When it’s cold, dark and wet outside or you’ve had a busy day, sticking to your workout plans can feel near impossible.
However, consistency is the secret to reaping the benefits of exercise. This means that it’s important to find a way to follow through on your workout plans, even when you don’t feel like it.
Next time you feel like you just can’t face the gym or a run, you don’t have to. Instead, put on your trainers and try any of these 3 at-home workouts.
Build your own circuit
The American Heart Association recommends the following home circuit training plan for getting a good cardio and strength-training workout.
Build your own heart-pumping, muscle-building circuit by choosing 4 exercises from the cardio list and another 4 exercises from the strength list below.
- jumping jacks
- star jumps
- stair climbing or step-ups
- burpees or squat thrusts
- jogging or marching in place
- high knees
- mountain climbers
- tricep dips on a chair
- plank or side plank
- squats or chair position
- wall sits
- sit-ups or crunches
- hip lift or bridge position
Alternate each chosen cardio and strength exercise. Do each cardio exercise for 30 seconds and each strength exercise for 3 minutes.
Once you’ve completed the circuit, repeat it 2 to 3 more times.
Try some burpees
Burpees, also known as squat thrusts, are one of the most challenging exercises you can do at home. They require little space, no equipment and can be modified to suit your fitness level.
Best of all, they provide the benefits of a cardio and strength-training workout.
Here’s how to do a burpee.
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides.
- Sink your bottom back and lower yourself into a squat position.
- Tip your body forward to place your hands on the floor.
- Kick both your legs back into a plank position. If this is too challenging you can step them back 1 at a time.
- Jump or step your legs forward to return to a squatting position.
- Stand up straight.
Do 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps.
If this version feels too easy, challenge yourself by adding a push-up and/or a jump to the classic burpee.
To add a push-up, do a burpee as normal until you’re down in plank position. Pause and do a push-up before bringing your feet forward to a squat.
To add a jump, simply jump straight up in the air when you come to a standing position at the end of the burpee. Then squat down to begin the next burpee.
Strengthen and tone
The NHS recommends the following 10-minute toning home workout to train the major muscle groups in the body. You’ll need a resistance band to do them, but if you don’t have one you can use full bottles of water or any other moderately heavy object you have to hand.
Start with a short warm up such as marching on the spot for 5 minutes. End the workout with a 5-minute stretch of the muscles you’ve exercised.
- Push-ups - do 2 sets of 12 to 15 reps. If full push-ups are too hard, try placing your knees on the floor.
- Tricep dips - do 2 sets of 12 to 15 reps with your hands and feet on the floor. Make this harder by placing your hands on a step or bench.
- Shoulder press - do 2 sets of 12 to 24 reps.
- Shoulder press with a lunge - do 1 set of 12 to 24 reps on each side.
- Biceps curl - do 2 sets of 12 to 24 reps.
- Lateral raise - do 2 sets of 12 to 24 reps.
- Squat - do 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps.
- Lunge - do 1 set of 15 to 24 reps with each leg.
- Stomach crunch - do 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps.
- Back raise - do 2 sets of 15 to 24 reps.
If you aren’t familiar with how to do any of these exercises, use this guide.