In my last post I dispelled the myth that long, boring cardio workouts are necessary to achieve a high level of fitness. Today I am ready to take on another cherished notion in the fitness world. Belonging to a gym is not necessary. You can build a lean, toned body at home, without fancy, expensive equipment. You can GetFit at home.
How many people do you know who join a gym, then end up quitting after a few months? Gyms can feel unwelcoming and intimidating for many, particularly those trying to get in shape. Add in the expense, time wasted driving back and forth to the gym , and the germ free for all, and it’s easy to see why the drop out rate at gyms is high.
There is an alternative. You can work out at home with minimal or no equipment, and get amazing results. Here are the methods that I use when I workout, and when training clients.
- Bodyweight– Your own body is a great piece of fitness equipment! How do our Armed Forces get recruits in shape? I can tell you that it’s not by using a Stairmaster or a weight machine. It is by using basic bodyweight exercises. Your own weight provides the resistance. Push-ups, pull-ups, squats, crunches, planks, etc. Bodyweight workouts can be used by beginners and elites alike. You can put several bodyweight exercises together in a circuit to develop a very effective fat burning workout.
- Dumbbells– You can get an outstanding full body workout at home using dumbbells. Throw in a bench, or a stability ball, and you have an inexpensive home gym. dumbbells are relatively cheap. I use a pair of adjustable dumbbells that can be adjusted from 5-25 pounds. dumbbells also require you to use balance and use a full range of motion. You can work your legs as well as your upper body. Some basic dumbbell exercises are; dumbbell squat, bench press, dumbbell row, dumbbell shoulder press.
- Kettlebells– A kettlebell looks like a cannon ball with a handle on the end. Kettlebells come in various sizes, starting as small as 10 pounds, up to over 100 pounds. You can do some of the same exercises you do with dumbbells, but the advantage of a kettlebell is that it can be swung and used for explosive movements. The basic kettlebell exercise, the swing, works your entire body, and you will be amazed at how high your heart rate gets. Kettlebells are portable. I love taking mine outside to work out. I have even taken them on vacation!
- Suspension Training- A type of training that uses a system of straps with handles. You use your own bodyweight and gravity. The level of difficulty depends on the angle you place your body. The most well known system is TRX. Like kettlebells, suspension trainers are portable, and can be used outdoors.
You don’t need a gym or a lot of money to get in shape. Motivation is more important than any equipment. As long as you have the motivation and drive, anyone can acquire a lean, fit body in the comfort of their own home. If you need help with exercise instruction and staying on track, there are plenty of personal trainers who specialize in home workouts.
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Cathy Scott- Certified Personal Fitness Trainer