Your Own Home Gym

An inactive person reaches their maximum bone density at the age of 30. Then it starts to decline. An inactive person reaches their maximum muscle mass at the age of 20. At which point, that too, starts to decline.

Do you realize what that means? It means without exercise you peaked before you can legally drink. But there's no need to drown your sorrows with a stiff one just yet. Staying active can counteract the effects of time and age your the body.

But maybe you hate the gym, or just don't have time to get to one with your crazy work/social schedule. Here are a list of some of my favorite exercises that you can do at home-with things already in your house.

So put on your favorite old sweats, turn on the latest episode of Scandal, and get moving!

Using a chair...

1. Squats- Great for the legs and butt. Plus they really get your heart pumping. Make sure the weight goes into your heels and that you can see your toes as you sit back. Too much? You can even just try these by sitting and standing up again from a regular chair. (Make sure it doesn't have wheels). As long as you’re able to do a few repetitions, you will be providing some benefit to your body.

2. Step Ups- Take a sturdy chair. (Again, no wheels). Stand a comfortable distance away from it, facing the seat. Slowly raise your right leg and place your entire foot on the seat. Be careful to make sure your heel isn't hanging off the back. Push yourself up until your second foot is on the chair as well. Then, lower your left foot back down to the floor. Once you are in the starting position again, repeat the process. Try doing 10 on one side. If that feels easy, make it 20. Once all reps are completed, switch sides. Nice thing about this exercise- it's great for the butt, legs and it's cardio!

3. Tricep Dips- Sit on a chair with your arms at your sides and your palms resting on the edge of the seat. Next, walk your body out from the chair so you are only holding on by your palms. Slowly move your body down. Keep your elbows close to the body. They'll want to push out like chicken wings. Keeping them close will tighten up the back of those arms.

Using soup cans...

4. Shoulder Raises- Stand tall, shoulders rolled back, chest proud. Hold an equal size soup can in each hand. Lift your arms, holding the soup cans, straight out to the side, not passing shoulder level. Slowly lower your arms and repeat 10 to 12 times.

Using the wall...

5. Hamstring Press- The nice thing about a wall is that most homes have one. Lie faceup on the floor and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Place your heels on the wall; your shins should be parallel to the floor. Lift your hips off the floor by pushing your heels against the wall; hold and then slowly return to starting position without resting at the bottom. I do this one in bare feet so as not to scuff up the paint job.

6. Wall Squats- Stand with your back flat against the wall in a squat position, knees bent at 90 degrees, feet hip-width apart. Challenge yourself. Try for 30 seconds before coming to standing.

Using a table...

7. Table Rows- All you need is a table that's sturdy enough to hold you and that you can fit under. Hang from the underbelly of the table and pull yourself upwards towards the tabletop. Rows are a very effective back exercise.

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