It could be that the average gym members combination of grunts with last weeks sweaty armpits, do not match your nostrils nor does anything to improve your ever declining belief in humanity’s ability to take good care of itself – has made you considering starting a home fitness exercise program.
Whatever the reason, the thought of having to go to the gym to get in a good workout, somehow doesn’t cut it for you, so… You’ve decided to get started on your home fitness exercise plans, Congratulations 🙂
What to include in a home fitness exercise routine?
You should always aim for good full body workouts.
Or. if you have the time and dedication – a body split routine. A body split routine involves working one body part per workout, the simplest split being upper body on Monday and lower body Tuesday, and then repeating the process Thursday and Friday.
But it could also be split into even more splits, like arms Monday, legs Tuesday, chest Wednesday, back Thursday etc.
The more splits you have, the more time – and thus dedication – is needed to get a good full body workout. The more splits you have will also lead you to only working each muscle once or twice at the most each week. This approach allows you to put more stress onto the muscle if you do multi-splits, than with this 1-split routine as your muscle is allowed to rest better in between exercises when split into several pieces.
This is completely up to you, and there definitely pros and cons to each one – and that is without considering any individual needs you might have. And also, several splits is often something that comes down the line – you discover things you want or need to focus on as your routine progresses that you might want to attend to after having started your home fitness plans.
In this article we will be focusing on getting a simple full body workout in one session, as in a 1 split routine: Get all the work done on Monday and then repeating the same routine on Wednesday and Friday. This allows me to “attack” the muscle in the same way over time and gives me a clear indication on progression from workout to workout.
Set up a Good Basic Home Fitness Exercise Routine
1 – Bench Press or Push-ups
If you have the bench, go for that and preferably with a weight you can get of the bar and that you are able to lower all the way down to your solar plexus and back up to elbows nearly straight (do not lock out elbows on top, this is a shortcut to injury). Start out with a manageable weight, we are not in competition with anyone but ourselves, here. For men 20kg and ladies 10kg – remember we’re just starting out.
The bent bar with numerous amounts of red plates on each side comes after years of tremendously hard work, for most of us it simply will never happen.
If you do not have the bench press option in your home fitness gym, just go for the push-up. If you struggle with regular push-ups using your toes as your end point, simply lower your knees and do them from there, no worries. In 3 weeks you will be doing regular push-ups from your toes, I promise you 🙂
You should have chosen a weight to train with, or push-up starting point (toes or knees) that you can lift in a controllable manor down and back up 20 times without it being a complete struggle.
2 – Seated Rowing or Pull-ups
If you have the rowing option as part of your home gym equipment, use it – and again use weight that you CONTROLLABLY can pull towards your chest using a triangle mid-grip, and lower it again for about 20 repetitions (reps.) without it being a complete struggle.
Don’t have a bench press as part of your home fitness, try finding a narrow desk or table that you could lye underneath and pulling yourself up by grabbing the edges of the table.
Or a staircase if you have one in the house, grab a hold of a step and start lifting yourself up. Staircase tip: if you start out with a step low enough for you to aid your lifting with your toes, you can do reps like this with less and less help with your feet – and before you know it you’ll be pulling yourself all the way up. This exercise can also be done outside in the kids’ playground using any of the suitable equipment found there.
3 – Squats
If you have a squat rack with a decent bar, you are all set to get started. Again, the weight should not exceed the bar (10-20kgs) the first couple of weeks, this will ensure that you activate the correct muscles, maintain stability in your core and avoid injuring yourself.
For the ones without any full body workout equipment in the house, a large pillow or perhaps a 4gallon pot from the kitchen filled half-way does wonders for your core stability muscles when doing stand-alone squats.
For all the same applies, heals at shoulder width, big toe pointing slightly outwards, and start bending your knees slightly towards and over your big toe, all while keeping your lower back locked in a straight line from your shoulders down to your hips. When in the lower position with both your hips and your knees at 90degree angles, back straight, your knee should not be in front of your big toe, but located in a straight line above. Do this slowly besides a mirror or a partner a couple of times before adding any weight what so ever.
Don’t fret it if you don’t feel like you are hitting the muscles the right way to begin with, give it time and you will get there. I It usually takes about 3-4 weeks before your muscles react to the added strain you put on them, especially if you haven’t trained them in a long time. But you will notice a difference fairly quickly, and when you do – keep going, you are on the right track!
Thank you for reading!
And remember: the best home exercises are the ones you actually do 😉
If you’d like to see a pro do a no-equipment home fitness exercise routine, check out this video by Pamela Reif: