You could even do these in your pajamas…
Let’s face it, working out at home seems like a great idea until your five minutes into the first exercise, there’s no one to motivate you to keep going and your mind is on that email which needs responding to! Suddenly you’ve deviated from your workout, promising yourself you’ll get back to it right away, then time ticks on and before you know it you’re heading out to meet the girls in your active wear having done a measly ten sit ups.
The key to working out at home is to keep it fun, keep it short and keep it simple. We’ve previously spent hours and hours in the gym and yet research now shows that ‘going hard’ for a shorter time frame can actually yield greater results. You’re more inclined to push your body when you know it’ll be over soon and as you do, you build greater muscle tone and improve your cardiovascular output. So, with that said, here are my top workouts to keep you motivated!
The 7 Minute Workout
The 7 Minute Workout is one of the most used apps on my phone. Yep, it really does take seven minutes and who doesn’t have that, right? But, how can you achieve anything in such a short space of time? The key to this is Interval training. And of course when the workout is so short you’re far more likely to stick with it to the end. Chances are that once time is up, you might even want to do another round!
Tabata – 45 min HIIT
Another fantastic and easy app! This one takes you through a series of exercises broken down into 8 x 20 second cycles. And although the total exercise count amounts to 45 minutes; if you’re short of time it’s fine to do a couple of rounds at a time. The key is to push to your maximum effort level with each round.
Download Tabata – 45 min HIIT app for iPhone here!
The 30-Day Abs challenge
You’ll find a range of different options for this on sites such as Pinterest as well as variations for thighs and even your arms!
The great thing about this is that it starts off easy and will take only a couple of minutes out of your day. By the time you’ve worked up to the more challenging days you’ll have already built more muscle and strength and it won’t seem so hard. 30 days is a manageable time frame and having a set challenge will keep you on track with your workouts. Challenge a friend or colleague to join you and print off the workout so that you can cross off each day as you do it!
The Toilet Paper Workout
The best thing about this is that it uses ‘equipment’ which you already have at home! The novelty of it will have you reaching into the bathroom cupboard. The exercises themselves are challenging and varied enough to give a full body workout. I suggest starting with ten reps of each and building from there. If you want to mix it up then try ten reps of one exercise followed by a minute of jogging on the spot. Mix it up further by doing a round of ten reps of each exercise followed by eight then six, four and two.
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Exercises from Bed
Yep that’s right, as if being at home wasn’t comfortable enough you can actually exercise without having to leave your bed. Perfect for lazy mornings, the whole thing takes just five minutes (including rest breaks) so there’s no excuse not to give it a go. You can increase timings or do more rounds to challenge yourself further. This is a great all around workout, but remember – push yourself and max out your reps to achieve greater results. Challenge yourself to do more reps each time you workout and mark down your totals for an added incentive.
A few years ago I decided to challenge myself to do yoga three mornings a week. Perhaps I’m just not ‘mindful’ enough, but ten minutes in and I was longing to go for a run instead. YouTube has a huge selection of ten-minute yoga workouts perfect for a slice of serenity before launching into a busy day. Ten minutes was perfect for me and I was actually able to switch off.
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The Counter Top Workout
A counter top workout is a great way to make use of spaces at home or even at work. I love this one as the chair twists are so fun, but there are plenty more out there. Counters are great for pull-ups as well as push-ups and your arms will be toned in no time!
If you’re looking for simplicity then there is no better workout than burpees. A burpee works your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs so there’s no need for anything else! It’s the perfect strength exercise and ideal for burning fat. Start with ten and build up to doing 100. Or try doing as many as you can for one minute, then two and then build up to five minutes of nothing but burpees. You’ll be set for the day!
Planks are a great exercise to do at home as they take up such little space… plus you can grab a magazine and have a read whilst you plank if you want the time to go quicker. Once again you can set yourself a challenge and increase your times over a set period of a week or a month – start with 30 seconds and build up to two minutes. You can also alternate planks with dish holds (see video) Try 30 seconds of each for a total of four minutes and your abs will be crying!
Grab a Partner
The best way to stay motivated is to workout with a friend and the same applies at home. Make the exercises more fun by working together. If you can’t physically be in the same room then why not use Facetime or Skype for accountability and to check in with one another?