At Home Exercise Ideas + Tips!

A myth that I’ve found a lot of people believe is that you must have access to a gym in order to get a good workout in. What if I tell you that you can get just as good of a workout at home? And with no equipment! Keep reading to learn about some at home exercises and how to program them, as well as some tips regarding mind to muscle connection and form.

Tip #1- Mind to muscle connection is a concept that you’ll want to focus on throughout your entire workout. What this means is that you’ll concentrate on the specific muscle you’re trying to work during a certain exercise. For example, glute bridges are meant to work the glutes. So, you’ll want to focus on squeezing your glutes and using your glute muscles to complete the movement. By doing this, you’re creating a greater connection to the muscle you want to be working and I promise if you do this, you’ll feel the burn instantly!

Tip #2- Let’s talk form. Having proper form is the most important part of exercise. Not only can it keep you from getting seriously hurt, but it also allows you to workout more efficiently. This is because when we don’t have good form, we end up wasting energy on the extra movements that we don’t actually need to be doing. With that being said, all of the exercises below are linked with a specific YouTube video that talks about and demonstrates proper form.

Ok- here are the exercises! They are categorized by upper and lower body, core, and cardio. Pick any of these exercises, one from each category for a full body workout or choose all of the exercises in a single category for an area-specific workout. If you have resistance bands or weights at home, feel free to add them in. As always, do whatever you feel like your body wants to do today!

Upper body-

Red, yellow, and black resistance bands on green turf

  1. Pike push ups
  2. Push ups. This video is a few minutes longer than the others, but the information is great! I highly recommend watching if you have the time.
  3. Supermans

Lower body- resistance bands can be placed right above your knees on exercises 1 and 2 if desired. Remember to drive your knees outward, though. Fight against that band!

  1. Squats or box squats
  2. Glute bridges
  3. Step ups

Core- Believe it or not, most people don’t know the correct way to contract their abs. Here is a short video that quickly goes over proper bracing (the correct way to contract your abs). It also goes over a proper plank and has a few progression stages.

  1. Plank (start video at 2:39)
  2. Dead bugs. Make sure to keep your low back pressed into the ground!
  3. Bird dogs
Pink Everlast boxing gloves on green turf

Cardio:

  1. Shadow boxing
  2. High knees
  3. Ski hops

Now that you have these exercises, here’s some ways you can program them:

Option 1: Tabata

Set a timer for your desired workout time. It could be as quick as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. Your choice! Complete each exercise for 20 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds before moving onto your next exercise of choice. Once you’ve completed all of the exercises one time for 20 seconds each, continue to run through the circuit until your timer is up.

Option 2: Reps/Sets

Pick a rep and set range for each exercise. Beginners can usually start around 3 sets of 10 reps per exercise, while more advanced people can kick it up to 3 sets of 20, 4 sets of 20, or even 5 sets of 20! Complete all of the reps in one set, and then take a quick rest. Setting a timer for  about 15-45 seconds is a good starting point if you’re not sure how long you should rest for before moving onto the next set. Once all of the sets are completed for an exercise, move onto the next. Know your limits, but push yourself- I believe in you!

You now have the tools to put together your desired gym-free workout! Get ready to feel those endorphins flowing and sweat dripping. You got this!

-Ashley Brandt, senior at Lindenwood University majoring in Exercise Science

Ashley Brandt, New Leaf Nutrition intern and senior at Lindenwood University studying exercise science

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