Home Exercise Routine
It is possible to create a very effective exercise program right in your own home. This exercise program is designed for the beginner, using simple exercises that can be done around the home, with either no equipment required or minimal equipment that is found around most homes. See also Ideas for Cheap Home Weights, and the Complete Home Exercise List.
Before starting you should warm up for about five minutes, with a brisk walk or jog around the block, skipping or jogging on the spot. Perform the following exercises in order, aiming for 3 sets of 12, meaning that for each exercise you should perform up to 12 repetitions (unless noted otherwise in the instructions), and complete 3 sets of each exercise before going on to the next. At first you may wish to aim for 2 sets of 8, and build up from there. You should rest for a couple of minutes between each exercise. Alternatively, you can group two exercises (which use different muscle groups), and alternate between the two which gives each muscle group a rest while you are working out another.
For the best results, do this workout two or three times a week, with at least a day between workouts for adequate recovery. You should always be striving to increase the load and/or intensity, to maximize your fitness gains. Once your fitness has improved, and you can go through this routine without too much bother, you need to find a more advanced program.
Follow the links for each exercise for more details instructions on how to perform the exercise and for possible variations. For some exercises there are alternatives, to be used if the primary exercise is not possible due to lack of equipment or injury. You should also add in the alternatives to the program for variation every now and then.
|1||Bucket Squats — Position your feet flat on the floor, about shoulder width apart with a weight in each hand. Looking straight ahead, slowly descend until the thighs are parallel to the floor, hold for a second, then push back up to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 times for each set.||Wall Squat|
|2||Lateral Raises — Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, holding a weight in each hand by your sides. Raise the weights out to the side to shoulder height, keeping elbows slightly bent for the whole movement. Repeat 8-12 times for each set.|
|3||Sit Ups — Start flat on your back with knees bent at 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor, and arms out straight. Slowly curl the torso, raising your head and shoulders and sliding your hands along your thighs until they reach your knees. Lower yourself slowly back to the floor. Repeat 10-20 times for each set.|
|4||Step ups — With or without weights in your hand, step up onto the step in a steady and controlled motion. Pause momentarily with both feet up on the step, before stepping down leading with your opposite foot, returning to the starting position. Repeat this action, alternating the leading leg each time. Repeat for a total of 10 to 20 times per leg.|
|5||Push-ups — Lie face down on the floor with your hands shoulder width apart. Push-up until your arms are straight, keeping you back and legs aligned. This is the starting position. Lower your body until your upper arms are horizontal, and then return to the starting position. Books or bricks can be used to elevate the hands (easier) or feet (harder).||Chair Dips|
|6||Standing Lunges — Both feet should be directed straight with the toes facing forward. Step forward with one foot, leaving the other back. From this position, lower your back knee almost to the floor, and rise up again. Repeat this action 8-12 times, then again with the opposite foot forward.||Dead Lift|
|7||Side Bridge — Place a towel or book on the ground, and rest your elbow on it. Your elbow should be directly below the shoulder. Raise your hips up and make sure your body is straight. Hold this position for between 30-60 seconds. Repeat three times on each side.|
|8||Bent Over Row — using a sturdy bed or similar, place your hand and knee onto the flat surface, with a weight in your right hand. Slowly bring the object up to the side of your chest, keeping your back straight, then lower the weight back down to straighten the arm. Repeat this action, concentrating on utilizing your back muscles. Switch over to work the other arm. Repeat 8-12 times each side for each set.||Chin ups|