We are all humans, and that means sometimes our schedules get too busy for us to get a workout in. We get it. Sometimes it is the time commitment, sometimes it is the idea of creating a workout, sometimes it is the time it takes to get ready and drive or walk to the gym.
If any of this resonates with you or you just want to spice up your current workouts, you are in the right place. We are going to go over a simple format for putting together your own workouts at home, as well as some quick straight forward workouts already formatted for you to dive into.
Guilty. We have all skipped this step in our workouts before. I am just calling it how it is. Most of the time, we skip warm ups out of time convenience or because we don’t fully understand their importance.
Warm ups are so beneficial for the body before jumping into workouts. When done properly, they activate the muscles that are about take on the majority of the work load. Why is that important? When you engage and make a mind muscle connection with a muscle and start to activate it by warming up, it actually ends in better muscle recruitment; aka your muscles are functioning better than if you hadn’t activated them. This all ends in a better results post workout, less injuries, and better mobility.
The benefits of warming up in general are immense, but here are simply a few for you to take in:
1.) One benefit is improved blood flow - increased body and muscle temperature.
Cool lingo, but what does that mean in practical terms for you? Your body is better able to meet the demands placed on it during the workout. Your muscles are able to contract and relax easier, your heart has an easier time pumping blood throughout the body which results in less blood pressure spikes, and most importantly you will just feel better performing your workout. As a bonus, all this improves your body’s ability to burn calories.
2.) Improved oxygen delivery to muscles.
The blood flow in your body delivers vital oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Think about it as your veins and arteries are basically the express ways and the uber eats of your body. What this does is reduces your chances of muscle strain or injury, increases muscle flexibility, and improves energy throughout the workout, mobility and performance.
3.) Improves co-ordination.
Let’s be honest, we can all benefit from this one. I can think of multiple times where I didn’t warm up and for no apparent reason I can’t find my balance in simple exercises like bodyweight squats or lunges. By warming up your body is able to respond quicker and your able to perform more challenging exercises.
GOOD WARM UP EXERCISES:
- Go for a walk (plus if it is nice out, this allows you to go outside in nature which has tremendous health benefits)
- Bodyweight squats
- Leg swings (optional - reaching forward to touch the toes as you kick your leg forward)
- Slow mountain climbers
- Resistance band back flys
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
- Butt kicks
THE WORKOUT ITSELF
Creating the core of your workouts can take many shapes based on your goals. Your options are limitless. There are body weight exercises, resistance band exercises, weighted exercises, high intensity exercises/plyometric exercises, etc.
You can focus on isolating muscles. Fatiguing muscles out by performing multiple reps till exhaustion or performing power movements such as squat jumps. Doing moderate to high repetitions to define muscles. Heavy weighted exercises to cause the muscles to grow; or perform high intensity exercises to elevate the metabolism and break a great sweat.
Plus there are a wide variety of ways that you can put these exercise together based on what makes you feel good and gets you excited to workout.
Workout Format Ideas:
- Timed: For example, 30 seconds or 1 min per exercise for a set amount of time. For example, say you are going to do 10 minutes with a total of 10 different exercises all 1 minute in length.
- Circuit: For this one you could put multiple exercises together that you will do one after the another with minimal to no rest. Once you complete all of the exercises take a 1-5 min rest and repeat. For example, you could perform 20 pushups, 15 bicep curls, 12 heavy rows, 60 second plank, rest and then repeat.
- High Intensity Interval Training: This form of exercise is the best for weight loss and helping to boost the body’s metabolism. It gets the body moving, sweating, and the heart rate up. Some exercise examples would be jump squats, jumping jacks, box jumps, or switch lunge jumps.
- You can focus on a wide variety of exercises such as, strength training with weights, bodyweight, high intensity interval training, cardio, plyometric, Pilates, stretching/ yoga, etc.