Editor’s Note: We hope this article is a useful reminder that a quick workout before the kids wake up in the morning is just as valuable as hitting the fancy equipment at your local gym. Note that this article assumes a basic knowledge of weight-lifting movements. If you need to check out the names of movements, we recommend the resources found at BodyBuilding.com .
Have you ever dug into a muscle or fitness magazine trying to find an awesome home workout routine? Sometimes it can be hard because a lot of the exercises they list are done on the latest and greatest machines that have rolled out of the factory in the last month or two.
With a little imagination, you can take any of those workout routines and get a good sweat on at home by making a few little adjustments. It just so happens that I know of a few things that you could change, so lets look at them. The good news is that most people who work out at home have a weight bench or at the very least a stability ball. With that much, we are all set to go in modifying our awesome program into a home workout.
Modifying a gym based workout program into a home workout is very easy. Mostly because it’s not so much the “magic” of the movements themselves but proper weight progression as well as the applied effort and scheduled rest that will get you the results.
I am going to assume, like I said above that you have a set of dumbbells and something to lie on. (Now if you don’t have a set of dumbbells to do the workout that is o.k, because almost every dumbbell movement ever created can be done with a barbell. For example Dumbbell curls can be turned into barbell curls.)
The basic idea in modifying workouts so that they can be done at home is you just have to realize what muscle you are working and sub in something that works the same muscle that you can do at home.
For example, in a typical workout routine you will see something like Machine Rows for the back. What are you supposed to do with that unless you have a couple of thousand dollars to spend on a machine? Simple; it’s a rowing exercise for the back, so you would look for rowing exercises that work your back that you can do at home. In this case since you have a barbell, it would be bent over barbell rows. If you only have dumbbells, then it would be one-arm rows. If you had no equipment, you might go for the chin-up hanging off your door instead.
Remember, there are no magic exercises. It’s the effort applied that will get you results.
Triceps pushdowns are another one that people think is mandatory. These can easily be replaced with bench dips, close grip bench presses or close grip pushups.
The same thing goes for any body part, but lets look at calf raises for another example. You don’t really need a fancy machine to do these. As a matter of fact, machines rob you from working your stabilizer muscles anyway. Just find a set of stairs and some weight. Your weight could be single leg raises with bodyweight or you may want to use a dumbbell in your hand or a barbell across your back.
Remember, the set of weights you always have with you is your bodyweight. It will always be there for you in a pinch and it the best weight to learn how to move properly.
If you start to use your imagination, you could really start to have fun mixing up your exercises like this. You never get bored and you really cannot mess it up, because in the end, as long as you are working the muscle, you’re doing great.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: RAY BURTON is an ISSA-certified personal trainer, bodybuilder and author of the best selling Fat-to-Fit Program . Whether Ray is working one on one with a personal training client, or presenting fitness talks to groups, Ray’s passion and knowledge of his work is evident. Ray provides “fitness life style” talks to companies’ employees, to discuss strategies for getting fit and staying fit as a means to conquering life’s everyday obstacles. Ray is the President of Building Bodies Fitness Consultants in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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