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I’ve been an avid gym goer for years. But when the pandemic hit, I was forced to change my routine and find new ways to maintain my strength while working out from home. I knew I had to get really creative and organized if I wanted to continue working on hitting my fitness goals. The transition wasn’t the easiest. I was so accustomed to working out with big equipment, around people who shared the same mindset as me. The gym became my ultimate sanctuary. Not only that, but at the time I believed that the plethora of fitness machines available to me at the gym was the only way I would hit my goals and stay fit. I quickly learned this was not the case.
When I took the time to assess my goals, and everything I had available to me at home, I realized that if I just took the time to get organized and better understand my goals, I would be able to build my own home workouts and continue to maintain my fitness routine at home without completely compromising strength gains.
Home workouts can be great for people who can’t find the time or affordability to go to the gym, for busy moms, and for those who prefer to be at home in a more self-secluded environment. With minimal equipment and a little organization, you can build your own home workouts.
Building your own home workout can be a great way to stay fit and healthy without having to go to a gym. Here are some steps to help you create a home workout routine:
- Assess your fitness level: Before you start any workout routine, it’s important to assess your current fitness level. This will help you determine what exercises you should include in your workout and how much intensity you can handle. If you’re a beginner and are new to fitness, you can start with bodyweight exercises, and light to moderate dumbbells. If you’re postpartum, you can begin with a focus on core strengthening exercises.
- Set your goals: What do you want to achieve with your home workout? Do you want to lose weight, build muscle, improve your cardiovascular health, or do all of the above? Setting specific goals can help you stay motivated and focused. On the days when my mood is not 100% there, I always refer back to my goal and what it is I want to achieve. You won’t always be in the right headspace to work out, or may miss a few workouts here and there, but setting a goal and keeping it at the forefront of your mind, will keep you on the right path to achieving whatever it is you set for yourself.
- Decide on your workout frequency: How often do you want to work out? Depending on your goals, you may want to work out every day or just a few times a week. If you’re a busy mom and into strength training, you can schedule working out 3-4 days and still achieve fitness goals. Use the days in between to rest or include low-impact exercises like yoga and pilates on active rest days.
- Choose your exercises: There are many different exercises you can do at home, including bodyweight exercises, resistance band exercises, and exercises that use dumbbells or other equipment. Choose exercises that target the muscle groups you want to work on and that are appropriate for your fitness level. Compound exercises that target major muscle groups are always important to include in your routine such as squats, lunges, pushups, and planks to name a small few.
- Create your workout plan: Once you’ve chosen your exercises, create a plan that includes the exercises, the number of sets and reps, and any rest periods. You may want to start with a full-body workout that includes exercises for all major muscle groups. Or if you plan on doing a full body split (lower body, upper body, back, and core), you can choose which exercises you’d like to target for each major body part.
- Start slowly and progress gradually: It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workout as your fitness level improves. This will help prevent injury and keep you motivated. More importantly, in order to achieve the best fitness results, you must always be working to challenge your body as you progress. Progressing your workouts can include changing your exercises, increasing your weight, or using new and more challenging equipment.
- Don’t forget to warm up and cool down: Before and after your workout, be sure to do a warm-up and cool-down to help prevent injury and improve flexibility. Sometimes it can feel like working out at home means you can skip the important stretches and get right into it. But it’s important to get into the same routine asmyou would do in the gym or in a group fitness class. Starting with a dynamic workout at home gets you into the correct headspace you need to complete your workout, and a slow cool down is a great way to wind down and transition out of high-intensity activity.
Full body workouts completed 3-4 times a week are great for beginners who are learning the basics and want to focus on building a consistent routine. Here is a great beginner full-body workout you can complete at home with minimal equipment.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to achieving your fitness goals. Stick with your home workout routine and adjust it as needed to keep challenging yourself and making progress. If you’re looking for a more detailed workout plan which includes a list of exercises for all major muscle groups, check out my 25-Minutes to Strong workout guide for busy moms.