“Today is the day! Enough is enough! I will get my butt off the couch, go to the gym, and get myself into shape!”
We have all heard ourselves say this speech, gone to the gym for a few days, and given up.
There are a hundred different reasons why we give up on going to the gym even if we are determined to start working out and get in shape.
First of all, gyms aren’t free and sometimes the monthly cost for a membership can be somewhat high.
At first, when you get into the whole workout routine and start getting to the gym, the monthly fee can seem to be acceptable.
But over time it starts to add up and you realize that you can’t afford it, forcing you to cancel your subscription and give up on working out.
In some cases, you might end up looking for another gym which has a cheaper monthly subscription rate, but this might backfire as well because generally those types of gyms have a lack of equipment or their equipment is outdated and on the verge of breaking. Either way, paying for a gym can be a hassle.
Even if you are completely fine with paying for the fee and are able to sustain it throughout your workout sessions, there might be other reasons why the gym isn’t the best place for you to get in shape.
One of these reasons is that you are unable to concentrate on your workouts and focus on what you need to do because of all the people doing their own thing and making noise around you.
This can be very distracting and can cause you to lose focus rather quickly, so you end up wasting time in the gym on nothing and that monthly fee you are paying is going towards this time wasting.
Finally, there is the fear that can come along with going to the gym, the fear of other people who are getting in shape laughing at you and your inexperience with some workout machines and equipment or just your general struggle with working out when you first start going to the gym and haven’t gotten into the routine yet.
It is slightly ironic that the place where you are supposed to go to in order to lose weight can be one of the greatest sources of demoralization because you are overweight or out of shape.
Some will say that this isn’t true and is only in the persons head, but even the typical “motivational” talk that might come from fellow gym members can actually do more harm than good to someone who can be self-conscious about their weight or body shape.
There might be some other reasons why you are putting off going to the gym. Luckily, you don’t have to go to the gym to get in shape or start losing weight.
The space available at your home should be more than enough to part take in some basic exercises to get you on the right path.
With a little help from some basic equipment, which is usually not that expensive, you should be able to start working out all of the parts of your body in an effective and efficient way that gets you results.
About the benefits from this guide
A lot of at home workout guides are targeted towards people who are already relatively in shape and are just looking to utilize their home space instead of taking the time to go to the gym to continue their workouts.
Generally, these guides are already anticipating that the person who will be following them is accustomed to different types of exercises and specific muscle targeted routines.
This is not that type of a guide. Literally anyone can use it to get their body on the right track. Beginners who have never picked up a weight in their life can benefit from this guide.
Soccer moms who live a busy lifestyle and have absolutely no time to go to the gym can seek to gain a lot from this workout guide, as well.
Construction workers who are most likely already in good shape and are almost always tired after a long day at work can find huge benefits from completing some of this guide’s exercises in just 20 minutes, which will result in more well-balanced muscles.
Stationary office workers who sit behind a desk all day and let their muscle slowly atrophy will also get a huge benefit from following this workout guideline.
People with injuries who need to rehabilitate a certain part of their body can also focus on exercises which target specific ligaments or body sections to get them back to full mobility and strength.
Older people who are looking to get more flexibility, strength, and balance can also rely on this guide.
The past part of this guide is that it can be customized according to each individuals needs. If you are struggling with muscle strength in your legs and need to put a little bit more into that area, then all you have to do is change your routine slightly to incorporate more leg workouts or increase the amount of reps or sets, whichever you feel will be more suitable for that specific situation.
There is no limitation as to what you can do with this guide. After all, it is just a guide and the final workout routine is completely determined upon your decisions and determination.
Let’s get to it!
There are a couple things you need to consider before you jump into this whole workout thing. Here is a short “checklist” that you should look over to make sure you are ready:
Get accustomed to the exercises you are interested in.
You will have to pick and choose the exercises which you will be focusing on the most and afterwards you will have to carefully learn those exercises.
It is extremely important that you learn them properly, because if you do any of the exercises the wrong way then the outcome might vary and that is the last thing you want. Nothing is worse than getting undesired results when you have specific expectations.
Choose the correct variable for each exercise.
Once you determined which exercises are perfect for you and gotten accustomed with them, then you have to determine the amount of repetitions, sets, and break time in between each set you should observe.
Each of these variations will determine the final result. Some people think that it is best to try the workout first and then set the amount of reps and sets they should apply for each, but it is much better to already know how much you should do with each workout and challenge yourself to stick with it.
There are two different muscle groups: major muscle groups (quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, back, and shoulders) and minor muscle groups (triceps, biceps, forearms, calves, abdominals, and obliques).
On any given day, you should do 1 to 3 exercises per major muscle group and only one exercise per minor muscle group.
After selecting each exercise, you will need to perform between 2 to 4 sets per each exercise. Each set should have about 8 to 12 repetitions for those who are just starting out with the routine and are new to workouts.
However, those who are more accustomed to working out should increase their reps to what they are more comfortable with while still feeling like they are being challenged by the amount of reps.
Also, you need consider your timing when doing each exercise. Take everything with a moderate pace, but don’t go overly slowly either.
About 4 seconds should be dedicated while you are lifting the weight and once you are at the top of your life you should pause for about a second.
With full control, release the weight throughout another 4 seconds. This method can be applied to most other exercises.
How much weight should you use?
First you need to determine your absolute weight for each exercise. This is the maximum weight you can lift.
Once you know that number, your rep amount should be about 60%-85% of that number if you are a beginner. The percentage can be higher for those who have been doing it for a while.
What about resting?
Obviously, you need to rest between sets. This is important to keep your endurance levels up so that you don’t burn out and cause too much muscle tearing, which can cause you to give up on your set because you are hurting too much.
You need to rest, but at the same time you can’t dedicate too much time to each short break because you will become complacent and your reps will become less effective.
Practice each of your workouts with precision and perfect them over time.
It makes absolute sense that when you first start with each of these workouts, most likely you will be making a few mistakes here and there simply because of your lack of experience.
Don’t worry, this is normal, but you have to keep in mind that you need to continue practicing and trying to get the workout just right so that you are getting the most benefit out of each set session. Keep to it and don’t give up, and you will be successful.
List of Exercises
Now that you know what to look for and are ready to choose the right exercises, you can look through this list of the most effective workouts we have chosen for each muscle group.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only workouts that are out there for each of these groups, but we find that these are the most effective and need the least amount of exercise equipment.
We will break down each exercise under the group which it belongs to and give you a short description of the proper way to perform each one.
This is one of the most classic exercises that works out your chest. Start by placing your hands flat on the floor, positioned directly below your shoulders.
Straighten out your legs parallel to the floor and place your toes flat to the floor. Keep yourself elevated at first with your arms perpendicular to the floor and completely straightened out, then start to lower yourself down to the floor while keeping your back absolutely straight until your arms are bent 90O.
Pause yourself for a short amount of time, focus the tension in your chest and slowly start to straighten your arms out while utilizing your chest for power. Once you are back at the top, take a nice full breath and start again.
Bench Dumbbell Fly
If you have access to a narrow, flat bench and some dumbbells, this exercise is perfect for your chest. Sit on the flat bench, grab a pair of dumbbells and position them close to your chest.
While keeping the dumbbells at chest level, lay down onto the bench on your back. Once you are flat on the bench, push the dumbbells up vertically, take a nice deep breath, and while keeping your arms perfectly linear, lower the dumbbells in an arching motion away from each other to the sides of your body until they are parallel to your chest.
Take a small pause, refocus your tension on your chest, and bring the dumbbells back together in the same arching motion towards the middle.
This time, do not lower them vertically to your chest, instead take a pause and repeat the process until you are done with the amount of reps you have set as your goal.
When you are done with your sets, lower the dumbbells vertically back to your chest and use your abs to sit up and take a short break before stating another set.
If you don’t have a horizontal bar capable of holding your weight and making pull-ups a possibility, then you might want to consider installing one somewhere in your house.
There are a few variations you can purchase online which can be installed in many locations around the house with a relatively low price point.
The most important part about working your back with pull-ups is getting a wide grip, as wide as you can possibly manage while still being able to do a few reps.
When you position your hands with a wide spread, the load of your body’s weight is transferred to your back muscles when you do the pull up rather than mostly utilizing your biceps and chest.
Use an overhand grip when you grab the pull-up bar wide. Imagine using your back muscles to pull yourself up and when you are ready pull up until your chest is at the bar and you feel a muscle squeeze in your back.
Once you are there, go ahead and release back down steadily. Repeat the process again until you are done with your reps.
Keep in mind that this pull up style’s results will vary depending on how much effort you put into using your back muscles rather than your chest and biceps, you have to practice a bit before you fully use your back muscles effectively, especially if you are a beginner.
While this exercise might look slightly comical, it is very effective. Simply lay down flat on your front in a comfortable position while looking forward.
Extend your hand forwards and your legs backwards so that you are nice and stretched out.
Now contort your back muscles and squeeze in such a way that you are arching your chest, arms, and legs upwards while still keeping your abdomen on the floor.
When you get as high as you can with your arms and legs, keep the pose still for about two seconds and slowly let go.
Do not completely relax your muscles and let your extremities drop, as this will make the exercise less effective.
The primary target of this exercise is your lower back, so it is perfect in combination with wide-grip pull-ups.
Full Body-Weight Squats
The most important part of this exercise is to keep your back straight. Full bodyweight squats also work your core very well.
Keep your feet flat about shoulder distance apart from each other, your back straight, and lower your upper body while bending your knees slightly.
Pretend as if you are about to sit in a chair but stop when your quadriceps are parallel to the floor.
Most people who aren’t new to squats usually keep their hands on the back of their head, but if this is too difficult for you then you can instead keep your hand crossed on your chest.
One Leg Squat
This is a more difficult exercise than regular full body squats. The idea is the same, keep your back straight, pretend you are about to sit down in a chair, and rise back up once you are parallel or nearly parallel to the floor.
The exception is that you will extend one of your legs forward and keep it elevated above the floor while putting your body weight onto the other leg.
As you are lowering yourself down, you need to keep your leg elevated and not let it touch the floor. You can also keep your arms stretched out in front of you so that you are more balanced.
How straight you keep your back during this exercise will determine how effective it is and its final results.
If you are new to the exercise or are having troubles completing it, you can also use a chair or a step for your other leg so that some weight can be distributed away from your squatting leg.
This is a relatively easy exercise without many complicated moves. Simply place your legs shoulder width apart, your hands on your hips, and take a step forwards with your left leg while at the same time kneeling down with your right leg.
Throughout the whole process you need to keep your back absolutely straight. Do the goal set amount of reps for one leg and then switch to your other leg and repeat the same amount of reps.
Make sure that you pause after each step forward for a little bit to get the most out of the exercise. You can also alternate legs after each step to mix things up a bit if you get bored easily.
At first glance you might be wondering “How exactly does this exercise work my hamstrings?” But once you start doing the exercise, you will feel exactly what part of your body it influences and instantly make the connection.
First, grab a pair of dumbbells and straighten your arms out by the side of your body while keeping your feet flat on the floor at shoulder width.
While keeping your arms flushed with the side of your body, bend your knees very slightly and start to bend your upper body forwards at the waist while pushing back with your hips.
It is absolutely vital that you keep your heels as flat to the floor as possible. You will feel the burn in your hamstrings after a few reps, and this means you are working the right stuff.
If you have a pair of dumbbells you can grab those, but they aren’t necessary. Any similar object, like a bottle of water or your favorite sports drink, will do the job as long as you have two of them.
Put one dumbbell into each hand and stretch your arms along the side of your body, then bend your elbows slightly.
This will be your starting position. Once you are ready, go ahead and raise your arms outwards to your shoulder level while still maintaining your elbow positions.
When you get to the top, pause for a second or two and return your arms back down to the starting positions.
Again, it important that you don’t just drop your arms once you get to your shoulders, as this will make the whole routine ineffective. You must lower your arms with full control while keeping your muscles tense.
Sitting Bent Over Raise
This exercise is similar to the lateral raise, but a bit different. You will need a nice flat surface to sit on, so pull up a chair or a bench.
In the same manner as above, grab some dumbbells or a couple of bottles of water and position them stretched out by the side of your body as you are sitting down in your chair with your back perfectly straight.
Bend your arms slightly at the elbows and lean your upper body forward while keeping your arms at 90O to the floor.
Once you are bent over, raise your arms up to your shoulder level and make them parallel with the floor, pause for a second, and slowly return them back towards the ground. Repeat this action until you are done with your reps.
You will need two benches or chair for this exercise. Position the chairs or benches across from each other just far apart that you can rest your legs comfortably on one while holding yourself up with your arms on the other.
Make sure you use the overhand grip and that your weight is distributed between your arms and the heels of your feet. S
lide forward enough so that you back can clear the edge of the chair when you descend down throughout the exercise.
Once in position, start to lower yourself down between the two benches until you elbows form a 90O angle with your triceps parallel to the ground, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Try to keep your elbows bent a little and don’t lock them, as this can cause injury if done under a lot of stress.
Remember the regular pushup? Well this is the triceps version of the same exercise. The major difference is that you are using your triceps instead of your chest muscles to push yourself up.
Just like in a regular push up, you need to position yourself parallel to the floor with your hands on the floor.
Place your thumbs and pointing fingers positioned flat across from each other in such a way that they form a diamond.
This diamond needs to be directly below your chest on the floor. Then you let yourself down slowly until your elbows are at 90O and then push yourself back up.
Do the required amount of reps, take a break and do it again depending on how many sets you have set your goal at.
Narrow Grip Chin-Up
Instead of placing your hands in a forearm position on the pull-up bar, you will need to instead place your hands onto the bar with an underhand grip.
Your hands will be a little bit closer together rather than shoulder width apart. Try to keep your elbows slightly bent at all times, and then when you are ready, pull yourself up to the bar.
Once your chest is by your forearm, you can take a very short pause and lower yourself down. Again, keep your elbows bent and repeat the pull-up again.
Unlike a traditional pull up where the bar is well above your head, in this exercise you will need to place your bar at roughly waist level.
Once you get the bar in the right position, you will slide under the bar with your back on the floor. Proceed to place your hands at shoulder width with an overhand grip onto the bar, and then pull yourself up until your elbows are at 90O.
Take a pause and lower yourself back down to the floor, then repeat the pull-up. Rather simple, but very effective.
Barbell Reverse Curls
You will need an Olympic barbell or EZ Curl bar to perform this exercise. Grip the bar with an overhand grip at shoulder width while keeping your arms by the side of your body and slightly lifted forward in front of your waist.
While only using your forearms, lift the barbell towards your chest until your forearm is parallel to the floor and then lower the barbell back down. Don’t let your elbows lock, instead start a new rep immediately.
Calf Body Raises
This is an extremely simple and easy exercise to perform. You can either keep your hands flat by the side of your body or lean them against something for support.
Keep your feet slightly separated and flat on the floor, and then push your body up while lifting your heels onto your toes. Use your calves to lift your heels. Once you are at the top lower yourself back down but don’t touch your heels back to the floor.
Instead, start pushing yourself up again. If you are doing the exercise correctly then it will give you a bouncy type of feeling all throughout your body.
You will need to find a nice and soft surface on which you can lay down flat on your back. Place your back firmly on the floor with your hands either by your side, behind your back, or crossed on your chest. Keep your legs bent at the knees and your feet flat on the floor.
Once you are in position, start lifting your upper body forwards with the use of your abdominal muscles while keeping your back straight.
Do not go all the way up to your knees, instead on the way up once you feel your upper abs contract, stop, pause for a second, and return back down towards the floor.
Don’t let your shoulders touch the floor, and instead repeat the crunch. This exercise works to tone your upper abs.
These are very similar to crunches. However, this time you will bring your body all the way up to your knees before returning back towards the floor.
Just as during crunches, do not let your shoulder touch the floor and instead repeat the sit-up instantly when you are about to hit the ground.
Obliques / Plank Side Dip
You will need a soft surface on the floor for this exercise. Position yourself sideways on the floor with one leg on top of the other, your elbow supporting your upper body above ground and your other arm on your hip or flushed with the side of your body.
Keep everything from the waist down flat with the floor. Once you are in this position, raise your hips off the ground and push them up sideways towards the ceiling, then return everything back towards the starting point.
Don’t touch the floor this time and go back up instead. Do your goal set amount of reps for each side and proceed to the next workout.
Weight Side Bends
If you have a couple of weights lying around the house, this is the perfect exercise to get your obliques in shape.
Simply grab one weight and hold it in one hand while keeping it flushed with the side of your body as you stand straight up with your feet at shoulder distance.
When ready, bend your body towards the dumbbell at your hips and then return back to your upwards stance. Repeat the desired amount of times and switch to the other side.
The Ultimate Home Workout Guide Review Summary
You can certainly choose to go to the gym and have access to all the new equipment that targets each part of your body specifically.
You can pay high membership fees and force yourself to deal with other people who might look at you in a weird way or just in general distract you from your workout routine.
If this is your thing then go ahead, do what works best for you. But if you have a busy lifestyle and find it hard to dedicate time to going to a gym or simply don’t want to spend extra money on something you can avoid, then you can choose to workout at home.
There are a few things you will need: some room for your workouts, a few bottles of water or some dumbbells, and maybe an EZ curl bar if you have access to one.
Most of these are easily accessible and relatively inexpensive. Besides that, all you need is some willpower and dedication. Now hop to it, your ideal fitness is within your grasp!