This guest post is written by Tim Liu Fitness – an online fitness and nutrition coach.
We’ve now been quarantined for a month or so, and gyms across the country are still shut down. During this time, it’s easy to be chilling at home, sitting on the couch binge watching Tiger King, but the last thing you want to do is end up being in way worse shape once this is all over.
Even when gyms do reopen, all of us will be a bit queasy stepping back to the gym right away. But, here’s the good news. Your body and home have a ton of useful tools you can do to stay in shape. You can still get in great shape and maintain your fitness by building your own home gym with some very basic equipment.
We can still stay in shape so let’s go over what’s ideal to use for your home gym and what the benefits of each are:
Bodyweight exercises have a place in any and every workout routine. No matter what your fitness levels are, bodyweight training is beneficial and effective.
Exercises such as pushups, chin-ups, squats, lunges, jumps, and plank variations are incredible at building strength, increasing muscular endurance, improving your athleticism, stability, and balance.
Bodyweight training also builds relative strength. Being strong and moving big weight is great and all, but you also want to have the strength relative to your bodyweight. What good is benching 400+lbs if you can’t perform a single proper lunge?
Bodyweight exercises give you feedback on how you’re progressing with your physique. For example, if you’re gaining weight and the amount of reps you’re doing is staying the same or increasing that’s an excellent sign. If not, then you’re probably gaining too much fat/losing muscle strength.
If you sit all day in front of a computer doing work, I would strongly recommend taking breaks during the day and doing some quick exercises and bodyweight movements in between.
Do 10 reps of the following exercises for a decent all around quick workout. I like to tell my clients to do a set every time they go to the bathroom:
One of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment to use are resistance bands. They’re small, compact, and you can perform a wide variety of exercises with them. Even though bodyweight training is great, you’re limited to the amount of exercises and muscles you can target directly.
Resistance bands are great because they allow you to target all different muscle groups, and the resistance feels completely different than using your bodyweight or any weights.
You can also use bands to add resistance to other exercises as well, such as pushups, squats, presses, and rows with weight, making them more difficult. If you’re coming off an injury, they can be really useful as well to gain back strength slowly but surely.
When working out at home, bands are a great piece of equipment to use. When selecting which ones to get, I recommend compact resistance bands and loop resistance bands.
Compared to barbells, dumbbells are a much better tool for in-home workouts. They take up less space and you can do more movements with them.
The difference between a barbell and dumbbell is that a barbell is a long straight bar which you can load plates on. With dumbbells, think of them as a short barbell and you can hold them with one hand, and they’re usually fixed weights.
Depending on some exercises, dumbbells can be also way more challenging than their barbell counterparts. I love using dumbbells because of their versatility. You can do unilateral movements, load bodyweight exercises, and can chain together an awesome fat loss circuit with just a single dumbbell.
Jumping rope is one of the easiest tools you can use to improve your cardio and conditioning. It’s low impact, burns fat, and you can do it from anywhere. Try doing it for a few minutes and you’ll be exhausted – it’s amazing! If you’re a big combat sports fan or grew up watching Rocky movies, you know that they all jump rope to train. I mean, how badass is this clip?
The reason why I love the jump rope as a conditioning tool is because it’s so effective in improving your cardio. It’s a great way to warm up before your workouts, getting your body core temperature up, and increasing your blood flow beforehand. Jumping rope at the end of your workouts can also provide a nice fat burn effect to top things off. Finally, I like it because it really helps with improved coordination and athleticism. Here’s a solid clip going over several movements you can do – make sure to change it up like every minute so you get a full body movement workout.
If you’re trying to get in shape, don’t think you need to be in a gym regularly. You really don’t have too. You can still get a great workout at home using your body, a set of bands, a set of dumbbells, and a jump rope. Simply focus on the basic movements and strive to improve each week. If you do so consistently, you’ll get the body that you want and will be in good shape once the quarantine is over!
Tim Liu is an online fitness and nutrition coach who helps busy guys lose fat and build muscle without having to live in the gym. You can find him on his website at www.timliufitness.com and on Instagram @timliufitness.
Alpha M Video Home Chest Workout:
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