Home Workouts For The Winter Hibernator
Let's say it just snowed a good, solid foot in your area this winter. Are you really planning on busting out the shovel, digging a pathway for your car, and traversing the frozen tundra, just to make it to the gym for an hour? Wouldn't it be better to just work out at home?
Obviously, there are many times when the home workout facility is no substitute for the local gym. This is particularly true of those of us out there that haven't yet invested in the proper equipment; such as dumbbells, kettlebells, etc. But sometimes, it just isn't possible (or probable) to make it out for your next workout. In these cases, it's always good to have a back up plan. And sometimes the best, and most convenient place to get in a quick workout, is home sweet home.
The workouts listed below are sure-fire ways to get a fantastic workout in, without the need for any equipment at all. The purpose of these workouts is not to substitute a great strength workout for heavy lifters, but rather as a great workout to build a little bit of muscle, create some lasting endurance, and get in a great sweat from the comfort of your own home. I know they work, because I live in Minnesota, so you can be sure I've been forced to be in hibernation for my fair share of workouts.
Just make sure to get in the right mindset, because going to the gym is a ritual; a process of sorts. It prepares your mind and body to get to work, because it takes motivation to simply make it into the gym. If you can, try to establish a routine to get yourself into that same mindset, before beginning any of the following home workouts.
Push Up Workouts
The first thing most folks think of when working out at home, is knocking out rounds of push ups. As a nearly full-body movement, push ups are a great way to build upper body strength and endurance. The key for a great push up workout at home is going BEYOND the point at which you get tired. That's really the only way you'll begin to build muscle with home push up workouts; the extra effort, the extra push up.
Listed below are two push-up only workouts you can do at home. For either of them, feel free to do it 2-3 times every day (morning, afternoon, night). After a few weeks, you'll begin to feel a big difference in your strength and stamina level.
Begin by completing as many push ups as you possibly can -- to failure (I'm talking about 'barely being able to complete that last rep' failure). Remember that number, because no matter if you did 30, 60, or 100, your next step is where the real work begins.
After taking a few minutes of rest, try to complete that number AGAIN, only this time not allowing your knees to touch the ground. What you can do is take little breaks by staying at the top of the push up position, or in a yoga style pike position. Just don't let those knees touch! A quick note -- this will be incredibly hard! But, as you progress, you'll find that you'll not only get better at the second part of the workout, but you'll also start to see you initial push up numbers rise.
The Push Up Pyramid
For this workout, you simply start by doing one push up, moving to get up to your knees, then completing an overhead press with your hands (as though you had a barbell in them). Next, do two push ups, followed by two presses.
Follow this all the way up to a set amount of push ups (maybe 10-15), followed by the same amount of weightless presses. At the top of the pyramid, your shoulders, chest, and arms should begin to feel that burning sensation -- which is great, because now the REAL work begins. You now have to go back DOWN the pyramid! Continue on down (10, 9, 8, etc...), until you get all the way back to doing one push up, followed by one weightless overhead press. Again, this one may start off slow and easy, but by the end you'll be working super hard to finish the pyramid!
The Ultimate Lower Body Home Workout
Those first workouts are some great, and fast, ways to get a good upper body workout. But what if you're looking to work those hammies, glutes, and quads? If there's one home workout you should be doing to really gain some strength, it's this next one.
Consider all the exercises listed as an order in a big circuit -- in which you perform the first exercise, then move right into the next one. For each exercise, complete 20 total reps (meaning, for the lunges, do 10 per leg), then move right into the next exercise in the circuit. At the very end of the circuit, take a good amount of rest (one to two minutes), then start again! Give yourself either a certain amount of time, perhaps 20-30 minutes, or a certain number of circuits, such as four to five, before you finish. Challenge yourself, because your legs will definitely feel this one!
Alternating Front Lunges
Double Pump Jump Squats
Reverse/Bulgarian Split Squats
This next workout is only designed for those out there willing to push themselves EXTRA hard while working out at home. During training to become Navy SEALs, new recruits will go round after round after round of all the best, tried-and-true body weight exercises. The one slight tweak for this workout is keeping with the theme of 'no equipment' movements, so you get to skip pull ups (lucky you). For each round, try to complete 20-30 reps of each exercise, because the concept behind this workout is building a high amount of endurance. The key here is how many total rounds you complete. Start by going for six, but as you progress, begin making an attempt to hit 10. If you really feel like a challenge, you can train on the level of a SEAL graduate -- 20 total rounds!
Prisoner Squats (hands behind the back of the head)
Bulgarian Split Squats
Have fun with these workouts -- you may find that you start incorporating these workouts into your regular routine, once you're able to dig out of the snow and head back to the gym!