There are several advantages to working out at home. You don’t have to commute anywhere; you have the ultimate privacy, it’s cheaper, the list goes on. There’s nothing wrong with the gym, either, but it’s not possible for some.
If this is you and you want to get fit and/or lose weight at home - that’s great! It requires dedication, motivation, and discipline, but the payoff is so worth it. And if you’re overwhelmed, don’t worry. Even without a gym or a personal trainer, there is plenty of information available to help you learn and create a plan.
When you workout at home, it’s important to remember that there are do’s and don’ts, and the don’ts are just as important. Proper form when exercising helps you get the best and fastest results, but it also minimizes the risk of injury.
There are hundreds of exercises out there, but some are both basic and effective, making them popular. Start with these and use the following exercise tips as you master them:
5 Exercise Do’s and Don’ts
Lunges are a dual-purpose exercise. They help improve your balance while simultaneously working your legs and glutes.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- With your right leg, step forward and bend your knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground.
- After holding the position for a moment or two, step back into the starting position and repeat with your left leg.
- Don’t let your knee extend past your foot, always keep the calf straight. This compromises the movement and puts excess pressure on the knees.
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Squats work both your core and the entire lower body. They also improve flexibility in your lower back and hips while burning plenty of calories.
- Stand up straight with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart and keep your arms at your sides.
- As you brace your core and keep your chin and chest straight, push back with your hips and bend your knees - almost like you’re about to sit in a chair.
- Keep going until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Most bring their arms out in front of them at this point. Hold the position for a moment and stand back up.
- Much like a lunge, you mustn’t let your knees extend past your toes.
- Don’t let your heels or toes come up off the ground.
- Don’t round your back.
Push-ups are amazing because they’re perhaps the most simple but also one of the most effective workouts as they target muscles all over the body.
- Start in a traditional plank position. Tighten your core, shoulders pushed back, and your back and neck kept straight and neutral.
- Bend your elbows and bring your lower body toward the ground.
- As your chest touches the ground, bring yourself back up to the starting position.
- Don’t arch or round your back.
- Don’t let your elbows get too far away from your body as you move them.
- Don’t over-extend yourself. If you can’t go all-in right away, do the movement with your knees on the ground instead of your toes.
Crunches are a popular core exercise as they are quick, easy, and effective. Though they only focus on the abdominal muscles specifically, it’s an intense workout for those muscles.
- Start by laying down on your back.
- Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your arms on your chest.
- Lift your upper body several inches off the ground, keeping your back and neck straight.
- Hold the position for a moment and return to the ground.
- Don’t arch or round your back.
- Don’t bend your neck.
- Don’t let your feet come off the ground.
- Don’t do a crunch if you have poor flexibility in your hips or a recent/unhealed neck or back injury.
Everyone loves burpees for how effective they are, but very few can say they love - doing - them! This is because it’s a grueling whole-body workout that is difficult and takes a lot out of you. Are they ever worth it, though! Not only do you challenge many muscles across your entire body, but it’s a cardio workout and an excellent test of your endurance.
- To start, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides.
- Squat down and when your hands are on the ground, push your legs back into the push-up position.
- Immediately jump your feet back up to your hands. Land them as close to your hands as possible - ideally on either side.
- Stand up straight again and jump into the air, raising your arms above your head.
- Repeat for several reps. As you master the steps, start doing it faster until it’s all one fluid movement. This is what makes it a great cardio workout.
- Do warm-up with five to ten minutes of a milder cardio exercise before starting.
- Don’t overdo it. If you get too tired and become sloppy you’ll stunt your progress and potentially cause injury.
- Don’t hunch over as you stand back up.
- Don’t let your head drop. Keep your chin lifted and your spine neutral.
Stay Safe With These Exercise Tips
While it’s results and progress you’re after, safety is most important. Proper form is the best way to make sure you’re working out safely and avoiding pulled muscles, or worse.
These five exercises are just the start. For the do’s and don’ts of other exercises, check out the 30 Day Fitness app. It’s the perfect home workout companion with its vast library of workout plans and individual exercises created by licensed professionals. It’s like a personal trainer without the price tag!
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The app’s long list of exercises also includes detailed, step-by-step instructions for completing them safely and in proper form. As if that wasn’t enough, they also include an instructional video for every single one. It goes beyond exercise tips and helps you customize your entire journey.