Exercising from the comfort of your own home has many benefits – it’s cheaper than heading to the gym, you can train whenever you want to, you don’t have to travel anywhere and there’s no waiting for equipment to become available! However, are you getting all you can out of these sessions? We asked Harkirat Mahal, personal trainer at mobile training service MotivatePT (motivatept.co.uk), for expert tips on how to improve your home workouts and get fit without stepping out of your front door.
Don’t worry, we aren’t talking treadmills and bulky gym equipment that will take up most of your living room and a lot of your paycheck – we mean easy-to-store, budget-friendly, lightweight or small pieces that can be used in a variety of ways to ramp up your routines. This might include resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, a skipping rope or a yoga mat, for example. Having this equipment at home will not only make you more motivated to work out when you’re there, but it will also make your exercise more fun.
Being at home means that you get full control of the sound system and you don’t need to rely on your headphones or listen to whatever the gym happens to be playing that day. Use music to motivate you during your workout – as it’s your house, you can choose the playlist and the volume! A good beat can add huge amounts of energy to your routine and it will help to mentally take you to a more focused mindset, one that will help you to forget you are at home and make you think you’re sweating it out at the gym instead.
It can be really difficult to take exercising in your own house seriously if you’re short of space and struggle to perform even basic movements without risking injury. An instant way to improve your home workouts is to find a place where you can easily make some room to move. That could be achieved by simply pushing the sofas back, moving the coffee table out of the way or by permanently creating a gym spot in a corner of the house. This will help you to be less distracted and stay focused on your training, without worrying about bumping into furniture.
No matter how much you might want to, don’t try to exercise at home in your pyjamas! If you do this, your workout will reflect that same lazy or non-committal attitude and you won’t find yourself as motivated as you could be. Simply changing into your gym gear will raise your game and get you into the right frame of mind for training. It’s such a small thing that’s often overlooked, but it could really improve your routine – so save the PJs for a cosy night in on the sofa instead!
Some people struggle to work out at home when they overcomplicate what they’re doing. It’s not a gym environment, so it doesn’t have to be all about kettlebell squats and barbell deadlifts. Bodyweight exercises require no equipment and minimal space, meaning that they’re perfect for when you’re in your house and don’t have the facilities to do certain moves. Simple to implement, home workouts should include basic bodyweight exercises, such as squats, planks, lunges, bridges and leg raises. All of these are really effective if you’re looking to get lean and tone up!
When working out indoors, many people miss the obvious and don’t make the most of the fact that they are indeed at home. Keep in mind that it offers lots of useful furniture and equipment for exercise that simply doesn’t exist at the gym. You could use the stairs for uphill runs or to mimic the step, a chair for low-seated squats, the edge of the sofa for tricep dips or the kitchen counter for standing push-ups – all of these are great ways to make your routines really varied and enjoyable. Once you start to make the most of your home environment, the quality of your workouts will soar.
A big thing that can trip you up is that your home can be a very distracting place, full of chores and alerts. From the washing machine beeping and the telephone ringing to emails arriving and someone at the door, there’s always something going on that could take your mind off your workout. At best this means you aren’t concentrating fully on what you’re doing, and at worst it could lead to an injury. Try to reduce interruptions wherever possible by switching off or unplugging devices for a short period while you’re training. Everything will still be there when you’re finished!
This project was kindly supplied by our sister brand Health & Wellbeing. For even more workouts and advice, visit yourfitnesstoday.com