This Article is About
set ups
bench press
exercise machines
work outs
shiny things
keeping fit
horizontal position
Work Out At Home
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Work Out at Home

Keeping fit without gym access is not difficult. If anything, it is cheaper, quicker, and more simple than fussing with memberships, traveling to and from a gym to work out, and most importantly, feeling confident enough to do so in front of other people! If you are thinking, "what about buying your own equipment? Isn't that expensive?" The answer is yes, considering the equipment you are likely thinking of looks like an alien probing device that might steal your kidney while you are sleeping.

Most home work outs (enough to keep you busy for, oh I don't know, forever?) require no equipment at all. If you do wish to add weight-bearing exercise to your routine, this can be accomplished simply and with little cost to you. The exercise machines we see in gyms are certainly impressive, and if you like shiny things as much as I do, those machines are fun to look at and make you feel cool to use. However, few of these exercise machines recreate natural movements.

For example, let's look at the bench press (which requires one of the least complicated set ups, simply requiring a bench, a bar, weights, and something to set the bar on). How often in your daily life do you get into a situation where you must push a relatively large amount of weight straight up from a completely horizontal position? I expect your answer to be "not that often! I'm intrigued, tell me more!"

My point is, being fit should mean being able to handle what life throws at you with physical preparedness and efficiency, the most important aspect of which is carrying your own body weight safely. In order to develop this kind of fitness we must recreate natural movements (if you are at all familiar with Crossfit, this should not be a foreign concept). Below are a list of exercises that recreate natural movements and can be done with or without weights and equipment, based on your preference.

1) Air squats: if you wish to add weight, hold something with both hands against your chest. If you want to add weight and make the movement more difficult, hold something above your head, and be careful for goodness sake!

2) Burpies: my definition of a burpie is the same as Crossfit's, where you start in a standing position, drop to a plank position, jump your knees in toward your elbows so you are crouching, shoot you legs back out to plank position, jump straight up in the air and clap your hands above your head while in the air... and that is ONE burpie.

3) Running

4) Kettle bell swings: ok, so this one requires equipment and is a weight-bearing exercise by nature, but you don't need a kettle bell to do it. You can use anything with weight that you can hang onto with both hands and swing from between your legs in a squat to above your head and back down without it flying away.

5) Sit-ups

6) Pull-ups

7) Jumping!! (straight up will do)

So here's the point: you can do any one or combination of the above listed movements (and this list is not exhaustive) to make a killer work out from home, or wherever you find yourself, with out equipment. A quick example of how you might pair those movements in a way in which you could measure progress would be doing 10 air squats, 10 burpies, and running 200 meters for time. You could also do a number of rounds.

If you think you have more physical ability than a mollusk, you might do 3 or 4 rounds of the above mentioned sequence for time, do so every other day in rotation with a different sequence, and compare results (hoping of course to get faster). If you don't believe me now that you can get just as fit working out at home without equipment as you can at a gym, you will certainly believe me after trying four rounds of the sequence above as fast as you can. This type of cross-training is quick and efficient. It's not just fabulous for people who work out at home, but also a great approach for those with little time or who travel a lot and must stay fit on the road. There are countless ways to combines these movements into simple equipment-free workout routines, but remember that the key to getting a good workout is having the proper form! Happy home work!

Street Talk

Great article!

  about 1 decade ago

To me you have pointed out the most important key in this article and that is in the comfort of your own home. Although there are those who would want to jog to the gym and back home to get a complete workout. I love this article.

  about 1 decade ago
Rob Gall  

I like this article! I have had a recent awakening to the falseness of most of the fitness and diet industry. No 1 diets don't work. No 2 you really don't need gyms! Nice to see some one giving decent practical advice!

  about 1 decade ago

Most diets are a scam, or are built so success is almost impossible. I recommend you check out The Paleo Diet, though- it's not so much a "diet" as a way of eating. It is based on feeding our bodies the foods it is designed to eat, and nothing else. If you click on my name it will take you to my author profile where you can find a couple articles about the diet. Best of luck to you! I promise I am not part of an evil diet conspiracy!

  about 1 decade ago
Rob Gall  

How do you know I am a conspiracy theorist ;-)

  about 1 decade ago

Frankie you should also check out my Primal Exercise is Safe and Effective article You can find this by clicking on my name and going to my author profile. I hope this information is helpful!

  about 1 decade ago

Peter and Frankie, thank you for your comments! I have just added links to some great equipment free work out routines and a page explaining in detail the proper form for many movements like those discussed in this article. These workout routines are PERFECT for people with little time. This is due to the nature of cross-training. You get the same benefits from 5 minutes of high-intensity cross-training that you do from a 30 minute endurance workout! That means you don't have to spend much time working out even if you want to get ripped ;)

  about 1 decade ago

Do you have programs for those with little time?

  about 1 decade ago
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