If you’re used to going to gyms in dubai, lifting heavy weights, attending specialised exercise classes, and having free reign over every piece of gym equipment you want, a home workout filled with little else besides bodyweight exercises can be an intimidating and a disappointing prospect.
It needn’t be. Many fitness influencers and personal trainers have recently begun to put their own ideas for what they think a home workout should be, up for everyone to see. However, if you’re stuck and don’t know what advice to take, there are just 5 simple things you need to know.
Your home workout
Rather than blasting you with a dozen different home workouts and workout routines, let’s focus on the core movements that any at-home training regime needs. Focus on these, to varying intensities, suited to your schedule, and you will be able to make gains in the coming weeks as you wait for your local gym to reopen.
Firstly, bodyweight exercises will be your best friends in the next couple of months. You need to get used to doing them now and learn how to make them work for you. For a good quality bodyweight workout, here is what you need:
If you do nothing else before your gym reopens, you need to be doing squats. They are a massive bodyweight exercise, a full compound movement, that will work your legs, glutes, core and back. Start off doing them with just bodyweight, and if these get too easy then find something heavy to hold while you do it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, grab a sandbag to your chest, or even just get a couple of bags of sugar or flour- anything to add a little more resistance.
To perform a squat:
- Stand with your feet just outside of hip width, with your spine in a neutral position.
- Slowly lower your hips back and down into a squat position, pushing your knees out.
- Return to the starting position.
- Perform 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions.
If squats are the king of bodyweight exercises for your legs, lunges are a close second. The stimulus into your legs is slightly higher than with a squat, so you won’t need to reach for extra weights right away. A lunge in any variation will work the muscles in your lower body, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
To perform lunges:
- Start in the same position as you would for a squat.
- Step forwards with one foot and lower your hips down towards the floor.
- The end position should have your leg at a 90-degree angle, with your thigh running almost parallel to the ground. You should be able to see the tips of your toes beyond your knee.
- Step back to the starting position and repeat with your other leg.
- Repeat for a total of 10-12 reps on each leg, aiming for 3-5 sets.
- Alternatively, step the feet backwards, or add a little jump as you come out of the lunge, for added intensity.
The plank is a full body bodyweight exercise that emphasises abdominal strength and puts a lot of stabilising pressure through the arms and shoulders. It is perfect for training core strength in a home workout.
To perform a plank:
- Come onto the ground on all fours. From here:
- Rest on your hands or your forearms as well as your toes, with no other body parts touching the ground.
- Hold your body in a straight line with your glutes clenched, your abdominal muscles engaged and your arms pushing actively away from the ground.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds. If you need to, come down onto your knees to practice for a few sessions, before going for the full plank.
- Aim to increase the time you stay in the plank by 10 seconds or so every couple of weeks.
Push ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises going for your arms, chest and shoulders, and are perfect for your home workout. They will hit your pectorals hard, alongside your shoulder muscles, triceps, and abdominals, and your latissimus dorsi and biceps as stabilising antagonists.
To perform push ups:
- Start in a plank position, on your hands and feet.
- Brace your core, keep your spine neutral, and lower yourself until your chest is an inch or so from the ground.
- Push yourself back up to the start and repeat. Aim for as many reps as possible, and try to hit 3-5 sets, leaving a minute or so between each set.
- For a more manageable alternative, try coming down onto your knees to complete the motion as you build up your strength.
Dumbbell shoulder press
Now we’re cheating a bit and coming away from bodyweight exercises in your home workout. However, you only need a couple of light weights for this- either take a dumbbell in each hand, start off with a bag of sugar or flour in each hand, or use a resistance band. It’s one of the best moves for working on the deltoid muscles in your shoulders.
To perform a dumbbell shoulder press:
- Take a stance with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand- or whatever kind of resistance you’re using- and raise them to shoulder height. Face your palms forwards.
- Push the dumbbells up above your head until your arms are fully extended, with your elbows soft (no locking out).
- Bring them back down to your shoulders and repeat. Aim for 3-5 sets of 10-14 reps.