The Home Workout That Will Actually Get You Fit
The Debrief: And you don't need any extra equipment. HOORAY.
Gyms are expensive. And then there's that thing about actually having to go once you sign up. Yeah, that.
But what about at home workouts? Can you actually get fit at home just using stuff you find in your house? I asked Ollie, personal trainer and co-founder of 3Dburn, and the answer was, actually, yes you can. Which is really quite excellent news for those of us too skint/lazy/scared to go to the gym.
With Ollie's help we've created a workout that you can easily do at home and actually get fit. 'It’s a short circuit but it targets the whole body with resistance and cardio exercises, which helps burn body fat. Activating your core ups the calories you use too,’ he explained.
Here's me, late at night, demonstrating the exercises in my poky flat. You're welcome.
Before we get started, here’s some stuff you need to know:
- Do this circuit 3-4 times a week.
- Spend 45 seconds on each exercise.
- Take 15 seconds rest between each one.
- Rest for 90 seconds between circuits.
- Do the circuit 4 times.
- Watch your form! It’s more important to do an exercise properly than rushing through.
1. Backpack Squats (legs/bum)
- Fill a backpack with anything that's going to make it heavier – water bottles, shoes, books, whatever you like.
- Stand with feet about hip width apart and slightly turned out.
- As you squat, keep your chest up and make sure you knees don't go over your toes.
Ollie’s tip: ‘When you come up, make sure you squeeze your glutes by tucking in your tail bone - it's a tiny movement but makes such a different. Plus, if you have a smaller backpack that won't get in the way, wear it on the front because it'll activate your core muscles more and increase the calories you burn.’
2. Chair Pull (back)
- Find a chair and pile anything you like on it to make it harder to move (shoutout to the Friends box set).
- Put your legs underneath it then pull it towards you and push it away again.
Ollie’s tip: ‘Keep your chest up, shoulders back and the elbows against the body so you’re targeting the central back muscles.’
3. Chair Leg Raises (core)
- Lie on the floor and start with the legs on one side of the chair.
- Sweep them over the chair from one side to the other, in an arc motion.
- Bring the legs in to the chest, straighten them under the chair.
- Bring them back into the chest and repeatthe motion.
Ollie’s tip: ‘Make sure you keep your core engaged by pushing your lower back into the floor - it shouldn’t be arching. If you want to make it more difficult, try holding a bag of rice between your feet.’
4. Hot Water Bottle Press Up (chest)
- Get in a classic press-up position - palms shoulder width apart - either a half one on the knees, or a full one on the toes.
- Place a half-full hot water bottle (use cold water!) under the hand - this makes the body unstable so you have to engage your muscles more.
- Make sure you don’t over-fill the hot water bottle but fill it enough for there to be a wobble.
Ollie’s tip: ‘Move your hands wider for more of a chest workout. And if you want to make it harder, place another hot water bottle under the knees or feet to make the body more unstable.’
5. Carrier Bag Mountain Climbers
- Put plastic bags on your feet! Sainsbury’s bags are the most slippery (yes, I tried different ones).
- Place your hands on the floor, about shoulder width apart and hold yourself up.
- Make sure your bum isn’t sticking up in the age and you’re engaging your core.
- Alternate bringing each leg up to your chest.
- Be sure to wear socks because the friction between the carpet and plastic will create a lot of heat, very quickly.
Ollie’s tip: ‘Make the exercised harder by speeding up the leg movements and making the core work harder.'
6. Towel Tricep Exercise/Bicep Curls (arms)
- This is a bonus exercise because you have to do it with another person.
- Roll a towel into a ‘U’ shape.
- Hold the towel near the bottom whilst your mate holds the top (they create the resistance).
- Keep your elbows locked against your side and try to pull the towel downwards, as your friend pulls up.
- To work your biceps, swap hand positions like this...
Ollie's tip: 'You can both work out at the same time doing this, and it's even more effective if you and your friend have a big height difference because you have to pull it further.'
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At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating