Getting The Most Out Of Your Home Workout
Home Workouts – All the rage right now because #lockdown. But… It doesn’t have to be all star jumps and burpees. I’m seeing endless workouts with PTs flopping around all over the place and no thought process behind anything they are doing. You can still train effectively without resorting to a Mr Motivator style “workout”.
So in this article I want to show you some training variations you can use to challenge yourself and make as much use of your sessions as possible…
Perform Harder Variations Of Exercises
There are almost infinite ways to progress exercises, it doesn’t just have to be about lifting more weight.
You can get stronger with other methods and one of those may be to try harder variations of the exercises you would usually use.
So instead of a regular press up, you might try a press up with a clap or try mixing it up and taking one foot off the floor.
Clap Press Up
Press Up (One Foot Off)
Instead of regular squats you could work on some single leg variations such as a Bulgarian split squat or skater squat.
Bulgarian Split Squat
Another favourite of mine is the 1 ¼ Squat.
1 ¼ Squat
Lower yourself down to the bottom range of a squat and then perform a ¼ rep, before coming all the way back up.
Change The Tempo With Slow Eccentrics And Iso Holds
One of my favourite methods is to play around with the tempo of an exercise.
Take a regular squat and then perform it with a slow 4040 tempo such as in this video and the exercise changes completely.
You can also add in ISO holds and challenge yourself in different positions of the exercise.
Here I’m performing press ups with a 3 second iso hold at the bottom of each rep.
The variations with this are almost limitless.
Try doing a set of split squats and then doing a 60s iso hold at the bottom range, your legs will be shaking afterwards!
You could try mixing up your workouts with super sets. This means combining two exercises together.
You could either do this with the same muscle group, such as super setting reverse lunges with squats.
Lunge Squat Superset
Or you could try opposing muscle groups, such as press ups and lunges.
Decrease Your Rest Periods
Another simple method is to decrease the amount of rest time you take between exercises.
For example you could reduce the amount of rest between sets over a number of weeks…
- Week 1 60s rest between each exercise
- Week 2 45s rest between each exercise
- Week 3 30s rest between each exercise
- Week 4 15s rest between each exercise
Set Yourself New Challenges
Can’t perform a proper press up?
Make it your goal during lockdown to be able to nail 5 perfect reps.
Or pick a harder variation of an exercise and make it your goal to perfect it.
For example, pistol squats are haaaaaard. Spend lockdown practicing them and getting better at them.
There will be a significant strength carryover when you can get back to the gym and can perform regular squats again.
This is an old workout variation I picked up from a PT called Tom Crudginton. So credit to him for this one.
Take a deck of cards and assign an exercise to each suit. For instance…
- Clubs – Squats
- Diamonds – Press Ups
- Spades – Lunges
- Hearts – Suitcase Rows
Turn each card over one by one, performing the exercise assigned to the suit and the number of reps shown on the card, with picture cards being 11 reps.
The workout is completed when you go through the whole deck.
Think Outside The Box
If you don’t have any gym equipment at home you can use household items instead.
Fill a suit case or a rucksack with tins.
Use a partner, child or small animal (Joke…. Sort of)
Try and think outside the box.
I’ve gone for the tins in suitcase option for these exercises…
Suitcase Front Squats
Suitcase Lateral Raises
Finally, you can perform a medley or circuit of exercises with some of the aforementioned methods.
Try this medley and see how you get on…
- A1 Suitcase Carries x 50 metres
- A2 Clap Press Ups x 10 reps
- A3 60s Tempo Squats x 1 rep
- Rest 60s
Repeat this 5 times.
We’re having to adapt almost all aspects of our life right now and exercise is no different.
Adaptation doesn’t mean you have to have a shitty workout.
There are many methods you can use to test yourself and get a challenging training session in.
Set yourself some specific workout goals for the coming months to challenge your training and give yourself something to think about other than this damn virus!
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