Whether you’re an athlete or making the switch to a healthy lifestyle as your new year’s resolution, home workouts are an excellent option for keeping fit and healthy. Working out at home is a cheap and accessible alternative to a gym membership. Let’s be honest when it comes to keeping up with new year’s resolutions, the more hurdles we can eliminate between us and our daily workout, the better. Skip the drive to the gym, and the monthly fees with an in-home solution! Here are some fitness tips for a more efficient home workout for keeping fit and healthy.
When creating your home workout, it’s essential to include all of the basics of a healthy routine. The number one fitness tip for beginners is always to include a warm-up and a cool-down routine, as well as stretching in your in your home workout. If done at the right time, stretching works to strengthen muscles and reduce your chance of injury. However, research shows that stretching cold muscles can damage them. Five or more minutes of light cardio such as jumping jacks or jump rope works to get the blood flowing to the muscles and avoid pulling or tearing them while stretching. Once the muscles are warmed up, they’re ready to be stretched.
Cooling down after a workout helps to slow and safely bring your breath and heart rate down, preventing dizziness and heart strain. Walking stretches, jumping jacks with moderate effort, or your favorite yoga poses are all examples of great cooldown exercises. The cooldown phase is the best time to stretch out and lengthen tired muscles. Remember, stretching is a cumulative activity. Every stretching session builds on itself working to develop strength and flexibility.
A well-rounded home workout routine should incorporate both cardiovascular and strength building exercises. Circuit training is a great way to include both of these elements into your home workout. The great thing about home workout circuits is that they function like a grab bag allowing you to choose exercises that target the areas you want to improve. The level of cardio in your home workout depends on your healthy lifestyle goals. Alternating higher levels of cardio with strength building exercises work to better burn fat. Alternating lower levels of cardio with weightlifting works to build more muscle. Create your personalized at-home circuit to improve cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Working an exercise circuit into your weekly routine can help to make that trip up the stairs or carrying that extra bag of groceries between the car and the house a breeze.
Here are three exercises that when incorporated into a circuit serves as a cheaper, more convenient, and efficient home workout.
Home workout equipment can be expensive and bulky. A great alternative to the traditional treadmill or exercise bike is the jump rope. Jumping rope is a cheaper alternative and not to mention a lot more fun. Compared to jogging, jumping rope is an extremely efficient cardio workout, earning the same cardiometabolic exercise points for half the time. Jump rope for only a few minutes, and it’s clear that it’s a great cardio exercise, but we may not notice the full body benefits of jumping rope until the next morning. Jumping rope improves stamina, balance, agility, all the while working your cardiac, lung and many other muscles in the body. With the use of weighted ropes, jumping rope works the forearms, biceps, shoulder, back muscles, gluts, and more. Easy access makes jumping rope an excellent option for beginners; however, as with any exercise, it’s important to practice good form to avoid injury. Finding the right rope means grabbing one that is an appropriate length. Ropes of the correct length allow us to practice the excellent posture needed to limit mistakes and reap the muscular and agility benefits associated with jumping rope. A weighted rope adds resistance which, when combined with proper posture, works to activate our muscles better and leads to a full body workout. Maintaining a good posture such as a straight back, shoulders back, and eyes forward will help to ensure the best workout results.
A plank is a strength building exercise that requires little to no equipment and whose intensity can be altered depending on skill level, making it the perfect home workout. Strength building exercises use resistance to build muscle and endurance. Planks are low-impact exercises for building inner core strength. If it was your New Year’s Resolution to lose the winter belly fat, then this is the workout for you. While Planks can have some appealing effects on the appearance of our tummy area, they provide so much more than tight abs. A strong core puts less pressure on the back, reducing back pain. In addition to flattening the tummy and reducing back pain, planks increase flexibility and improve posture.
The basic plank is accomplished by first laying face-down and using your arms to push yourself up into the push-up position. When doing a plank, the back should be flat like a board. When ready to begin, arms should be bent until the forearms lay flat on the ground, and the abdominal section tightened, then hold the position. To get the most out of a plank exercise and to prevent injury, it is essential that the back remains flat. Having a second pair of eyes to make sure the back is laying flat can help to avoid subtle arching. There are a few alterations to the basic plank which makes them a perfect option for any skill level. A workout tip for beginners is that the basic plank can be altered for those just starting by simply lowering the knees while holding the classic plank form. The tension applied to the core is lessened, still working to build core strength but not to overexert someone who is newly embarking on a healthy lifestyle transition. For those who are more advanced, The Up-Down Plank is a formidable challenge. All you have to do is while holding the classic plank position lift alternating sides of the body into the push-up position. Once both hands are palm down on the floor alternate letting each side back into a plank. This higher intensity plank works to strengthen the biceps and back muscles as well as the core.
There are countless benefits to the lunge workout, the most obvious being the strengthening and toning of our legs and bottom. However, other benefits include core strength and hip flexibility. While this workout can be accomplished while walking or standing, the benefits of walking lunges give us more results for our time. Walking lunges do everything a stationary lunge can do while improving balance and providing additional muscle toning to calves and thighs. To accomplish a lunge correctly, attention to posture is critical. Begin by standing feet firmly planted on the ground, shoulder width apart, and lowering your pelvis straight down, while maintaining a straight back.
Finally, our final fitness tip is to keep in mind that when creating an individualized home workout, switching up which exercises we incorporate daily keeps our bodies and minds more involved in our workouts ultimately keeping us fit and healthy.
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