Photo source: Skeeze via Pixabay
A gym is not needed for anyone to get in shape. If you want to do it you can just about anytime and anywhere.
Physical trainer and bodybuilder Angela Lee says "If you're wanting to start a general fitness routine or if you're new to exercising, there are many ways to improvise with everyday home items and turn them into tools for your workout routine." Lee explains "Items such as a soup can, table, chair and coffee table, even just a wall can be used for working out."
One doesn't need fancy weight machines or even old-school barbells to attain a sufficient workout according to Stacy Allard the owner of Health Pros Personal Training. Allard says "The good news of technology these days is that you can Youtube anything.Throw it in the search line and you can pull up a workout." She also said, "We do find that many people can figure out how to get their cardio in but it's their strength training that they struggle with." Nowadays she offers a half hour long online training session via Skype, while for most of the last 20 years she could only conduct in-person training sessions. The convenience of online training is great for those with family duties, busy schedules, world travelers etc.
According to the U.S.National Library of Medicine, just 20 percent of Americans hit the level of recommended amount of strength training which allows a person to maintain muscle health. (Most people are able to meet cardio goals) As we age strength training becomes increasingly important to maintain bone density and muscle mass.
Lose Weight Without Weights
Squats, lunges, jumps, planks, calf raises, wall sits and push-ups are all exercises which can be done simply using one's own bodyweight. Using the body as resistance creates effective workouts at home according to Allard, she also states to be mindful of technique. Allard has clients that have one training session per month and then take it home with them to execute on their own. She says if you cannot attend regular training session you can learn the basic principles to workout at home and with little or no typical equipment or space. For instance, tricep dips can be done with a stable surface like a chair or a railing. Lee said if you need to increase exertion levels simply take little or no rest between sets.
Living Room Workout
Dips are a great exercise in the living room. They focus on the chest, triceps, and front shoulders and can be done with a chair or the couch. Lee says "You can use any chair to do tricep dips, angled push-ups, and challenging side planks."
Below is a description for a standard tricep dip:
Place the hands behind the body, shoulder-width apart on a stable bench or chair.
Slide your butt off the chair and extend your legs out in front of you. (Knees should be straight out in front.)
Slowly lower your body toward the floor until your elbows bend to a 90-degree angle. Try to keep your back straight and as close to the chair as possible.
Once you reach the 90-degree angle, press down on the chair to straighten your elbows and return to starting position.
Repeat until you hit your rep goal.
*Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body.Modify this exercise by bending the knees at a slight angle instead of keeping the legs straight.
Campbell's Soup Anyone?
"A soup can easily be used for an overhead tricep extension, a bicep curl, lateral raises, bench press, bent over row or used while doing squats and lunges." Says Lee.
Take a look around your kitchen and the rest of your house you can find several items that can substitute for dumbbells or machines.
A gallon of water, a coffee can, and a soup can be used effectively:
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Grab the coffee can (or soup can) with a firm grasp.
Position your elbows close to your torso and rotate the palms of your hands so they hang by your sides, facing forward.Keeping the upper arms stationary, lift or curl the can up until your biceps are fully contracted and the can is at shoulder level.
Lower the can to the starting position, arms returning to the sides of your body.
Repeat until rep goal acheived
*Ensure each can is relatively the same weight when using two soup or coffee cans.
A pillow can be used to put your shoulders in the correct place for squatting, which is a compound exercise that works you quads, glutes, core, and lower back essentially.
Give this a go:
Grab a throw pillow, placing your palms on each side of it.
Hold the pillow straight out in front of you.
Stand shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed slightly outward.
As you squat down, raise the pillow overhead, keeping the arms straight.
Repeat as needed
There may not always be time for a full workout or training session but these simple exercises allow any person to maintain their workout routine even without the gym.
This is a basic skeleton of the realm of non-gym exercise possibilities that are effective.
So no more excuses and get to work.