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Question: do you really know how to get a good session in from your living room?
As the cost of livings continues to rise, you aren’t alone if you’ve been Googling how to workout at home. It’s a more budget-friendly way of getting a sweat session in than heading to the gym, and can be just as good a session. So, question: do you really know how to do so effectively?
Sounds like an obvious question, sure, and you probably think you do after the casual two years where we could only workout at home (yes, we did more Joe Wicks YouTube workouts than we care to admit – thanks, pandemic). But if you’re keen to add a little more structure to your living room sweat sessions, you’re in the right place.
We’ve picked the brains of the renowned personal trainer and founder of Tone and Sculpt Krissy Cela about how to make sure you’re actually getting a good session in – without leaving the house. As the pandemic proved, there’s really no harm in opting for home workouts, as they can be just as good for you.
Nonetheless, there are a few key things it’s important to make sure you’re doing right. Keep reading for her tricks, hints, and tips – essentially, your complete guide to how to workout at home. Don’t miss our guide to how to exercise for free, while you’re here.
How to workout from home: your complete guide
First things first: are people really opting for working out at home as the cost of living rises? According to new stats from MyVitamins, yes – lots are opting for home workouts and training guides over gym classes.
So, why are people opting for at home vs in gym? Asides from the obvious – energy prices are at an all-time high and everyone is cancelling subscriptions to help manage the squeeze – Cela shares that they now know that working out from home can be both effective and convenient.
Not to mention it’s really convenient. “If you’ve got a really busy job, your gym isn’t nearby, or you’re really busy with family and personal commitments, a home workout is just more realistic than making it to the gym,” she explains.
Can working out at home be as effective as gym workouts?
It depends on the home workout, according to the PT. “The last year has really dispelled certain myths about working out from home – it’s no longer seen as the “easy” option. Actually, it can be really effective,” she shares.
But she stresses that your results will, of course, depend on the type of workout you opt for, what home gym equipment you have to hand, and the intensity you aim for, too.
Similarly, the pandemic has highlighted the success of the little and often approach, in Cela’s opinion. “It’s shown that you don’t need to spend hours running on a treadmill or sweating away on the cross trainer,” she shares.
How to workout from home: 9 tips for a fail-safe session
1. Invest in a skipping rope
They’re a simple, cheap, and effective bit of kit, according to the PT, and a workout you can do in the garden, at home, or wherever you have the space to jump in one spot. “Skipping tests your stamina, endurance and is a HIIT, cardio, and lower body burner, too,” she explains.
In other words, get ready to feel your hamstrings and glutes sing. Her advice is to keep your eyes peeled for specific skipping challenges – on her Tone & Sculpt app, they have a whole load of skipping challenges designed to get your heart rate up.
TechRise Skipping Rope, £5.49, Amazon
2. Schedule your workouts
Another super simple but effective of making sure you’re nailing your home workouts is, well, actually making sure you’re doing them. When it’s just a few steps from your bedroom to the living room, the temptation to snooze that alarm can be oh-so-real.
Cela’s advice? Schedule in your sessions so the temptation to skip is lower. “It’s really easy to put off your home workouts, or even just lose track of time to work or other commitments,” she shares.
Try this: set a reminder or an alert – preferably at the same time every day, she says – so that you know it’s time to stop what you’re doing and get that workout in. “The more you schedule, the more of a habit it will become – soon it will be second nature,” she goes on. Exercise motivation never looked so simple.
3. Choose a workout plan to follow
Again, sounds obvious, but many of you may just be randomly picking your workout. This is absolutely fine, but if you want to see progress or ensure you stay motivated, Cela says having a plan to follow is one of the most important things.
“I can’t stress this enough,” she shares. “Even as a trainer, whenever I workout, I make sure I have a plan. Trying to workout without one is planning to fail. You might spend time scrolling or just coasting,” she shares. “As much as all movement is important, you need a plan to really maximise your workout time,” she explains.
You’ll thank yourself later.
4. Keep your workout area ready in advance
You might not have thought of this one but it’s surprisingly effective – trust us.
“Lay out your mat the night before, get the equipment ready or keep a water bottle to the side,” the PT recommends. It’s not a luxury everyone can afford, but if you can designate a space for your workouts at home, even better, she says.
“You’re just more likely to actually do a workout and stick to a training programme if your workout area at home is ready and prepared,” she explains.
5. Mix it up
Variety is the spice of life and all that. Cela’s top tip for avoiding home workout boredom? Make sure you’re trying new things regularly.
“If you love bodyweight workouts, why not try a HIIT session or short finishers in the form of an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) or EMOM (every minute on the minute)?,” she asks.
These kinds of workouts mean you can choose a few exercises (eg squats, burpees and press-ups) and put them into a circuit for a set amount of time. See – simple.
6. Lay your gym kit out
Another seriously simple one, but it works. “I find it really helpful to put my gym kit on in the morning or even just keep a sports bra on in the lead-up to my workout,” explains Cela.
Why? “It means I’m more likely to do my workout when the time comes instead of thinking too much about changing out of my normal clothes,” she shares. Check out our health ed’s favourite workout leggings, sports bras, and running trainers, while you’re here.
7. Embrace the resistance bands
Cela’s favourite bit of kit? Oh yep – and especially for home workouts. “Buy some resistance bands,” she advises. “Honestly, I can’t recommend them enough. They’re so versatile and can be used for upper, lower, and full body workouts, too.”
Not sure which to buy? Do a little research, but know they normally come in a pack with varying resistances, so there will be a resistance band for everyone and every workout.
Medium resistance band, £12.00, Gymshark
8. Don’t skip the warm-up and cool down
Hands up if you don’t normally warm your muscles up – or cool them down – when getting a sweat on at home? We thought that might be the case.
Do make sure you’re getting in even five minutes or so of both, warns Cela – you’re far less likely to get injured, and it’s also super important for keeping your muscles and joints healthy. Got it?
9. Do the workouts you love the most
Last but by no means least, your sweat session will almost certainly be more effective if you opt for one you really enjoy doing.
“Always remember, whether you’re working out at home or at the gym, if it makes you feel confident, consistent and it’s your preference – that’s a good workout,” Cela explains. “You can get really effective workouts in from the comfort of your home – I combine both styles into my workout regime and love them both,” she shares.