10 At-Home Exercises If You Can’t Get To The Gym
Tapped for time and getting to the gym seems less and less likely? No worries, there are plenty of at-home exercises to help you get a good pump, increase strength, and build stamina. The first rule is…that there are no rules. You utilize what you have at your disposal, and make the best of it. Certainly, if you had access to dumbbells, benches, and other exercise equipment, you could build a pretty dynamic workout. But in the face of adversity, and lack of equipment, is where you can get a chance to really shine. I would suggest hitting a store (available at every big box store) and picking up some elastic tubes with handles from the sporting goods section, as they are both inexpensive and extremely versatile. While tubes are not a must, if you are a dude looking to get a good pump before you leave your house, you can blow your arms up in 15 minutes with ease!
The key to at-home exercises is to decrease rest time and increase volume. Since you may not have enough resistance to match your normal training, by picking up your pace and increasing either your reps or sets (or both), you can get a decent workout and heck of a burn and pump. Slow down movements to increase the time under tension and you will hit fatigue sooner than you think. You can isolate muscles, or do multi-joint movements and hit almost every part of your body. Remember, the execution of a movement using tubes for resistance, your own bodyweight, and/or items of weight around your house, should be identical to what you do in the gym. Take advantage of steps or a stair case, chairs, your coffee table, and bed, as well as any solid pole (bannister or bed post) for support and to manipulate your body position. Work your larger muscles first using big movements like the Squat, a Row, a Shoulder Press, and Chest Press. Additionally, you can hit the smaller muscles by refining movements and isolating them.
Lower body exercises such as the Squat is a great at-home exercise that can be performed with your body weight, or take a back pack and load it for extra weight. You can also do lunges both forward and side to side as well. Step ups are great for the glutes and legs, so if stairs are available, you are set. Calf raises be performed on just about ledge. You can target hamstrings with straight leg deadlifts or by doing a floor leg curl by lying on your back on a smooth surface with heels on a towel and legs outstretched. Bridge up, and pull your heels toward to your butt and low and behold, your hammys and glutes will get a nice burn. With resistance tubing you bang out leg extensions by sitting on a chair and fixing one end to the chair leg, and then other to your ankle.
For the upper body, push-ups work great, and if you need more resistance, put your feet up on a chair. Shoulder presses can be done with tubes or if you have enough resistance from another source. Lateral raises can hit your shoulders by using soup cans, a bag of rice, or container of milk, and provide nice definition to the shoulders. Your back can be worked by doing a modified chin up by placing two chairs apart and using a broom handle for the bar. Lying underneath you can pull yourself towards the bar and change grips for added variety. Of course resistance tubing is perfect here as well. Then to nail the triceps and biceps, perform those movements, just like you would at a gym. Add in some situps or crunches, and your entire body is complete. Then for Cardio, use your stairs to walk/jog up and down or just go for a walk/run.
Remember, working out is about your drive and intensity, not the tools you use. I have always said, give me a rock and stick, and I can take you to the next level! Keep your nutrition and supplementation programs intact, as you are still stressing muscles, and thus they will need to recover. These at-home exercises below will get your entire body worked out and primed for perfection if you believe in the process.*
• Squat – 4 x 15
• Lunge – 4 x 15 (alternate legs)
• Lying Hamstrings – 4 x 15
• Calf Raise – 4 x 15
• Push-Ups (Chest Press) – 4 x 12
• Rows/Pull-Ups – 4 x 12
• Lateral Raise – 4 x 12
• Triceps Extension – 4 x 12
• Biceps Curl – 4 x 12
• Ab Crunches – 4 x 12