainers on YouTube that upload new videos, or you can find a trainer online that requires a fee to unlock their workouts.
The best routines that keep you consistent will be ones that offer a new workout every couple of days. There are some routines that include the same videos and routines that you need to complete for two weeks.
These are boring and almost impossible to complete with a smile on your face, and they’re most likely going to make you hate your exercise time.
On the other hand, some people like the same structure every day. Make sure that you find a workout plan that is best for you – that is the only way you’re going to keep at it and turn exercise into a habit.
Top Workouts To Do From Home
So, what workouts are best for your fitness goal and how do you go about implementing them into your daily routine? We’re going to list five of the best workouts to complete according to what you want most out of your new year’s resolution.
For muscle building
Chest building with push-ups
If you don’t have any equipment and are wanting to hold off getting some, you can begin with bodyweight exercises.
These are not as effective as using equipment when muscle building, but it’s still a good place to start. Each exercise should be completed 10 to 15 reps with 3 sets each.
- Wide push-ups
- Spiderman push-ups
- Diamond push-ups
- One arm push up
- Stair push-ups
- Clap push-ups
Chin-ups and sliders
The chin-ups and sliders workout is great for building muscle all over your body. The sliders take care of your legs and glutes while the chin-ups help your arms and abs stay engaged and growing.
Sliders can be substituted for socks or pieces of paper if you do not have any to spare.
- Slider leg curl – 8 reps, 6 sets
- Feet-elevated push-ups – 8 reps, 5 sets
- Alligator drags – 10 reps, 4 sets
A set of dumbbells is all you need
Dumbbells are going to help you gain more muscle quicker than bodyweight exercises because you are challenging your body more than you would if you were only using your bodyweight.
You can decide how heavy your dumbbells will be before completing this workout. For the first week complete each exercise with 10 reps for 4 sets.
For the second, add two more reps to each exercise. For the third week, add two sets to each of the exercises as well!
For chest and back
- Floor press
- Hammer bent-over row
- Dumbbell push-up
- Reverse fly
- Wide dumbbell push up
- Renegade row
- Bicep curl
- Tricep extension
- Hammer curl
- Triceps kickback
- Spider curl
- Narrow dumbbell push up
For legs and abs
- Goblet squat
- Overhead press
- Lateral raise
- Arnold press
- Upright row
- Front raise
Quick muscle gains
If you like to see change as quickly as possible, you can try this workout to gain muscle in record timing. You’ll only need a set of dumbbells to complete this journey, however, a bench might also come in handy.
- Alternating dumbbell bench press – 10 reps
- 4-in-1 dumbbell curl – 8 reps each, 32 total
- Goblet squat – 10 reps
- Upright row – 10 reps
- Plank-to-push-up – 10 reps
- Split squat – 10 reps each side, 20 total
- Renegade row – 10 reps each side, 20 total
Another bodyweight workout, the spiderman workout consists of you carrying out your childhood dream of being a superhero.
- Feet-elevated pike push-up- 12 reps, 10 sets
- Alternating split squat jump – 10 reps each leg, 4 sets
- Spiderman crawl – 10 reps, 3 sets
- Spiderman push-up – 10 reps each leg, 6 sets
- Single-leg box squats – 6 reps, 6 sets
- Alternating side plank – 5 reps, 4 sets
For fitness and toning
Boxing and Bubbles
Boxing and Bubbles is a workout program run by Christa Dipaolo that focuses on kickboxing cardio and strength training.
For a monthly fee, you’ll get access to the online fitness library with plenty of categories. You’ll never get bored with this program as it is designed for you to create your own workouts with the mix-and-match system.
We’ve all heard of Insanity by now, right? Using nothing but your body weight and stamina, Insanity pushes your mind and body to the limit.
With a 60-day exercise program and meal plan, you’ll surely see a difference in your health, wellbeing, and body image. Insanity offers different plans for you to try with an annual membership fee.
Peloton is more than just the exercise bike that has taken the nation by storm. In fact, they actually offer an entire fitness service on-demand that allows you to watch both live videos and prerecorded ones.
There is everything on the Peloton service, from yoga to running, strength training to cardio.
Barrecore is a carefully choreographed workout program that takes your muscles to their maximum potential every session.
There are both live streams to join in on and on-demand videos, so you’ll always have something to do no matter your schedule. Plenty of celebrities vouch for Barrecore, and there are also private live streaming sessions as well!
Popsugar is an online platform that focuses on fitness. They have a website full of blog posts and articles, but the YouTube channel is where the real gold lies. Popsugar Fitness offers a vast variety of videos from lots of different trainers.
As each video is led by a different trainer, no two videos are the same! One day you’ll be dancing and the next you’ll be working your core with a cardio workout.
Conclusion: Keeping Fit At Home In 2021!
And that concludes our guide to home workouts. Now more than ever, exercising and keeping fit is very important.
Just because the gyms are closed doesn’t mean you can’t keep working on your body and mental health! Home workouts can be just as effective as hitting the gym, but you have to make sure that you stick to your workout schedule.
Some people find that purchasing equipment for their home gym can hold them accountable and push them to continue working out.
However, you should know what you want to achieve with your workouts beforehand. Do you want to focus on cardio and fitness, muscle building, or resting and restoring your muscles?
A home gym can also help you stick to your workout plan, as you’ll have a designated space that is solely for working out.
A home gym can be full of whatever equipment you want, although we think that you can never go wrong with a squat rack, barbell, and weight plates.
Don’t forget to renovate your home gym room so that you don’t have any noise complaints from neighbors. Rubber flooring is best as it absorbs some of the shocks from the vibrations and noise that your gym makes.
You can also soundproof the walls of the room if you’d like to. We always recommend adding a lock onto your home gym’s door.
Working out at home can be very cathartic and enjoyable, but only if you find a workout routine that you love.
Many people prefer to mix up their workouts so that they’re not doing the same moves over and over again. So, make sure that you are finding a workout routine that works for you and your body.
While some people want to work on their fitness and cardio levels during their home workouts, others prefer to build muscle and work on toning their body. It’s important to know which of these you want to work on so that you can tailor your workouts accordingly.
One thing to remember is that every exercise is replaceable. If you don’t like burpees, don’t just skip it and move on. Substitute it for some push-ups or run on the spot for the duration of the burpees.
Another thing is that there is no shame in modifying an exercise. Perform it at 80% power or use your knees for balance while planking.
Finally, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. It takes at least eight weeks to see a substantial difference, so persevere and trust that you’re doing the right thing. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and begin your new lifestyle!