Are you one of those types that hates going to the gym? I understand. It really is a time consuming, process that can be uncomfortable for many. Whether the discomfort comes from the meat heads benching 400 pounds, the fact that you don’t know anyone, all the naked people in the locker room, or even the conversations that are forced on you by the classic “Gym Talkers”, the gym can be annoying (and expensive). That is why I choose to do 95% of my workouts from home. No BoFlex, no benches, no squat racks… Nada. Just a few dumbbells, and an ab ball and I can really torch the calories while at the same time building muscle.
Things you should have in your home to be able to conquer a total workout:
- Dumbbells (not mandatory- weight choice is yours)
- A workout ball (not mandatory)
Woah, look at that whopping list! It will probably cost you a whole $50 if you do not already have them. Much less than any gym membership you’ll find.
Now I’m going to take you through some cardio and muscle-building exercises to do amongst your own comfort zone:
Cardio: Approach your steps. If you have a set of 3 to 5 steps somewhere, this will work wonders. However if you have a step total of 10-15, this will also work. If you are in the 3 to 5 range, I would like you to set your timer for 15-20 minutes. Now begin trotting up the stairs and then back down. When you go down, use your athleticism and stay facing the same way you were when you ran up them. Increase your speed, as you need a push. 15-20 minutes of stair cardio like this can burn up to almost 400 calories!!! That’s more than an elliptical and a treadmill would get you.
Here is a picture of a 1 step cardio workout that is easy as shit and still gets the job done (my dog likes to watch me workout).
If you have steps of 10-15 (or more) run up them and then run back down them facing forward. It is easy to run down 3-5 steps backwards. 10-15 can lead to some injuries. Be careful.
Abdominals: You can literally do ab workouts anywhere you want. We will provide plenty of ab workouts in future posts. For now, use these to help get that six pack you wanted. If you do not have a workout ball, I suggest you purchase one. Any sports related store or website should have these readily available. I recommend using a ball while doing frequent abdominal exercise because it provides support for your back. Many of us have the misfortune of back pain, but the perk the ab workouts on the ball is that while you work your core, you are also strengthening your back.
Lay your back on the ball so that your spine curves to the curve of the ball. Place your hands behind your head. Crunch forward as high as you want to the point where you feel it in your abs. Do as many as you can! After doing as many as you can, rest, and then do as many as you can again! Repeat this motion until you have exceeded the 300-crunch mark. It may sound like a lot, but really it is not. If you can crack the 300 mark, do it. 300 is just a goal. Think bigger.
Lay your back the same way. Place one arm behind your head. Crunch up and out to the opposite leg. Do this 20 times and then repeat to the opposite side. These will give your obliques and lower abs a unique workout and will provide those “sex lines” down to your goodies.
Weight Training/Muscle Building: Grab ahold of your dumbbells and lay on the ball the same way you were for ab workouts. Or, for more support, let your butt touch the ground, and hoist the rest of your back against the ball to the point where it will not move. You may need to deflate the ball a little for better support in the second pose. Bring both dumbbells to your side and perform a chest press. Do as many reps as you can.
A key to muscle building is to really push your muscles to the next level. Burn them out to see the biggest impact.
Next, and one of my personal favorite home work outs… If you have kitchen counter that provide a 90-degree angle, you are in luck. Approach the counter with your back turned and place your hands on both sides. Lift your legs into the air and let your arms fully support your entire body weight:
Let your goal be to do 20, but try to do it until you burn out. This workout burns so many calories and works so many muscles, especially your triceps, pectorals, shoulders, biceps, and abdominals. Not too many machines at the gym can do that.
Stay tuned for more workouts that only require your body weight!