Ahhhhh finally. The long-awaited home workout fitness post complete with all of the tricks to get you in killer shape without stepping into the gym once!
First off, weights. Don’t have any dumbbells on hand? No problem! There are so many household items that can easily be turned into weights. Use various sizes of water bottles and fill them with water to replicate dumbbells. If you have access to sand even better, since filling water bottles with sand makes them heavier than water. Obviously the larger the water bottle, the heavier you can make it. Small water bottles are great for dumbbell curls and tricep kickbacks, or for holding in your hands while doing sit ups for added resistance. A gallon-sized water bottle is perfect for goblet squats, sumo squats, and deadlifts. Even if you don’t use any weights whatsoever, just your body weight is a great start. Some people will also use small carry-on bags or suitcases filled with clothing to create heavier weights. Get creative! There are no rules.
Making Use of Your Home
Your couch or side chair just got a lot more exciting – did you know that you can replicate exercises like step ups that use benches or platforms simply by using a flat and sturdy piece of furniture in place of the bench? Obviously you want to first make sure that whatever you are going to use is stable and can withstand your weight (i.e. a card table might be a bad choice, lol) but once you have identified the key pieces in your house that can be used, you’re set! Chairs and coffee tables can also act as excellent platforms for performing tricep dips or hip bridges (videos and instructions to come). Now, does your house have steps? Even if there are just two sets of steps you can use them for calf raises and all sorts of calf-raise variations; if your place has zero steps try using a short step-stool to create the same distance off the ground that stairs would give you.
The Great Paper Plate Trick
I have also mentioned in previous posts the fact that you can use paper plates in your workouts, so here is the low-down. There are a ton of really killer exercises that require sliding of the hands or feet (sometimes both). Some gyms provide sliders, and I’ve seen people use frisbees before too, but paper plates work just as well! The key is to have a slick enough surface so that the plates can easily slide – best for use on carpet so if you have hardwood floors use a yoga mat on the ground to put your plates or sliders on top of. If you want to splurge, grab a couple of furniture sliders (four of them for just $4 here, four larger ones for $10 here). Always make sure that you have four sliders on hand since some of the exercises do require that both hands and feet are involved in sliding.
Now, on to the workouts!! Below I have compiled a bunch of great and challenging exercises that you can do in home with the above-mentioned tricks and home-made weights. Depending on the number of days you plan to be working out, you may choose to mix and match these differently. If you are planning to work out three days a week, then it might be best to split those three days into one day upper body, one day lower body, and one day full body core condition. If you are working out several days a week, try splitting those days into tris and chest, bis and shoulders, hips/glutes/squats, step ups/lunges/calfs, and full body core conditioning (although I would always pull a few of the core exercise into each day). Always move quickly with minimal rest between exercises to keep your heart rate up and challenge your body! If you need to adjust the number or sets or reps please do so accordingly. Example workout days are listed at the end of the article!
- Bicep Curl w/ water bottles (video) 4×12
- Bicep Curl to Shoulder Press (video) Make this harder by balancing on one leg. 4×12
- Shoulder Fly w/ water bottles (video) 4×12
- Tricep Dips w/ Progression (video) 4×20
- Single Leg Tricep Dip (video) 4×20
- Dumbbell Chest press w/ water bottles (video) 4×15
- Pushups 3×20, 1x failure (last set is done until you can not physically push yourself back up)
- Hip Bridges (video) 4×20
- Hip Bridges with Leg Extension (video) 4×20
- Hamstring slides (video) 4×15
- Chair Squats -hold water bottle weights for added difficulty (video) 4×20
- Sumo aka Plie Squat (video) 4×20 **Don’t love her technique she seems to tuck her tailbone under so try to stay erect. Arms straight up overheard or bent with hands behind head are preferable, for added difficulty use weighted water bottles
- Side Lunge Slider (video) 4×20
- Step Up technique and variation (video) 4×30/leg **Add a shoulder press (video) with your water bottle weights at the top of the step up for added difficulty
- Calf Raises on Stairs or Step (video) 4×60 (20 in first position, 20 with feet parallel, 20 with feet turned in)
- Single Leg Calf Raises on Stairs (video) 4×40
FULL BODY and CORE CONDITIONING
Incorporating sliders, bear crawls, and turkish getups into your routine is a great way to challenge the core, shoulders, internal stabilizers, and more. While it may not feel like a traditional ab workout per say, the sheer amount of work it takes to keep the core engaged to do these exercises is killer and will make you not only stronger but more toned.
- Turkish get up technique (video)
- Turkish get up shoe trick (video) **this is a great way to do turkish get ups without weight and still really challenge your body; this progression is meant to be done after you have mastered the turkish get up above.
- Bear Crawl (video) 40 crawls forward, 40 in reverse (video)
- Mountain Climber Sliders w/ Progression (video) 40×4 **move to the progression once the normal climber is easier.
- Plank Sliders (video) 40×4
- Inchworm (video) 40×4
- Inchworm with Push Up Progression (video) 40×4 **move to this once the normal inchworm is easier
- Inchworm Slider Progression 1 (video) shoulder stabilization 40×4
- Inchworm Slider Progression 2 (video) shoulder stabilization 40×4 **move to this once the first slider progression is easier
- Pike Slider (video) 20×4
- Reverse Pike Slider (video) 20×4
- Spiderman Pushup Slider (video) **to make this easier don’t do the pushup in between, just focus on the leg aspect (great for obliques too) 20/side x4
- Burpees (video) 4×30
EXAMPLE WORKOUT WEEK:
- Bicep Curls
- Shoulder Press
- Shoulder Fly
- Tricep Dips
- Dumbbell Chest Press
- Pike Sliders
- Spiderman Pushup Sliders
- Hip Bridges
- Hamstring Slides
- Chair Squats
- Sumo Squats
- Mountain Climbers
- Step Up variations
- Side Lunge Sliders
- Calf Rasises
- Plank Sliders
- Choice of various conditioning exercises (Turkish Get Ups, Sliders, etc).
Hope that this all makes sense! I know that there is a lot of information here so feel free to ask questions! Follow this program and I can promise that you will be stronger, with a killer core, and most importantly left feeling satisfied without having to set foot in a gym. Enjoy!