Sleigh the Holidays: At Home Workouts

Whether you can workout for one minute or one hour, it’s always worth it. Whether you can make it to the gym and have all the equipment in the world or you need to get creative with an at home workout, it’s still always worth it. Home workouts are not a one size fits all approach. You have goals and you know what you want to get out of your workouts. In this blog we’ll cover what household items to gather up for these at home workouts, which workout is right for you and how to do each of these at home exercises. 

Think of your body as a door, and your joints as the hinges. If you open and close that door everyday the door will move easily. If you leave that door shut for too long the hinges start to rust, the door squeaks when opened and the door doesn’t just swing right open. The cure for that is simple. Just keep moving. Staying active with at home workouts keeps you on track with your goals but it also keeps your body moving well so when you go to the gym it doesn’t feel like you’re starting over. All those squats, lunges, rows and planks you spent time learning and improving will still feel natural if you continue to exercise. Above all the most important thing is to do some type of workout to relieve stress, maintain immunity and keep your body active.   Let’s get started!

At Home Workout Equipment You Already Own

The gym is great because all the equipment is constructed so that it’s easy to use, comfortable, and effective. Floors are padded, so even without a mat, you can set up shop anywhere comfortably. While it’s easier to use equipment that is meant for exercise, your home is full of objects that re-create the gym and double as workout equipment. 

There are thousands of bodyweight exercises but to keep things interesting and progressive you can make a weight out of anything. Any items that have a bit of density, weight wise, with an easy grip fits the part. Here are some of our favorites that you have floating around your place right now. 

DIY At Home Workout Equipment 

  • A gallon jug of water works great for squats
  • Filling up two water bottles makes for a quick set of dumbbells
  • Load a backpack with some books to add weight to body weight exercises 
  • Backpacks or tote bags filled with heavy items like books can also be used for rows or deadlifts 
  • Fill tote bags with dirt or groceries for Farmer’s Walks 

Setting Up Your At Home Workout Space

Now that you have the DIY workout equipment for your at home fitness routine, it’s time to set up the space where you’ll be exercising. One of the most important things is to find an area with enough space to move in. You should be able to extend your arms out and up so you don’t touch the walls or ceiling. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to take at least one large step in any direction.

It’s also important to make sure the flooring in your at home workout space is supportive. All YouFit floors are Nike Grind, rubber flooring made of recycled Nike shoes. The main purpose of this floor and  exercise mats are to provide padding and grip while also being easy to clean. While it’s tempting to workout barefoot, you should first test out your flooring to see what type of grip you have. Gym shoes with rubber roles tend to have better grip on laminate, tile, and wood than going barefoot. For exercise performed on the ground, a thick beach towel or two can provide the padding for elbows or knees in place of a mat. Towels are also great because they’re super easy to clean.

Developing Your At Home Workout Plan

Our recommended at workout plan is made of 6 exercises that engage every muscle in your body. This makes it efficient and encourages healthy blood flow through your cardiovascular system and joints.

Depending on what your goal is for the workout or whichever exercise is most appealing to you, start out by picking one variation of the squat, row, lunge, press, hinge, and plank. For those going a stir crazy and needing extra movement, we have a solution. Complete a strength or cardio workout as normal. Then, add a circuit of just the mobility options to start or end your day – doing as many rounds as you feel up to. 

As always include a warm-up. You’re likely getting less movement throughout the day which means your body needs more time to rev up. Think of your body and warming up like baking a dish in the oven. When you get movement throughout the day, it keeps the oven preheated or at least warm. If you’re moving less during the day and the oven is cold you wouldn’t want to throw a dish in there until the oven is heated. Point being, you always need light movement before your workout, but the more sedentary your day is the more of a warm-up you need. At least 5-10 minutes of light stretching with walking or moves like jumping jacks does just the trick. . 

At Home Strength Workouts

At Home Strength Exercises

SquatRowLungePushHingePlank
Squat with Pause at Bottom (Hold water jug or backpack)Single Arm Backpack RowReverse Backpack Lunge with Pause at the bottomPushupSingle Leg Backpack DeadliftExtended Arm Plank

Work 30-90 seconds and rest 30-60 seconds, completing all sets before moving to the next exercises. 

The strength workout focuses on using more weights to increase the intensity of each exercise. The longer sets and shorter rest assure that muscles reach fatigue. In order to build or maintain lean muscle mass, your workouts have to force muscular fatigue. That’s a fancy way to say that the last few reps of each set should feel challenging.

Typically, we accomplish this with heavier weights but increasing resistance with weight is only one method. When performing this workout add pauses to the bottom of each rep and use a slow tempo – it should feel unnaturally slow. This, along with shorter rest will stimulate your muscles enough to maintain or even build muscle.

If you’re completing a strength focused workout, you’ll need to complete all sets of one exercise before moving to the next. This fatigues the specific muscle groups more which is better for strength than doing circuits. Complete 30-90 seconds depending on your energy and fitness level. After each set, rest 30-60 seconds. Since weights are light, you do not want to feel 100% recovered before starting your next set, otherwise it will feel more like cardio. The goal is to feel a burn so reps become more challenging for the muscle but because of your heart rate.

At Home Cardio Workouts 

If you’re looking to get your heart rate up and break a sweat, this is the workout for you. It’s the ultimate cure to going stir crazy. The cardio workout uses exercises that move the body at a faster pace while engaging the whole body and not just individual muscle groups. Since the goal is to keep the heart rate up and burn off a few snacking calories, the rest should be kept to a minimum. While with interval training you want your heart rate to recover, with this cardio workout you should never feel fully recovered between sets and after each round. 

At Home Cardio Exercises

SquatRowLungePushHingePlank
Squat Tap to Overhead ReachReciprocating
Row with
Water Bottles
Reverse
Lunge to High Knee
Overhead Press Jumping Jack
with Water Bottles
Single Leg
Broad Jump to Back Peddle
Plank Jack

At Home Active Mobility Workout

In this at home cardio workout, you’ll complete the exercises as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next with as little rest as possible. This allows you to keep your heart rate elevated without slowing down because a certain muscle group gets tired. Complete each exercise for 30-90 seconds, again depending on your energy and fitness level. Aim to keep rest as short as possible, only what you need to change exercises. After each round rest for 1-2 minutes until your heart rate feels comfortable. 

The mobility workout is for those looking to stay active but not expend too much energy. This workout does have a stretching and balance element to it but it’s done with continuous movement to promote healthy blood flow throughout the body. If you’re feeling tired, tight, or just need a quick break from the computer, this is your workout. You’ll stretch all the key areas of your body while waking up your brain with balance as well as your core. 

At Home Mobility Exercises

SquatRowLungePushHingePlank
Hamstring stretch
to squat to overhead reach
Single Arm Row to ReachReverse Lunge
with Overhead Reach
Plank to Down Dog Single Arm Reach BackLateral lunge to Single Leg BalanceWide Mountain Climber to Overhead Reach

Going through rounds of each movement allows you to feel the difference in your body. That’s why we recommend completing these exercises in a circuit fashion. This method also lubricates your joints more so you get more out of the mobilizers. For mobility exercises, rest is not required since these are less intense movements. 

Home Workout Details

For all workouts perform 3-5 total rounds.

  • Strength: Work 30-90 seconds and rest 30-60 seconds, completing all sets before moving to the next exercises. 
  • Cardio: Work 30-90 seconds and rest as little as possible between exercises done as a circuit. Rest 1-2 minutes after each round.
  • Mobility: Complete each movement for 45-90 seconds as a circuit. Rest as needed but keep it short.

Squat

  • Strength: Squat with Pause at Bottom (Hold water jug or backpack)
  • Cardio: Squat Tap to Overhead Reach
  • Mobility: Hamstring stretch to squat  to overhead reach

Row

  • Strength: Single Arm Backpack Row
  • Cardio: Reciprocating Row with Water Bottles
  • Mobility: Single Arm Row to Reach

Lunge

  • Strength: Reverse Backpack Lunge with Pause at the bottom
  • Cardio: Reverse Lunge to High Knee
  • Mobility: Reverse Lunge with Overhead Reach

Push

  • Strength: Pushup
  • Cardio: Overhead Press Jumping Jack with Water Bottles
  • Mobility: Plank to Downdog Single Arm Reach Back

Hinge

  • Strength: Single Leg Backpack Deadlift
  • Cardio: Single Leg Broad Jump to Back Peddle
  • Mobility: Lateral lunge to Single Leg Balance

Plank

  • Strength: Extended Arm Plank
  • Cardio: Plank Jack
  • Mobility: Wide Mountain Climber to Overhead Reach

Written by Raphael Konforti, YouFit Gyms Senior Fitness Director

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