While I have met many people through the YMCA–both working and working out–I have met many more outside of here who have no gym membership. A major conflict with fitness and outdoor exercise that we have in the North is called “Winter” and for those without gym access, this makes exercising difficult, and not exercising somewhat justifiable, until you decide that circumstances don’t just provide limitations, they provide opportunities for creativity. If you are like me, outside of a gym setting, working out is really not appealing. After all, not much about carpet or linoleum really screams “Come! Work out upon me!” There’s the risk (and frustration) of rug burn or sliding around incessantly. As far as the sliding goes, it is a fantastic way to either injure yourself or develop stability muscles–though I wouldn’t recommend trying it for the latter unless you have a base level of fitness, and even then would not be likely to recommend it. However, this is what a lot of my peers have as an option throughout the dreary winter months. We each make due with what we have, and for that time of snowstorms, ice, and early darkness, we have our homes and our own bodies to work with. While having a decently heavy set of dumbbells along with a light set makes workout variety a lot easier, they are by no means necessary to get a good workout.
The human body provides a good amount of resistance with which to work–one must simply ensure that safety guidelines are employed. These safety guidelines have more to do with proper body alignment than anything. If you are able to work out in front of a mirror, that is ideal. What I’ve found is that mirrors aid in ensuring that your body is moving as it should; what is supposed to be moving is moving correctly, and what shouldn’t be moving (but, rather, supporting movement in some instances) is staying still and strong. I do have to say “don’t be that guy (or girl)” and just stare at yourself endlessly in the mirror–they are not there for that, and you have better things to do with your time than check yourself out. You have a workout to dominate!! So, all of that being said, stay focused on what you are doing. Some great options for at-home/bodyweight exercises are:
1) Squats. Sit back, don’t lean forward. Big difference. Make sure your shoulders are down and back, chest is up, and butt is back. Keep your shoulders aligned with your knees.
2) Jump Squats. Squat, then jump from the squatting position. Land softly and go directly back down into a squat. Jump again.
3) Jumping Split Squats. Lunge forward with your right leg, jump up and switch your right leg behind you and left leg in front of you. You can also do Walking Lunges–I never demonstrated them on the video. Just take a long stride forward and lower your body so your front knee is bent at 90°, step forward with your back leg, then step forward again with the leg you just brought forward and lower yourself so your knee is bent at 90°. Repeat.
4) Burpees. The most versatile of the bunch. Watch the video!! 🙂
5) Pushups. I feel incline pushups are often superior to “girl” pushups done on the knees. In the instance of incline pushups, your hands are elevated higher than your feet. Full range of motion means your elbows are bent at 90° (or less) at the base of the pushup.
Check out the video for demonstrations and descriptions!! 🙂