Whether you’ve recently had a baby and want to workout from home, or your gym is still closed due to covid; there are so many awesome ways to have the most effective workout from home. I totally get it, the vibe at home and being at the gym are very different. I personally love being at the gym and seeing other people work on their goals. It’s very motivating. However, I know everyone is different and has different schedules, so being able to have that option of working out from home is crucial.
I wanted to write this post because I know having a home gym can be very expensive; hence why a lot of us don’t have a ton of equipment. I wanted to show you how you can have the most killer workout from your own home without all the extra stuff.
Here is an awesome post that’s dedicated to spicing up your workouts so you can see better results and switch things up so you don’t get bored. “ Level Up Your Workouts”
1. Negatives Are Your Best Friend
This is the perfect exercise technique that will help you have that “muscle-mind connection.” Us gym rats always talk about that, and in order to make huge changes with your body you need to really focus on the muscle that you’re working on instead of just going through the motion aimlessly.
Negatives is when you take an exercise; say seated shoulder press. You want to go down at a slower tempo keeping that tension in your muscle. Have a tempo of around 3-5 seconds. When you’re bringing that weight down go slow and controlled and then back up again at a normal speed.
You can do negatives with basically anything from push ups, squats, to lateral raises etc.
2. Take Shorter Breaks
There’s something about having shorter breaks; the increase in sweat and heavy breathing that makes you feel like you just had the best workout ever. A lot of people at the gym overdo it with their breaks because they end up on social media. While taking breaks is a good thing; especially if you’re lifting heavy, sometimes we just need to cut them a bit shorter and make the workout a bit harder. Try to keep rest between sets around 40 seconds -1 min.
3. Focus On Unilateral Exercises
Unilateral – Working out one limb at a time
Bilateral – Both limbs at once
Working out one one arm, leg, shoulder etc at a time will help you strengthen the weaker muscle and help improve imbalances, making you look and feel symmetrical . This can be challenging, but it’s great to do every once in awhile. We always have a stronger side, so it’s perfect to help the muscles that are a bit weaker.
Split squats, single leg stiff legs, one leg hip thrust, single bent over rows are all great! etc.
4. Expand Your Range Of Motion
We always want our workouts to be the best and effective, so why not increase your range of motion to get the most out of your exercise. Example, instead of doing glute bridges on the floor, try doing hip thrusts on the couch or chair; that way you have way more motion to work with. This will help stimulate more muscle fibres and will help you get you the results you want.
5. Increase Your Reps & Sets
I always like to have at least 4-5 sets regardless if it’s a light or heavy week (my rep ranges do change though).This usually just applies at the gym since you can find all the heavy weights you want, but you can make the lighter weights feel way heavier but increasing your reps. This is hypertrophy training; where you pick a lighter but challenging weight and aim for 15-20 reps (if not more). This will give you a crazy burn, and help you feel the muscle you are working! When it is time for heavy week, I tend to do between 5-8 reps, but let’s be honest, we don’t always have crazy heavy weights at home so focus on the burn and increase that rep range. The goal isn’t to stop when it hurts, but to continue pushing through that burn to grow your muscles.
When you change your rep range, your muscles will grow faster. When you continue to always to do the same reps your muscles will get used to that and we don’t want them to be stagnant!
6. Add Pulsing & Pauses
Adding these into your workouts will increase your time under tension, which will force your body to work harder in a disadvantageous position. Pulsing at the bottom of your squat, pause and hold for a second at the bottom of a squat etc these are really effective and you will feel it the next day.
7. Drop Sets & Supersets
These are great to exhaust your muscles. If you’re looking for something fun and really challenging this is great to try.
Drop sets: Drop sets are essentially a technique where you perform an exercise and then drop (reduce) the weight and continue for more reps.
Example: Lateral raises. 15lb,10lb, 5lb, and 2lb. You muscles will be on fire. The rep range can be to your desire; I like to do between 10-12 then drop the weight then 10-12 again and so forth.
Supersets: This method is when you perform two different exercises back to back and rest after you finished the two sets. Keep the sets and reps for each exercise the same. This technique is a great way to maximize the limited time you have in the gym or at home. It increases intensity, since your sets are longer, therefore you are working your muscles for longer. Woohoo!!#gains
Example: Lateral raises superset with front shoulder raises.
8. Forced Reps
For this technique you will need a spotter. So it depends if you have someone at home who can help you. The spotter gives you the right assistance when it gets tough, by helping you push out more reps with proper form. This is great for trying to break through strength plateaus, even if it’s all in your head.
Example: If you’re banging out seated incline bicep curls and your weaker arm is tired and ready to fail your spotter can come in and help the weaker side to give you that extra bit you need to accomplish more reps.
I know at home this technique might not help too much depending on what kind of workout equipment you have. But it can work if you have weights or a heavy band! This technique can work on different exercises as well like lateral raises, shoulder press, squats etc. It’s just a good reminder that having a workout partner can really come in handy and not to mention add more muscle definition on your body by doing more reps that your body isn’t used to.
9. Variations Are Everything
From underhand grip, overhand grip, leg stance, wide, narrow, there are a ton of different variations to play around with! If you have bands at home you can definitely have fun with hand positions. Heck, even body weight exercises, change up your squat stance. Sumo squats VS narrow squats. With such a tiny difference can make a workout even harder! Just saying!! Always challenge yourself.
A partials is when you only do half an exercise to keep that fire burning on that muscle you’re working. This is great to end your workout for some extra pain 😉 It’s great to combine a full range of motion “superset” with a shorter range of motion.
Example: Bicep curl full range of motion then go right into doing a short range of motion for one set. Back to back!
11. Don’t Alternate Your Reps
When you’re working on unilateral movements (one limb at a time) make sure you’re not alternating movements, like one arm to the other. This gives your muscle more time to relax and we don’t want that. 😉 Especially when we have limited equipment at home. Do one arm at a time until you’ve completed your rep then switch arms.
I like alternating certain bicep exercises but I know with the lack of things we have at home for workout gear it’s best to focus on one muscle at a time to get that extra burn. We want our home workout to feel like we are somewhat at the gym.
12. Switch Up Your Exercise Order
We all have our routines that we enjoy, however sometimes we just need to be rebels and break them for once. In order to keep things fun and challenging we need to switch up the order we do our exercises. I used to always get into my shoulder day with seated shoulder press, but now I have a whole new warm up routine with light weights, then I’ll do some rear delts because we tend to forget about our rear delts often, so I’ll do that first then get into my heavy compound movements.
We can complain that our weekdays can get boring because it’s basically the same routine everyday. Eat, work, come home, workout, bed. So knowing that things can get stale in our daily life, try to remember that with your workouts too!
13. Change Your Workout Split
Change up your workout split to keep things interesting! I used to do what everyone else was doing which was back/bis/ chest/tris/ leg day etc. Now, I focus on pull, push and leg days. This allows me to train the same muscle groups 2-3 times a week, which is great! I also try to aim for 2-3 leg days a week. Leg days are important to me so I always make sure I train them more.
Changing up your routine in the smallest way possible can make such a huge impact on your overall mood. It will definitely keep things interesting and more importantly fun!
I hope this post helps you! We are all different and some prefer gym workouts, while some prefer at home. There ARE ways to make things challenging and help you grow and lose weight, you just have to consider some or all of these options to help you reach your goals.
Never. Give. Up!