by Karissa Johnson
If this pandemic has taught us anything about what we need to be successful in our fitness goals, it’s that we need to have a plan that we can do at home! On our non-run days, I love to get to the gym to get some strength training in, but I’m thankful that I have the tools to get that workout in at home for the times I just can’t get out of the house.
Working out at home doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. Choose simple, effective exercises to become comfortable with and make a part of your regular routine. Here are a few tips to feel confident in your workout at home.
Invest in a few practical, inexpensive tools.
An exercise ball, resistance band, and a set of 5 and 8 pound dumbbells is a great place to start.
Find one to two exercises you like to do for each major muscle group, and perform each exercise to fatigue.
If you're new to strength training, 12-15 reps per set is a great initial goal to work for.
But getting to the point of exhaustion is more important than the number of reps you perform or how much resistance got you there. One exercise is sufficient for most muscle groups, but choose two for larger muscle groups and exercises that work multiple muscles at once. Work towards two sets per exercise, but if one is all you have time for, you’ll still get results if you go to fatigue each time.
Keep it simple.
Exercises don’t have to be complicated to be effective. Here is a simple routine that will get you covered, in a great order!
Squats, Planks, Lunges, Crunches, Glute Bridges, Push-ups, Rows, Tricep Kickbacks, Bicep Curls, Side Shoulder Raises
The American Council on Exercise offers a great library of exercise images and form tips.
Know what you can cut out in a hurry.
You CAN work your whole body in under ten minutes. Push-ups work your shoulders and tris in addition to your chest, and rows work your biceps in addition to your back. Don’t cut out your workout completely just because you don’t have much time. Instead, try this series:
Lunges, Planks, Push-Ups and Rows
Know when to change it up.
It’s okay and even beneficial to stick with the same exercises for a few weeks. When you find that your ability no longer improves on a given exercise (ability to lift more weight or perform it longer), it’s time to swap it out. The ACE Fitness Library offers great suggestions that can be searched by muscle group.
Okay, okay, that’s 6! But in order to be effective at the first five, it’s so important to have accountability and support. Share your fitness journey with at least one other person that you will check in with regularly. Better yet, meet up to do some of your workouts together, even if virtually! If you haven’t quite found your fitness friends yet, we recommend checking out the amazing community at Moms on the Run.
Karissa Johnson is a Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach through the American Council on Exercise, and the Founder of Moms on the Run.