To me, there’s nothing worse than having to skip the gym and miss out on my daily workout.
Whether it’s because of a lack of time in the day, injury or unforeseen circumstances surrounding my workout – it always gets me down and puts me in a bad mood.
To prevent my mood swings, get my daily workout in and build up a sweat when I just can’t get to the gym (or it’s because it’s closed early), I try and get a home workout in to get my daily dose of blood flow.
Want to know what I use and how I train in my front room? You’ve got it – here are X ways I stay in shape while working out at home.
1. Making sure the body’s in optimal condition
Before undertaking any exercise, not just at home workouts, it’s important to make sure that your body is in optimal condition so you’re getting the best performance out.
Hydration is the biggest key with so many of us (myself included) neglecting drinking the clear stuff in the comfort of our own homes. At the gym it’s easy, there’s a water fountain nearby and you’ve got a bottle in hand, taking regular sips, but it can be easy to forget while at home.
You should be consuming 8 ounces of water 20-30 minutes before warm up and 20 ounces 2-3 hours before that – so remembering to keep your fluids topped up is vital.
My memory for water consumption leaves a lot to be desired, so I always make sure that I’ve got my Kool 8 water bottle to hand, a bottle recently named the best water bottle of 2019. That way I’m always drinking without thinking, it’s less a case of remembering and more a case of subconsciously staying hydrated.
2. Get your runners on and get outdoors
My absolute favorite way to make the most of my time training at home is by avoiding indoors as much as possible.
There’s something special about getting physical in nature, whether it’s cycling on the road or running down a trail, it’s refreshing to get out in the open to enjoy working out. Maybe it’s something to do with the wind in your hair or a nice breeze to cool you down – but almost all of my home workouts involved the outdoors.
If I’m pressed for time, don’t have any equipment or just need to get another cardio session in – in my mind – there’s nothing better than getting out for a run. Armed with just a half-decent pair of trainers, the world can be your oyster and with careful focus on warming up, cooling down and hydration before, during and after, you can have great workouts out in the open.
3. It’s all about circuits
If it’s not a run that I’m fancying, then it’s more than likely some sort of circuit training that I’m going to get myself involved with.
Setting up simple, limited equipment based stations to build up a full body workout is something that I’m a huge advocate of when building up a sweat in the living room. Looking for a simple, but challenging circuit that everyone can do (like the one below from ACE) is a great place to start:
- Pass through lunge (30 seconds each leg)
- Globe hops (jump for one minute)
- Shoulder tap push-up (as many reps for 60 seconds)
- Burpees (as many reps for 60 seconds)
- Side squat (perform for 60 seconds)
- Army crawl plank (perform for 60 seconds, 30 seconds on each arm)
The easier that you find the circuits, the less time you should rest, keeping the difficulty up while increasing your strength and endurance. There’s plenty available from plenty of different sites, so shop around to keep it fresh and to use different muscle groups.
4. HIIT it out the park
Short on time, but high on motivation? At home, HIIT is the perfect mix of all-out effort condensed into a time constrained period.
HIIT (or high-intensity interval training) shares some similarities with circuit training but can be applied to absolutely anything form of exercise you take a fancy to. The idea is to focus on short bursts of high-intensity work (sub 60 seconds), with short rest periods to allow recovery.
As a keen runner, I tend to opt for speed work whenever considering HIIT and following warming up, will go for 8-10 rounds of 45-second sprints. These will be broken up with 20-30 second rest breaks in between, but with such high intensity, you’ll be begging for the short workout to be over even quicker.
5. Stretch and maintenance work
It can be tricky to get in the mood for a high-stress workout in such a low-stress environment, like your home. The key to overcoming? Why not opt for something less stressful?
How many of us really take the right amount of time to stretch and do the maintenance work that we say we’re going to when we get home. It’s a single figure percentage surely. But making a whole home workout dedicated to stretching, foam rolling and myofascial release can be incredibly beneficial and just as effective as a high-stress workout for your body.
Taking a solid 45-60 minutes to focus on a full body stretching routine is a great way to get the most out of your body during serious workout days – so you can worry less about the state of your joints and more on your performance.
Picking and choosing stretching routines from the Nike Training Club app is my go to. Whatever feels the tightest on any given day is what I’ll usually be searching for in the app. Whether that’s a full body routine or targeted areas – there’s plenty of plans to follow to make sure that I’m staying as flexible as possible – future-proofing my body from its already stressful life.
Focus on the health of your body and the rest will come.