Maybe you travel a lot and don’t have access to a gym. Maybe you’re sick of the typical gym crowd. Or maybe you’re tired of shelling out $100 a month for a gym membership.
Whatever the reason, giving up the gym doesn’t mean you can no longer work toward your health and fitness goals.
Because the myth that you can only lose weight and get in shape by going to the gym is just that: a myth.
If you know what you’re doing, working out at home can be just as rewarding as going to the gym-and you’ll save time and money in the process.
Here are 5 exercises you can do at home to get an effective home workout:
1. Pull ups
Pull ups are one of the best upper body exercises-ever. In fact, I’ll do pull ups over any lat machine pull downs or other fancy equipment back machines any day.
They strengthen your shoulders, lats, traps, biceps, triceps, even your abs-and they’re tough, even for the strongest of us out there. Plus you can get a pull up bar for your home for cheap.
If you can’t do a pull up, no matter-get stronger by first jumping up to the bar and slowly lowering yourself down. If pull ups are easy for you, add a weight belt, wear a heavy backpack or tie a weight around your waist.
2. Push ups
Push ups are another upper body exercise you can do at home without any equipment at all. They’re great for your shoulders, back, arms, chest and abs.
You can do push ups anytime, anywhere-during commercials while you’re watching TV, as part of a high intensity interval training workout, even right before bed.
When you’re doing a push up, it’s important to make sure you have the correct form: back straight, abs pulled in, touch your chest to the ground. For an easier variation, start with your hands on an elevated surface such as a countertop or a chair, or simply lower your knees to the ground and do your push up from there.
For variations of the classic push up, try dive bomber push ups, reptile push ups, double knee touch push ups, and pike push ups.
3. Jumping rope
If you’re looking for a cardio workout to get your heart pumping and burn mega calories, look no further than the jump rope. Classically used as a training method by boxers, it’s now big in fitness crazes such as CrossFit because it’s so great at building your fitness level quickly.
You can buy a jump rope at any sporting goods store or online, and they’re cheap-most go for under $10.
Try jumping rope while watching TV or listening to a podcast to make the time go faster.
Or, for a quick, effective jump rope workout, try doing jump rope high knees as a Tabata workout: 8 rounds of 10 and 20 seconds. Work hard during the 20 second intervals, and rest during the 10 second intervals.
Burpees are another fantastic bodyweight workout to get your heart pumping. Here’s how to do a burpee:
- Start in a standing position.
- Drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
- Extend your feet back toward the ground in one quick motion to end up in a plank
- Return to a squat position in one quick motion.
- Jump straight in the air as high as possible-add a little clap for enthusiasm!
For a challenging burpee workout, try doing 100 in a row. That’ll beat the elliptical machine any day!
5. Air squats
No weights? No problem. You can still do air squats at home and get your legs a great workout. Just remember, since you don’t have weights, you’ll need to do more than you would do at the gym to get the same level of workout.
To add a greater challenge, try doing squats with a sandbag or by holding weights by your side.
Try doing air squats as part of a Tabata workout (8 rounds of 10 and 20 seconds), or incorporated them into a high intensity interval workout for a killer leg burner.