How to Tackle Workouts at Home

Home fitness equipment can make working out much easier.

Aside from allowing you to choose when you exercise, you also avoid the unpredictable British weather, the hassle of finding a parking space at the gym AND the health club membership fee.

Quite simply, working out at home is a guaranteed winner …

… or is it?

Many of us have likely purchased a piece of fitness equipment or received one as a gift, but found we soon became bored of repeating the same exercises and so lost the motivation to stick at it.

Indeed, dumbbells at the bottom of the wardrobe, a step platform at the back of the garage and a medicine ball in the dog's toy basket are not uncommon sights.

However, a little lateral thinking can breathe fresh life into your kit and kickstart greater fitness gains – so get ready to refresh with our alternative total body workout using standard fitness tools.

This type of routine will help promote fat-free mass, increase metabolic rate and enhance muscular fitness ...

Your target is two circuits of one minute on each station.

STEP PLATFORM

3 Planar Lunge

Muscles Worked: Glutes, quads, hamstrings.

Start: Standing on the step, feet together, nearer to the right end.

Movement: Take the right foot behind to the floor, placing on the ball of the foot, lunge down by bending both knees. Now return to a standing position on the step but lift the right knee up rather then put it on the step. Immediately step out the side, placing the right foot on the floor to the side of the step and squat down with the knees wide (plie), and again return to the standing position on the step but with the right knee again in the lifted position. Finally, place the right foot flat on the floor in front of the step and lower into a front lunge before returning to the start position. Repeat on the other side.

PRESS UP WALK

Muscles Worked: Chest, triceps, shoulders.

Start: Press up position (either on knees or feet for more advanced version) with left hand on the platform, in the centre and right hand on the floor, to the right side of the step.

Movement: Perform one press up then, keeping the core muscles strongly engaged to maintain alignment in the lower spine, walk the right hand onto the platform and take the left one off to the left side. Again, perform a press up then walk back in the same fashion, left on and right off.

MEDICINE BALL

Ball Crunch

Muscles Worked: Abdominals.

Start: With the feet hip width, lie on your back flat on the floor so the knees are bent to around 90 degrees. Hold the ball in both hands on the floor above/behind the head.

Movement: As you crunch, lift the ball (with arms extended but not locked out) and swap the ball to holding between the knees. This will require a good squeeze with the inner thighs. Now lower the ball to the floor with the feet as the upper body lowers and on the next crunch. When you come up, swap the ball back to the hands again.

RESISTANCE BAND

Airplane

Muscles Worked: Upper back, thighs, glutes, core.

Start: Holding the band in both hands with it tucked under the left foot. The right one is slightly behind, resting on the ball of the foot.

Movement: Hinge the upper body forward at the hip toward the horizontal, keeping the deeper abdominals pulled in to prevent the back from unduly arching, whilst also lifting the right leg up to the rear, without twisting the hips. Simultaneously lift the arms (therefore also the bands) out and up to make the wings of the airplane.  Swap feet over on your second circuit.

YOGA SQUAT PRESS

Muscles Worked: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, shoulders.

Start: Feet together, standing tall in a mountain pose with the hands by the side, holding the resistance band handles. The band should be firmly fixed under both feet.

Movement: Lowering down into a squat position, pushing the buttocks backwards and down, at the same time lifting the hands up in a front arc to overhead, with the arms extended, but not locked at the elbow.

DUMBELLS

Arm Blast

Muscles Worked: Biceps, triceps.

Start: Feet hip width, knees soft, left hand holding the dumbbell by your side with right hand holding the dumbbell behind the head, elbow pointing directly upwards.

Movement:  As you curl the left hand up toward the shoulder (keeping the elbow in contact with the ribs throughout), twist the wrist in so the little finger comes forwards. Simultaneously extend the right arm to lift that dumbbell up to the ceiling. Then lower both to start position. Switch arms over on your second circuit.

DUMBBELL WALK

Muscles Worked: Core, shoulder girdle.

Start: On all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders, with hands resting on the dumbbells.

Movement: Keeping the spine in a neutral position with just a small curve in the lower back, alternately walk the hands forwards as far is comfortable, then return by walking slowly back. In addition to the engagement of the deep abdominals, the muscles around the shoulder blades will need to be contracted to give stability to the arms and prevent the dumbbells from rolling.

FITNESS BALL

Russian Twist

Muscles Worked: Obliques.

Start: Lie on the ball with shoulders and upper back supported, and the tummy and buttock muscles engaged so the hips are not dropped. Clasp your hands together and place them directly above your chest with your arms straight.

Movement: Keeping your hands together and arms extended, rotate through the waist to lower the hands down to the side, as far as is comfortable, and then slowly return to the start position. Repeat to the other side. Try to keep your hips fixed in position and ensure your bum does not drop towards the floor as you twist your torso.

MAT

Circle Press Up

Muscles Worked: Total upper body.

Start: Press up position, either full or on knees.

Movement: Begin by pivoting forward on the toes (or knees) to shift the upper body forwards. Now bend the elbows to lower the chest towards the floor. By pivoting backwards on the toes, the upper body will now shift backwards, and then complete the press up by extending through the arms to straight up. From the side, the upper body will make a forward circle motion rather than straight down and back up, as in a traditional press up.

LOTUS SIT UP

Muscles Worked: Abdominals.

Start: Lie on your back, hands behind the head to cradle the weight and so support the neck muscles. Bring the feet close to the backside, place the soles together and let the knees drop to the side.

Movement: Curl up to lift the shoulders off the mat, without using the arms for momentum. By performing the sit up in this position, there is greater demand placed upon the working muscles due to the co-contraction caused by the stimulation of the pelvic floor.

If you’d like further information about any of the workout techniques described above – or to book a fitness break at Ragdale Hall – please get in touch with a member of the team today.

Featured Offers
Latest News
  • Latest awards...
  • TripAdvisor certificate of excellence 2017
  • Natural Health Magazine Highly Commended 2016
  • SpaFinder Wellness 2016
  • Good Spa Guide Five Bubbles
  • Spa Traveller - Best Wellness Spa UK 2015