8 October 2019

Get a full body toning workout without leaving the house!

Do you find yourself blaming your living arrangements for making it impossible for you to exercise? Perhaps your nearest gym is just too far away, you work irregular hours and can’t commit to a class, or maybe family commitments are keeping you homebound. Whatever the reason, sometimes the barriers to exercise just feel insurmountable. But did you know it’s possible to do a full body toning workout at home? You don’t even need to invest in any expensive equipment – your own body weight and a few basic household items are all you need to complete these easy-to-follow whole body toning exercises.

Can you really get results from working out at home?

Whatever your motivation – whether it’s to feel fitter, build muscle, lose some weight or tone up – you feel doubtful as to whether attempting an at home full body toning workout will really bring about noticeable results. Somehow, you’ve internalized the message that fitness has to be about this season’s Lycra, expensive gym subscriptions and unpronounceable supplements. Well, let’s break it down for a moment. Fundamentally, the principles of getting into shape are as follows: you need to get your heart rate up, get blood pumping around your body and work the major muscle groups, using a combination of cardio and weight training exercises.

Ok, tell me more…

at home full body toning workout

Cardio exercise includes jogging, swimming, cycling and tennis – even dancing. Weight training involves using some form of resistance – it can be as simple as using your own body weight to your advantage (see our handy calisthenics guide) or you can improvise weights to life using items you already have at home. Just make sure that if you’re going to be using one in each hand, they are of more or less equal size and weight. A small water bottle will weigh around a pound, a large one between two and three pounds. Similarly, a tin of beans is about a pound. For groundwork, an old camping mat will do just fine.

So, let’s get started on your full body toning workout plan

Below is a selection of exercises to use for full body toning – in your bedroom, in your front room or in the yard. Aim to complete a half hour workout on most days of the week. You don’t have to do all the exercises each session, but ensure a good spread of arm, leg and core exercises each time. Around 10-15 reps of each are ideal, moving from one exercise to the next without rest breaks (although stop briefly to sip water when required).

First of all, you want to get warmed up and begin to raise your heart rate slowly. After some simple stretches, jog – on the spot if space dictates, or round the yard – jump rope, or perform jumping jacks for a couple of minutes. Two to three should do it. Now move straight on to your chosen selection of the following exercises.

    • Bicep curls: use your home-made weights and complete two to three sets of reps on either side
    • Triceps dips: back up to a sturdy chair, low wall, even the edge of the sofa. Legs out in front and lower your body down and slowly back up again.
    • Triceps extensions: hold your weights, arms by your sides, and raise your arms out behind you. Don’t lock elbows. Hold and return.
    • Pushups: if you’re just starting out, from your knees, otherwise from tiptoe
    • Squats: keep it basic at first, hold for a few seconds when you lower and slowly raise back up. Hold your weights, arms bent at the elbow, to work upper body more too. TIP - when you’re ready to step up the challenge, make your squats more explosive by jumping up from the lowest point of the squat and immediately moving into the next.
    • Lunges and side lunges.
    • Scissors: lie on your back, raise both legs off the floor about a foot and open into a ‘V’. Now scissor them – closing and crossing over before returning to the ‘V’ of the start position. Alternate which leg crosses on top. Aim for the highest speed at which the movement can still be controlled.
    • Side raises: lying on your side, raise upper leg as far as possible vertically upwards before lowering in a smooth, controlled movement.
    • Crunches: for your basic crunch, lie on the ground, with legs bent at the knees and hands to temples, elbows forming a ‘V’. Raise your torso, arms and head off the ground. TIP – to make your crunches work extra hard, raise your feet also and bring one elbow over to the opposite knee at the highest point of the crunch, alternating sides as you go.
    • Plank: no home workout routine was ever going to complete without every trainer’s favorite – the plank. Get on your front, legs supported by tiptoes and upper body resting on forearms, wrists below shoulders. Keep your spine in line and… hold. TIP – you can also perform side planks: leg weight rests on the side of the lower foot and upper body on one forearm, bent at the elbow below the shoulder.

There you have it – a full body toning workout plan without leaving your home!

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