If you’re anything like the average man or woman, then getting fit is right up there on your "to do" list and you’ve vowed to hit the gym as soon as possible. But do you have to go to the gym, or could the gym come to you?
Gym memberships aren’t for everyone whether they are £10 a month or £100 a month. Gyms are often crowded, time consuming and rarely close by. Maybe you’re intimidated by the buff gym-goers and don’t feel fit enough to workout in front of them, maybe you’re gym is far away and hard to get to. No matter the reason, there’s a simple solution that allows you to ditch the gym but still get fit: workout at home.
According to authors of Freakonomics, Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt, gym members overestimate their attendance by nearly 70 percent each year. That’s over £300 of the average cost of annual memberships down the drain. By working out at home, however, you can ensure you accomplish the same fitness goals, for only a fraction of the cost. Home workouts can also save the one thing perhaps more valuable than money: time. Instead of waking up before dawn to head to the gym, forgoing lunch breaks or dragging yourself in for a workout after an exhausting day at the office, you can workout at your leisure, whenever you’re home.
Whether your goal is to get back into shape after the holiday season, increase your strength, or drop five stone, there’s a piece of home fitness equipment and an exercise regime for you. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite workouts, all that can be done from within the comfort of your own home.
One advantages of incorporating a kettle bell into your workout is that it targets all the major muscle groups and is great for cardio, strength and flexibility training. We recommend starting with 8-16 kg weights for women, and 16-32kg weights for men.
For an exercise that targets glutes, legs, hips, back, and shoulders, try a two-handed kettlebell swing.
Stand in a squat position with your feet hip distance apart, holding onto the kettlebell with both hands, with your palms facing down. Stand up straight with a slight bend in your knees and swing the kettlebell in front of you, upwards, making sure not to extend your arms higher than shoulder level. Return to your squat position with a straight back, making sure your hips are powering the swing, not your arms.
Try doing 3 reps of 15.
With a flat platform on one side and half of a rubber ball on the other, BOSU balls are the perfect accessory to use to increase strength and balance. The great thing about BOSU balls is that you can use each side to create a completely different exercise.
Start with the flat side of the ball facing down. Rest your forearms in the center of the ball and bring your body into the plank position, making sure to keep your bum down and your body in a straight line. Engage your core by pulling your abdominals in and squeezing your glutes. Hold this pose for one minute.
Next, lay your body flat on the ground, backside down, with you legs bent at the knees and your feet hip distance apart on the BOSU. Press your feet into the BOSU and lift your hips off the ground, making sure to tighten your glutes while you lift. Hold this pose at the top for five seconds before lowering back down. Repeat 15 times.
Turn the BOSU over so the rubble side is facing down and place your hands on the platform, shoulder-width apart. Bring your body into the plank position. Slowly bending at the elbows, lower yourself down 3cm off the BOSU and then slowly push yourself back up. Press-ups on the BOSU will be especially difficult due to the instability of the rubber. Do 15 reps.
Try doing all three exercises three times through.
The ViPR, which stands for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning, is another great multifaceted piece of equipment. This thick rubber cylinder, which comes in several different weights, is a perfect tool for agility training, strength training, and core exercises.
For a cardio workout that will be sure to get your heart rate up, stand with your feet hip-width apart with the ViPR upright on the floor in front of you. Grab the ViPR with a neutral grip, palms facing each other, and shuffle three steps to the right, squat down and simultaneously lower the top of the ViPR to the right until it touches the floor. Stand and repeat on the left side. Continue this exercise for 60 seconds without stopping. Repeat three times.
With these simple home workouts, who needs a gym? Even when it comes to general fitness, your home can easily be as good as any gym for most people. Invest a small amount to statr with and grow as you get fitter and stronger.