Working out at home

Working out at home

By Linda Ericson // Personal Trainer and Operations Manager at RCSN Fitness March 2018

So what exercises are best suited for training at home? The best exercises are of course those that do not require any specific equipment or at least can be done with ones you can find at home. Push-ups, squats and pull-ups are as always three self-written exercises and may be combined with some kind of core-oriented workout, namely exercises aimed at strengthening the lower back and cut some of those abs out that we would love to show off in July.

The choices of exercises as well as the construction of the program itself depends on your individual goal - is your ambition to lose weight, increase your muscle mass or simply to just improve general health? Based on some kind of average physically active person, we have here listed a few exercises that will help you develop an impressive physique without putting a single foot outside your home.

Whether your place of working out is in the living room or at the local fitness center, it is necessary that you start with a warm up. Most people do not have treadmills or exercise bikes at home, but you will be perfectly fine by raising the “work temperature” through just a couple of minutes of 'high knees' or slow jogging in one place. After this, there are a lot of different ways to do a more specific warm up, but a good start are head circles, arm swings, wrist circles, shoulder rolls, and so on. This is to speed up the blood flow to your muscles as well as to improve performance. You should also make sure to wake up the knee joint through a couple of lightweight squats.

Each exercise should be done with 10-15 repetitions with a total of 3-5 sets. Be sure to keep the resting between your sets to a minimum so that the pulse stays high.

1. Burpee
This is a very simple exercise which is hated by almost everyone. From a standing position with your hands behind your head you go down in a squat. While down, you place your hands on the floor in front of you, find support and then throw your legs back as far as you can. Do a push-up. You then return by putting your legs back underneath you, remove your hands from the floor and make an explosive jump right up so that you return to the starting position.
An alternative to this exercise is the classic squat, one of the best exercises ever. This exercise challenges the entire body but has the greatest effect on butt and thighs. Vary your squats by placing your hands behind your head, holding a weight against your chest, or why not try the one-legged variant.

2. One-legged squat / Bulgarian split
With one leg on a chair or the end of your bed, you perform this squatting exercise which is great not only to build a nice butt but also to improve coordination. Standing on one leg with the opposite leg/foot resting on a chair you go down as deep as you can in a one-legged squat. Try to lower the resting knee to the floor. Be sure to first find appropriate balance on the leg on which you have put your weight on before you begin the movement. After completing the series, you change leg.
In a gym, supplementary weight is often used in the form of kettlebells or dumbbells. If you are training at home you can instead fill a few water bottles or use other appropriate weights, depending on how you develop your strength.

3. Plank
The exercise that kills almost every muscle in our bodies while we stand completely still and do nothing. Everyone who has ever stood in a plank knows that it's far more difficult than it looks. The most important thing to do in order to maintain strength and endurance is to contract and keep the abdominal muscles constantly tight throughout the exercise. This is to ensure that the butt does not fall down or rise up, and that the lower back is evenly stabilized.
Vary your planks by doing them straight, standing on the right or left arm, or with additional weights.You should first try to last for at least 30 seconds but always look to extend your maximum time. Pretty soon you will see how fast you are developing.

4. Push-ups
Although this is essentially an exercise that activates the chest muscles and triceps, the abdominal muscles are highly involved. The same upper body strength required in the plank (as described above) is just as vital if you want to get the right technique of your push-ups. The vast majority of people who fail this exercise do so just because of the instability of the core region, which causes the pelvis to collapse and then the stomach pretty soon lies flat against the floor. Stand on straight and strong wrists, and find your strength in the upper body before lowering it. Push yourself upward again, fully controlled.
It's alright to stand on your knees if the classic variant on your feet feels overwhelming. If you want to challenge yourself, try to put either one or both hands on a ball, kettlebell or similar.

5. Lying back extension
You start from a lying position on your stomach with straight arms directed forward. Simultaneously as you raise your chest, you pull your elbows backward to the sides of the upper body (the thumbs should end up at ear level) and carefully contract the lumbar muscles. Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly returning to the starting position. Repeat.
Make sure that the head and neck stays neutral throughout the whole movement.

These are five exercises that are effective and train almost your entire body, no matter where you are.

Good luck!

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