Maybe your lifestyle means you can only visit the gym once or twice a week and therefore need some time to work out at home. Alternatively it could be you need a quick fix when you’ve missed your regular session and don’t know where to turn. In your own home and garden you may be surprised by the number of items you can make use of from your cupboards and cabinets.
Here we’ve brought together a wide range of items you could try out if you need an extra burn and haven’t got the chance to get to your gym.
Not just for mopping your brow, your hand towel can be the perfect partner for working your core out to the max. Sit on the floor and hold the towel tautly between your hands. Ensure your arms are straight and extended at shoulder height. From this position you should then lean back and raise your feet off the floor, holding in your core and bending your knees. Pull the towel down towards the floor to the right and rotate your shoulders and torso in the same direction. One rep complete! See if you can manage 20 right and 20 left.
This is a bit of an obvious one. Set yourself a challenge of running up and down the stairs for as long as you can manage. Maybe start with 2 minutes and work up to 5. Just 5 minutes of running up and down should results in at least a 100 calorie burn and it’ll get your thighs and glutes on their way to perfect tone.
The dreaded tricep dip is something most people avoid at the gym if they can help it but it’s such a powerful move you should work it into all your routines – including those at home. Opt for one of your stable dining room chairs, not the desk one with wheels, and give your arms and legs and intensive work out. Do as many tricep dips as you can manage without losing form or even consider a few lunges with your back foot raised to chair level.
Your dining table too can also get in on the act once your chairs are done with. The table is the perfect place to try out your standing push ups and when carried out correctly, you’ll feel your pectoral muscles strain and burn. Tight abdominals are essential as ever to ensure you get the most from your exercise.
They may not be the first thing you reach for but you’ll be surprised what you can get from a pillow-based workout. You can use a firm pillow to create an incline bench against your wall or sofa. Sit down and lean back and carryout an incline dumbbell bench press, if you have home dumbbells great, if you don’t check out our next tip for ideas.
Use any old tin cans from beans to soups as hand weights. Carry out that incline bench press from the previous tip or even use them for any regular weight based workout. This could mean your lateral raises, your bicep curls or triceps. You could even treat yourself to the contents of the tin for a well-earned snack!
If the Swiss ball is part of your usual gym workout then you can replicate this at home too. If the kids have a bouncy ball, like the old retro Space Hopper, then this will be pretty useful and work in the same way. Help your muscles wind down with the help of your child’s bouncy pal. Lie down with your back on the ball and feet firmly on the ground. Slowly use your feet to move yourself up and down the ball to gently work out your leg and back muscles whilst also developing your balance.
If you’re carrying out your evening chores and remember you’ve forgot your workout then there’s still scope to help improve your waistline. As you sweep mix in some waist twists which will help slim down your middle and if you fancy chair-based broom exercises then hold the broom straight as you sit and twist it in the same way as you’d twist your waist. Slow movements are fine and you’ll feel the benefit in a short while.
Don’t forget all those exercises that your body can do on its own. Lunges or squats without weights may not be the same challenge but you can carry out more and push yourself harder than way. Equally mixing in a range of different types of press up, from standard to diamond to clockwork will help train your body in new ways.
There is always scope to push your body that little bit further even if you can’t make it to the gym. Fitting in a few of these exercises at home will make you feel a little less guilty about missing your regular slot.
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Kath Webb
by Kath Webb
by Jessica Ambrose