November 3, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Home Workouts | Intersport Elverys

No gym? No problem! Here at Elverys, we’ve got you covered.

Working out at home can sometimes seem a little daunting or, dare we say it, uninspired.

It’s likely because we associate spending time at home with comfort, warmth, good food, Netflix and napping – all habits designed to help you relax and unwind.

That said, the gym is increasingly empty. Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, and working out from home is following suit. But where to start?

Our ultimate guide to home workouts will show you the A to Z of getting fit at home, from tips to make the most out of your environment to the best equipment for beginners and pros alike.

I want to build a home workout routine, but where do I start?

Preparation is key when it comes to working out at home.

Prioritise a space for home workouts

One of the best things about going to a gym is everything is set up for working out. You can get straight into your workout, no assembly required.

This is why it’s really important to designate a space for your home workout. Your mind will learn to associate this zone with energy and exercise, helping you get in the right mindset even if you’ve just left the couch.

If you have ample space, a shed or garage is the ideal place to host home workouts, or even set up a more permanent home gym. Alternatively, move furniture around in dining or sitting rooms, making as much space as you can.

Transform your environment into a home gym

Now that you have a workout zone, it’s time to bring the gym home. So, how can you motivate yourself to do a home workout and stick to a schedule? The same way a traditional gym does – by bringing in music and energy.

What music is best for a home workout?

Like fashion and food, it’s a personal choice. You’ll find plenty of high energy workout mixes online, from house to hip-hop. If it’s Motzart’s Requiem that gets your blood pumping, then go with that. It’s important to match the tempo of the music to the type of home workout you’re doing.

What do I need to workout at home?

Not a single thing! You can get a great home workout if you have a little space and time. Bodyweight exercises can often make the best home workout routines, effective for both losing weight and building muscle.

Start looking at your surroundings as potential workout equipment. Although we don’t recommend squatting the TV just yet, a standard chair can be used for dips, different types of push ups, step-ups and lunges, and a set of stairs is ideal for calf raises.

Of course, if you really love training and want to challenge yourself, investing in some home workout equipment is a great idea.

At home workouts for beginners: what you need

Want to commit to working out at home on the regular? Investing in a few pieces of equipment can seriously up your game, even if you’re a beginner.

  1.  Yoga or exercise mat: An exercise mat can help zone off your home workout space, as well as protect floors as you go!
  1. Resistance bands: One of the most minimal yet effective pieces of home workout equipment, resistance bands have a multitude of uses.
  1. Kettlebells: Simple yet effective, kettlebells come in a variety of weights so you can tailor your workout to your own needs.
  1. Pull up bar: Pull up bars slot neatly into your door frame to provide an effective and easy at home workout.
  1. Foam rollerFoam rollers are necessary for losing tight muscles post-workout, and preventing injury.
5 essential home workout items for a pro

Ready to take things to the next level? Splash out on bigger pieces of home workout equipment to make the most of your home gym.

  1. Treadmill: If you’re after a great cardio workout at home, a treadmill is the one for you. Treadmills help build stamina, strength and more, and the best part? You can do it in front of the TV.
  1. Dumbbells: Armed with a set of dumbbells and a proper home workout routine, you’ll be able to build muscle and strength in no time.
  1. Exercise bike: Row your way to fitness wherever you like on a high-quality rowing machine.
  1. Skipping rope: Simple but effective (it’s not a favourite of professional boxers for no reason), skipping ropes can give you a very effective cardio workout at home.
  1. Medicine ball: If you’re not one for working out alone, even at home, a medicine ball is a nifty piece of equipment that you can use with a workout partner.

So what is the best at home workout routine?

So you’re all set up – what now? Finding the most effective at home workout for you is based on a number of factors, like how much time you want to spend exercising and your current fitness level.

Try a few of our favourite home workouts below, and tailor them to fit your abilities if needs be.

Easy at home exercises to build core strength

The core works all day long at keeping the body upright. Too much time spent sitting or poor posture can lead to some muscles turning off completely or one side of your body becoming stronger than the other (your right, if you are right handed for example) – Balance is important here.

A strong core translates into practically every task your body performs. From walking and running, to good posture and breathing.

Plank and side plank

Girl performing plank on yoga mat at home

For the plank:

Keep your elbows under your shoulders and try to maintain a straight line from head to toe. It’s easy to drop the pelvis too low here or hike it up to high. Engage your core by consciously contracting your abdominal muscles.

For the side plank:

Lie on your side and use your forearm to support yourself while maintaining a neutral shape. Place your other hand on your hip. For a harder variation you can extend the arm above your head keeping it inline with the shoulders. Hold for 30-45 seconds, pause and repeat 2 more times. If that’s too hard, reduce the hold time and increase pauses between repetitions.

Russian twist

Fitness model in v-sit position at home, holding water bottle>

Sit up right with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage the core and raise your feet up so your back and thighs form a V-shape. Turn your torso from left to right using your hands to help maintain balance. You can add in weights here to make it more challenging, or even household items, like a water bottle.

The best lower body home workout exercises

These lower body exercises are great to get the blood pumping. If you’re a runner, supplementing runs with leg work can help you improve race times. See how many reps of each move you can complete in 30 to 45 second bursts, take a pause and repeat twice more.

Squats and lunges

Fitness model performing squat and lunge exercise at home

For the squat:

Position your feet just outside your hips with toes slightly turned out. For balance keep your hands straight out or close to your chest. Squat down to parallel and rise back up. Feel free to add in weights, a great addition to help build muscle at home.

For the lunge:

Stand upright with feet hip width apart. Extend your right leg out and move to a position where each thigh is at a 90 degree angle to each shin. Keep the trailing knee off the ground, return to standing and repeat on the opposite side.

Calf Raise

Model standing on toes working out at home

In a standing position, push up on to your toes, contracting the calf muscles and slowly lower back down. Keep a natural and relaxed posture throughout the move.

The best upper body home workout routine

Experiment with slow or fast paced movements in a controlled fashion. Go for 30 to 45 second bursts, pause, then repeat twice more for each exercise. Too easy? Go for a little longer. Too difficult? Take a longer pause between sets.

Press up

Model performing press up move

The original, classic press up: a staple of workout routines in every discipline. Place your hands a little outside your shoulders, keep the core engaged. For an easier option, balance on your knees instead of feet. Lower down to the floor gently and explode back up. For variations, play around with hand positioning, such as the diamond hand shape.

Single-arm shoulder press

Fitness model lifting water bottle above head

You can use a household item for this one such as a water bottle. Keep a neutral and relaxed upright posture. Make a 90 degree angle with your arm while holding the weight or bottle. Press upwards from the shoulder moving your arm to an almost straight position overhead. Return to the starting point and repeat. Keep a strong core to and place your free arm on your hip to support the upper body movement.

Bicep curl

Fitness model performing bicep curl with water bottle at home

Grab a comfortable weight and hold it with your palm facing forward at your side. Focusing on the bicep muscle, curl the weight upwards to the sky. Keep the elbow at your side lightly making contact with your torso. Return to the starting position and repeat.

How to craft the perfect home workout routine

To get an effective, challenging full body workout at home, pick two or three exercises from each of the core, leg and upper body sections. Mix and match as you please to find what suits you best – you’d be surprised how well the right combination of exercises can help build muscle at home.

Home workout FAQs

We have a few tips that can make working out at home a complete breeze!

Should you workout at home with a partner? 

Yes, if you can. A good workout partner can offer encouragement and really motivate you to push yourself. If you can’t have someone over, video calling can be just as fun and effective.

What’s the best time to do a home workout?

The best time to do a home workout is whatever time you have. If you used to attend a gym class, use that same time slot.

Make the schedule something you can stick to. We often start with the best of intentions, but telling yourself you’ll get up at 5.30 am to squeeze in a workout if you’re not a morning person isn’t the path to success. Be realistic when planning; a 20-minute at home workout is better than none at all.

Can you do cardio at home?

Laps of the sitting room? It’s a bit more fun than that.

You can get in a decent cardio workout at home in a limited amount of space. Check out our cardio workout at home to get started.

I don’t want to buy any equipment, what can I do?

Bodyweight exercises are the one for you!

Follow our bodyweight workout fitness professional Aishling Sheridan to get started.

I want to build muscle with an effective home workout, what do I need?

Lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to build muscle, and you can easily incorporate it into your home workout routine.

Invest in a set of dumbbells and follow our dumbbell workout. You’ll be stronger than ever in no time.

What should I wear to work out at home?

You might think exercising in your regular loungewear is fine, but to really get into the spirit of a dedicated workout at home, changing into gym wear is a must.

Arm yourself with a great sports bra, a comfortable gym t-shirt, and the perfect pair of leggings or joggers to get the most out of your performance.

What’s the best home workout without equipment for gaining muscle?

Yes, you can. When we think of growing muscle, we typically think of lifting heavy weights and really straining the body. If we don’t have the same tools available as we would in the gym, we need to be a little more precise with our workouts.

Slow down the exercise:

If you are using a low weight or resistance band, focus on reps at half or even a quarter of your usual pace. This increases the muscles time under tension greatly. You can still feel a burn with considerably less weight than you may be used to.

What’s great is that you can apply this technique with bodyweight exercises only as well. When performing a standard push up, go as slow as you can bear. You are forcing the muscles to adapt by doing this and this helps create growth.

Use gravity:

Another great technique is to focus on the downward movement or ‘negative’ portion of the exercise. We use gravity as the resistance here. With a push up, focus on the lowering movement; slowly lower your body to the floor and then explode back up. This is a new stimulus for the muscles involved.

This technique can be applied to any exercise from biceps curls to squats.

The ultimate home workout checklist

  • Set up a space: this is key.
  • Put on your best workout gear.
  • Choose your equipment – weights, bands, a chair, whatever!
  • Pump up the volume with an energising playlist.
  • Invite a workout partner.
  • Hydrate: water is your friend.
  • Go!

Here at Elverys, we know a thing or two about fitness. Get in touch with the team if you have any further questions on working out at home – they’re happy to help.

Shop home workout equipment at Intersport Elverys HERE.

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