Workouts and exercises you can do at home

So you want to lose some weight and/or put on some muscle, but for whatever reason you aren’t going to the gym. Maybe there isn’t one close to you, maybe you can’t afford the gym, or maybe you just can’t be bothered to get up and go to the gym. Whatever your reason might be, you still want to workout and stay healthy, right? Well I’m going to lay out some workouts and exercises you can do at home for cheap or even free.Before you workout, make sure you remember to warm up, otherwise you can end up hurting yourself in your workouts.Please note that I am no expert in this area, these are just exercises I know from my own experiences.

1. Push ups

Lie face down on the floor and then place your arms straight out in front of you so they are level with your chest and you are holding yourself off of the floor. Lower your body until your nose touches the floor and then push yourself back to the top and repeat. If you cannot yet do a push up, instead of using your feet to hold you up you can use your knees, making this exercise a lot easier. You can also adjust the distance between your hands in order to work different parts of the chest. Range your grip from wide to narrow.

2. Dips 

Find a chair, face away from the chair and place your hands face down and facing away from the chair. Place your legs straight out in front of you and move your bum in front of the chair so you can lower yourself without hitting the chair. Then, lower yourself down towards the floor as far as you can go without hurting yourself, and push yourself back up using your arms. This will workout your triceps, and it is a very good exercise for doing so.

3. Wall Squat 

Stand with your back against the wall. Lower yourself and move your feet so that you end up in a position similar to as if you were sat in a chair. Your thighs should be perpendicular to your shins and your back should be straight against the wall. Hold this position for as long as you can until your legs cannot take any more. This is a great exercise to strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Alternatively, rather than just holding the squat, you can lower yourself, then stand and repeat.

4. Sit ups and crunches 

Lay flat on your back on a soft surface such as carpet, a yoga mat or maybe even a towel or blanket. Bring your knees towards you so they are at a 90 degree angle, keeping your feet on the floor. Place your arms across your chest so that each hand touches the opposite shoulder, forming an X shape. For a sit up, raise your head and upper body and bring them towards your knees, keeping a straight back. Then, lower yourself back to the floor and repeat. You may need to place something on your feet to stop yourself from shifting along the floor throughout this exercise. This exercise will help tone your stomach and strengthen your abs.For crunches, do the same thing, but only lift yourself about half the way which you would for a sit up, and make sure you don’t place your back on the floor on the way back down.

5. Planks

Take up the same position as you would for a push up, but instead of using your hands, bend your arms to 90 degrees and rest on your forearms. Hold this position for as long as you can until your abs start to hurt too much. This is another fantastic exercise which will really strengthen your core.

6. Pull/chin ups

This one may require a bit of equipment, unless you have somewhere in your house or garden where you can perform this one. This exercise requires you to grip a raised bar which can take your entire weight and raise your head above the bar then lower yourself and repeat, so make sure the bar or whatever you are using can take your whole weight without breaking or falling. Place your hands on the bar with either your palms facing away from you (pull up) or facing towards you (chin up). A pull up engages more with the back muscles while a chin up will use the biceps and your back muscles. Once gripped, dangle yourself so your feet are off the floor and you holding yourself up by gripping the bar. Then, pull yourself up until your head is above the bar, lower yourself until your arms are straight, and repeat.Note: you really need to ensure the bar can take your whole weight and it will not shift, fall or break during the pull up. Also make sure the bar is high enough that you can lower yourself back down without touching the floor

7. Lunges

Find some space and stand up straight. Place your right leg around 2-3 feet in front of you and bend both your legs until the front of your left leg is parallel with the floor, then push yourself back up and return to standing straight with both legs together. Do the same again, this time switching legs and keep repeating. A great exercise to build muscle and strength in the quads.

8. Squats

Almost exactly the same as a wall squat, but without the wall. Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and lower yourself until the top of your legs are 90 degrees with the bottom of your legs. Hold this pose for a few seconds if you can, then push yourself back to the top. Remember to keep a straight back throughout. Squats will help you work on your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

9. Calf raises 

Go to the staircase and stand on the bottom step with the front half of your feet on the step and the other half hovering. Keeping your legs straight, push your weight through your toes so that you lift yourself up. Lower yourself and repeat. This will strengthen the calf muscles at the back of the lower half of your leg.

10. Forward and side lateral raises

Stand straight in some space. For forward raises, simply keep your arm straight as your raise your arms out in front of you. Lower them slowly back to your side and repeat. For side raises, stand as you would for forward raises, but this time raise your arms out sideways until you hand is level with your shoulder. Remember to keep your arms straight. These are great exercises to shape and strengthen the shoulder muscles.

Adding weights:

For many of you, using only your body weight may not be enough and you may decide you want to add extra weights. You can buy weights online if you like, or you can use objects around the house to help you in your exercises. Please make sure that you stay safe if you decide to use objects from around the house. A good way to add weight for a lot of these exercises may be to place objects into a back pack and put the back pack on, but please do take care.

I hope these exercises will help some of you in your home workouts. If there are any other workouts you know of, feel free to let us know in the comments or by getting in touch through email or social media. If you haven’t already, follow our blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Thank you for reading!

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