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No Gym? No Problem.

Have you thought about getting in shape, but hate the idea of going to a gym? A home workout may be a solution.

Working out at home has several advantages:

  • If you're self-conscious you don't have to worry about other people.
  • You don't have to use equipment that may have someone else's sweat on it.
  • There's no waiting to use equipment.
  • You can workout on your schedule, not when the gym is open.
  • No gym dues to pay.

Start your workout the same way you would in a gym, with a warm-up. Walk around the block, ride a bike or some other sort of aerobic activities. After you've warmed up move on to the strength training part of your workout.

The following are four basic exercises that work most major muscle groups and don't require a gym.

Push-ups - primarily work the pectorals (chest) and triceps (arms). Just make sure you're doing them properly. Start by laying face down on the floor and slowly push yourself up by extending your arms (with the palms pressed against the floor). You then raise and lower your body repeatedly, while keeping your back straight, without resting either on the floor, or when you're elevated.

Squats - primarily work the quadriceps (thigh). Secondary muscles worked include the lower back, glutes (butt) and hamstrings (back of thigh). Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend at the knees until your knees are at a 90 degree angle, keeping your head up and back straight. Then move back into the upright position. At home you can do this with weights in your hands, on your shoulders, or with your back against an exercise ball.

Crunches - primarily work the rectus abdominus (stomach) and muscles in the front of the abdomen. Start by lying flat on your back. Lift your shoulders off the ground or lift your knees toward your torso. Don't put your hands behind your head or pull with your hands, since this can strain your neck.

Pull-ups - primarily work the lattissumus dorsi (large muscles of the mid-back), rhomboids (muscles in the middle of the upper back) and lumbar (lower back). Start by hanging from a pull-up bar with your palms facing out. Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Pull your body up until your chest touches the bar. Slowly return to hanging position. Keep a good arch in your back as you pull your chest to the bar.

These four exercises are simple and effective. The only equipment you might need is listed below in the Basic Home Gym.

Basic Home Gym: Cost $70 to $500+ (Depending on Dumbbells)

  • Exercise mat
  • Exercise ball
  • Pull-up Bar
  • Dumbbells (small set up to 25 lbs.)

If you want to add more intensity to your workouts, you may consider some of the equipment in the Intermediate and Advanced lists. These can add resistance and help you progress from one level to the next.

Intermediate Home Gym: Cost $500 to $1,500+

  • Adjustable Bench
  • Dumbbells (set up to 50 lbs.)

Aerobic Equipment (such as treadmill, exercise bike, Nordic track or rowing machine)
Advanced Home Gym: Cost $750 to $2500+

  • Multi-Gym
  • Soloflex
  • Bowflex

Keep two things in mind. First, before you spend a lot of money on equipment talk to a professional first. Determining the right equipment for your budget, space requirements and workout goals is critical.

Second, get professional instruction on how to use the equipment. Knowing what exercises you should do, in what order, and at what intensity can mean the difference between seeing results and wasting your time, or worse, injuring yourself.

With a little time and effort you can be on your way to creating a healthy, lifelong habit in the comfort of your home!

For more details on how to choose the best home gym, Click Here for our two part article.

Call for a FREE Consultation (305) 296-3434
CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

5/29/2003
Updated 6/25/2014