As the Festive season draws to a close chances are you’ve put on a bit of holiday weight, I know I have. Sure, eating your own weight in turkey and potatoes was a great way to spend the last week or so, but you may be feeling the sting now. Fortunately, we are not alone in the lethargic, lazy, food coma that is the first few weeks of January which is why so many of us flock to the gym at this time of year. Alas, not all of us can afford the gym, or you may just want to stay at home because the thought of working out around other people is nightmare fuel. Well never fear my fellow gymophobes! Here we have the ultimate workouts you can do from the comfort of your own home.
Before you begin:
Remember to breathe! It may seem ridiculous to mention this, but during an intense workout it’s incredibly easy to forget basic functions like breathing. Most exercises are done best when you exhale during the hard work and inhale at the easier points, however you can always do whatever feels most comfortable to you.
Take it slow. Yes, this may seem counterproductive at first but there is nothing worse than rushing and injuring yourself. Instead, ensure your form is right and steady, and that you are doing each workout correctly. We don’t suggest you take large breaks between reps, but there’s no need to every exercise at full speed either. In fact, in some cases working out at a slower pace will strengthen your muscles faster than if you were overwhelming them.
Some days will be better than others. Assuming that you are not a robot, chances are you feel better and have more energy some days, whereas on others you just want to do nothing. This is absolutely normal and does not mean you are lazy, only that you are human. If you’re going to take this workout seriously and want to see results though you must push yourself everyday that you can!
So, switch on your favourite music or TV programme if you want to and let’s get going!
The best thing about our first workout is that it doesn’t feel like exercise at all! Dancing increases you aerobic fitness, muscular strength, endurance, muscle tone and improves the condition of your heart and lungs. It will also lift your spirits, and if you feel like an idiot you can just close your curtains and go for it.
2. Jumping Jacks
You may remember this move from school but it can really do wonders; providing you with a full body workout and a racing heart when done with effort. Simply start in a standing position and jump with your legs and arms spreading wide and returning as you land. One small tip: if you have boobs, please wear a suitable bra. Jumping jacks are not for the heavily-chested if unsupported unless you want to give yourself a black eye.
The infamous leg and butt improver, squats are perfect for home workouts. Simply stand with your legs apart and lower your butt to the floor until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Just 20 – 30 reps a day could see you through to a bikini bum this summer. If you want to you also include bicep curls to make sure your arms are seeing some action as well.
I know, these things are killers but when done right they will increase the strength in your abdominals significantly. Simply lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your ears and look at the ceiling, then lift your head and shoulders slowly from the ground. Try to hold your position as you crunch to the top, and then lower yourself back to the floor.
Now I don’t know who made this exercise up but I’m assuming they were part frog. There’s no denying that these things are hard, but if you can do 10 reps of these three times with small breaks, you’re a hero. This full body workout begins in a squatting position with hands placed firmly on the floor in front of you. Kick out your legs so that you are in a push-up position, and do one push-up if you can. Jump back into a squatting position and then jump as high as you can before returning to the squat and repeating the moves.
No chair necessary! Simply rest your back against a wall and slide your back down until your thighs are parallel to the floor as though you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Hold this for as long as you can, aiming for 60 seconds and repeat twice more.
7. Sprinter Sit-Up
Now this one sounds like an intense time. Lie on your back with your legs straight and bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Slowly sit up and bring your right knee to meet your left elbows, and then return to a laying position. Repeat this with the opposite arm and knee.
8. Use The Stairs
If you are privileged enough to own your own set of stairs then why not put them to good use and incorporate them into your workout. Running up and down your stairs a dozen or so times a day will tone your legs and get your heart going, but be careful!