Get Fit For Free.

4 Oct
Photographer: Frank C. Müller

Push Ups Are A Great Exercise You Can Do At Home. They Tone Many Parts Of Your Body.

Who says you need a gym membership to get in shape? This is a common perception but far from the truth. There are SO MANY exercises you can do right at home, even in your pajamas if you so desire 😉 From toning your abs to your arms there are several exercises you can do without any weights which means zero investment money wise. All you need is 15-30 minutes a day and I promise you will be on your way to fit and fab. Seriously. The most basic exercises such as lunges, squats and push ups do wonders for the body. The most important part of a fitness routine is to be consistent, nothing happens over night but trust me, in time it DOES happen. Do this home based circuit 3 times a week along with 30 minutes of moderate to intense cardio (such as brisk walking, running, jogging or bike riding, anything that gets your heart rate up) Do cardio at least 5 days a week and within 6 weeks you will start notice a difference. We all most also remember to eat balanced, you can work out until you are blue in the face but you will constantly be sabotaging your efforts if you do not eat well.

Here is a break down of  exercises do for different body parts. If you do not currently exercise then you should ‘feel’ these exercises without using any weights. If you currently do work out then you should be already using weights that are appropriate for you specific fitness level. These exercise are ‘timeless’ fitness wise and all things that I pay too much to do at my gym. If you are new to working out but feel you need some weight use some soup cans or bottles of water. This will provide some weight and should be enough for a few weeks. Grabbing a pair of 5 and 10lb dumbbells is a very cheap investment. I bought my 5lb weights at ‘Five Below ‘ for $1 and I know Target also has cheap dumbbells. A pair of dumbbells can be added to every exercise I list, including abs 😉

Legs/Butt:

Squats against a wall: Stand with your back against wall and squat down as far as you can. Go slow and use the wall as a guide and for support. Keep your stomach pulled in and your core sturdy, you do not want to add any additional stress to your knees by being ‘wobbly’.  Aim for 3 sets of 10-15. Once you can do 3 sets of 15 add some weights in your hands and start back at 3 sets of 10.

Stationary Lunges: Step forward with one leg and lunge until your knee is about your front foot. Stay straight, do not hunch over. Keep a tight core with abs pulled in. Aim for 3 sets of 10-15. Once you can do 3 sets of 15 add some weights in your hands and start back at 3 sets of 10.

Walking lunges with a front kick: Step forward with one leg and lunge until your knee is above your front foot. Stand and kick up, lower your leg and repeat with the other side. This is a more ‘advanced’ lung and I would try to get the gist of the stationary lung before doing this. I think its a good progression. Aim for 3 sets of 10-15. Once you can do 3 sets of 15 add some weights in your hands and start back at 3 sets of 10.

Wide-leg squat: Stand with your legs spread open past your shoulders and squat as low as you can. Once you have managed 3 sets of 15 add some weight held with both hands between your legs. Start with s sets of 10 and take it from there.

Back:

Dead lifts: Stand with a weighted object in your hands and bend forward until your back is parallel to the floor. Keep your back lifted the entire time.You can start to learn a dead lift without weights, especially if you have a bad back. Once you get the form add some weight (soup cans or dumbbells) and take it from there. For an extra challenge, stand on one leg and alternate once you have completed 3 sets of 15.

Push-ups: Focus on form, not quantity for this exercise. To target the back keep your hands wider then your shoulders or bring them together by your chest and form a ‘diamond’. Wider arms will be an easier option for those just starting out.  Knee push-ups are perfectly fine until you have the strength for military style. Do as many as you can.

Shoulders:

Shoulder raises: Keeping your arms straight, lift them to the front of your body and hold. Lower slowly and repeat. If you feel you can add weight do so in light increments because shoulder exercises tend to be harder then they seem. 3 sets of 10 up to 3 sets of 15 (10, 12, 15) then back to 3 sets of 10 with some form of weight. Bottles of water will even work well here.

Side raises: Stand with your upper torso parallel to the floor. Raise your arms to your sides with your thumbs pointing up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold. This is not a shoulder specific exercise but it is working the deltoids and the upper part of your back and I would dare to say even some bicep. Be sure to keep your core tight and abs in, your posture is important on this one.

Chest:

Push-ups: Again focus on form, not quantity for this exercise. For a greater impact on the chest again keep a wider hand placement. Starting on your knees is fine to begin with until you have proper for down.

Biceps:

Bicep Curls: Find something ‘heavy’ and curl it. A big bottle of water, a big glass jar candle something you can hold easily. Remember to focus on only using you bicep, you can do this by standing against the wall as you perform the curls. This is what I do, it forces you to lift with your arms not with you back. If you need something heavier 10lb weights are good, plus once you get stronger you will need heavier weights. All of your other exercises will eventually grown in 10lb exercises so you will not be wasting money if you get some 10lbs dumbbells.

Triceps:

Triceps Dip: Support yourself on a couch or sturdy chair with both hands behind you, facing away from the chair. Bend your knees and lower yourself using only your arms. Lift and repeat. Make sure the chair or surface you use is not going to slide out from underneath you. This is one of my favorite moves to do, its easy to do at home and it works well.

Abs:

Crunch: Lie on the floor and do a set of traditional crunches, with your arms behind your head and your knees bent. Lift up your upper torso, squeeze in your abs, lower slowly and repeat. Be sure to keep your eyes looking up at the ceiling and only use your abs to come up. Do not use your upper back you will end up hurting your neck. Like everything else I would start with 3 sets of 10.

Scissor Kick: Start by lying flat on your back on a mat with your arms by your sides and your palms down. Extend your legs fully with a slight bend in your knees. Lift your heels about 6 inches off the floor. Make small, rapid up and down scissor-like motions with your legs. The key is to focus on having your midsection do the work and to keep your abs constantly contracted throughout the exercise. This is a hard exercise and it works great, I do this at least once a week in my ab routine. Try to do this for 10 seconds and increase 5 seconds when you feel like its easy. 3 sets of 10-20 seconds of rapid movement.

I would pick at least 2 legs, 2 back and 2 abs exercises and one of everything else. Do not be afraid to add weight if you feel things are easy for you. These exercises are realistic and practical, I do every one of them so I can vouch for them. So now there is no excuse, you can do this all in under a half hour then go for a nice brisk walk and you are on your way to a fitter, healthier you. Plus it costs nothing to do any of these exercises and if/when you need weights hit up sites like craigslist.org or stores like Target and you will find cheap and maybe even free weights.

Get Fit For Free.

DSC04466

Here Is A Guy Doing Some Tricep Dips On A Park Bench.

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2 Responses to “Get Fit For Free.”

  1. evilcyber October 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    Nice! But I think the most important back exercise would be the pull-up 😉

    • Melissa. October 5, 2010 at 10:28 am #

      So true 😉 Can’t argue with that. Thanks for stopping by 😉

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