If you do most of your workout at the gym, switching to working out at home may be difficult for you. But in these times we are in, with the pandemic leading to a remote work era, you probably need to make that switch at one point or the other.
Working out at the gym could be your preferred environment for many reasons, such as the availability of all kinds of equipment. You have kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands, weight machines, and many more. But if you are looking for ways to achieve a similar workout intensity at home as you would in a gym, we have got you covered.
Working out at home is nowhere near working out at the gym. Yes, many people have one or two pieces of gym equipment at home, such as a dumbbell, and maybe you will stumble on a resistance band in your garage. But those can hardly cut it.
However, your fitness does not have to suffer. Although you will not be performing your workout routines at the same frequency and intensity, you should create a workout routine at home to keep you active and keep your muscles stimulated and strong.
Here are the top 6 tips for strength training at home without any gym equipment that are equally effective.
1. Expand your range of motion
When you expand your range of motion, your muscles will get to do more work. Increasing your range of motion is an easy way to make working out at home harder without weights. For instance, instead of regular lunges, you can raise your front foot on a crate or even a step. Bring down your leg and take it back on the raised platform to increase the distance, and you will start to feel it with fewer reps. You can also apply this same approach to sumo squats by lifting your feet, allowing the weight, if you have one, to move a longer distance since you are squatting lower.
2. Increase the number of reps
When you are in the gym, your target is usually from one to five reps of 80% of your rep maximum weight. Since you may not have the proper setup for strength training at home, you can tweak things a bit. Set your target to eight to 12 reps of 60 to 80%.
This approach applies to any workout. For chest muscles, do more press-ups. As for leg days, increase the number of squats, and repeat the same for your arms and back workout.
3. Slower reps
Some experts suggest that doing exercises slower can make them feel harder. If you are doing squats, pause on your way down and hold for one to five seconds, then repeat on your way back up. This method puts your muscle under more pressure for a longer time.
4. Try new movements
Now that you are stuck at home, it may be time to get creative and explore new movements. Your brain will struggle to register the new movement, thus, creating a lag time from when your brain tries to learn the moves to when it memorizes it. But trying new muscle movements is a good thing as it will create a needed challenge for people.
Try a lateral lunge instead of the regular forward or backward lunge movement, Pilates, or HIIT.
5. Make your weights
If you have gotten too used to your body weight and feel it may not be doing much for you, you can create weights at home. Anything from handbags to trash bags and books will work for strength training at home. Fill your shopping bag with bottles of water or your dog's canned food and hold them while doing squats.
Not sure how you will do bicep curls without dumbbells? Get creative. Look for something in your house that is heavy, such as those canned foods that have their weight printed on them.
6. Combine these tips
You do not have to use these tips in isolation as they all work better when combined to give you a better challenge. For instance, when training a muscle group, expand the range of motion. Carry those homemade weights while doing squats, increase the number of reps while pausing for 5 seconds on your way down and back up. There is are endless possibilities of things that you can do when working out at home without gym equipment.